The usual suspects were in attendance: Annette Meeks sans Jack, Congressman Tom "we all want the same things" Emmer, Keith Downey, ersatz Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, Andy Brehm, and a variety of other useless hangers on.
It was a draw between them and myself as to who was more disheartened to be in each others' company. So it goes. Yet they had the edge on me because they get a paycheck, of some sort, from someone, for their efforts whereas I do not. Still, I wouldn't want to trade places with them. For most present, making a living off of so-called republican politics in Minnesota is the key. Winning and changing things are purely secondary. They remind me of people on Twitter who virtue signal to others that they would rather lose to Hillary than vote for Trump.
We have met the enemy and it is us.
The event itself was quite something. A large well appointed room, entered from where your car had been valet parked, filled with roaming servers bearing plates of wonderfully prepared hor d'oeuvres. A few were even vegetarian. One server remarked that I was a vegan, an error I brutally disabused her of. She volunteered that she had started a vegan diet & I do believe I talked her out of that unhealthy, sometimes outright dangerous, dietary path. One does what one can where they can.
A small open bar in the corner dispensed drinks. Tables all around filled the large open space. Horowitz and Bill Whittle were to the front of that, where I ended up sitting purely by circumstance.
This vantage point did allow me to Periscope Horowitz's speech, however, for which I was grateful and which I understand was permanently archived by his people. It deserved to be for the sheer brutal honesty of his remarks.
That speech was a recapitulation of his address to students at the University of Minnesota. This audience, however, was completely offput, uncomfortable at the direct language of Horowitz and what he felt were the issues of the times. Minnesota nice was never so suffocating.
Obama was a traitor, Horowitz offered unsubtly, in addition to being a Communist. The country was at great risk, so much so it was almost impossible to overstate the case. Horowitz was a red diaper baby, born to the Left with parents who were movement Communists. He knew of what he spoke. It's just that his audience of consultant stiffs didn't particularly want to hear it. They'd prefer Emmer's pablum about "reaching" across the aisles because having no real set of fixed principles and selling out is something they know about. Indeed, for some, it's a career.
The audience was impassive throughout. They may as well have been democrats and in some fundamental ways I wondered if in fact they were not. I was holding my iPhone Periscoping the remarks and so could not start applause at any given line. I finally set my phone against a glass and was free to follow unencumbered.
Horowitz continued: Minneapolis had suffered real and catastrophic setbacks under brain dead liberal leadership. He cited a variety of statistics to prove his grim point.
He called out Black Lives Matter for being anti-white, anti-police and implicitly a scam suborned by the guilty liberal white media. I could hear the rectums of the audience pucker: they had no idea whatsoever how to respond. A stupid, self-shaming silence was all they could muster, in keeping with their talents. Far from any encouraging response, the audience's reticence was ice cold. I was embarrassed to be in their midst.
Horowitz then asked aloud how was it that Trump could be doing so well? Clearly the indictments he had just laid out before this paralyzed audience supplied the answer and they were among the indicted, though whether they realized such or not is an open question.
This time I was able to clap and did so, waking most of the audience from their somnambulance which then proceeded to join in, somewhat. Yet one got the feeling they didn't really know what they were applauding. Is there a better metaphor for our Minnesota republican establishment?
I've never been at an event where the disconnect between the main speaker and the audience was this great. I turned around several times during Horowitz's speech, to make certain I could see the very people who have brought the Republican Party of Minnesota to the point where it's been unable to win a statewide race in a decade.
They're flush though, doing quite well though, thanks. Freshen your drink? Another canapé?
Afterwards, I saw Horowitz wandering alone between tables. How many times has he been in places where he knew virtually no one?
I approached and we shook hands. I said I thought he would never have an audience less inclined to act upon the insights he had made in his speech than this one.
He stopped, glanced up to meet my eyes and said "Of course."
And then wandered on.
* * * *
The next day an organizer of the event told me Horowitz had confided in him that my remark was his favorite line of the evening.
UPDATE: My Periscope of Horowitz's remarks has been preserved & can be viewed by clicking here.