Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I Saw At The Hemp & Raw Milk Revolution

The MN GOP Convention ended yesterday as MC predicted a week or so ago: Kurt Bills as the endorsed senate candidate and a sweep of all 13 at large delegates and 13 alternates for the Ron Paul forces. The MN GOP State Central Committee met following the conclusion of the endorsing convention and its results were the same as previously predicted by MC: Janet Beihoffer won a crushing victory over Ron Paul favored incumbent Pat Anderson. As a friend of MC's texted: "I hate it when you're right." So does MC.

What to make of what has just happened to the Republican Party of Minnesota? It depends on whether one is in the old (elected) guard trying to ride what they think is a wave that will fade or whether one is an activist who knows what's really going on, what the Paul forces truly represent.

To begin, a high school teacher that Ron Paul organizer Marianne Stebbins hand picked won the endorsement because of the overwhelming, amazing organizing efforts of her Ron Paul forces. MC has had many media interviews recently but in each has noted this strength, her strength. There is simply no room not to give her her due. It would be churlish otherwise. And here's a tip of the hat to Juliette & Corey; they have a sense of humor and that's not nothing these days.

Many GOP activists have asked why so many in the House and Senate fell in behind Kurt Bills. Having spoken to many of them, and raising that concern, it was clear that those in each chamber had little understanding of the damage the Paul activists were doing to the Minnesota Republican Party generally. This makes sense; it's of a piece with their poor decision making when electing party leadership. Having failed so badly at the latter, how to expect more of them with regard to the former?

David Duke admirer Ron Paul addressed the convention in the afternoon on Friday. MC walked out. It wasn't very brave, just honest. It wasn't like hiding Anne Frank although if Duke and Paul had their way, MC's carriage house would be full up. Paul called for legalizing hemp and raw milk to much applause. How so called party leadership could remain on the dais while he spoke is a mystery. When they look in the mirror they must not see anything.

The Severson & Hegseth campaigns were road kill on the way to the Paulbot candidate's endorsement. Neither seemed to understand what they were up against. Severson had already lost a statewide campaign and was a poor fundraiser. Hegseth seemed like a Stepford Husband, ready to take orders but incapable of knowing his own mind or, weirdly, being his own man. The juxtaposition of him as a candidate with his courage and leadership in Afghanistan was jarring. Next time out, and MC hopes he runs in the future, he needs to have fewer handlers, fewer endorsements by people who don't count and more authenticity.

Speaking of authenticity and handlers, the Romney team in Minnesota deserves special scorn. Out of touch, fossilized and full of themselves, they embody the worst of what the Paul people think of the establishment. Ben Ginsberg, still apparently angry at his age that he's not taller, glowered at the floor from his cocoon of men in black, never deigning to make eye contact with the locals, let alone speak to them. No. He'll get paid but what mastermind thought it worth his fees to have him and his consiglieres in Minnesota? Maybe he's one of those "I like to watch" types while the, uh, whatever is going down. Jack & Annette! Meeks were a ghostly presence at the convention, as was yesterday's man Ron Carey. The "conservative unity" slate put together at the last minute was a joke before the flyers were even printed. The always tone deaf Michele Bachmann let herself be put on it for reasons unknown to MC. She lost on the first round of balloting but the always brilliant tactician Stebbins had the 13th place Ron Paul winner move aside for her. [MC thinks she had orders from the Mother Ship] Had Bachmann any dignity, she would have declined after placing approximately 150 votes back. She doesn't and she didn't. Tampa, if possible, just got more garish.

One flyer got a lot of attention and its author given a standing ovation of boos: the one signed off on by MC but put together by those Romney geniuses. The "chaos" flyer apparently got the delegates into a lather. Bully. But it was really small beer in that it simply suggested the Ron Paul slate would cause chaos (a true downgrade from revolution) in Tampa. The Paul zombies think Romney can be denied endorsement on the first ballot and then the convention would unite behind Ron Paul. No, seriously. Welcome to the fetid swamps from which his supporters hail.

MN GOP Chair Pat Shortridge couldn't help himself and condemned the flyer as "offensive." We're all sensitive liberals now, apparently. He received roaring approval for saying so. Such is his reward. MC understands the need for a foil. How to monetize that, though?

Curiously there was no condemnation when the delegates booed the mention of Israel by Mark Miller, head of the local Republican Jewish Coalition. So too a lack of condemnation when a speaker called for unifying behind Mitt Romney and was booed. Yet those who are opposed to Ron Paul because they actually know who and what he is about are said to be an obstacle to party unity. Curious.

Shortridge did ask, to his credit, MC about the boos for Israel. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Star Tribune tweeted it as fact and she's a good reporter. Mark Miller told MC he was booed as he spoke. Shortridge said he would reel them in. Great: keep your anti-semitism private. Such is progress measured in today's MN GOP.

Unfortunately, MC wasn't able to give final approval to those on the chaos flyer before it went out and would have stricken the name of Jennifer DeJournett. MC tried to convey this to her at State Central but literally got the finger from her instead. That's fine: when you only get 300 votes for national delegate you have much larger PR problems in the party than MC's chaos flyer. But by all means blame MC; happy to be a foil once again.

Amongst many low points of the circus masquerading as a political party convention was RNC man Jeff Johnson's address to the convention. Channeling his inner Pawlenty, Johnson pretended to leadership by castigating both "sides" of the ongoing dispute which, heads up Jeff, is nothing less than the take over of the MN GOP and its hollowing out from the inside by people who believe there is no difference between Obama and Romney. As Peter Glessing @pgless tweeted: "Thanks for the scolding." One can see Jeff helping Amy Klobuchar make us all hot tuna noodle casserole and then tucking us into bed for the night.

Johnson's problem, like so many of the old guard, is that he just doesn't get it. His insipid speech won much applause: the first sign of danger and believing in your own press clippings. But an equal smack to both sides and a Rodney King-like appeal to "just get along" isn't strong, brave or admirable.

Did Johnson call out those who booed uniting behind Mitt Romney? Did Johnson condemn those who booed Israel? To ask the question is to have your answer. Of course the press ran with his tag line of "get over it" as he knew they would. Thanks, Jeff. Oh by the way? Iceberg, dead ahead. Keep lining up those deck chairs.

Any number of resolutions got passed as well but MC is aware of only one: the MN GOP is now officially on record as demanding the end of the fed. Thank goodness for getting over it: we can become as crazy as the zombies who took us over. 

As a state central delegate, the only bright spot for MC was the election of Janet Beihoffer to the RNC for a full, four year term. Incumbent lobbyist Pat Anderson lost in a landslide. The state central committee is the last redoubt of what the RPM used to be. The Paul zombies are looking to take it over next year but plans are already in place to prevent that from happening.

Beihoffer now needs to shed her task oriented focus and become more of a big picture woman. This means being less abrasive and letting people finish their sentences. And stop tying herself to IBM: for the younger generations this is Jurassic Park. MC supported Janet and is confident that with a bit of polish she'll represent Minnesota extremely well on the national stage. She waged a flawless campaign. Thank you, Janet.

Although the end note was good, on balance the 2012 MN GOP convention was a disaster. Kurt Bills won't be able to raise the money needed to defeat senator for life Amy Klobuchar.  Large donors have already closed their checkbook. But get over it. With him at the head of the ticket the GOP House and Senate majorities are further imperiled. But get over it. The sweep of delegates and alternates by Ron Paul could be seen since the February 7th caucuses. But get over it. The Republican Party of Minnesota is currently unrecognizable. But get over it.

Enough with Vichy Republicans. Lots of us aren't over it and won't be. It would be a mistake.

We'll take the party back eventually. Then those who cooperated in its surrender will be held to account.

PHOTO CREDIT: By Glen Stubbe of the Star Tribune. All rights reserved. Follow him on Twitter at @gspphoto 

UPDATE: MC requested permission to use the original photo used in this post but was denied by the Star Tribune. MC respects copyright and has since substituted the graphic you now see. MC is awaiting a link from the Star Tribune so readers can see Stubbe's brilliant photo on a site where the paper controls its own copyright. This isn't tyranny; it's the rule of law.

Click HERE to see the brilliant photograph.  Hat tip Rachel Stassen-Berger


Moshe Volovik said...

As a young, Jewish, lifelong Republican, who is a Ron Paul supporter but will happily vote for Romney in the fall, I disagree with many of the things you said. I do however feel that it was brave to put out the 'Chaos Slate' flier. I agree that Pat was wrong to condemn the flier unless he would also condemn the boos for Israel and party unity. Standing up against all 3 would be a principled stand for unity, what he did was pandering.
I feel that Ron Paul brought many people to the Republican party who will now be active in the party and supporting our candidates. You are right that many of us will move into leadership positions in the party. I see this as a positive. This influx of young blood into our party will benefit us for decades to come.
I'd be happy to write much more, but if I'm going to be ignored, I see no point in doing so.

Anonymous said...

Paul is NOT a Duke admirer. You should check your facts.

Anonymous said...

You claim Bills can't raise the money to take on Klobuchar, but at the same time you characterize Severson as a 'poor fundraiser' and Hegseth as unable to be his own man. Looks to me like the best man won the endorsement.

And BTW, raw milk is already legal in MN.

Derek said...

This is too funny. Mr. Gilmore, I enjoy reading your stuff. It's very entertaining.

MD McD said...

Mr Gilmore,

I agree with what Moshe says to a point, where I disagree is Chair Shortridge had validity in what he said. Your issue, in my opinion, is while slates were present, the slates were given to one group of people who happened to be in agreement with the slate already. What you did was handed the slate to people that were on your slate. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs and opinions, but the Paul people for the most part, organize with Paul people. Romney with Romney and so on and so suggestion to you is to bring a bigger delegation and keep your slate to people that are in agreement with your beliefs.

dipper said...

I see why the Stubbe photo appeals to you - it's one for the ages. Kubrick would be proud. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for actually callsing Beihoffer out on her “anti-social” abrasive, rude, dismissive behavior… some of those are my words...

If I don’t want to become what I hate- then I was thinking today I have to support and work for candidates we’ve endorsed even if I disagree with them or don’t like them….

I don’t like Mitt Romney. I don’t agree with him. I think he is a liar and a disgusting individual, I think that he was sinister and devoid of any ethical compass in how he treated the other candidates in the endorsement battle. Romney brought gay marriage to America, as well as Obama Care. But I suppose I have to help get him elected. We have a whole field of GOP candidates, it seems to me my responsibility would be to help them get elected.

I heard today that Kurt Bills was at a Saint Paul Republicans fundraiser that Republicans Boycotted,

I just wonder- why should I work to help get Mitt Romney elected if Republicans in MN are planning, as they’ve already stated, to close their checkbooks and do absolutely nothing to get any of our local candidates elected?

Should I just out and out organize a national public campaign against Romney, provide a narrative that will sink him in November?

That’s what Republicans are doing right now to our local candidates because they hate them- some of them are Ron Paul Supporters, some of them are too conservative, some of them are avoiding social issues…. Or aren’t Christian enough... whatever the reasons are.

I suppose it is an ethical dilemma- to which my answer is, I’m responsible for supporting Romney and RP candidates alike if they are endorsed.

It seems the RP haters- I call them haters because they are different than the folks that are upset and disappointed that there weren’t more Romney supporters elected to delegates, or more hard-core Christian Conservatives let through- are insisting that the new crop of delegates work to get Romney elected but have already publicly refused any effort whatsoever to get our local candidates elected….

This is a real problem for me I’m struggling with as I weigh going back to work this cycle for the Republican cause. …

What should I do I wonder?

R-Dawg said...

Does anyone get the tragic comedy of RP types who decry politicians all day long, yet put all their faith in one guy, one messiah, one perfect being...RP. A career (albiet 2nd) politician who isn't really welcome in the libertarian party anymore (why do they bother finding a candidate?..just endorse RP) He's completely infallible...except for the fact he cannot win a single primary election outside of his district...where the only voters (in many cases) and candidates are Republicans!

I find it hard to praise Stebbins(she's in my district), nice enough lady but I had to unfollow her after some Facebook sparring with her. She'd just post countless things that led me to conclude I don't need inspired anger in my life, from a supposed ally. It was something about we should primary Rep. Paulsen because of his vote to fund missile defense for Israel and something along the lines of: Who are we to tell other people not to eat cats and dogs?

Jason Dahlquist said...

I find it hilarious that you continuously refer to yourself in the third person. Hubris or humility? My wager is on the former, as opposed to the latter. I wonder how long you can grandstand on the premise that not wanting to continue paying for Israeli war materiel somehow constitutes a willingness to kill the Jews. You must have missed it when Benjamin Netanyahu stood on the floor of Congress and told them that Israel can take care of itself. Being of military stock myself, I am inclined to agree with his assessment.

Feel free to hide behind "THEY wrote chaos slate," but anyone with a modicum of business sense knows that when YOU sign off on it (especially as noted by the little "paid for by John Gilmore"), the buck stops with YOU.

YOU people of the "old guard" are the Vichy Republicans, collaborating with the Demcorats™ on spending bills and bigger, more intrusive government. Well let me tell you what: there will be a liberation, and I for one will stick the future process out for no other reason than to spite the likes of you.

Kyle said...

mmmm sour grapes taste good, don't they. how does it feel to receive the scorn of an entire delegation? you know it wasn't just Ron Paul people attacking your attempts at division, right?

Joe said...

"Will the RPM ever outgrow the baleful influence of the Meeks and Vin Weber and their lackies? One can hope."

From your blog in April of last year. Guess what? RPM is outgrowing the influence of those groups, and in the form of the Ron Paul movement. I know you may not care for all of its incarnations, but it is about restoring principled Conservatism without the pay to play politics of the past. Our strength is in our principles; that is what motivates the foot soldiers who carry the water for the next generation of elephants.

Also, your assertion that Ron Paul or his supporters will help Obama win is patently absurd. Helping Obama win is working for the nomination of someone who is different in as few ways as humanly possible from Obama, with the exception of a small handful of recently changed positions. But yes, even I will vote for Romney if it comes to that.

Anonymous said...

It's notable that the other two senate candidates would not stand on the stage in a show of unity. I don't think I've ever seen that before. One witness said they congratulated Bills privately in the teller room, but you could see they didn't like the way the Ron Paul folks were running the convention.

The Ron Paul churlishness extended to denying a delegate spot for our party's deputy chair. Better to vote in people who have done nothing than to vote for someone who has been working night and day to rescue the party from its financial mess!

Believe me, elephants never forget. That is the sort of mean spiritedness that will be remembered long after this convention.

Can you answer this one: Why do we need our candidate for U.S. Senate going on vacation to Florida for a week in the middle of the Fall election season? Shouldn't he be here trying to get rid of Amy K? Furthermore, why are 40 RP delegates going? Bills is their guy and we are stuck with him. Shouldn't they all be here, busy raising money and calling and working to get their Senate candidate elected? What can they possibly accomplish in Florida that will help our cause here?

Finally, in answer to the "Why support Romney" question: We have a binary decision. There will be two candidates for President in November: Obama and Romney. Re-electing Obama would be like the Titanic hitting an iceberg and then backing up and hitting it again. It's not about Romney, it's about getting rid of Obama.

Ron Paul will not be on the ballot in November. Or did you miss that little detail? If it's any consolation, my candidate for President won't be on the ballot either. Oh well! I would vote for a stuffed squid before I would vote for Obama.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 family members who are Paul supporters...none of them will support Romney..
The Independence party will be richer this year when all of the Old Guard joins it..

Anonymous said...

This writer is tool. He has no clue about the facts surrounding ron paul. seems to me he is a bunkered down paranoid conservative with an irrational fear of new ideas entering the party.......booo to this article

Anonymous said...

Nobody 'boo's Isrial. We boo'd the obvious anti-semetic shot across the bow. Apparently support for Isrial means continuing to give them our money despite the fact they don't want it while simultaniously funding their enemies at the same time? You are lost in your own world.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I was a State delegate and I read your blog.

Anyways, I agree with everything you said except for that Michele Bachman should give up her seat. She may have won it in the next ballot fair and square. For those Ronbots that stick around, it's a lesson in congeniality. A trait which is sorely lacking in many of them.

They may win alot of battles but still lose the war, as the saying goes. If anything, the ronbots exposed themselves as the foolish folks they are. I don't even know if they have realized that.

Anonymous said...

I've already addressed the RP phenomenon and, while I hope I am in error, I believe they are a flash in the pan with no long-term purpose but to wreck the GOP as a Party. The Libertarians can't win elections, so turning the GOP into Libertarians is not going to help. Getting 1200 RP supporters to a Convention is a lot different than getting 1.5 million Minnesotans (who think Ron Paul is a kook) to pull the lever for Kurt Bills OR Mitt Romney.

Frankly, as Jeff Johnson said, it is up to the RP people to prove that what us "haters" say about you is wrong. Go ahead, prove that you will vote for and work for Republicans up and down the ticket, like them or not. Prove that you are Republicans first and Ron Paul devotees second. Prove to me that Kurt Bills isn't just another "Paul-bot" because, if you can't, he will lose Minnesotans in a landslide.

J. Ewing

Anonymous said...

most u who is badmouthing Ron Paul u all are truly idiots do u really think romney will not pick up after obama and continue with is crap? lol really now, u all are truly ignorance in the sence that without Ron Paul this country is going down and u with it your all fools

Anonymous said...

This post is painful to read. Work on your grammar and sentence structure, son.

Anonymous said...

hahaha wow. This article is so stupid. Get this off blogger. Low quality post. Not surprised comments are "author approval only".

Anonymous said...


GreenBeastie said...

Libertarians were a core part of the Republican party until the religious zealots took control of the party in the late 70's and 80's - leading up to the Religious Right of the 90's that gave everything over to big business in the name of "God"

How did the Religious Right gain control of the Republican Party? By ousting the existing party office-holders through swamping state conventions and voting their guys in. Now that the Libertarians are doing the same thing to take (back) control of the GOP from the anti-freedom Zealots, they cry foul. Tough luck boys, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

And to the person who said Ron Paul isn't welcome in the Libertarian Party, you're proving your ignorance. Gary Johnson (the Libertarian Presidential Candidate) has had nothing but positive things to say about RP, endorsed him for the GOP nomination, and has even nodded to RP in his campaign ads.

What this article really shows is that the Establishment Republicans that continue to support Romney and disparage Ron Paul are nothing but well-trained sheep who have yet to actually do any research about Paul, what Constitutionalism is and why it's so important to everyone (not just Libertarians) and just how far up the ass Romney is to the richest people in America - Here's a list of the top 10 contributors to the Romney Campaign via public information:

Goldman Sachs $573,080
Bank of America $398,850
JPMorgan Chase & Co $393,825
Morgan Stanley $373,850
Credit Suisse Group $317,410
Citigroup Inc $301,550
Kirkland & Ellis $248,052
Barclays $228,400
PricewaterhouseCoopers $214,250
Wells Fargo $204,300

Avin said...

As a political journalist and active delegate I would just like to encourage you to take some classes on writing and find some way to improve your grammar. The article is full of improper usage of words, incomplete sentences and improper references between pronouns and proper nouns. All of this contributes to the articles confusing and inaccurate nature. You seem to have a full vocabulary, or at least the ability to Google search for synonyms to the words you probably originally used, which may explain a few things. That aside the article was not fluid at all and was very 'wordy'. Before posting articles on such hot topics and with such bold claims, please research and proof read your article before posting.