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Steve Smith: The troubled life and lonely death of the legislator from Mound
MINNPOST ^ | Sarah T. Williams

Posted on 04/19/2014 12:34:18 PM PDT by skeptoid

Among AA adherents (and even nonbelievers), it is acknowledged and grimly understood that “there are such unfortunates” who will not achieve sobriety – and who, because of the chronic and progressive nature of the disease, will die. “They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way,” the Big Book says.

One of those unfortunates it seems was state Rep. Steve Smith, R-Mound, who served his district and the state for 21 years running – the longest tenure of any House Republican at the time. Though a cause of death has not yet been released, Smith’s son, his legislative colleagues and dear friends have said that his death, which was discovered last week, was most certainly related to his struggle with alcoholism. He was 64.

(Excerpt) Read more at minnpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: alcoholism
I can't recall reading this sort of commentary in a current news format.
Any mention of the departed's self-destructive tendencies usually comes much later,
and even then without such sad detail.
1 posted on 04/19/2014 12:34:18 PM PDT by skeptoid
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To: skeptoid

If the unfortunate man - Steve Smith - was a Democrat would we see this so soon after his death?


2 posted on 04/19/2014 12:40:11 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

I’m an alcoholic. I quit years ago. No AA, just a lot of good
friends telling me I need to stop.
The only excuse for someone not stopping when they should
is the lack of self discipline. The same goes for smoking.
I quit 5 years ago. It’s hard, both were two of the hardest
things to do for me. Nether smoking or drinking is ever
impossible to quit, it’s just hard to do so.


3 posted on 04/19/2014 12:49:35 PM PDT by Slambat
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To: vladimir998

I think so; his son and fellow Repubican legislators contributed most of the comments in the story.


4 posted on 04/19/2014 12:50:24 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: skeptoid

But that’s just it. Republicans. If they were all Democrats, I am not so sure we would here about this so soon. To this day Ted Kennedy often STILL is eulogized without reference to the fact that he was a scumbag.


5 posted on 04/19/2014 12:56:19 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: skeptoid
I'm sorry he had to die.

As a sober member of AA for 26 years, I was surprised that the writer of the article forgot about AA’s traditions.
Especially ...personal anonymity at the lever of the press. Once you are dead, we can use your last name, but to his sponsor, I wonder if after 30 years, he forgot to remain with-full-name?

6 posted on 04/19/2014 12:58:29 PM PDT by BarbM (Portuguese Dog--Kenyan president)
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To: BarbM

DOUBLE DIP:

I am sober as I write this post, it’s just that I have the
flu and can’t see straight nor think straight.

yes, I did hit spell check and proof read my last post...

we get better, but never well.


7 posted on 04/19/2014 1:01:03 PM PDT by BarbM (Portuguese Dog--Kenyan president)
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To: skeptoid

May he rest in peace and obtain the serenity he was unable to achieve in this life. Prayers up for his family.


8 posted on 04/19/2014 1:06:03 PM PDT by House Atreides
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To: skeptoid

This is a very sad story.


9 posted on 04/19/2014 1:07:05 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: skeptoid

Rest in peace, Steve Smith.


10 posted on 04/19/2014 1:08:33 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheelbarrow)
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To: skeptoid
Time was, not very many years ago, "dipsomania" was a fatal diagnosis. About 1 in every thousand "survived," though many of those died of related causes, even those who had held on to "white knuckle sobriety."

Bill Wilson made was clear about those who criticize any techniques used by genuine alcoholics to quit drinking. He strongly denounced it.

11 posted on 04/19/2014 1:12:50 PM PDT by Prospero (Si Deus trucido mihi, ego etiam fides Deus.)
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To: skeptoid

Yes, drinking in excess over a long period of time can kill you, but it is not a disease, but simply a lack of self discipline.


12 posted on 04/19/2014 1:26:19 PM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: Tax-chick

It is incredibly sad. He died alone in a freezing house wrapped up in a blanket....no friends, no family ever checked on him for months. Heartbreaking.


13 posted on 04/19/2014 1:31:04 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey, NSA!)
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To: Girlene

People tried to check on him, but he didn’t respond.


14 posted on 04/19/2014 1:36:12 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: skeptoid
“It’s a horrible tragedy,” said Holberg. “It’s an evil, evil disease. It destroys families.

We should outlaw the stuff.

Yeah, it's a horrible disease and every year millions suffer it's wages. Innocent and guilty alike.

15 posted on 04/19/2014 1:40:41 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: House Atreides

May he rest in peace and obtain the serenity he was unable to achieve in this life. Prayers up for his family.

Well said, Atreides.


16 posted on 04/19/2014 1:45:14 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: skeptoid

If it were just a John Doe, there wouldn’t be contemporary commentary, but this man was well known in his district, a public figure in that area. And it’s pretty clear his problem wasn’t any secret to those who knew him. Sad.


17 posted on 04/19/2014 1:49:21 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: Slambat

About 15 years ago, concerned about my behavior and future health, I quit drinking. No other motivation nor assistance. Thought I’d done something.
After 5 years or so I picked up again thinking what the heck. Things went well for a spell. Then I got stuck into the drink and made up for lost time.
Bloody well near ran out of time.
Referred to AA, I became active in the program and remain so. Amazing that what had been a problem became a sometime unpleasant memory and constant reminder.
Just celebrated 8-years. No regrets, it was my time and I was fortunate to hear the clock chime.
Joke in “The Rooms” is we come in via courtesy of one of the “Three L’s - our Lover, Lawyer or Liver”. My wife’s love get’s the credit.


18 posted on 04/19/2014 1:51:51 PM PDT by Huaynero
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To: Slambat

The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is a wonderful, divinely inspired organization. It has saves countless lives since its’ inception in the late 30’s. The fellowship within AA has given new life to many people who struggle with relationships, friendships, employers and other human family interaction. There is more to sobriety than quitting the alcohol. Whatever works for you is fine , and I hope you are happy. Alcoholics need other alcoholics to facilitate long term sobriety. No one else understands our situation and experiences. I am 17 years sober with AA. I am glad I didn’t have to do it alone. God bless you. Give it a try , Somewhere, there is a sick and suffering drunk waiting for your message. Some of us were meant to be sacrificed to this disease so others can learn from it.


19 posted on 04/19/2014 2:23:01 PM PDT by MountainYankee
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To: MountainYankee; Oliviaforever
"No one else understands our situation and experiences."

And I think it is dangerous for some who don't know what that struggle is like to flippantly say: "They just weren't trying hard enough", or some-such.
I'm sober 22 years - God interrupted my self-destruction, and I put in a lot of hard work.

But I've seen others work pretty darn hard, too - and just can't seem to put together any decent clean time.
I have been to so many funerals in the past 22 years, it's heart-breaking.

I don't know why I've made it this far, and others haven't.
I do know, though, that I don't know everything, and that it's dangerous for me to try to judge what is in someone else's heart.

But I do have a greater understanding of "Grace". Amazing.

20 posted on 04/19/2014 3:34:01 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Mariner

AA is BS. Follow the money.
If you haven’t had a drink in thirty years how can you still be an alcoholic. And donations accepted.
If you have a tumor removed are you a dry cancer survivor for the rest of your life?

If you stop smoking you simply stop.

It may help some but the numbers are small compared to those who simply stop for reasons outside of AA.

Don’t believe me look it up.

Flame away.


21 posted on 04/19/2014 3:44:08 PM PDT by glyptol
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To: skeptoid

I have never understood the appeal of alcohol.

I have seen first-hand what it does. My father was an alcoholic. It wrecked his life.


22 posted on 04/19/2014 4:43:25 PM PDT by OldPossum ("It's" is the contraction of "it" and "is"; think about ITS implications.)
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To: glyptol

“Flame away.”

Why on earth would you be flamed for that info?

.


23 posted on 04/19/2014 4:48:44 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Tax-chick

I see...you are right. Sad that he didn’t answer.


24 posted on 04/19/2014 6:28:10 PM PDT by Girlene (Hey, NSA!)
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To: glyptol

I stopped smoking a half an hour ago.
I’ll be back in a little while as I am going to start smoking again.


25 posted on 04/19/2014 7:50:24 PM PDT by stylin19a (Obama ----> Fredo smart)
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