Last Friday Betsy Hodges, the Mayor of Minneapolis, a city in decline before our eyes, tweeted she was that day 26 years sober. One would think saving your own life would be reward enough but ours is a confessional society which may or may not be blamed on Joni Mitchell as the precursor, accelerated by online social media. Gawker or death.
I favorited her tweet as a way of showing support but even then I felt somewhat uneasy. Why the need to publicize what should by now be easy, or easy enough? Yes, yes, you can slip at any moment, I hear the blog harpies say. Got it. But still: maybe say this in a 12 step program for booze, narcotics, sex, work, gambling, (Twitter?), you name it.
Lars Leafblad is the public face for much of the Twin Cities confessional culture. Such a culture betrays an immaturity at bottom: praise me and we'll all feel good, group hugs, readings from cheesy diary entries, an inflated sense of an otherwise unaccomplished self and, for the professional, perhaps a State Arts Board grant so your personal dreck of a psychodrama can have added life. While we're at it, does anyone keep their disease to themselves these days? Apparently not & we're the worse for it.
I once thought of killing myself. What sane person hasn't? Should I orbit around that "didn't die" date (true, I was never on the ledge, the gun never in my mouth, the thought never became fixed, it was all drama, like a democrat) and extract compliments from strangers? How desperate, needy, and shallow is that?
I didn't want to be "that guy" on Twitter to the Mayor, a woman I've never met but whose infrequent, not recent, direct interactions have been cordial and respectful, despite our enormous political differences.
Perhaps if Susan Spiller hadn't been murdered the night before I wouldn't have had this reaction. Spiller was part and parcel of the liberal fabric of Minneapolis and apparently died a horrific death, her back door kicked in and murdered in some way the details of which have not yet been released.
Expect the liberal establishment to respond in its usual ways, depending on the killer's skin color. They see nothing wrong with this. Indeed, it's who Betsy Hodges is and, apparently, with unadorned pride. So too the bulk of Twin Cities liberals and local media.
According to reports, there have been 26 homicides in Minneapolis and 11 non-fatal shootings this year. Chaos is routinely rampant in downtown Minneapolis after the bars close, such that a hare brained scheme of having dances & making hamburgers available to the crowds was floated as a solution to the problem. Even this was too much for city council members who shot down the proposal, so to speak.
In the face of Spiller's and others' death, Mayor Romper Room said "We know that these crimes are wrong." Well gee, Betsy, that observation gets us most of the way home toward a solution. She added "Everyone deserves to be safe." Two for two, the Mayor. Possibly if she pursed her lips when bleating such banalities the cure would take, problem solved.
The day after Spiller's death the Mayor tweeted about her own sobriety anniversary as well as climate change. She also tweets about protected bike paths and her upcoming meeting with Jesuit Pope Francis about "climate change." For conservatives and libertarians living in Minnesota, it's difficult to overstate how insipid and foolish liberals have become. They, of course, are blindingly ignorant to their own folly. To live in the Twin Cities is to live The Onion.
For the most part, the liberal establishment doesn't mix with non-liberals and the local media never seriously holds them accountable because the members of the press are as liberal, if not more so. David Mamet, after his enlightenment, called his prior self a brain dead liberal. The Twin Cities is filled with them. Some people actually move here because of that, lemming like.
What did the Minneapolis Chief of Police Janeé Harteau have to say about Spiller being slaughtered in her own home? Nothing. She was off hiking the Inca trail for some charity. She couldn't really be bothered. Harteau is held in contempt by the rank and file and not because she's a publicity seeking lesbian: is that shtick supposed to be edgy?
No, she isn't respected because she's incompetent. But remember: for liberals results are never the issue, they literally do not count. Just look at Twin Cities schools, to pick but one example from a myriad.
Minneapolis is in real trouble, trouble that shows itself with depressing regularity. A lack of seriousness on the part of its Mayor & Police Chief condemns it to ever worse crime and social decay. The other day someone I follow on Twitter marveled that a man urinated in broad daylight on Nicollet Mall. I responded by congratulating Minneapolis for finally having become like New York City, always a goal of its insecure elites.
Two days ago Americans with a conscience were sickened to learn that Planned Parenthood collects and then sells fetal organs and other tissues from the abortions they perform. In fact, the dismemberment of the child is done with care so that the organs can be sold intact. The story became an instant sensation throughout the country.
Throughout this time, however, local Minnesota media were silent on Twitter, neither mentioning it on their own or retweeting other reports. How odd for so called journalists.
I repeatedly wondered if the press had approached Tina Flint Smith, currently Minnesota's Lt. Governor but in reality acting governor, Mark Dayton being mentally unfit to be a full time governor. Flint previously had been Vice President for Planned Parenthood's upper midwest abattoirs, a Medea for our age.
Local media think highly of themselves, which is a laugh riot because they're exceptionally craven partisans who report--or don't-- based on their political and cultural beliefs. It's difficult to overstate their mediocrity and lack of integrity. Of course there are a few decent reporters but both hands would cover their numbers and leave some room.
Late in the day I saw that Tina tweeted her bloody support of Planned Parenthood's chief butcher by retweeting what you see below. Extreme and out of touch, Tina knows she's untouchable in this political and media environment. It makes her no less a disgusting human being, however.
Minnesota’s Abortion Barbie, a/k/a Lt Gov Smith, retweets lies from head of PP. What a very sick woman. pic.twitter.com/yG6FpaKiR6
I met Sarah Walker when Michael Brodkorb introduced me to her at The Bulldog in downtown St. Paul in the fall of 2012. That was another lifetime.
With her was Nancy Haas, who to this day is the only person I've met who is both an attorney and a police officer. I found that combination terrifying but she was extremely cordial and intelligent, smartly dressed and savvy.
So too was Walker. I got a brief background on her from her and we spent a couple of hours chatting about a range of things. Eventually I got it: when people overshare, especially upon first meeting, it takes you less time to know them. Indeed, you already do and at their insistence.
I exchanged cards with her and with Haas and that was the last I've seen of them. For awhile I followed Walker on Twitter @mnsecondchance until she blocked me for reasons unknown. Maybe it was after I published this?
Being blocked on Twitter never bothers me: I'm invariably polite (when I'm not I apologize) so I chalk it up to intellectual impotence and fear. And anger: endemic on the Left. Is there anything more tedious than an angry liberal? But unlike some scolds, I don't tell people how to tweet or blog (with the exception of those lost souls who think Twitter is a shortened version of Facebook).
Until recently most republican activists had never heard of Walker although they had every reason to: Walker is a professional Leftist and a good one, as far as that poisonous, dishonest, damaging trade goes. The Left in Minnesota is flush with money and it supports people like Walker who otherwise have no visible means of support. Alinsky in faux Chanel.
I say this with envy and not scorn because Minnesota republicans are naive, short sighted and without any sufficiently compelling ideology for them to create and maintain a political ecosphere that takes care of our own. It isn't only Norm Coleman who'd lobby for the Kingdom of Saud if given half a chance. Distressingly, it's the Right in Minnesota that falls over itself in order to sell itself out. How else to explain the corrosive influence of the Chamber?
Borg-like, Walker perfectly encapsulates a smarter, faster, more well funded and long term opposition in Minnesota. Meanwhile, republicans are left with an idiot donor class, incumbents at the statehouse who should be culled and activists who show no sign of not still being in high school. It's depressing.
Visit www.SarahCWalker.com and see for yourself. I was put in mind of a highly decorated USSR apparatchik but that's just the Solzhenitsyn in me. Sarah Walker is an extremist. The term will make some people laugh at me, the ones who think nothing of late term abortions.
Walker appears mostly window dressing on the public face of any far left damaging effort du jour. If she's a serious policy person I've missed it. Yet where is our Sarah Walker? We couldn't even nominate a woman to run against Al Franken. Still, republican eunuchs tut tut that we should ignore Walker. Why?
Imagine Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who instead of sleeping with one of her staff and then making an honest victim of sexual harassment on the job out of him by marrying him, sleeps with a well known, accomplished republican political operative, one whose physical traits are wildly mismatched to those of his lover?
Then, apropos of nothing, she starts voting and acting very much differently from her past, from her public positions on a number of issues. Trust me, the Deviation Thought Police of the totalitarian Left would be on her immediately, Ken Martin in charge, closely followed by the third rates minds at MPR. Her paramour would not go unscrutinized. There might be something there, there might not be. But to think they'd let that relationship go unexamined is sheer political ignorance, something of a sine qua non for Minnesota republicans lately.
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You can mock those rubes in CD 6 because they wondered aloud about the influence of Sarah Walker on Tom Emmer through David FitzSimmons. You probably already have because you're oh so smart. She's just his girlfriend, say the stupidest republicans in the nation, here warehoused in Minnesota.
We're so outmatched.
Out of all the men in Minnesota, Sarah Catherine Walker fell in love with David FitzSimmons. What dumb blind fucking luck. Sheer coincidence, not at all calculated.
As Christopher Hitchens would say, having read one or another preposterous quotes from the Bible to an interlocutor,
Like Norm Coleman, Tom Emmer has long been a politician whose position on any given issue of the day was available for purchase. Oddly, this is at bottom a neutral observation and is certainly applicable to any number of Minnesota democrat politicians. I'm not a democrat, however.
Since becoming a member of Congress--just this year but why does it seem longer?--Emmer has moved to ingratiate himself to the Republican House Congressional establishment with a speed that would impress Cardinal Richelieu. This caused some initial consternation amongst his supporters who, mystifyingly, thought him to be a man of principle despite ample evidence to the contrary. As a friend of mine remarked to me, look at what he said, and then at how he voted, when he was in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The past really is prologue.
Recently, however, Emmer has come under more sustained criticism for his cavalier and arrogant approach toward his constituents, whom, it must be said, he appears to hold in contempt. Why this is, frankly, is anyone's guess. My guess, my Occam's razor, is a guilty conscience. Feel free to hazard your own.
What has recently brought all of the discontent to something of a boil, however, is an unsigned editorial, for lack of a better word, from Alpha News, a recently launched conservative news outlet. Some have said that they don't like it because it might be a creation of Bob Cummins and lacks transparency. I don't know, nor particularly care, about either point. A new communications outlet on behalf of the right in Minnesota should be generally welcome. Of course, many of these same complainers will insist that ours needs to be a big tent party; the contradiction never occurs to them. This isn't to say, naturally, that Alpha News should be beyond criticism.
Its recent, attention-getting editorial constitutes a decent litany of the complaints and dissatisfactions of much of the activist base in Emmer's Sixth Congressional District. It can be, and should be, read by clicking here. Another friend pointed out to me the less than persuasive use of turnout numbers employed in the piece, and shared his opinion that Alpha News itself appears to be closely aligned with the Tea Party, which term has no meaning to me in Minnesota. On that point, however, I realize I'm in a minority.
Emmer stands accused of abandoning most of his conservative principles and rapidly. This can hardly be denied though others deflect to trivial issues in order to avoid that discussion. I've already expressed my thoughts in "Tom Emmer Goes To Washington" which can be read here.The Alpha News editorial is not substantially different although it contains more examples of Emmer's political betrayals. I'm struck by how many activists somehow don't think that his voters are entitled to feel resentment at this obvious bait and switch. Why on earth not?
On Twitter last night there was a fair amount of pearl clutching that Alpha News mentioned Emmer's chief of staff and his tiresomely liberal girlfriend. Seriously, we now have republican snowflakes? I thought we got those only amongst the repulsive social justice warriors on the left. I previously referred to this couple as Emmer's Chiefs of Staff and functionally they are. Additionally, the relationship is flaunted and traded on, so this is hardly some sort of invasion of privacy. There's absolutely nothing wrong in remarking on it, given that none of the comments I've made, or seen made by others, are ad hominem. People are looking to see who is influencing Emmer. This is called normal.
Last year I helped my friend Sheila Kihne run for the republican endorsement against Jenifer Loon, an out of touch liberal republican in the Minnesota House. Kihne and her supporters were roundly castigated for having the nerve to challenge an incumbent. I called this brain dead group think "Loonism," standing for the proposition that once a republican is elected, peon voters and pain in the ass activists had better just shut up and eat the dog food, no matter how objectionable the voting record of that incumbent. Staffers think this way because they're paid not to think but the rest of us rightly reject the premise of Loonism.
So too here with Tom Emmer the objection is made to the very act of criticism, the substance of the criticism being ignored, deflected or explained away mendaciously. No thanks, this isn't what republicans in Minnesota or anywhere in the country should countenance. Emmer was said to have lost his temper several times in his last constituent meeting, a sure sign he no longer views voters in his district as entitled to question or judge him. So much for his bullshit, well worn phrase "servant leadership."
This is all of a piece with Emmer. Remember the sanctimonious "First Principles" speech he gave in 2010 while running for the gubernatorial endorsement? The gullible and easily impressed ate it up while I could barely avoid throwing up on myself. Remember how he never congratulated Jeff Johnson after he was beaten by him for Republican National Committeeman in 2011? I do, I was there: he stormed out of the State Central Committee meeting thoroughly enraged.
Republicans in the Sixth will have to sort out amongst themselves how great their dissatisfaction with Tom Emmer truly is--what's passing and what's more permanent--and then decide what, if anything, to do about it. My own sense is that a Tea Party challenge would be a certain failure. But for others to complain that this discussion is taking place, which embodies the very nature of representative government, of the grass roots level of politics, is to mark themselves as sycophants.
Until yesterday I had no idea how great their number.
Photo credit: Amy Koch via Minn Post (clockwise from lower left to center: Amy Koch, Tom Emmer, Paul Thissen, Mayor Betsy Hodges, Franni Franken, Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith)