Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Minnesota Republican Senate Disgraces Itself


Female genital mutilation (FGM) has come to Minnesota and the silence from the Regressive Left could not be louder. Blowhards like Rep. Melisa Franzen (DFL), local media darling, are silent, as are the usual raft of Minnesota "feminists," including that special brand of cucks, Minnesota men on Twitter who have feminist in their pathetic bios. Local media have reported in their trademark fashion of "once and done" with not a single Minnesota newspaper running an editorial against this horrific, backward, misogyny-incarnate practice.

Remember, when President Trump called out fake media as the enemy of the American people (not media per se) local media responded by tweeting that they were all brave Daniel Pearls. No, seriously.

In the Minnesota House, Rep. Mary Franson (R) has introduced legislation that rightly characterizes this as child abuse and allows victim children to be permanently removed from the monsters who call themselves parents that allow it. Senator Karin Housley (R) has introduced parallel legislation in the Senate. Franson's bill has passed all committees and is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday, May 15th. Housley's bill hasn't received so much as a single committee hearing.

What on earth is wrong with the Minnesota Republican Senate? Speaker Kurt Daudt and others in the House have shown true & genuine leadership and are to be commended for fast tracking the Franson bill so that a floor vote may be had by the end of session.

* * * * 

FGM is not the same as male circumcision, in which the foreskin is cut from a perfectly intact penis shortly after birth. CAIR, the terrorist affiliated group that presumes to speak for all Muslims (see my prior piece here: "The Islamization of Minnesota Media") attempts to conflate the two by calling FGM "female circumcision."

No. 

In order for FGM to be the equivalent of circumcision, the head of the penis would have to be chopped off. Has that got your attention? Can someone clue in the dude from Nisswa?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a heroine for the world in our time and herself a victim, has delineated several types of FGM: 1. The Nick 2. "Female Circumcision" 3. Intermediate Infibulation 4. Total Infibulation 5. Vaginal Fusion

Ayaan is the world's most famous Somali but Minnesota media ignore her entirely. They are Servants Of CAIR™. You can read her full article here.

All this in the happy clappy, relentlessly insecure, mindlessly progressive state of Minnesota. Take a bow, cultural enrichment, corrosive diversity types. Most of all, stay silent.

Enter the cowards of the Minnesota Republican Senate.

* * * * 

It's possible that the Senate prefers the Franson bill to pass on the House floor and have it included in an omnibus bill that Governor Dayton won't veto. So far legislative republicans have made a hash of this session, negotiating amongst themselves while moving ever closer to Dayton's budget marks while he stands pat. What's galling is that they think they're doing a fine job.

Even so, that's no excuse for the lack of any hearing on the Housely bill nor for Senate leadership being silent on the matter of female genital mutilation. And to be fair, there may be senators who want this matter addressed and about which I don't know. In fact, that's likely and here's to them, even if we won't know those names publicly.

The end result of Senate inaction is to lessen the chances of protecting vulnerable girls in this state who come from backward, misogynist cultures. That's not who we are but you wouldn't know it from the failure of the Minnesota Republican Senate.







Thursday, April 27, 2017

Paint It Black: Ellison At The Humphrey School


I attended Keith Ellison's appearance at the Humphrey School last week, where he was cosseted under the guise of being moderated by Larry Jacobs, who runs the school, along with Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Pioneer Press. The Cowles auditorium was full and, even though I obtained a ticket the day the event was announced, was forced to take a second row seat, on the right naturally. To borrow from V.S. Naipaul, I was among the believers.

I'd never seen Ellison in person before and was unprepared for my shock at what an astonishingly mediocre fellow he was. Unimpressive by almost any measure, his being in Congress perfectly represents the degradation of politics on the far left. And on the far left he is: banal, badly educated, badly spoken, not in the slightest bright, indeed quasi-thuggish, a pencil tucked behind his left ear as he took the stage to much applause.

Democrats are a long way away from the intellect and grace of my home state's senator, George McGovern, no matter how out of sync his politics were in 1972. The man was not an embarrassment but Keith Ellison is, perfect for a state that doesn't know how to stop embarrassing itself nationally.

* * * * 

The putative topic of the event was "What is the future of the Democratic Party?" It's a question that Jacobs & Stassen-Berger never got around to asking, which shows the degree to which this was a liberal gathering and not an actual event of substance. Everyone on the stage being steadfast democrats, of course, might have had something to do with that.

Still, at times, Jacobs surprised me with his questions. So too, Stassen-Berger but only once, when she said Ellison's congressional district, CD 5, had come in 7th out of 8 with respect to voter turnout. Ellison instinctively (and instincts, as befits a thug, are all he has) pushed back immediately. Oddly, the reporter had nothing on hand to back her up, bleating in response that she'd checked the website of the Minnesota Secretary of State for her blasphemy. 

They agreed to disagree, with the reporter saying that she'd tweet if she was wrong, obsequiously including Ellison's handle in her tweet. From that point onward, she nodded, Hillary-like, at any and everything he said, including when he was turned toward Jacobs, leaving only the back of his head at which to nod. I became grateful for my second row seat.

* * * * 

The particulars of Ellison's appearance were excruciating and, of course, never reported upon by local media in attendance. The headlines were: Ellison thought Tim Walz would be the next governor and Betsy Hodges would win reelection as the mayor of Minneapolis. For a lazy press, that was more than enough. I happen to agree with the first prediction but not the latter. 

* * * * 

Yet only by attending were the particulars of this event available and therein lies the substance. Imagine, the substance of a story not being conveyed to you by our media, local or national.

Ellison never answered what the future of the Democratic Party was, not only because he wasn't asked by the ersatz moderators, but more surely because he had no sound answer. What did he say? 

He talked about Planned Parenthood, more than once, saying "it gets clear to you." Right. At one point he said PP was threatened "with repeal." This is an ignorant man. The clear cut case of PP selling fetal body parts was "doctored videos." 

What does his party stand for? Ellison quoted the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it stood for "liberty and fairness for all." Those words don't appear in the Pledge and neither moderator corrected him. Liberty and justice for all, of course, are the words in the Pledge. 

Ellison said the Democratic Party stood for: 1. Economic fairness "there's enough money" and 2. Fairness: "Government helps things get better" or words to that effect. He wanted people to be able to retire and wanted better schools, so that "parents can aspire for their children." That's an exact quote. 

The closest he got to answering the question of the event was that democrats focused on presidential races too much and not on local ones, focused too much on likely voters instead of other voters. Who those other voters were he didn't say and there was no follow up question. Indeed, a lack of follow up questions defined this event.

Painfully to me, but honestly, Ellison said Minnesota democrats held every statewide office and two US Senator seats. Mercifully, he wasn't astute enough to drive the point home and say that the DFL has held the state Attorney General's office for fifty years. He claimed, not implausibly, his turnout in CD 5 kept the republicans from winning those races. That might be true but I'd add the sustained political incompetence on the part of MNGOPe is no small part.

* * * * 

There was a great deal of chaff I had to separate in order to find the occasional grain of wheat in Ellison's remarks. Nevertheless, I persisted. To fairly summarize the balance of Ellison's remarks, he doesn't mind demonizing people when they're wrong; repealing the ACA would hurt people; Trump will lose in 2020 because he will damage the economy and increase unemployment unless he doesn't and is seen as a reformer (all said in one breath, and, again, unchallenged by the moderators); progressive politics can win; Minnesota democrats are indebted to WIN Minnesota, the Kaplans, Vance Opperman, Take Action, NOC, Indivisible, the DFL's coordinating committee, and Hubert Humphrey, saying "we're beneficiaries from history." From. 

Explaining the rural/urban divide in Minnesota that favored President Trump, Ellison reassured the assembled hive mind that it was worse in Michigan. "But Trump won Michigan," didn't say the moderators. This was what I had to process in real time. It was all I could do to take twelve pages of notes, from which much of this post is taken.

Some national media picked up on a key point that Ellison made but the moderators certainly didn't when he said it and local media ignored it altogether. Quelle surprise. That key point was that Obama, in his view, didn't do nearly enough "for the party." He went on to say "his legacy is in danger," apparently not realizing that Obama himself said he was on the ballot and America comprehensively rejected it last November. Again, the moderators weren't there for an injection of reality and let most of his comments pass unremarked upon. To be fair, perhaps I misunderstood their role from the outset.

Remarkably, Jacobs brought up Ellison's abysmal voting record in Congress, suggesting to me he's been taking testosterone supplements. Ellison was clearly shocked, if not offended, when facing actual facts and squirmed away from his record by saying he'd had a torn something tendon and once had a child graduating, ending with the fake statement "I have an excellent voting record."

There was, of course, a good deal of Trump trashing by Keith E. Hakim that received rote applause from the assembled seals. Laughably, he said that Trump was "openly hostile to core American values." Ellison claimed Trump stoked "economic and racial resentments," which belied the naked anti-white messaging from the left as well as mockery of anything rural. Ellison's solution? "We need more healing."

My translation: America rejected our force fed agitprop of cultural Marxism and democrats are SOL.

In a moment of what he thought passed for lucidity, Ellison said that Trump voters shouldn't be called suckers but instead be told he isn't delivering. Somewhere Justice Gorsuch, ICE and Trump voters are laughing.

* * * * 

The low point of the gathering was Ellison not being asked about the appearance in Minnesota of the horrific Muslim practice of female genital mutilation. I've been told that I shouldn't have had any expectation he would be, leaving me at a loss to know which was worse: the failure of moderators who think highly of themselves or a citizenry used to the Regressive Left's dominance of politics and culture in Minnesota.

* * * * 

Over this past weekend we gained more information, if such were needed, about the abysmal future of the Democratic Party.

In a newly released Washington Post–ABC News poll, Democrats have plummeted on the question of relatability with the middle class.

“The Democratic Party is viewed as more out of touch than either Trump or the party’s political opponents. Two-thirds of Americans think the Democrats are out of touch—including nearly half of Democrats themselves.”

The "democracy dies in darkness" Washington Post waited until the penultimate paragraph of its very long story to reveal the worst of it: Trump would win the election if it were held now, including the popular vote.

Providing a finishing salt of insanity to this already unappetizing dish, DNC Chair Tom Perez recently stated flatly that pro-lifers were not welcome in the party. Approximately 30% of democrats consider themselves pro-life.

* * * * 

Democrats haven't wielded this little political power at the state level in 75 years. The Senate is very likely to be more republican after the 2018 elections. Both Camille Paglia and Michael Moore have recently predicted Trump will win reelection in 2020.

Ellison at the Humphrey School was an exercise in group delusion and the future of his party is dire in the extreme; paint it black. Minnesota republicans would do well to wake up to this new reality, because although it wasn't reported this way, it seemed like what I witnessed was a political Heaven's Gate.









Monday, April 17, 2017

The Davids: Hann For Chair, Pascoe For Deputy


Does the Republican Party of Minnesota matter? I hear this question all the time and understand why it is asked. But turn it around: would you ever hear a democrat, in or out of media, ask whether the DFL matters? You wouldn't but here we are and it's a sign of the state of republican politics in Minnesota that it is asked on one side of the aisle and not the other.

The answer to the question, of course, is that the Republican Party of Minnesota does matter because it should matter. Ken Martin, chair of the DFL, has his detractors but I don't count myself among them. We've met approximately once, at lunch, but my esteem is hardly earned over vegetarian Japanese food. No, Martin understands in Minnesota the essential role--still--of the party in our politics. This is not nothing.

The Minnesota Republican Party to date is a limp thing, ad hoc at best, usually adrift with appallingly bad messaging when, if it comes at all, is late to the news cycle. Going on offense is a concept wholly foreign to it. Some blame exiting Chair Keith Downey, who, to be sure, deserves a healthy portion of it, yet making Downey the scapegoat for what ails the party elides what truly ails it. And what ails Minnesota republicans I've written about ad nauseum. This is not the time for recapitulation.

* * * * 
A number of diagnoses have been made about the party and any number of treatment options offered by those running for Chair & Deputy Chair. I'm not currently a member of the State Central Committee that will vote to fill these positions on the last Saturday of this month. I held a roundtable podcast on Gilmore & Guests for the Chair candidates that can be heard here. I held a similar roundtable podcast for the Deputy Chairs that can be heard here. I did both shows in order to help delegates decide for whom to vote. In both shows I was scrupulously neutral. Now, I want to endorse.

DAVID HANN

David Hann represents the best choice for putting the Republican Party of Minnesota back onto the path of political relevance. Hann single handedly brought Minnesota a republican majority in the state senate, despite overt undermining from other republicans, especially those in House "leadership." He lost his own seat, true, but there's something to be said sacrificing for the larger good that should appeal to State Central delegates.

Hann is strongly pro Trump, despite a whisper campaign to the opposite. I know who doesn't support Trump in this state, believe me. When a political phenomenon like Trump wins both the city of Hibbing as well as 78 out of our 87 counties, Hann pays attention. In short, he gets it. 

Ken Martin & the democrats are already out of the gate trying to win those voters back. David Hann knows what to do in order to keep them, something our House and Senate majorities seemingly do not. 

Hann, it seems to me, will also message on behalf of the party instead of on behalf of whichever faction in our endlessly factionalized party is ascendant in either legislative chamber. This is to the good. Someone in the republican firmament in Minnesota had best speak for the average voter. 

David Hann is that man & I encourage delegates to make him our party chair.

DAVID PASCOE

I'd heard of David Pascoe but not much and met him for the first time when he came to the studio to record the Gilmore & Guests podcast for the Deputy Chair race. 

Pascoe impressed me greatly with not only his previous record of service, but his keen understanding of the role the Deputy Chair should play within the party. Cogent, forward looking, realizing the political landscape has changed, even in Minnesota, Pascoe would be the best candidate to serve any chair the State Central delegates elect.

I hope they elect David Pascoe.





Sunday, April 2, 2017

Is 2018 Already Slipping Away From Republicans?

Last month, Lt. Governor Tina Flint Smith announced on Facebook that she would not run for governor in 2018, but not before leaking it to Ricardo Lopez of the Star Tribune. (I'm a bit concerned Hispanics are overrepresented at the Strib relative to their (legal) numbers in the population. Am I doing identity politics right?)

Everyone was shocked or so they pretended. I wasn't, particularly, having written previously that Trump's strong showing in Minnesota hurt her the most among potential DFL gubernatorial candidates. A hot house flower of urban, ultra-liberal elites, tied to a mediocre record of her Governor boss wasn't going to win statewide where Trump had carried 78 out of Minnesota's 87 counties.

This week Congressman Tim Walz of Minnesota's First Congressional District entered the gubernatorial race, showing up replete in a red flannel jacket when filing his papers in Saint Paul. Optics: something Minnesota republicans rarely demonstrate they understand. He had signaled his intention for a few weeks and followed through. DFLers were ecstatic. For good reason.

* * * * 

Minnesota republicans currently are stuck with either House Speaker Kurt Daudt or Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek as their leading contenders for the republican endorsement for governor. Others will surely enter the race and they should, if for no other reason than to give the faithful the pretense of a competitive race. Kabuki is what passes for real political struggles on that side of the aisle, cycle after cycle. 

The problem is that the entry of Walz demonstrates in real time my thesis since November 8th: Minnesota democrats understand Trump's strong showing here far better than the petri dish, donor based and fed Minnesota republicans, especially the fetid House caucus. Of course it's not a sure thing that Walz will be the DFL nominee but that hardly contradicts my point.

Indeed, the legislative session thus far not only gives no sign of contradicting it but instead confirms it. Budgets released by each republican controlled chamber show no meaningful difference between republican control and DFL control: the differences are of degree, not of kind. How much money should republicans shell out and to whom is the order of the day. Please clap. 

Governor Dayton wants a 46 billion dollar budget, republicans hold the line at 45. The number 500 million comes to mind. Both sides will declare victory and republicans are sure to cue the usual suspects pretending to depth & substance on "Almanac" or any other local political television show I don't watch because they insult my intelligence. Republican lobbyists, a jilted lover seeking media redemption, political hacks: no thanks. 

* * * * 

I recently had a high ranking MNGOP party official tell me flat out that "candidates don't matter." I'm not sure I've recovered. 

But that's the mindset of too many in the Minnesota republican establishment: mouth the right words (which are?) and run against the democrats (how, precisely, given "our" proposed budgets?) and we'll win. The political love that dare not speak its name is Trump but here we are: not Oscar Wilde but the dumbest republicans in the nation. 

Settle in. 

All of this is the consequence of a party that doesn't know what it believes. After the House budget came out, I tweeted: "What is the case for a republican governor in 2018?"

The question remains unanswered. 


















Sunday, March 12, 2017

Minnesota Republicans Adrift

The image above was shown on CBS News the morning after November 8th. I know of no other map in recent American political history that shows Minnesota still out, still waiting to be called, the morning after a presidential election. It doesn't get any more emphatic than this but to follow Minnesota republican politics after the consequential election of Donald Trump as our 45th president, you wouldn't know it.

Why is this?

I've thought for a long time, as anyone who's read me knows, that Minnesota republicans are timid, shy, unsure of what they stand for and are afraid of a mediocre, particularly liberal & tedious, media in a third tier market. Additionally, too many of those who direct elected republicans have succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome of their donors. What they want, they get. Sound familiar?

Trump understood first and foremost that the Republican Party had failed its so-called constituents. He then coupled his message with, and directed it toward, those democrats who felt the same way about the Democratic Party. There is simply no other way of explaining why he won 78 out of 87 counties in Minnesota and came very close to carrying the state outright. Of course, had our schlerotic party aparat gotten behind him, he might very well have.

Ticket splitting is what passed for sophisticated political analysis in the media here after the election in explaining Trump's Minnesota results. Only regulars on "Almanac" or "At Issue" would think that either insightful or persuasive.

Now, though, in the cold March light of mixed weather, we can assess what republicans in Minnesota have done, not quite two months into a transformative Trump administration.

The answer is not much. I understand that the House republicans have an agreement with the Senate republicans not to pass anything that can't be approved by the latter body. Advantage: the Chamber. But as for anything else, well, good luck to you school choice.

Sunday liquor sales passed into law. Please clap. I was for it but thought it a distraction from the obvious task of republicans taking advantage of Trump's strong showing here. The reality is that most of the MNGOPe were strongly against Trump. In the face of his transformative win, the best they can come up with is to ignore it.

The DFL doesn't, however. Far more alert to realpolitik, and keen to win back those DFL voters who had previously voted Obama but this cycle voted Trump, they seek to repair and rebuild those political relations that can keep them winning statewide elections, now a decade old.

That's right: it bears repeating that Minnesota republicans have not won a statewide race in a decade.

The focus now, of course, is on winning the governorship. I want a republican to win that office. The question everyone puts to me, which I tire of and turn back upon themselves is: do we have a republican contender who can do that?

The mileage varies.


The Speaker

Accidental Speaker Kurt Daudt doesn't really think he's qualified to be governor, it's just the next step he's been told to take. There is no substantive case to be made for Daudt, on his own, to become governor.

The Sheriff

Rich Stanek needed to stop reading his press clippings a long time ago. He's fine, not great. There are no indications that Stanek will realize his ego gets in the way of his goal.

* * * * * 

There you have it, the top two contenders for the republican nomination for governor in 2018. I've heard all the other names. So have you. They don't matter.





Saturday, December 31, 2016

Minnesota Conservatives' Year In Review

I cast about for something to say in summary fashion, as is the custom, for year end think pieces. Then I realized that I had said everything about the year just expiring in this space. Consequently, I review highlights of what I've written and decide whether those posts remain accurate or wide of the mark, along with some current observations.

January

At the start of the year I wrote "The Coming of Governor Tina Flint Smith." At the end of the year, she's still coming, carefully shielded from any MN Sure disaster fallout by Gov. Dayton and the media. Sen. Tom Bakk could pose a challenge to her if he's able to marshall to his side the issues that gave Trump a win in 78 out of 89 counties. Others have and will announce for the DFL endorsement but I don't see them as first tier candidates, with the possible exception of Attorney General Lori Swanson.

That post can be read by clicking here.

February

There was no more important story this month than the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia. His death put in stark relief the stakes at issue in this election. Loathsome Never Trumpers would never mention the Supreme Court was in the balance. To be fair, this was February, lots of time for the national version of Minnesota republicans to shove into the meat grinder of Hillary Clinton someone unexceptional.

I wrote about the loss of Scalia here.

March

The republican presidential debate that month should have been all the warning the cosseted, insular GOPe set should have needed to know that things were very different this election cycle. But they were cosseted and insular and remained so. Just like the MNGOPe only less so.

"The End of the Republican Party As We Know It" was my take.

That post can be read by clicking here. 

April

One of the most important things I wrote in 2016 was: "Do Minnesota Republicans Believe In Anything?"

I concluded: not much or all the wrong things. Take your pick. Nothing has changed since then, believe me.

I wrote about it here. 
May


That month I looked at Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek's appearance before the Minnesota Republican Party State Convention in my piece "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Stanek." Stanek, I ventured to say, could run for governor and win. 

Since that time, I've concluded he might be the only republican who can. 

My post can be read by clicking here.

June

Brexit was the only story worldwide in June and with good reason. I tried to apply its lessons to republican politics locally when I wrote "How Much Zeitgeist Can Minnesota Republicans Ignore?"

Turns out in the time since then, a great deal, which continues to this moment. 

My post can be read by clicking here.

July

Donald Trump accepted the republican nomination in Cleveland, Ohio that month. Virtually all conventional wisdom had said, time and again, such would never happened. Only it did. 

I wrote "Minnesota Republicans in the Age of Trump" as my sole blog post that month and for good reason: I had nothing else to say. 

My post can be read by clicking here.

August

Donald Trump held a private fundraiser that month in downtown Minneapolis. Upon leaving, his peaceful supporters were viciously attacked by fascist thugs on the left. I didn't attend the event but helped man the Twitter ramparts to get the news out. The story went nationwide in less than a day yet the then chair of the RPM didn't see fit to speak about it until three days later. Local media were more disgraceful than usual in covering it up or papering it over, with one newspaper headline claiming Trump supporters were "taunted." No one deserved to lose the presidential election more than media.

"Minneapolis Disgraces Itself: State Sanctioned Violence Against Peaceful Trump Supporters" would turn out to be my most read article. 

It can be read by clicking here.

September

I wrote nothing that month because I had nothing to say. More should follow the practice but I don't tell people how to blog or tweet. Perhaps I was getting ready for my trip to Athens, Greece the next month, when seemingly the bottom fell out of the Trump campaign.

October

Upon my return, I wrote about the release of the infamous, eleven year old "Access Hollywood" video and republican reaction to it in "The Stupid Party Outdoes Itself." It really did. Only Trump's furious counter-attack and excellent performance in the subsequent debate staunched the bleeding. 

It can be read by clicking here.

November

Donald Trump became president-elect that month, the 45th President of the United States. It was astonishing, thrilling and glorious all at the same time. What was said could never happen, happened, with worldwide consequences. 

I wrote "President Trump & The End of the MNGOPe" and followed it up with "Trump: The Transformation of Minnesota Politics." If I do say so myself, both are worth a reread at year's end.

The first can be read by clicking here. 

The second by clicking here.

December

I ended this fantastic year by writing "What I Saw At Pete Hegeth's Christmas Party" and it seems an unusually apt note upon which to end. My concern was that the Minnesota republicans in attendance had no idea how to capitalize on Trump winning 78 out of Minnesota's 87 counties. In the few weeks that have elapsed since, I'm convinced at this point they manifestly do not. New thinking doesn't come easily, usually at all, to these types. 

My post can be read by clicking here.

2017

I'd like to thank my readers for slogging through this extraordinary year with me.  

My best wishes to you for a happy & healthy New Year. It's going to be huge.



Sunday, December 11, 2016

What I Saw At Pete Hegseth's Christmas Party

"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within. I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them." Leonard Cohen

Last Wednesday I attended the only political holiday party that was of interest to me and to which I really didn't need an invitation, as I don't get many of those these days. Sad! I went with no expectations and left feeling like I'd taken an acid bath.

It was Facebook come to life. At one point I half wanted Dolores from "Westworld" to appear and start shooting us all in the back of the head. Or anywhere, really. Just get it done.

I say this not because it was an entirely dour affair, it wasn't. I was genuinely glad to see a wide range of elected officials, activists, staffers, donors and miscellaneous hangers-on that I hadn't in some time. One wag later tweeted that it was a rare "shabbosgoy sighting," @shabbosgoy being my handle on Twitter. Not quite as valuable as a rare Pepe meme (the diamond Pepe appears only when does the savior of Western Civilization, which happened) but still appreciated because it involved humor, something sorely lacking amongst republicans of all stripes.

Hegseth is to be commended for hosting the event and casting his invitation with a wide net in a party fractured by ideological incoherence and petty personal political rivalries. I managed a few words with his wife, Samantha, before being cornered not three feet into the donor room. I met several interesting people I wouldn't otherwise have but this initial experience was but a taste of what was to come. When Pete sought me out we had a few moments, it was fun, but he was dragged away by the event organizer in order to speak on time. The organizer, a friend, was Barbara Malzacher, who ran a flawless event.

I was pleased to speak with Sen. David Hann, who single handedly brought republicans their majority in the senate while losing his own race. Sometimes you know when you're in the presence of a genuine human being and so it was when we talked. I apologized to him for getting that scandal a few years ago quite, quite wrong. The opportunity to make that apology was the motivating reason for my attendance and I should have left once I was ahead.

* * * * 

I was surprised at the number of Never Trump people who showed their face without qualm, as if they had been aboard for some time. "Shameless," apparently, is more than an unwatchable television show. Jack & Annette Meeks in the donor room embodied this best. There were others, of course.

I pointedly said hello to a few of them. I'm only human and it was irresistible. Mostly, though, we ignored each other, as though one of us hadn't been right for months, and paid the price, and the others were not and did not. So it goes and the clueless interest me only to the extent they'll fumble the opportunities afforded republicans in Minnesota by Trump winning 78 out of 87 counties. Neither Norm Coleman or Vin Weber were in attendance but plenty of people dependent upon their largesse were. You start to see the problem; think of fossils in amber.

* * * * 

Hegseth gave a fine speech, emphasizing the positive of a Trump presidency to a room largely filled with those who not only didn't support him but hope he lost. Everyone played along while I took notes. 

Congressman-elect Jason Lewis, perhaps sensing this and providing counter-point, gave a short but optimistic speech about the present and the immediate future. He rightly emphasized that name calling didn't cut it in this last election, something he shared first hand with Trump. He told the crowd to get ready for the first 100 days of President Trump. They weren't sure what to make of that, them being swamp creatures writ small. 

Sen. David Hann spoke and got a good round of applause, suggesting to me that even the guilty can still have a conscience. After the fact, of course.

Republican Party Chair Keith Downey said that Pete Hegseth brought the Minnesota republican party together, a remarkable and demonstrably false proposition. The crowd didn't gasp--that would be too overt for this group--but it fell flat with an audible thud. His, ours, is a political party torn asunder by one dimensional chess moves by those whose only principles are self interest and self enrichment, electoral, to say nothing of ideological, success coming in a distant second, unless they mesh of course.

Downey suggested more than once that Hillary's "basket of deplorables" comment united republicans, hence Trump's victory. Someone wasn't paying attention to the fallout from the Access Hollywood video or thought anything could be said, red meat-like, and the audience would applaud. It couldn't and they didn't. 

When we later engaged by accident, he congratulated me on becoming a regular contributor to The Hill, the news of which had broken earlier that week. I haven't written about it here because I don't write about myself here; I am myself here.

Downey was exceedingly gracious and I appreciated his comments. This was something I regularly encountered: The Hill imprimatur. Many others that night gave congratulations and I unexpectedly found myself behind the curve, only concerning me. That was different, mostly weird. 

I'll take it and am grateful for the new platform and audience but I was struck by how important ersatz credentials are to these people. It's not like I'm going to say anything new or different there than here. 

* * * * 

The Hegseth Christmas gathering showed me a political party unsure of itself, vaguely happy that the orange guy won but quick to add qualifications and caveats designed to make certain members deep enough thinkers to release flatulence into the Almanac couch as well as onto the airwaves. 

The people who attended this event did so because, however begrudgingly, they recognized there was no better show in town and so there they were. Or their surrogates, furtively texting their bosses about the large crowd.

But mere attendance can't paper over the divisions in this party, starting but not ending with the outright, and deep, animosity between senate republicans and house republicans. That's a story worth reporting but in keeping with their legendary laziness, I saw not a single reporter from our DFL-centric local media. 

* * * * 

The 2016 election was the last one and we were on to the new one, by which, of course, I mean the 2018 gubernatorial race. Everyone, or so it seemed, had an agenda to push and I was frequently on the receiving end of it, willingly or not.

This, I thought in real time, was odd, given what I know about what most of those people think of me.

But they were undeterred and I was mostly a captive audience until I could manage to squirm away. Plus I was now a contributor to The Hill, something, like Trump, that they didn't see coming and so now must be dealt with.

It was an evening of exigencies, including for me, to be honest. 

The usual candidates were discussed: Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt, Hennepin County Commissioner and 2014 republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek--the metaphorical elephant in a room full of political ones--as well as Scott Honour, Sen. Michelle Benson, and many others. 

One was Mike McFadden, who I saw slip into the event halfway through the speakers portion of the night. He looked through me even more thoroughly than had the Meeks earlier in the donor room, which took some doing. I returned the favor with my by now practiced wan smile. It's a Minnesota republican form of madness that he thinks himself viable in 2018. 

I learned it was much worse than I already thought when a former staffer on McFadden's misbegotten run for Senate against Al Franken called me aside and jokingly berated me for not noticing him. I was dancing as fast as I could and told him so, nothing personal. He shared with me that he encountered heated discussions, recriminations actually, about the Marty Seifert/Tom Emmer split from the 2010 endorsement battle. I really should have left earlier. That was topped by another political hand saying he'd run into disputes about the Brian Sullivan/Tim Pawlenty endorsement contest. The word irredeemable came to mind. 

A party and its activist base that still can't get beyond those old battles is not one well positioned for the future, especially given how Donald Trump has scrambled old assumptions, political techniques and electoral strategies. This would be true even if a conventional, establishment candidate had somehow won against Hillary Clinton. It's all the worse given the political transformation the president-elect has wrought.

I was routinely teased, often mocked outright, on Twitter for suggesting a political realignment was coming but come it has, even including Minnesota. I asked everyone who talked to me as though I mattered, what we were going to do to capitalize on Trump's showing here? I got blank looks, or faux thoughtful pauses, before the individual plunged back into a narrative that showed no sign of noticing what we all just experienced. By this time I was reaching my limit of how many out of body experiences I could endure in a single evening. 

* * * * 

I run the risk of appearing naïve by recounting honestly my attendance at this Christmas party. It's a risk I'll take because the stakes are so high. The evening should have been a genuine celebration but the event celebrated came about largely despite, and not because of, so many who were there. Consequently the night was like a bad family reunion: no one really liking the others and attendance forced by circumstances that were inescapable.

That was the impermeable barrier I kept encountering despite being something of a standout because I attend so few of these events. My merely showing up was noticed and that discomforted me. I was more interested in knowing what we Minnesota republicans were going to do next. 

The answers to that query left me adrift. It was as though nothing extraordinary had happened. But it has and how we "lean forward" into it spells the difference between success--and keeping Minnesota from becoming a one party state--and failure, which ensures its advance. 

I have no dog in the gubernatorial fight. I want the candidate that can defeat who I think will be the DFL nominee: Tina Flint Smith or Sen. Tom Bakk. I don't think St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman can overcome the metro establishment support of the former but I've never worried overly much about being wrong. That way lies paralysis. 

Minnesota republicans have to heal themselves. If those old political wounds that were on display last Wednesday night still rankle, I don't know how they do so. Maybe, as I always have, talking about them in the open will help.

We owe that much to our voters, who happen to be real, live people. They voted for a flawed and a brilliant man for president, one whose personal shortcomings, much like their own, they saw past to a different and better future. 

How republicans make that future come about for the average Minnesotan is the abiding question of the next two years.










Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Islamization of Minnesota Media

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a terrorist linked group that has turned into the go to source for much of American media. In this, Minnesota media are not different, only worse. Much worse. I've watched as media outlets in the state, primarily the Twin Cities, increasingly refracted each and every story about muslims generally, and Minnesota ones specifically, through the prism of a CAIR press release or it's invidious agenda. No outlet has been more mindless, or undeservedly morally superior, in this regard than Minnesota Public Radio.

The usual caveats to MPR always apply: taxpayer funded promulgator of liberal narratives, comfort zone of the intellectually incurious and cheerfully dishonest disseminator of falsehoods whenever circumstances warrant, which this election cycle was essentially 24/7.

Still, I was appalled when I learned that one of it's better known reporters, Tom Weber, agreed to serve as Master of Ceremonies for CAIR's 9th Annual Banquet. I realize people in media function in a variety of roles outside their platform but in doing so Weber, and explicitly MPR, gave its imprimatur to a group long considered beyond the pale. He did so on top of his employer having given its listeners and readers no real understanding of what the group is or how reasonable people and organizations have a very different understanding of it.

A good summary of CAIR's terrorist links, and it's retribution against critics, "CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment," can be found by clicking here.

Members of the Minnesota media would do well to read that piece if they care at all for informed reporting.

MPR made a big deal when it recently hired Mukhtar Ibrahim. When he tweeted something that specifically mentioned CAIR, I responded that the group was terrorist linked. He blocked me faster than Keith Ellison. No agenda here with this reporter.

Nothing objectionable to the CAIR perspective can be found in MPR's coverage of Islam and muslims in America. I've concluded reporters on this beat themselves don't know much. Which non-muslim Twin Cities reporters could tell you, off the top of their heads, the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam? None, I venture to say.

I'm hardly an Islamic scholar or historian but you don't need to be in order to be decently informed; you just won't become so relying on Minnesota media. Instead you'll get a warped version of what's actually happening in Minnesota and in that big scary world outside this xenophobic state's borders.

The CAIR contagion has spread to the Star Tribune, apparently in an effort to keep up with politically correct virtue signaling. Again, the same intellectual impoverishment exists there and the most anodyne stories devoid of anything approaching substance are routinely churned out. The embarrassing saturation coverage over a young muslim woman competing in a beauty pageant, burkini-clad, is but the latest example.

By contrast, anything that reflects badly on the favored group is reported once, if at all, and never again. Somali, how shall we say, overrepresentation in day care fraud is the best example. Why new immigrants incredibly fortunate to be in this country would seek to take criminal advantage of it is something not to be explored further because CAIR narrative.

One local television reporter had a bit about Somali elders which featured all men. Really? Where's the backstory on this episode of misogyny? All people deserve respect and equality; all cultures manifestly do not. It's possible, indeed a moral imperative, to separate the two but this is a synapse that hasn't yet fired in the brains of Minnesota media.

* * * * 

The default local media position seems to be that coverage of these important issues is best served by using the stale civil rights struggle in which it's always Selma 1965. As a matter of their legendary laziness, I understand this approach but then they ought to congratulate themselves less on Twitter in so being. Real reporting can be done here but they collectively not only lack the will but seem to be positively terrified at the prospect. As a result, their audience is impoverished or, worse, reinforced in their ignorance. Remember, media think themselves truth tellers. 

* * * * 

Scott Johnson, of Powerline, and Preya Samsundar, of Alpha News, have done real and serious reporting that local media refuse to touch, or do so only if forced by events. Liberals and the usual republican Twitter suck-ups-to-reporters routinely disparage both but never, of course, on the merits of their reporting. That's an honesty bridge too far. 

The case of Rep. Keith Ellison is both instructive and typical.

The Morning Hot Dish newsletter, the Star Tribune's attempt to encroach on the far superior Morning Take, provides a recent example. Full disclosure: I'm friends with the purveyor of the latter but that wouldn't stop me from critiquing it should I find it appropriate. As a friend of mine once said, the only real downside in being my friend is to find yourself called out by name from time to time in this space. So it goes: Minnesota nice is poison.

Hot Dish, in keeping with local media's attempt to first ignore, then downplay, the odious Keith Ellison and his anti-semitism, his Islamist links and his Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam membership, recently asked about the accumulated evidence: "The point is, what else is out there?" The point is that isn't the point.

Imagine if the links to such groups, and such conduct and words, were on the far right. The "take" would be rather different. But as Johnson long ago pointed out, Minnesota media willingly carried Ellison's water and one supposes there's no reason to think they'd change now. It's all in keeping with a media both ignorant, and afraid to report on, what's actually going on within the muslim community in America. Keith Ellison's tight connection to CAIR can be read about by clicking here.

* * * * 


* * * * 

Ask yourself if you've ever read any local coverage of Irshad Manji, Tarek Fatah, Maajid Nawaz or even the world famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali (herself a Somali, talk about a local angle)? You haven't but the real question is why?

It's because these muslim reformers have no place in the CAIR narrative. To cover them is to explode the construct that CAIR speaks for all muslims and is somehow a leading voice. It is not the former but if it has become somehow the latter, it is because of a supine, not particularly knowledgeable and intimidated, virtue signaling media. Truth to power and all that J-school rubbish.

Manji recently married her girlfriend, something you'd think the local professional homosexual lobby (in and out of media) would applaud. But no. So great is the Islamist myopia in this town advanced by the Servants of CAIR™ that not even this is sufficient to garner her attention, let alone praise. Fatah is a tour de force in discussing honestly the problems of religion-based terrorist Pakistan and Nawaz himself left militant Islam for a better path. All of them are on Twitter. All of them can be learned about by using the magical powers of Google.

Keith Ellison's Minneapolis based imam recently said things that would bring the press here down on him in an instant had they been said by a white, straight, male, evangelical Christian. But he isn't and so they don't. 

This is the real tragedy of the Islamization of Minnesota media: through it's CAIR centered coverage it advances the most extreme advocates of a certain idea of Islam, while abandoning altogether those brave muslim men and women who seek to reconcile the seventh century with modernity while retaining the best of their faith. 

You might call it true Islamophobia.










Image credit: CAIR Minnesota, click to enlarge.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump: The Transformation of Minnesota Politics

I've watched, fascinated, as the magnitude and depth of Donald Trump's victory in Minnesota has been absorbed by establishment republicans and democrats alike, with Minnesota media playing its traditional role of trying to catch up with the present, to say nothing of the future. Be sure to catch them on the next TPT Almanac media panel because I surely won't. Not that you'll learn anything: they saw none of this coming but will pretend to know what it portends. Fake news, local version.

I had planned on writing about Speaker Daudt's disastrous step too far in calling, just last month, for now President elect Trump to withdraw entirely from the race. Not even Rep. Erik Paulsen did that. Yah Allah, as my muslim friends would say. No, alone among a wide array of elected and influential Minnesota republicans only Speaker Daudt demanded to-be-President 45 quit. Please clap.

Why this extravagant display of panic, of bad political instincts? Worse, why pretend no one noticed? An article last week in MinnPost, and a master class in throne sniffing, attempted the painful, intellectually insulting task of making the Speaker look good on this score. He doesn't and he shouldn't. But this, apparently, is what the inner circle of the Speaker thinks will still work.

The planted article was more alarming to me than the original mistake. The Speaker should admit in whatever fashion he can that his call for Trump to leave the race was a mistake and move on. Even privately will do; no one expects him to call a press conference about it. But continuing to insult those who were paying attention (he wasn't: Trump almost won the state and is now president elect) by suggesting this display of vacillation is indicative of leadership skills, won't help him, either in the upcoming legislative session or in any future plans he may have, by which I mean his run for governor. Everything coming from the house next year must necessarily be seen through this prism. No one expects bold leadership.

Daudt made a hash of things with his senate colleagues by colluding with DFL Sen. Tom Bakk in taking out Senate Minority Leader David Hann, the man who gave Minnesota republicans its senate majority for the next four years. They didn't expect republicans to flip the senate. Only Minnesota republicans are disappointed in their own success.

It's above my paygrade to suggest how the Speaker is now seen as loyal and a man of integrity by the superior chamber's republicans. As an aside, I hear rumors of a place for Hann (if he wants it) in Trump's Washington but beyond that I couldn't possibly comment.

Republicans in the Minnesota house gained seats this election and the Speaker more or less took sole credit. As a friend remarked, that's just doing his job. But good for him in any event. This is one conservative who'll never tire of republicans in Minnesota winning. The caveat is that they should actually make a substantive difference with those wins, something I've yet to see materialize. A real opposition party instead of a speed bump en route to a one party state, to quote myself.

Trump fired Paul Manafort when he realized his advice and counsel served him badly. Whether Kurt Daudt can draw the necessary inference, and possesses the requisite self-assurance and political skills, from this heavy handed reference of mine isn't really, well, in doubt. Still, the analogy was too good not to suggest it. Are you not entertained?

* * * * 

Weirdly and not weirdly, Minnesota democrats seem better positioned this early on to take advantage of how well Trump did here than republicans. To be sure, democrats are none too happy with the great unwashed who voted not to become a Third World country accustomed to corruption as usual given the Clinton Crime Family's sordid history. After all, those voters used to be theirs and Trump is likely to continue to steal democrat issues and then (more) of their voters.

From my initial observations, they seem to understand the transformation of Minnesota politics that the Trump results herald. By contrast, Minnesota republicans, resentful at being shown up as comprehensively clueless by those results, appear poised to double down in their fantasy that the next two years will be politics as usual, hence the MinnPost article that essentially argues we should go back to sleep once woke. No can do.

* * * * 

With swamp creatures Norm Coleman & Vin Weber still controlling Minnesota republican politics (go to GuideStar and input American Action Network or Minnesota Action Network for the former--the 990's is where monetary truth is revealed--or Google Mercury Partners for the latter, I can't do all your work for you), the election of Donald Trump as president means slim pickings for the politically dependent class here at home. Sorry those Ignatius of Loyola banners or Darelene Miller campaign things didn't work out for you. No DC job for you. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh. Oscar Wilde was Irish. 

* * * * 

Minnesota republicans have a once in a lifetime chance to fashion themselves into a permanent majority in Minnesota. That chance is wholly dependent upon them realizing and capitalizing upon Trump's amazing performance here. Perhaps the most noxious idea from the MinnPost puff piece about the Speaker was that Trump supporters constitute the purity faction when the facts of this election prove precisely the opposite. 

Very few establishment republicans supported our next president and I mentioned them by name in my last column. The overwhelming majority did not and it is they who are in control of Minnesota republican politics. Talk about flying blind.

Get ready, as Sue Jeffers said yesterday upon her return to radio, for a litany of excuses from MNGOPe as to why republicans shouldn't expect much to get accomplished with them controlling the legislature: we don't have the executive branch. Sound familiar?

It was the mirror opposite, of course, when Pawlenty was governor with a DFL controlled legislature. He had to "work with them," something democrats never say.

Preemptive surrender by Minnesota republicans isn't so much an article of faith as a way of living. Old habits die hard (especially when monetized) and the opportunities presented by Trump winning 79 out of 87 counties seem destined to be ignored, lest republicans become politically sentient.

* * * * 

Wisconsin republicans are far superior in every regard to Minnesota republicans. I've often wondered why that is the case and why we can't learn from them.

Then again, I realize they don't have the suffocating, self-interested presence of Vin Weber or Norm Coleman to sacrifice themselves on the altar of their clients. Everything here is subordinate to them. Follow the money; the political incompetence follows in short order.

Only the money didn't work this time, nor did our corrupt media, national or local. Donald Trump heralds the end of political business as usual except amongst the captives of Minnesota republican apparatchiks.

Tom Bakk, it seems to me, understands perfectly well Trump's showing in Minnesota and is most likely already moving to use it against Tina Flint Smith, urban out of touch liberal, handmaiden to our zombie governor and Our Lady of the Curette, to quote myself once more.

The political reality at the present moment is that one of these two will likely be our next governor.

Unless and until Minnesota republicans understand and avail themselves of the president elect's transformative opportunities, from whom they have foolishly distanced themselves, the election of 2018 will mark an even dozen years in which they were unable to win a statewide race.

Unlike our country, through the election of President Trump, this will mark a point of no return for Minnesota.





Image credit: MinnPost. Click to enlarge and you really should.






Sunday, November 13, 2016

President Trump & The End of the MNGOPe

"There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

--Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

Requiescat In Pace


The day Donald Trump's rally in the Twin Cities was announced, to be held the Sunday before the election, a variety of people were skeptical and said so. One well known political observer, who knows a fair amount about the Minnesota political process, tweeted that he thought Trump was making a huge mistake, suggesting that the event would take away needed volunteers from other critical republican races in the state. Many others joined in that assessment. I don't think I'm being unfair to characterize them as not Trump supporters. Still, what would make sense in any other political cycle didn't end up making sense in this instance, as has been the case for so much of the presidential race of 2016. Then again, I've been a much mocked and derided outlier this entire season, until I wasn't.

I also knew at the time of the announcement that Trump's internals had him behind by a polling error of 3%. If you never swing, you can't even miss. Lonny Leitner and Andy Post understood this and made the glorious Trump rally happen. As Coleridge would say, it was one of those "spots of time."

Approximately 25,000 people turned out for Trump on 24 hours notice. Only 5,000 could fit in the airport hanger with me. Even Trump, when he took the podium, mocked our crowd, saying the rally should have been held outside to accommodate the far greater numbers. "What genius was in charge of this?" he asked. We all laughed, knowing that we were going to win.

The Trump rally was like no political event this state had seen before. Even local media were forced to report it honestly, something of a rarity for them. The crowd was exuberant and legitimately diverse. Race baiting Minnesota democrats would have had a field day checking their identity politics boxes, only, paradoxically, this group had moved far past that failed, poisonous mindset.

Two days later America had to wait until the day after the election to find out how Minnesota voted for president. Kindly name me the last time that happened. Trump lost this bluest of states by a mere 40,000 votes or approximately 1.5%.

Astonishingly Trump won the iconic, Iron Range located, DFL stronghold city of Hibbing, the first time a republican has done so since Herbert Hoover. Yes, it was only by seven votes but ask Rep. Mary Franson the value of a vote. Don't look for the Minnesota republican establishment to appreciate what that means. I call them the dumbest republicans in the nation for a reason.

* * * * 

Trump won the presidency in the greatest electoral upset in American history. My own low point last Tuesday night came outside "Golden Chow Mein"on West Seventh Street in Saint Paul, idling in my car waiting for vegetable fried rice. Florida looked sketchy, even bad. I was fed poisonous information from the RNC that it was lost. Then again, Jeff Larson, (there's a local angle here to be explored further, lazy media) was hardly supportive of Trump. Like Pat Shortridge, former Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he and his cohorts have been entirely displaced by the Trump phenomenon. Don't get me started on the odious Rick Wilson, eagerly willing to lose the Supreme Court, and indeed the nation, to line his own pockets. All republican consultants are the same and all deserve to end up on Fifth Avenue, shot. We could retire the national debt by raffling off the pleasure. 

* * * * 

I went to bed early Wednesday morning at a time I usually awake, which is early. When I awoke to an appalling amount of emails, texts, voice mail messages and DM's on Twitter, I learned I was some sort of political genius. Please. I'm Irish and we're congenitally allergic to complements. Here I'd arrived and I was irritated because arriving has never interested me. Especially in Minnesota, the bar is low for discerning the obvious and I was having none of it. I didn't respond to any of the communications save for one text from a PR professional who asked if I was still alive, to which I responded "silence, cunning and exile." I stayed off Twitter the entire day, a record for me and a wise move. 

* * * * 

When I forced myself to pay attention to the high school level of Minnesota politics, I learned republicans expanded their majority in the house, which was expected, and regained the senate by one seat, which most had not expected, much like Trump becoming President elect. Conventional wisdom has a certain symmetry, one supposes. 

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, and his consigliere, Ben Golnik, apparently moved up the food chain to be defeated by either Elena Ceaușescu, as I call Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith, or DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, for governor in 2018. For Minnesota republicans, it's never about winning a statewide race so much as who makes money while losing. If you're looking for a succinct definition of Minnesota republican Never Trump, I've just given it to you.

Republicans regaining the state senate was the real story in Minnesota politics. What wasn't reported were the efforts by Speaker Daudt and Golnik to actively work against Sen. David Hann, the minority leader. Numerous sources regaled me with time and place instances of them lobbying personally against Hann, flatly declaring his race lost weeks before the election and encouraging lobbyists not to donate. Minnesota republicans are so obtuse they are forced to win despite themselves, not because of them.

The senate caucus was encouraged, so to speak, to find a more moderate leader than Hann whether he survived or not. To its credit the caucus responded to this unseemly, gubernatorial race driven pressure, by electing Sen. Paul Gazelka as majority leader. When that news broke I thought "both hands have a middle finger; if you don't like one, have the other."

Patrick Cooligan wrote a somewhat perfunctory story (understandable, his party lost) about the senate win. Credit to Hann was given but more of the story was given over to process, because that's all media, state or national, care about most. It spares them thinking or having to deliver substance.

David Hann alone identified the senate seats that could be flipped and personally recruited high quality candidates who could work hard, who did work hard and who won. No Hann, no senate republican majority. His reward was to be actively done in by his so called colleagues in the other chamber.

Norm Coleman's group "Minnesota Action Network," led by a talented woman, was cited by Cooligan as being outsourced by the senate to message in the race and you'd be forgiven for thinking the senate wouldn't have flipped without it. You'd be wrong, of course.

When Cooligan's story broke on Twitter the usual suck ups sucked up to her. They're all variations on Tracy Flick from "Election." None of them congratulated Hann, the man who made this actually possible, of course. To a person these people are Never Trump, politically clueless but sucking on the right political or lobbyist teet, the one that generates a paycheck.

* * * * 

Trump won every county in Minnesota save eight. Because the political machinery in this state on the republican side is in the mediocre hands of the Never Trump people, the significance of this achievement will be downplayed at best and ignored altogether as a matter of habit. Trump scrambled Minnesota politics but we don't possess a republican party capable or willing to capitalize on it. Believe me.

MinnPost reporters Greta Kaul and Tom Nehil have a fascinating story of how Trump did and where in Minnesota. Iron Range DFL activist Aaron Browne, to my mind the most thoughtful and insightful observer of that part of the state, was quoted as saying “Really as far as the future goes, we need ideas to solve the problem, whether they come from Trump or someone else, or Democrats or Republicans, people want solutions.”

This is true but a clear understanding of what the problems are is essential to fashioning effective solutions. The problems are the result of Democrat policies but I'm uncertain timid Minnesota republicans will act on that fact. It doesn't have to be this way, that entrenched mindset of weakness should be capable of being changed. As a friend of mine said "you can only eat so much oatmeal."

Kaul & Nehil's excellent story can be read by clicking here.

* * * * 

Jason Lewis won election to Congress in his first attempt from Minnesota's CD 2. Stewart Mills lost his second attempt to go to Congress from Minnesota's CD 8. The expectation from MNGOPe was precisely the opposite.

After the Trump landslide, no other win gave me as much pleasure as did Jason's. His republican detractors were embarrassingly small minded, thinking themselves politically sophisticated by bleating "one word destroys a campaign," alluding to Lewis' previous career as a radio talk host. Lewis ran an underfunded but message strong campaign in the age of Trump and won. It's a lesson his critics aren't bright enough to learn from. 

By contrast, the race was Stewart Mills' to lose and he alone lost it. There was no excuse for such a narrow loss given Trump's historically strong showing in his district. He can now grow his hair long again and go back to playing bong cribbage.

* * * * 

I watched online the republican panel from last Friday's TPT's Almanac. Is there a dumber Minnesota republican than Andy Brehm? The competition is stiff but still. He makes Jeb! look like Trump. His father is wealthy but he's no Trump offspring: competent, capable, hard working and smart. This man has no idea what just happened in a transformed America. 

I positively wanted to lick my computer monitor when Sheri Auclair spoke. With grace but a deadly acidity, she put Brehm in  his place. It's a new day and he has no place in it. Former state senator Julianne Ortman ran a close second to Auclair, emphasizing the permanent damage electing the corrupt Hillary would have inflicted on this great nation. Slow off the mark but coming rapidly up to speed was Marty Seifert. Kudos to the three of them. Andy is a relic of the status quo decisively rejected by the voters. 

Unfortunately the MNGOPe is Andy. 

* * * * 

Kingdom of Saud lobbyist Norm Coleman, and Putin lobbyist (Gazprom) Vin Weber, essentially control and shape Minnesota republican politics. Trump destroyed their types this cycle, delivering a comprehensive rebuke the likes of which they not only didn't see coming but never thought possible. Both Coleman & Weber were mindlessly Never Trump and their fetid world of influence and immorality is threatened to the point of extinction by a Trump presidency. They'd have made out like the bandits they are had Lady Macbeth become president. When Trump says he wants to drain the swamp, these are precisely the people he has in mind.

The problem with the MNGOPe is that the loathsome Coleman & Weber lobbyist types, and their state analogs, are the role models for the younger set.

Can we recruit actual talent or are we stuck with the self-selected? Because that's not working out too well and holds no promise of seizing upon the new, transformed, realigned political realities of a Trump America. Most of the good republican talent under 40 have fled the state to be quickly hired elsewhere where their skills are recognized and rewarded, leaving us with simpletons who obsess on craft beer, burgers and inconsequential issues like Sunday sales or to run for no account city councils.

There's never been a wave election Minnesota republicans have failed to ride completely. Trump's election offers a never-to-come again chance of reversing our slide into a cry bully Democrat one party state.

That chance will have to be seized upon by the Trump voters of Minnesota--democrat, republican, independent--who didn't want our country turned into the Third World or our state to become a cold California.

Like Trump before them, they'll have to fight both parties in order to succeed.






Photo credit: President elect Donald J. Trump, Facebook