Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Minnesota Republican Senate Disgraces Itself


Female genital mutilation (FGM) has come to Minnesota and the silence from the Regressive Left could not be louder. Blowhards like Rep. Melisa Franzen (DFL), local media darling, are silent, as are the usual raft of Minnesota "feminists," including that special brand of cucks, Minnesota men on Twitter who have feminist in their pathetic bios. Local media have reported in their trademark fashion of "once and done" with not a single Minnesota newspaper running an editorial against this horrific, backward, misogyny-incarnate practice.

Remember, when President Trump called out fake media as the enemy of the American people (not media per se) local media responded by tweeting that they were all brave Daniel Pearls. No, seriously.

In the Minnesota House, Rep. Mary Franson (R) has introduced legislation that rightly characterizes this as child abuse and allows victim children to be permanently removed from the monsters who call themselves parents that allow it. Senator Karin Housley (R) has introduced parallel legislation in the Senate. Franson's bill has passed all committees and is scheduled for a floor vote on Monday, May 15th. Housley's bill hasn't received so much as a single committee hearing.

What on earth is wrong with the Minnesota Republican Senate? Speaker Kurt Daudt and others in the House have shown true & genuine leadership and are to be commended for fast tracking the Franson bill so that a floor vote may be had by the end of session.

* * * * 

FGM is not the same as male circumcision, in which the foreskin is cut from a perfectly intact penis shortly after birth. CAIR, the terrorist affiliated group that presumes to speak for all Muslims (see my prior piece here: "The Islamization of Minnesota Media") attempts to conflate the two by calling FGM "female circumcision."

No. 

In order for FGM to be the equivalent of circumcision, the head of the penis would have to be chopped off. Has that got your attention? Can someone clue in the dude from Nisswa?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a heroine for the world in our time and herself a victim, has delineated several types of FGM: 1. The Nick 2. "Female Circumcision" 3. Intermediate Infibulation 4. Total Infibulation 5. Vaginal Fusion

Ayaan is the world's most famous Somali but Minnesota media ignore her entirely. They are Servants Of CAIR™. You can read her full article here.

All this in the happy clappy, relentlessly insecure, mindlessly progressive state of Minnesota. Take a bow, cultural enrichment, corrosive diversity types. Most of all, stay silent.

Enter the cowards of the Minnesota Republican Senate.

* * * * 

It's possible that the Senate prefers the Franson bill to pass on the House floor and have it included in an omnibus bill that Governor Dayton won't veto. So far legislative republicans have made a hash of this session, negotiating amongst themselves while moving ever closer to Dayton's budget marks while he stands pat. What's galling is that they think they're doing a fine job.

Even so, that's no excuse for the lack of any hearing on the Housely bill nor for Senate leadership being silent on the matter of female genital mutilation. And to be fair, there may be senators who want this matter addressed and about which I don't know. In fact, that's likely and here's to them, even if we won't know those names publicly.

The end result of Senate inaction is to lessen the chances of protecting vulnerable girls in this state who come from backward, misogynist cultures. That's not who we are but you wouldn't know it from the failure of the Minnesota Republican Senate.







Thursday, April 27, 2017

Paint It Black: Ellison At The Humphrey School


I attended Keith Ellison's appearance at the Humphrey School last week, where he was cosseted under the guise of being moderated by Larry Jacobs, who runs the school, along with Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Pioneer Press. The Cowles auditorium was full and, even though I obtained a ticket the day the event was announced, was forced to take a second row seat, on the right naturally. To borrow from V.S. Naipaul, I was among the believers.

I'd never seen Ellison in person before and was unprepared for my shock at what an astonishingly mediocre fellow he was. Unimpressive by almost any measure, his being in Congress perfectly represents the degradation of politics on the far left. And on the far left he is: banal, badly educated, badly spoken, not in the slightest bright, indeed quasi-thuggish, a pencil tucked behind his left ear as he took the stage to much applause.

Democrats are a long way away from the intellect and grace of my home state's senator, George McGovern, no matter how out of sync his politics were in 1972. The man was not an embarrassment but Keith Ellison is, perfect for a state that doesn't know how to stop embarrassing itself nationally.

* * * * 

The putative topic of the event was "What is the future of the Democratic Party?" It's a question that Jacobs & Stassen-Berger never got around to asking, which shows the degree to which this was a liberal gathering and not an actual event of substance. Everyone on the stage being steadfast democrats, of course, might have had something to do with that.

Still, at times, Jacobs surprised me with his questions. So too, Stassen-Berger but only once, when she said Ellison's congressional district, CD 5, had come in 7th out of 8 with respect to voter turnout. Ellison instinctively (and instincts, as befits a thug, are all he has) pushed back immediately. Oddly, the reporter had nothing on hand to back her up, bleating in response that she'd checked the website of the Minnesota Secretary of State for her blasphemy. 

They agreed to disagree, with the reporter saying that she'd tweet if she was wrong, obsequiously including Ellison's handle in her tweet. From that point onward, she nodded, Hillary-like, at any and everything he said, including when he was turned toward Jacobs, leaving only the back of his head at which to nod. I became grateful for my second row seat.

* * * * 

The particulars of Ellison's appearance were excruciating and, of course, never reported upon by local media in attendance. The headlines were: Ellison thought Tim Walz would be the next governor and Betsy Hodges would win reelection as the mayor of Minneapolis. For a lazy press, that was more than enough. I happen to agree with the first prediction but not the latter. 

* * * * 

Yet only by attending were the particulars of this event available and therein lies the substance. Imagine, the substance of a story not being conveyed to you by our media, local or national.

Ellison never answered what the future of the Democratic Party was, not only because he wasn't asked by the ersatz moderators, but more surely because he had no sound answer. What did he say? 

He talked about Planned Parenthood, more than once, saying "it gets clear to you." Right. At one point he said PP was threatened "with repeal." This is an ignorant man. The clear cut case of PP selling fetal body parts was "doctored videos." 

What does his party stand for? Ellison quoted the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it stood for "liberty and fairness for all." Those words don't appear in the Pledge and neither moderator corrected him. Liberty and justice for all, of course, are the words in the Pledge. 

Ellison said the Democratic Party stood for: 1. Economic fairness "there's enough money" and 2. Fairness: "Government helps things get better" or words to that effect. He wanted people to be able to retire and wanted better schools, so that "parents can aspire for their children." That's an exact quote. 

The closest he got to answering the question of the event was that democrats focused on presidential races too much and not on local ones, focused too much on likely voters instead of other voters. Who those other voters were he didn't say and there was no follow up question. Indeed, a lack of follow up questions defined this event.

Painfully to me, but honestly, Ellison said Minnesota democrats held every statewide office and two US Senator seats. Mercifully, he wasn't astute enough to drive the point home and say that the DFL has held the state Attorney General's office for fifty years. He claimed, not implausibly, his turnout in CD 5 kept the republicans from winning those races. That might be true but I'd add the sustained political incompetence on the part of MNGOPe is no small part.

* * * * 

There was a great deal of chaff I had to separate in order to find the occasional grain of wheat in Ellison's remarks. Nevertheless, I persisted. To fairly summarize the balance of Ellison's remarks, he doesn't mind demonizing people when they're wrong; repealing the ACA would hurt people; Trump will lose in 2020 because he will damage the economy and increase unemployment unless he doesn't and is seen as a reformer (all said in one breath, and, again, unchallenged by the moderators); progressive politics can win; Minnesota democrats are indebted to WIN Minnesota, the Kaplans, Vance Opperman, Take Action, NOC, Indivisible, the DFL's coordinating committee, and Hubert Humphrey, saying "we're beneficiaries from history." From. 

Explaining the rural/urban divide in Minnesota that favored President Trump, Ellison reassured the assembled hive mind that it was worse in Michigan. "But Trump won Michigan," didn't say the moderators. This was what I had to process in real time. It was all I could do to take twelve pages of notes, from which much of this post is taken.

Some national media picked up on a key point that Ellison made but the moderators certainly didn't when he said it and local media ignored it altogether. Quelle surprise. That key point was that Obama, in his view, didn't do nearly enough "for the party." He went on to say "his legacy is in danger," apparently not realizing that Obama himself said he was on the ballot and America comprehensively rejected it last November. Again, the moderators weren't there for an injection of reality and let most of his comments pass unremarked upon. To be fair, perhaps I misunderstood their role from the outset.

Remarkably, Jacobs brought up Ellison's abysmal voting record in Congress, suggesting to me he's been taking testosterone supplements. Ellison was clearly shocked, if not offended, when facing actual facts and squirmed away from his record by saying he'd had a torn something tendon and once had a child graduating, ending with the fake statement "I have an excellent voting record."

There was, of course, a good deal of Trump trashing by Keith E. Hakim that received rote applause from the assembled seals. Laughably, he said that Trump was "openly hostile to core American values." Ellison claimed Trump stoked "economic and racial resentments," which belied the naked anti-white messaging from the left as well as mockery of anything rural. Ellison's solution? "We need more healing."

My translation: America rejected our force fed agitprop of cultural Marxism and democrats are SOL.

In a moment of what he thought passed for lucidity, Ellison said that Trump voters shouldn't be called suckers but instead be told he isn't delivering. Somewhere Justice Gorsuch, ICE and Trump voters are laughing.

* * * * 

The low point of the gathering was Ellison not being asked about the appearance in Minnesota of the horrific Muslim practice of female genital mutilation. I've been told that I shouldn't have had any expectation he would be, leaving me at a loss to know which was worse: the failure of moderators who think highly of themselves or a citizenry used to the Regressive Left's dominance of politics and culture in Minnesota.

* * * * 

Over this past weekend we gained more information, if such were needed, about the abysmal future of the Democratic Party.

In a newly released Washington Post–ABC News poll, Democrats have plummeted on the question of relatability with the middle class.

“The Democratic Party is viewed as more out of touch than either Trump or the party’s political opponents. Two-thirds of Americans think the Democrats are out of touch—including nearly half of Democrats themselves.”

The "democracy dies in darkness" Washington Post waited until the penultimate paragraph of its very long story to reveal the worst of it: Trump would win the election if it were held now, including the popular vote.

Providing a finishing salt of insanity to this already unappetizing dish, DNC Chair Tom Perez recently stated flatly that pro-lifers were not welcome in the party. Approximately 30% of democrats consider themselves pro-life.

* * * * 

Democrats haven't wielded this little political power at the state level in 75 years. The Senate is very likely to be more republican after the 2018 elections. Both Camille Paglia and Michael Moore have recently predicted Trump will win reelection in 2020.

Ellison at the Humphrey School was an exercise in group delusion and the future of his party is dire in the extreme; paint it black. Minnesota republicans would do well to wake up to this new reality, because although it wasn't reported this way, it seemed like what I witnessed was a political Heaven's Gate.









Monday, April 17, 2017

The Davids: Hann For Chair, Pascoe For Deputy


Does the Republican Party of Minnesota matter? I hear this question all the time and understand why it is asked. But turn it around: would you ever hear a democrat, in or out of media, ask whether the DFL matters? You wouldn't but here we are and it's a sign of the state of republican politics in Minnesota that it is asked on one side of the aisle and not the other.

The answer to the question, of course, is that the Republican Party of Minnesota does matter because it should matter. Ken Martin, chair of the DFL, has his detractors but I don't count myself among them. We've met approximately once, at lunch, but my esteem is hardly earned over vegetarian Japanese food. No, Martin understands in Minnesota the essential role--still--of the party in our politics. This is not nothing.

The Minnesota Republican Party to date is a limp thing, ad hoc at best, usually adrift with appallingly bad messaging when, if it comes at all, is late to the news cycle. Going on offense is a concept wholly foreign to it. Some blame exiting Chair Keith Downey, who, to be sure, deserves a healthy portion of it, yet making Downey the scapegoat for what ails the party elides what truly ails it. And what ails Minnesota republicans I've written about ad nauseum. This is not the time for recapitulation.

* * * * 
A number of diagnoses have been made about the party and any number of treatment options offered by those running for Chair & Deputy Chair. I'm not currently a member of the State Central Committee that will vote to fill these positions on the last Saturday of this month. I held a roundtable podcast on Gilmore & Guests for the Chair candidates that can be heard here. I held a similar roundtable podcast for the Deputy Chairs that can be heard here. I did both shows in order to help delegates decide for whom to vote. In both shows I was scrupulously neutral. Now, I want to endorse.

DAVID HANN

David Hann represents the best choice for putting the Republican Party of Minnesota back onto the path of political relevance. Hann single handedly brought Minnesota a republican majority in the state senate, despite overt undermining from other republicans, especially those in House "leadership." He lost his own seat, true, but there's something to be said sacrificing for the larger good that should appeal to State Central delegates.

Hann is strongly pro Trump, despite a whisper campaign to the opposite. I know who doesn't support Trump in this state, believe me. When a political phenomenon like Trump wins both the city of Hibbing as well as 78 out of our 87 counties, Hann pays attention. In short, he gets it. 

Ken Martin & the democrats are already out of the gate trying to win those voters back. David Hann knows what to do in order to keep them, something our House and Senate majorities seemingly do not. 

Hann, it seems to me, will also message on behalf of the party instead of on behalf of whichever faction in our endlessly factionalized party is ascendant in either legislative chamber. This is to the good. Someone in the republican firmament in Minnesota had best speak for the average voter. 

David Hann is that man & I encourage delegates to make him our party chair.

DAVID PASCOE

I'd heard of David Pascoe but not much and met him for the first time when he came to the studio to record the Gilmore & Guests podcast for the Deputy Chair race. 

Pascoe impressed me greatly with not only his previous record of service, but his keen understanding of the role the Deputy Chair should play within the party. Cogent, forward looking, realizing the political landscape has changed, even in Minnesota, Pascoe would be the best candidate to serve any chair the State Central delegates elect.

I hope they elect David Pascoe.





Sunday, April 2, 2017

Is 2018 Already Slipping Away From Republicans?

Last month, Lt. Governor Tina Flint Smith announced on Facebook that she would not run for governor in 2018, but not before leaking it to Ricardo Lopez of the Star Tribune. (I'm a bit concerned Hispanics are overrepresented at the Strib relative to their (legal) numbers in the population. Am I doing identity politics right?)

Everyone was shocked or so they pretended. I wasn't, particularly, having written previously that Trump's strong showing in Minnesota hurt her the most among potential DFL gubernatorial candidates. A hot house flower of urban, ultra-liberal elites, tied to a mediocre record of her Governor boss wasn't going to win statewide where Trump had carried 78 out of Minnesota's 87 counties.

This week Congressman Tim Walz of Minnesota's First Congressional District entered the gubernatorial race, showing up replete in a red flannel jacket when filing his papers in Saint Paul. Optics: something Minnesota republicans rarely demonstrate they understand. He had signaled his intention for a few weeks and followed through. DFLers were ecstatic. For good reason.

* * * * 

Minnesota republicans currently are stuck with either House Speaker Kurt Daudt or Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek as their leading contenders for the republican endorsement for governor. Others will surely enter the race and they should, if for no other reason than to give the faithful the pretense of a competitive race. Kabuki is what passes for real political struggles on that side of the aisle, cycle after cycle. 

The problem is that the entry of Walz demonstrates in real time my thesis since November 8th: Minnesota democrats understand Trump's strong showing here far better than the petri dish, donor based and fed Minnesota republicans, especially the fetid House caucus. Of course it's not a sure thing that Walz will be the DFL nominee but that hardly contradicts my point.

Indeed, the legislative session thus far not only gives no sign of contradicting it but instead confirms it. Budgets released by each republican controlled chamber show no meaningful difference between republican control and DFL control: the differences are of degree, not of kind. How much money should republicans shell out and to whom is the order of the day. Please clap. 

Governor Dayton wants a 46 billion dollar budget, republicans hold the line at 45. The number 500 million comes to mind. Both sides will declare victory and republicans are sure to cue the usual suspects pretending to depth & substance on "Almanac" or any other local political television show I don't watch because they insult my intelligence. Republican lobbyists, a jilted lover seeking media redemption, political hacks: no thanks. 

* * * * 

I recently had a high ranking MNGOP party official tell me flat out that "candidates don't matter." I'm not sure I've recovered. 

But that's the mindset of too many in the Minnesota republican establishment: mouth the right words (which are?) and run against the democrats (how, precisely, given "our" proposed budgets?) and we'll win. The political love that dare not speak its name is Trump but here we are: not Oscar Wilde but the dumbest republicans in the nation. 

Settle in. 

All of this is the consequence of a party that doesn't know what it believes. After the House budget came out, I tweeted: "What is the case for a republican governor in 2018?"

The question remains unanswered. 


















Sunday, March 12, 2017

Minnesota Republicans Adrift

The image above was shown on CBS News the morning after November 8th. I know of no other map in recent American political history that shows Minnesota still out, still waiting to be called, the morning after a presidential election. It doesn't get any more emphatic than this but to follow Minnesota republican politics after the consequential election of Donald Trump as our 45th president, you wouldn't know it.

Why is this?

I've thought for a long time, as anyone who's read me knows, that Minnesota republicans are timid, shy, unsure of what they stand for and are afraid of a mediocre, particularly liberal & tedious, media in a third tier market. Additionally, too many of those who direct elected republicans have succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome of their donors. What they want, they get. Sound familiar?

Trump understood first and foremost that the Republican Party had failed its so-called constituents. He then coupled his message with, and directed it toward, those democrats who felt the same way about the Democratic Party. There is simply no other way of explaining why he won 78 out of 87 counties in Minnesota and came very close to carrying the state outright. Of course, had our schlerotic party aparat gotten behind him, he might very well have.

Ticket splitting is what passed for sophisticated political analysis in the media here after the election in explaining Trump's Minnesota results. Only regulars on "Almanac" or "At Issue" would think that either insightful or persuasive.

Now, though, in the cold March light of mixed weather, we can assess what republicans in Minnesota have done, not quite two months into a transformative Trump administration.

The answer is not much. I understand that the House republicans have an agreement with the Senate republicans not to pass anything that can't be approved by the latter body. Advantage: the Chamber. But as for anything else, well, good luck to you school choice.

Sunday liquor sales passed into law. Please clap. I was for it but thought it a distraction from the obvious task of republicans taking advantage of Trump's strong showing here. The reality is that most of the MNGOPe were strongly against Trump. In the face of his transformative win, the best they can come up with is to ignore it.

The DFL doesn't, however. Far more alert to realpolitik, and keen to win back those DFL voters who had previously voted Obama but this cycle voted Trump, they seek to repair and rebuild those political relations that can keep them winning statewide elections, now a decade old.

That's right: it bears repeating that Minnesota republicans have not won a statewide race in a decade.

The focus now, of course, is on winning the governorship. I want a republican to win that office. The question everyone puts to me, which I tire of and turn back upon themselves is: do we have a republican contender who can do that?

The mileage varies.


The Speaker

Accidental Speaker Kurt Daudt doesn't really think he's qualified to be governor, it's just the next step he's been told to take. There is no substantive case to be made for Daudt, on his own, to become governor.

The Sheriff

Rich Stanek needed to stop reading his press clippings a long time ago. He's fine, not great. There are no indications that Stanek will realize his ego gets in the way of his goal.

* * * * * 

There you have it, the top two contenders for the republican nomination for governor in 2018. I've heard all the other names. So have you. They don't matter.