RIP Sally Baron

Remembering her mother who passed away this week, Stoughton, Wisconsin's Maureen Bettilyon reminisces, "She'd always watch CNN, C-SPAN, and you know, she'd just swear at the TV and say 'Oh, Bush, he's such a whistle ass!' She'd just get so mad." So when the family of the late Sally Baron met to write her obituary, they included the line: "Memorials in her honor can be made to any organization working for the removal of President Bush."

While I predict bloggers the world over will seize on the story of Baron's anti-Bush obituary (which might be a fitting testament, given her political convictions), I'm glad to see that The Capital Times' John Nichols hasn't trivialized the woman's life. He writes:
Sally Baron was born in the far north of Wisconsin in the year that Franklin Delano Roosevelt swept Herbert Hoover from office. When she was growing up around Hurley, Republicans weren't even on the radar. People voted for Democrats for president and for the old Progressive Party - a wild mix of renegade La Follette Republicans and radicals - in state races.

My friend Laurie Carlson used to represent the north in the Legislature as a Progressive, and he swore that the movement's truest believers could be found on the back roads of Bayfield, Ashland and Iron counties. That was where hardscrabble farmers, fishermen and miners nurtured a healthy disgust for the smirking elitists who controlled too much of the economy and, as the years went on, too much of the politics of the nation.

Sally Baron grew up in a time and a place where Laurie Carlson and his comrades battled against the corporate elites and "Tory" Republicans with a passion they traced back to the days of the American Revolution against the British royals and a feudal system that handed power from father to son. Even at 90, Laurie still waded into debates on the side of the workers against bosses, the farmers against agribusiness, and hard-knocks kids against the fair-haired sons of privilege.

No wonder, then, that Sally Baron bristled at the sight of George W. Bush. The wife of a miner who was injured in a pit accident, she raised six kids in a world our inherited and selected president could never imagine. Sally Baron's kids say she did not like the way Bush smirked when he spoke. Considering that he did not even win the most votes in the 2000 election, her thinking went, he could have been more humble.
Just for old times' sake, a few organizations working for the removal of Bush: 1, 2, 3.

(Via Cursor.)

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