Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kurt Daudt's Republican Party of Minnesota

My friend Kurt Daudt, who represents House District 17A, was yesterday elected House Minority Leader of the Minnesota Republican House caucus. Congratulations are in order as well as a sigh of relief. Local media have reported him as a relatively unknown but that's because they have no relationship with activists. Consequently they're simply not in the know. The stale republicans that flop on the stale couch of the stale Almanac set don't reflect republican reality on the political ground. Nor do those appearing on the equally stale Inside Edition or the upstart Political Happy Hour. The Pioneer Press, Star Tribune & MPR are no better, less you think my beef is with television media. Stale, stale, stale.

I've been terribly impressed with Daudt since his election in 2010 and have directed a number of activists I know toward him, simply for the goal of getting to know him. They see what I see and for good reason. I know I speak for a number of activists when I say we are gratified the members of the House republican caucus elected him their leader. Such an acknowledgement is encouraging and reflects well on them.

Clearly it would be unfair to project upon Daudt all the hopes and concerns of many republicans after our loss of the majorities in the Minnesota Senate & House. That is, however, what has started to happen. On balance, it's a good thing, too. It's a good thing because there is hope that leadership has emerged which can find a way forward to governing again in a response to our substantial losses last Tuesday.

Who has apologized for those losses? Who taken responsibility for putting the marriage amendment on the ballot that killed republicans in the suburbs particularly?

No one. Such is the dearth of leadership in our party. Noted. Thinking of running for higher office if you were part of this? Think again. Already ran for office in 2010 and lost? Same advice.

Now however, with Daudt and newly elected Senate minority leader David Hann, we have a chance of coming back in incremental, solid ways. This is why I suggest that it's Kurt Daudt's republican party. I mean no disrespect to Sen. Hann, whom I've previously praised on this blog. "Hann Comes For The Archbishop" can be read by clicking here. If only he had been picked after Sen. Amy Koch resigned.

The defining issue for republicans is changing to a primary system instead of the current party endorsement process. There IS no republican party left to speak of and no one in a leadership position there should run again for any office, especially including party offices. Thank you for your service under difficult circumstances. I mean this sincerely. I also mean you need to leave.

My friend Ben Golnik penned an op-ed that was news only to those who weren't paying attention: Minnesota republicans should switch to a primary. If he or my friend Michael Brodkorb think they were the leading edge of this idea, they should think again. The base isn't happy with operatives who lose all the time or explode in public and destroy the republican brand.

My friend Andy Parrish was also unhappy with me recently, suggesting his PAC "A Stronger Minnesota" with Tom Emmer at its head did "more" than this blog. He's right but does he get it? Going even further right is going further into minority status.

A small Twitter fight has broken out tonight with my friend Sue Jeffers, for whom I have the highest respect. Both of us are asked how we can be friends with the other: we laugh, we get it. I'll take a fighter any day.

This should not lead local media into thinking, a priori like, that Daudt's election represents a Seifert over Emmer victory. It doesn't work like that. To use that phrase my friend Jeff Johnson will go to his grave with: we've gotten over it. I also like my friend Tom Emmer very much. I hope that doesn't come as a surprise to him.

But going too far right in Minnesota simply will not work. Do we abandon our principles? No. Do we do something boneheaded and put a marriage amendment on the ballot because of Bob Cummins? No. Except we did. Care to analyze the results with me or are we suddenly liberals, where results don't matter? That's how Obama got reelected. Have we met the enemy and it is us? Yes.

Rep. Kurt Daudt, together with Sen. David Hann, represent a path out of our current difficulties. Other approaches have been tried and failed. Minnesota republican activists, elected officials and other hangers on should give them a chance to succeed. I have no idea what the future will look like but I've seen the past and that's enough.

If character is destiny, we have a bright future with a dog loving man from Crown, Minnesota.

N.B.: Daudt co-founded an orphanage in Kenya, Africa at which the above photo was taken. To date his Project 24 has raised over $500,000 and built six orphanages. For more information or how to help please go here:


Anonymous said...

In the last two of your blogs, I could not tell if you are praising Kurt Daudt or blamming him and others for the disasterous election results..???

Anonymous said...

John, I agree on some points and disagree on others. Regarding Hann, no. He was one of the Republicans who mishandled the Koch situation. Was it because she was a woman? because he wanted more of a leadership role and she was standing in his way? or was the real beef over Brodkorb? "The world may never know."
Regarding current leadership, who should leave? The bevy of "consultants" who make every lit piece look the same and run every campaign as if it were the 1980's? Surely you don't mean Shortridge - whom I think is doing a great job and whose term ends in April 2013. Fenton? Again - great job. Marsh - Yep. Time to go. The Senate staff who were blessed with the responsibility of leading our candidates to victory? Yep. Time to go. I sure wish you would name names. :)