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 89 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



Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Stupid Party Outdoes Itself

I was in Athens reminding myself of civilization when the lewd sexual comments of Trump were released on a Friday. The next day a number of republicans publicly distanced themselves or unendorsed him in a spasm of self-righteousness and virtue signaling of the sort designed to mollify our corrupt media, a fool's errand suitable for said fools. The next day, Sunday a week ago today, Trump handily turned in the performance of a lifetime, easily besting Hillary Clinton across the board in the second presidential debate. This bought him exactly one day's respite.

Soon after quislings like Speaker Paul Ryan, who's accomplished precisely nothing in his time in Congress save for self-promotion, airily said he would not campaign for Trump although he wasn't withdrawing his endorsement. Variations on that ridiculous theme then continued, with republicans unable to see the calculated, timed attack for what it was. Media then commenced to release claims of various and sundry women alleging they were groped or manhandled by Trump a scant thirty years ago. All were swallowed whole by politically incompetent republicans.

Trump has been in the public eye for three decades yet so called conservatives, who have conserved nothing, decided it was prudent to credit these manufactured-on-cue claims as proven. None of them took the demonstrable track record of Bill Clinton to task, of course, now or in real time when they were learned of. This includes Hillary eagerly joining in to destroy the lives of the women Bill either raped or sexually assaulted. The record in this regard is well established, not subject to dispute but only deflection, something in which the Left excels.

I was by turns appalled, disgusted and outraged, which I remedied by throwing myself into Athens and various day tours. I kept up but only in a macro sense, which was more than enough to remind myself I'd seen this movie, or iterations of it, every four years for the last several presidential election cycles. No matter who our candidate is, they are accused of being racist, bigoted, misogynist and generally beyond the pale of our political discourse.

Now, of course, the republican establishment came after Trump with a pent-up vengeance for having shown in exquisite detail how they have been captured by their donors, doing precious little for the average voter as the Left systematically remakes the country into a third world hellhole, the better with which to have an uneducated, low skilled, dependency based populace to keep them in power.

For these republicans this election is just another election; for many Americans the country as we know it and want to maintain is at stake. No wonder the stark contrast between the two in reaction to yet the latest playbook from the Left and their apparatchiks in the media.

* * * * 

The Wikileaks revelations contained in John Podesta's emails, and others, leave no doubt that American media are democrats with a byline and then some. Time and again they are seen as coordinating with the Hillary campaign or the DNC, advancing the agenda that best serves them and burying completely any notion of even handedness or fairness. They eagerly peddle lies again and again. They should all be shot on Fifth Avenue.

Naturally, republicans didn't pivot to these revelations in order to bring them to a wider audience and turn the narrative table, which is what democrats do. Media, so comprehensively indicted and exposed, made sure not to cover them in anything amounting to substance. Why would they? But these are the audience those republicans were playing to. Apparently they can't hear the laughter of those with whom they seek to ingratiate themselves. 

Distressingly to those sorts, Trump fought back and fought back hard. What's this? A republican presidential republican nominee not going along with his own high tech lynching? This was wholly new and unheard of and, if it's possible, it earned Trump even more enmity from the republican party elites who no longer pretended they care if the most corrupt person ever to run was elected president. 

In an astonishing cycle, this was perhaps the most astonishing development: willingly abandoning their nominee in order to keep the Senate & House majorities in order to live another political day. Does anyone think the Senate will reject a single Supreme Court nominee offered up by Lady Macbeth? The president won so she gets her nominees, they reason. Such reason is never engaged in by democrats when the situation is reversed. Republicans never learn: to be successful, behave like democrats. 

Oh, this isn't elevated, is it? Their tactics are base & dirty so we should adopt them? Yes, because for Christ's sake they are effective, winning. Republicans pretend to virtue while the country is remade under their feet. No wonder the base deservedly loathes them.

* * * * 

In Minnesota many republicans followed suit in the national republican betrayal of their base, only worse. Lead among them was former Governor Tim Pawlenty who lately, like a dog to its puke, has been appearing at this or that fundraiser or campaign event. After leaving office, Pawlenty decamped to Manhattan to be employed by the Business Roundtable for a million and half dollars salary, including a midtown penthouse in which to live. You don't see that at Sam's Club. 

Pawlenty said Trump was "unsound, uninformed, unhinged, and unfit," apparently pleased at alliteration. He piled on himself, adding Trump "is unwilling or unable to demonstrate even the most basic level of discipline, character and judgment" to be president. Did Brian McClung just learn of alliteration? Because Pawlenty's public statement was filled with it. 

Likewise Rep. Erik Paulsen, whose bona fides include being against human trafficking (that's brave) and seeking to eliminate the Obamacare tax on medical devices (doing his donors bidding, a sin he shares with most every member of Congress), was not to be outdone. He stated flatly, for the first time, he would not be voting for Trump. In this he helps elect Hillary Clinton. As if to admit as much, he mewed that Congress would stand as a bulwark against her presidency despite the fact that the republican Congress as currently constituted manifestly has not done so during the Obama regime.

He then pledged to "work across the aisle." In those four words it may be said Trump arose this cycle. When was the last time you heard a democrat make such a statement? You haven't because they don't want to and democrats at least have the integrity not to insult their base by saying so. Working across the aisle, in reality, means republicans not having the spine to stand up to the progressive agenda. Quelle surprise, the progressive agenda advances. 

All this from a man who took a fully funded $27,000 all expenses paid trip to Kenya with his daughter. He also previously had pledged to vote for TPP in a lame duck session of Congress. Spare me such republicans. That said, I want Paulsen to win and I think he will. See how easy this is?

Speaker of the Minnesota House Kurt Daudt also saw fit to chime in. Daudt had made Hamlet look decisive in addressing the Trump campaign previously, but now apparently Ben Golnik ordered him to remove the picket fence from his derrière he himself had placed there. 

Daudt went on to call for Trump to withdraw, something no democrat would ever do under any circumstance and fatuously added that republicans should vote in down ballot elections because "there are many races that will determine the direction of Minnesota and our country in the years to come."

This is laughable. Those republicans have done nothing to stop Obama and his agenda. Indeed, a republican Congress has fully funded Obamacare while decrying it, done nothing to stop the waves of illegal immigration or unvetted refugees, fully funded Planned Parenthood and have generally acquiesced in the manifest ills that now plague us. On a state level, even with a republican legislature in 2012, we were supposed to be content with the "third smallest increase" in government spending. As one legislator told me, Daudt threw rural members under the bus to save a few, dicey, metro seats.

"We have met the enemy" and all that.

* * * * 

Michael Brodkorb, now writing at MinnPost about once a week, wrote an article profiling two well known political activists, one a democrat, Steve Timmer, the other a republican, Jeff Johnson, my party's nominee for governor in 2014. I know Timmer a bit through social media and have always been struck by his acumen and sagacity. As a conservative though (I no longer identify as a republican even though that's how I vote), I was most interested in Johnson's comments. 

Brodkorb writes: "And while he has concerns with Trump's personality and character, Johnson believes change is desperately needed in Washington, and that Trump can be a more credible agent for change than Clinton. “Trump will disrupt the status quo,” said Johnson. “I think a lot of people are looking for sweeping change in how government operates; only Trump will bring that.'"

That's exactly right and it's to Johnson's credit that he not only gets it, but says so. Brodkorb's piece is dated October 6th so perhaps I've missed Johnson walking away from those remarks. In any event, you can read Brodkorb's article by clicking here.

* * * * 

In similar fashion, Cyndi Brucato, also writing at MinnPost, had a piece about Minnesota republicans sticking with Trump. Coming back from abroad, it was a tonic for the troops, to quote a Boomtown Rats album title. 

She interviewed Brian LeClair and Janet Beihoffer, each of whom rightly objected to the eleven year old hot mic comments of Trump's but focused on what's at stake in this election. Beihoffer emphasized Supreme Court nominees a Hillary presidency would bring. LeClair said "There are also those of us who think Mr. Trump can be an incredible force of change. It’s not just the lesser of two evils." Quite right. 

Pressed by Brucato, no Trump supporter she, as to those republicans who had opportunistically jumped ship, Beihoffer said "I think they spoke too quickly because there is so much more at stake and we can’t afford Hillary." Quite right again.

LeClair responded "[Trump] spoke to the issues on the minds of rank and file voters. If that cycle is going to repeat itself in the general election, I’m very comfortable." Yes.

Brucato's article can be read by clicking here.

* * * * 

Two Minnesota republicans have distinguished themselves, in my opinion. The first is Rep. Tom Emmer, who I've praised before in his steadfast support of Trump and accomplished ability to message in Minnesota. Emmer sets the standard to which lesser Minnesota republican officials and operatives should aspire. 

Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Pioneer Press, together with David Montgomery, reported about Emmer after Trump's eleven year old comments were published. I'll let her reporting speak for itself:

"U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer of the 6th Congressional District, who was among the first Minnesota officials to throw his weight behind Trump, said the comments were “indefensible” and sought to refocus the debate."

See how that's done?

She reported on: “Comments and conversations involving Mr. Trump from 2005 that recently surfaced are indefensible. I am glad to see Donald Trump disavow and apologize for the comments and behavior from 2005,” Emmer said in a statement. “With little over a month before the election I hope for renewed focus on the many important issues that will impact the lives of Minnesotans and all Americans in the coming years and decades, such as: highway investments, regulation and tax reform to stimulate job growth, and polices [sic] to make sure we are all safe and secure in country and around the globe.”

Stassen-Berger's article in full can be read by clicking here.

* * * *

Pete Hegseth is the other Minnesota republican who has risen to the occasion of this most remarkable election. He ran for the republican Senate endorsement in 2012 and lost in a cycle dominated by Ron Paul supporters in Minnesota. He's since then become a FOX News contributor with an emphasis on veteran affairs and military matters. 

I can't pretend to know him well although I was just on the outside of his inner circle when he ran for Senate and offered advice whenever asked from time to time. I supported him, clearly. That year was not his year, republicans nominating Kurt Bills to run against Senator For Life & National Nanny Amy Klobuchar with predictable results.

Since then I've sensed a change in his approach to politics, increasingly supportive of Trump because Hegseth recognizes the stakes in this election. That's something many other Minnesota republicans have been unable or unwilling to do, instead taking refuge in the desire for conventional politics to return where every staffer and activist knows their place and career advancement comes from not thinking for themselves but parroting whatever lines the boss or donors instruct. That this is how we got here in the first place seems to escape them entirely.

Recently Hegseth delivered the most concise, persuasive argument for republicans and conservatives to support Trump that I have seen. In a mere one minute and four seconds Hegseth shreds the false comfort of those "on the sidelines" and indicts republicans for running away from their nominee when everything is in the balance. That Hegseth is said to harbor future political ambitions only makes his declaration all the more courageous and bold, something foreign to Minnesota republicans whose default position is to pass themselves off as Democrat-lite with predictable outcomes and, increasingly, the promise of a one party state. 

Hegseth's sterling comments can be viewed by clicking here.

* * * * 

Republicans can either learn what it takes to win this year or become used to never winning another presidential race for the foreseeable future. Trump exists because republicans and their smothering, parasitic consultants have divorced them from the people they pretend to represent. In fact, republican elites have far more in common with democrat elites, to the detriment of the nation's citizenry, as Mark Steyn has pointed out repeatedly. Captured by their donors, I believe, is the phrase.

In one sense it's not surprising that Minnesota republicans are the least able to understand what's going on in this race given that they've not won a statewide one in a decade. Door knocking won't cut it when you have no message the voters will buy.

The elections of 2018 hold no promise that this will change and they seem oddly okay with that. Their voters, however, are not and in this the abject failure of Minnesota republicans sadly mirrors that of their national counterparts, with lasting and grievous consequences.






Sunday, August 21, 2016

Minneapolis Disgraces Itself: State Sanctioned Violence Against Peaceful Trump Supporters

The influential Blois Olson asked me on Twitter why I wasn't at the Trump fundraiser in downtown Minneapolis last Friday. I responded with the most famous of James Joyce quotes: "Silence, exile and cunning." Lord knows how many got the reference; doubtless few in the MNGOPe. Several republican leaders had previously made a point of signalling their absence from the event.

"I'm just not going. I got better stuff to do" said the hapless republican Speaker of the House in response to why he wouldn't be attending. His language is as slovenly as his dress.

But not even I was prepared for what followed: a sustained assault on citizens attempting to leave that venue while Minneapolis police stood by, for the most part. Some performed admirably and to them much credit should be given. Yet it wasn't nearly enough.

There were first hand reports of people being spat upon, physically assaulted and some who had their property stolen. There were even reports of people themselves being spray painted. Many of those committing the assaults on white people were identified as black, but certainly not exclusively.

Minneapolis has become a lawless city, on the verge of becoming yet another Third World City, and last Friday night proved it beyond doubt. Those who have a different political view from the reigning majority were persecuted for simply exercising their constitutional right of assembly.

Twin Cities media reporting of the night's events proved a mixed bag. There is no doubt that had the political polarities been reversed the coverage would have been far more extensive, breathless and condemnatory. But because the victims were republicans, much was glossed over. Which is to say, the violence.

Minnesota media should be ashamed of itself but it doesn't really possess the capacity.

I live tweeted reports coming in from friends and acquaintances in real time. No one in local media retweeted me even with the customary "this can't be independently confirmed." Yet time and again I've seen them retweet things favoring the Left agenda with far less credibility. Curious.

The Star Tribune's Patrick Condon filed a report that did include some of the violence but the rest of his piece is an accomplished bit of apologia, including this tidbit: "The demonstration was organized by the Minnesota Immigrants Rights Action Committee."

As far as I know, he's the only local reporter who reported this and so good for him. I try to be fair. Yet Condon gives his readers no idea who this group is or how they are funded. He gives a one sentence report which is an almost nostalgic throwback to when reporters bothered with the truth.

He then quotes one Giselda Gutierrez, a "protester who lives in Minneapolis." Great but where is she from? Has she broken into America and is one of those illegals to whom Hillary has promised instant citizenship should she become president? You'll learn nothing further from Condon's reportage about that or who funds what is likely an astroturf group that promotes illegals.

If Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal in the Twin Cities it's doubtful we'd learn about it. Illegal alien crime simply isn't reported here. Once, though, we learned that blacks were beating up and robbing hispanics along Lake street in Minneapolis after they got paid in cash. With no white person to blame, that reporting died a quick death. I'm surprised any of it saw the light of media day, however briefly. This very much is the state of Minnesota media: dishonest.

Condon goes out of his way to note how donors arrived: "Guests began arriving around dinner time, some in limousines and other chauffeured vehicles." Forgive me for not noticing the same reporting about those attending fundraisers in Minnesota for Hillary Clinton.

He also makes much about Trump not appearing in public. Really? Trump doesn't and his supporters are still beaten? Remind me when the Star Tribune last complained about Lady Macbeth not appearing in public when she rolled into town to treat this servile state as her personal ATM and the manner of arrival of her corrupt donors.

Condon writes puff pieces about Lt. Governor Tina Flint Smith which are attempted to be passed off as either hard news or analysis. They're tiresome and transparent, fooling only those who pretend the articles aren't an in kind contribution to the DFL. Condon can at least write, however biasedly, something that can't be said about the author of the Star Tribune's Morning Hot Dish. Managing Editor Suki Dardarian's hires, as I've written previously, vary wildly in quality.

* * * * 

By contrast the Pioneer Press got the story more right than wrong and with appreciable less water carrying for the democrat establishment that runs the failing city of Minneapolis. As of this writing reporter Jaime DeLage alone reached out to contact someone who was there and a victim of the violence from the thug Left. Full disclosure: I put him in touch with said person but those two took it from there. I'm proud of my friend Cynthia Schanno for coming forth and speaking honestly about the terror she experienced. Kudos to DeLage for doing what reporters used to do before most of them became an arm of the Democratic Party.

Minnesota Public Radio remains the worst, most dishonest and biased news outlet in the state and by some distance. Their story had no individual byline and mention no violence at the event. None. MPR tends to push stories praising terrorist linked MN CAIR. If you want a quick glance at the sickness of white guilty liberals all in one place, you can't do worse than MPR.

* * * *
If DFL chair Ken Martin's people had been attacked in the same way as republicans were last Friday night, he'd have scheduled a press conference for a reasonable hour on Saturday (eleven o'clock or noon, say) to blast the police for failing in their essential job: to keep citizens participating in the political process safe from violent thugs.

Did republicans do anything at all in this regard? Of course not. Getting the story out to a wider audience was left, frankly, to me and other activists on social media. When we awoke Saturday the violence and willful abandonment of peaceful citizens to thugs and scum had made the Drudge Report. Videos of the violent assault on elderly people and others were posted at Gateway Pundit and other well respected alternative media sites. 

Despite Twin City media's politically motivated under reporting of the violence, word got out. 

Minneapolis disgraced itself in front of the nation, sending a clear signal that it treats its citizens differently based upon their political beliefs. Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Harteau already preside over the decline of a once great city. They now add to their roster of incompetence and shame what many are reporting as specific instructions to the police to stand down and not interfere with the protesters who committed such violence. 

* * * *

Last Friday was a shocking turning point for many. I myself lost an enormous amount of respect for many of the local liberals I follow on Twitter. Some actually excused the violence while most simply remained silent. These are people who think themselves possessed of integrity. Yet when it came time to demonstrate it, they were unable or unwilling to do so. 

Minnesota republicans failed to seize upon this outrage to shine a light upon what is taking place in this state and attempt to reverse it. We don't have leaders, we have mediocre politicians beholden to their donors, advised by people who simply aren't very good at their jobs. Not that they don't keep them. 

The targeted, sustained abuse of peaceful Trump supporters, abetted by a politicized Minneapolis police force force, and tacitly condoned by a corrupt media, marks a descent into Third World politics. 

You can pretend this is overstating the case but only if you haven't been paying attention. 




Photo credit: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Congresswoman Terri Bonoff?

One debate does not an election make. Yet having just watched the first debate between incumbent republican Erik Paulsen and DFL state senator Terri Bonoff I have to conclude that unless something dramatic happens the voters of CD 3--including many republicans--may well make Bonoff their next member of Congress.

I was shocked at how poorly Paulsen performed: tied to notes, rote, dispassionate, reverting to tropes that had no traction and unable to articulate a single reason why voters should support him except for voting on the next Speaker of the House.

Who gave him such lousy advice? Minnesota House republicans? It was an uneven match in terms of effective communication and sheer persuasive skills.

Bonoff stressed her private sector experience of twenty years, something of which Paulsen has none, having been an elected official of some sort or another since he was twenty-five. She appeared fresh, cogent and not a machine politician. In other words, Bonoff had the better grasp of the zeitgeist and not the three term member of Congress. Go figure.

Time and again Bonoff stressed how she had voted apart from her party's positions on several issues. Paulsen's supporters on Twitter were fast and good at pointing out various discrepancies in those claims but the incumbent only occasionally contradicted her. The net result was that the democrat seemed far more well positioned as an independent political actor than her opponent.

Paulsen appeared particularly abject when dancing around whether to support Trump. He tried to cast Bonoff's endorsement of Hillary as a negative. This in the Third District?

When it comes to Trump Erik Paulsen is no Tom Emmer, by which I mean he has no idea how to message effectively and still affirmatively support the republican candidate for president. I'm no Biblical scholar but didn't Christ say something about spitting people out of His mouth who are neither hot nor cold?

People respect loyalty even if they disagree with that to which the loyalty is pledged. It's seen as a sign of character, of substance. By equivocating, at best, over supporting Trump, Erik Paulsen earns himself the worst of both worlds and possibly a pink slip.

Paulsen emphasized his efforts to eliminate the medical device tax, which is simply doing his donors' bidding. He also stressed he worked with Sen. Amy Klobuchar on sex trafficking. Neither of these issues do anything for his constituents in the district but it's all in keeping with bad consultant advice to appear as little a genuine republican as possible in the district. I'm used to democrats thinking voters are stupid but it's galling to see that approach taken by a so called republican.

Paulsen rarely went on offense, something of a sine qua non for both GOPe and MNGOPe types. Instead, they want to be liked by media and elites in an increasingly one party state. Once, and only once, did he say plainly that fellow Congressional republicans hadn't done enough to advance their own agenda. No kidding: how else does one explain the base abandoning such career politicians to embrace Trump? Good, bad or indifferent, Trump at least promises the potential to change things.

The questions asked in the debate were all generated by various Chambers of Commerce and so naturally didn't include a single one about illegal immigration. There was one question about trade and even there Paulsen couldn't rise to the occasion and steal from Trump: he's for fair trade but some of these deals have injured the American worker and should be modified.

Given the opportunity to say clearly that he supported a "repeal and replace" strategy with respect to Obamacare, Paulsen couldn't bring himself to do it. I wanted to slap him. Instead he noodled around the edges, muttering about keeping 26 year olds on their parents' insurance policies.

Bonoff's closing was a tour de force: focused, concise and designed to appeal to those who had previously voted republican. Paulsen's was boiler plate, ending with a recitation of the various groups who have endorsed him. By then it was far too late: he lost decisively in this high profile debate.

To be sure, Paulsen is the incumbent and has a good deal of money on hand. Yet I don't think that's good enough with a challenger as accomplished as Terri Bonoff.

Voters need a reason to keep someone in office and Paulsen gave them very little. By contrast, Bonoff positioned herself perfectly in the debate, saying explicitly she was someone voters could trust.

Paulsen never uttered the word.



Photo credit: MPR


UPDATE:

Shortly after this was posted The Uptake tweeted out about a minute video of Rep. Paulsen answering questions about his refusal to support Trump. It's painful to watch. Click here.


Correction: The initial version of this article had Paulsen a 14 year member of Congress. That is incorrect. He is a three term member seeking his fourth term and the piece has been revised accordingly. He has held elective office of some sort continuously since 1995.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Muslims & Minnesota Media: First in a Series

I hadn't planned on launching this series of blog posts quite yet but recent events left me no choice. Indeed, they define the very reason such a series is needed. Consequently this initial post will be shorter than those to come.

Scott Johnson of Powerline recently reported astounding news that, by rights, should be front page news in Minnesota, as well as covered extensively on television and on radio. He found evidence that makes it appear highly likely that Ilhan Omar, who recently defeated a long term Jewish DFL incumbent in the House, married her brother, thereby committing immigration fraud as well as bigamy.

His explosive reporting can be read by clicking here.

Shamefully, not a single Minnesota media outlet as of this writing has carried his story. Other social media accounts have done so and there's reason to believe some national outlets might get around to covering this.

But Minnesota media? Nothing so far and they have a very high regard for themselves as some sort of truth tellers and the like.

Johnson tweeted earlier today at Tom Hauser, who hosts the stale and banal weekend political talk show "At Issue," whether he'd be reporting the story he broke. (Hauser is not the problem with the show, its producers are.)

At any rate no response from him to Johnson's request for coverage. I asked on Twitter a variety of other reporters from various "news" outlets the same question. No response.

Hauser shouldn't be picked out from the pack, in my view. The rest of the (mostly Twin Cities based) Minnesota media likewise are ignoring the story. That they consider themselves to have any integrity or credibility is a sign of group psychosis.

I'll be launching Minnesota Media Monitor: Accountability Starts Here™ later in the year but I needed to post on this subject immediately.

I've been struck for some time how limited local media's understanding of all things Islamic and Muslim is. They approach the topic(s) as another non-white victimology story, of which they are accomplished dissemblers.

But where is their coverage of reform Muslims? Do they know of Tarek Fatah? Irshad Manjii? Maajid Nawaz? Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Probably they've heard of the last one but only to ignore what it is she is about.

White, guilty, liberal and lazy is the best summary I can give of Twin Cities media. These past few days shows them complicit in dishonesty because such advances their political ideology.

When Johnson approached the Omar campaign with his questions, he heard back not from it but a criminal defense lawyer. As he rightly said: "Yet the response was also newsworthy for what it said, or rather didn’t say. It didn’t deny any relevant fact. Rather, it falsely disparaged my motives as bigoted. I find that disgusting."

Scott Johnson deserves some kind of an award and Minnesota Media Monitor™ is precisely the organization who may give it to him. Or we may just name an ongoing award in his name. Either way, it will stand for honesty and courage in the face of media corruption.




Photo: The world's most famous Somali, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

© 2016 John Hugh Gilmore & Minnesota Media Monitor™ All rights reserved.