Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

12/01/2004

A Senator of Substance

It is difficult to imagine a more stark "stature gap" between Minnesota's Junior and Senior U.S. Senators. Minnesota's Senior Senator is a doctrinaire leftist who could walk across rice paper without leaving a trace.

Contrast that with Senator Norm Coleman. Less than 2 years into the job, Coleman is already in a position to bring enormous pressure to bear on the United Nations to reform itself -- namely by relieving Secretary-General Kofi Annan of his position. Here Coleman makes the case that Annan's administration is rife with corruption as exemplified in the Oil-for-Food scandal.

The money line: Since it was never likely that the U.N. Security Council, some of whose permanent members were awash in Saddam's favors, would ever call for Saddam's removal, the U.S. and its coalition partners were forced to put troops in harm's way to oust him by force. Today, money swindled from Oil-for-Food may be funding the insurgency against coalition troops in Iraq and other terrorist activities against U.S. interests. Simply put, the troops would probably not have been placed in such danger if the U.N. had done its job in administering sanctions and Oil-for-Food.

When it comes to the United Nations, I'm of the "end it, don't mend it" variety. But if such an institution must endure, it should weed out this corruption post-haste. We marvel at the irony that St. Paul's former mayor may be responsible for hastening the departure of Annan, a graduate of St. Paul's Macalester College. Will Macalester continue to trumpet their most famous graduate?

Meanwhile, wouldn't it be nice to have a second U.S. Senator of Substance?

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