Please click on the photo-above before continuing to read. I sometimes say, at the end of a post, that a photo can be enlarged. Here, however, it is crucial readers do first what I most often suggest last: click on the photo.
That's because there are human beings on those ledges, if you can call them ledges. Clutched onto the frames of windows never designed to be opened in buildings never thought to have been flown into.
Last Friday a local group brought in a Truther who had moved on since 9/11, as every good showman has since then. According to him & those like him, we killed those people you just looked at.
This charlatan's self-proclaimed mission is to be in search of the Truth. Aren't they all?
Google Ben Swann on your own.
It took me some time to realize that preeminent Ron Paul supporters like Marianne Stebbins or Nathan M. Hansen, Esq., were not in attendance. Now why would that be? The groups that brought in this fraud seem to be different than the cultists who foisted the hapless Kurt Bills on us to run against Amy Klobuchar last year.
What appalled me last Friday wasn't that this infection of the Minnesota Republican Party finally brought to town their own political Cirque du Soleil, it's that republican candidates who think themselves serious and reputable attended, even sponsored this crime.
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson was physically present before the VIP dinner but, from what I was told, didn't actually sit down to sup with the devil. Twitter has the photos. His campaign logo was featured on the scrim in the auditorium before the main event.
Also complicit was Phil Krinkie, who had a table in the foyer with literature and someone staffing it. Johnson did as well.
What's wrong with these people?
Not to be let off the hook is Dave Thompson, who I'm told had paid $200 in order to speak to the assembled believers of the theory that says 9-11 was an inside job. He only bailed out after those with a lick of common sense and some knowledge waved him off. No points are awarded for the staggering poor judgment in wanting to speak in the first place. It is, though, in keeping with what Chris Van Guilder tweeted earlier in the week from the Carver County gubernatorial forum that Thompson fancies himself an "orator." Right.
I understand, if disagree, with candidates wanting to reach out to the so-called "liberty" people. If you want to infantilize yourself, knock yourself out. Johnson seems not to realize that the Ron Paul contingent is a shadow of itself. He misreads the zeitgeist continuously: get over it, he sanctimoniously lectured us in May 2012 at the MNGOP convention and then proceeded to complain forever about a rule change he didn't like at the RNC meeting that August in the hopes of ingratiating himself to the Paul faction.
It doesn't help that I admire Jeff personally and am grateful for his leadership for sound conservative principles on the Hennepin County Commission. Why he'd sponsor a 9-11 Truther gathering is simply beyond me.
The same can be said of Phil Krinkie and Dave Thompson: what were they thinking? Were they thinking? Yes, Thompson did not per se sponsor but had paid to speak. Krinkie didn't speak but had a table and recognition as a sponsor. It's all pretty much the same sin in my book.
I'm not like my liberal friends: I don't seek to extinguish speech with which I disagree. Let a hundred 9-11 flowers bloom. I do think, however, that lines can be drawn and cogently at that.
If you're offering yourself up for elected office as a republican in Minnesota, you have no business associating with ideas that make ourselves the murderers of ourselves, which is precisely what the Truthers believe. That you did so disqualifies you. Republicans should support anyone but them.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: I've been informed that Dave Thompson never paid anything when contemplating speaking at the event.