Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rep. Kurt Bills Is A Ron Paul Republican

Hand picked by Ron Paul's lead representative in Minnesota to run for senate against incumbent Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Kurt Bills was always dishonest in denying his ideological association with this fringe, unserious crackpot. Pushed at one point in the endorsement battle to describe his kind of republicanism, Bills bleated that he was a Kurt Bills republican, a heretofore unknown sort of republican, notable, apparently, for its shape shifting capabilities and breathtaking insincerity. Ciphers now had their own kind of republican.

Bills handily won the endorsement of a Paul dominated MN GOP state convention on the second ballot. Both challengers--Dan Severson & Pete Hegseth--declined to appear with him on stage as he accepted the endorsement. Even for the slow of thought in the Minnesota republican party (and various sundry elected officials who endorsed him) this refusal to be tainted by a Ron Paul sock puppet should have served as a profound and disturbing warning.

But no.

In the ten days or so since Hennepin County Commissioner & RNC man Jeff Johnson grossly misjudged the current state of affairs and lectured those at the convention who reject Paulism to "get over it," (the phrase has taken on a mocking life of its own on Twitter) a few things have become increasingly clear. Far from this simply being another endorsement battle with differing wings of the party needing to come together, the 35% of the delegates who were not members of the cult (or their enablers: well known republicans who fawned to get their picture taken with Paul and lost the respect others had for them) saw clearly this development was different in kind, not degree. That people as bright as Johnson could otherwise be so comprehensively obtuse in their assessment only added to the general discouragement.

Perhaps this could get their attention:

"If there’s one thing that the 2012 campaign has taught us about Ron Paul, it’s that he is a bald-faced liar. Not just a run-of-the-mill liar like most politicians, but a liar so shameless that only the most slavish of devotees could maintain respect for him."

Well yes and some of us were unfortunate enough to see the slavishness up close and personal for two days which, Inception-like, felt like a month.

The quote is from James Kirchik who has written extensively on the liar Ron Paul. Could any of our so called leaders in and out of the party be bothered to read his work? MC has already provided many links to his work at The New Republic (which Paul zombie Terry McCall emailed was a washed out and discredited magazine).  The quote above comes from a review by Kirchik of a recently published fatuous and myopic book on the so called Ron Paul revolution (the very definition of preposterous). MC understands why dullards like McCall can't be bothered with the truth but what's the excuse for so many others? Political malpractice? Kirchik is deadly in his assessment:

"The lies [the author] can’t bring himself to acknowledge, let alone criticize, concern the notorious newsletters that the libertarian guru Paul published from the late 1970s through 1996, the bulk of which I uncovered and exposed in a 2008 article for The New Republic. The full contents of these “bigot-grams,” as the Dallas Morning News referred to them, need not be fully rehearsed here, but needless to say they are replete with ugly statements about gays, blacks, and Jews, not to mention endorsements of a variety of quack scientific claims, support for the right-wing militia movement, and defenses of such loathsome individuals as David Duke, Marge Schott, and Bobby Fischer.

Paul’s acknowledgment of his involvement, or lack thereof, in the newsletters, evolved from a defense of their contents in 1996 to telling CNN in December of last year, “I’ve never read that stuff.” A former secretary of Paul’s told The Washington Post, however, that Paul “would proof” the newsletters, a claim seconded by another erstwhile aide. It is frankly inconceivable that Paul was unaware of what was being produced in his own name and to his massive personal enrichment."

The entire review can be read by clicking here.  But why re-raise what MC has raised previously?

Because in recent days the mask has slipped and what those with a functioning cerebral cortex knew all along was revealed for all to see: Kurt Bills is a Ron Paul republican. In fact, MC isn't sure Ron Paul himself is a republican; he's more of a cult-based cottage industry preying upon the paranoid and the conspiracy minded. He suggested his followers could well vote for Cynthia McKinney for president in 2008 although ultimately he himself endorsed the Constitution Party candidate. Only by the most dishonest--that word again--use of republican could one claim Paul to be.

Bills has endorsed son of the great leader Rand Paul's budget blue print. Really? Not the respected and deeply serious Paul Ryan's? Of course not: you're dealing with a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ron Paul movement. Bills won't have an original idea of his own this election because the borg will not let him. This is so banal, so underwhelming and tawdry that calling it a Faustian bargain would be an upgrade. Kabuki doesn't deserve to be denigrated by employing it as a metaphor either. Don't bother to raise the obvious creepy nepotism: all is well within the cult. The secret knowledge possessed of the laughable "liberty" types is by nature not available to the masses and so passage of it from father to son is in the order of things if Americans are eventually to take the red pill and see the matrix for what it is. MC does not exaggerate.

Bills also announced, in a tip-credit sort of dis-associative moment, that foreign aid should be capped and four federal agencies should be eliminated altogether. Who can doubt this is what Minnesotans have been clamoring for? Who can doubt that these positions have radically changed the senate race in Minnesota and has Amy Klobuchar on the run? Pretty much everyone outside the Bills Borg.™ But no matter.

Rather than ascertain what an underfunded candidate can do to maximize his appeal to the voters of Minnesota, and raise desperately needed money, Kurt Bills has mocked even his supporters of last resort by clearly signaling he's a willing tool in the programmatic Paul movement. Winning is not of the slightest concern to them. When both parties are the same, how could winning matter in any fundamental sense? Bills will be told to run, and consequently will run, a campaign to highlight the many ludicrous positions espoused by Ron Paul. Think of it as the largest state based infomercial in the history of modern politics.

Don't think of it as anything that can help Minnesota republicans keep either of their majorities in the House or Senate. Something new to help in that effort is being born currently and will be announced in greater detail soon. But it's in spite of Bills, not because of him.

The usual suspects on Twitter are trying to fall in behind Bills, to castigate in a friendly manner those who see what's truly going on and to pretend they've seen this movie and how, with a bit of extra effort, the ending can be the same as before. But they haven't seen it and the ending won't be as hoped.

The only real question is whether Bills will lose to Klobuchar by less or more than twenty points and how much damage to what's left of the party is done by those who hold it in contempt.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I Saw At The Hemp & Raw Milk Revolution

The MN GOP Convention ended yesterday as MC predicted a week or so ago: Kurt Bills as the endorsed senate candidate and a sweep of all 13 at large delegates and 13 alternates for the Ron Paul forces. The MN GOP State Central Committee met following the conclusion of the endorsing convention and its results were the same as previously predicted by MC: Janet Beihoffer won a crushing victory over Ron Paul favored incumbent Pat Anderson. As a friend of MC's texted: "I hate it when you're right." So does MC.

What to make of what has just happened to the Republican Party of Minnesota? It depends on whether one is in the old (elected) guard trying to ride what they think is a wave that will fade or whether one is an activist who knows what's really going on, what the Paul forces truly represent.

To begin, a high school teacher that Ron Paul organizer Marianne Stebbins hand picked won the endorsement because of the overwhelming, amazing organizing efforts of her Ron Paul forces. MC has had many media interviews recently but in each has noted this strength, her strength. There is simply no room not to give her her due. It would be churlish otherwise. And here's a tip of the hat to Juliette & Corey; they have a sense of humor and that's not nothing these days.

Many GOP activists have asked why so many in the House and Senate fell in behind Kurt Bills. Having spoken to many of them, and raising that concern, it was clear that those in each chamber had little understanding of the damage the Paul activists were doing to the Minnesota Republican Party generally. This makes sense; it's of a piece with their poor decision making when electing party leadership. Having failed so badly at the latter, how to expect more of them with regard to the former?

David Duke admirer Ron Paul addressed the convention in the afternoon on Friday. MC walked out. It wasn't very brave, just honest. It wasn't like hiding Anne Frank although if Duke and Paul had their way, MC's carriage house would be full up. Paul called for legalizing hemp and raw milk to much applause. How so called party leadership could remain on the dais while he spoke is a mystery. When they look in the mirror they must not see anything.

The Severson & Hegseth campaigns were road kill on the way to the Paulbot candidate's endorsement. Neither seemed to understand what they were up against. Severson had already lost a statewide campaign and was a poor fundraiser. Hegseth seemed like a Stepford Husband, ready to take orders but incapable of knowing his own mind or, weirdly, being his own man. The juxtaposition of him as a candidate with his courage and leadership in Afghanistan was jarring. Next time out, and MC hopes he runs in the future, he needs to have fewer handlers, fewer endorsements by people who don't count and more authenticity.

Speaking of authenticity and handlers, the Romney team in Minnesota deserves special scorn. Out of touch, fossilized and full of themselves, they embody the worst of what the Paul people think of the establishment. Ben Ginsberg, still apparently angry at his age that he's not taller, glowered at the floor from his cocoon of men in black, never deigning to make eye contact with the locals, let alone speak to them. No. He'll get paid but what mastermind thought it worth his fees to have him and his consiglieres in Minnesota? Maybe he's one of those "I like to watch" types while the, uh, whatever is going down. Jack & Annette! Meeks were a ghostly presence at the convention, as was yesterday's man Ron Carey. The "conservative unity" slate put together at the last minute was a joke before the flyers were even printed. The always tone deaf Michele Bachmann let herself be put on it for reasons unknown to MC. She lost on the first round of balloting but the always brilliant tactician Stebbins had the 13th place Ron Paul winner move aside for her. [MC thinks she had orders from the Mother Ship] Had Bachmann any dignity, she would have declined after placing approximately 150 votes back. She doesn't and she didn't. Tampa, if possible, just got more garish.

One flyer got a lot of attention and its author given a standing ovation of boos: the one signed off on by MC but put together by those Romney geniuses. The "chaos" flyer apparently got the delegates into a lather. Bully. But it was really small beer in that it simply suggested the Ron Paul slate would cause chaos (a true downgrade from revolution) in Tampa. The Paul zombies think Romney can be denied endorsement on the first ballot and then the convention would unite behind Ron Paul. No, seriously. Welcome to the fetid swamps from which his supporters hail.

MN GOP Chair Pat Shortridge couldn't help himself and condemned the flyer as "offensive." We're all sensitive liberals now, apparently. He received roaring approval for saying so. Such is his reward. MC understands the need for a foil. How to monetize that, though?

Curiously there was no condemnation when the delegates booed the mention of Israel by Mark Miller, head of the local Republican Jewish Coalition. So too a lack of condemnation when a speaker called for unifying behind Mitt Romney and was booed. Yet those who are opposed to Ron Paul because they actually know who and what he is about are said to be an obstacle to party unity. Curious.

Shortridge did ask, to his credit, MC about the boos for Israel. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Star Tribune tweeted it as fact and she's a good reporter. Mark Miller told MC he was booed as he spoke. Shortridge said he would reel them in. Great: keep your anti-semitism private. Such is progress measured in today's MN GOP.

Unfortunately, MC wasn't able to give final approval to those on the chaos flyer before it went out and would have stricken the name of Jennifer DeJournett. MC tried to convey this to her at State Central but literally got the finger from her instead. That's fine: when you only get 300 votes for national delegate you have much larger PR problems in the party than MC's chaos flyer. But by all means blame MC; happy to be a foil once again.

Amongst many low points of the circus masquerading as a political party convention was RNC man Jeff Johnson's address to the convention. Channeling his inner Pawlenty, Johnson pretended to leadership by castigating both "sides" of the ongoing dispute which, heads up Jeff, is nothing less than the take over of the MN GOP and its hollowing out from the inside by people who believe there is no difference between Obama and Romney. As Peter Glessing @pgless tweeted: "Thanks for the scolding." One can see Jeff helping Amy Klobuchar make us all hot tuna noodle casserole and then tucking us into bed for the night.

Johnson's problem, like so many of the old guard, is that he just doesn't get it. His insipid speech won much applause: the first sign of danger and believing in your own press clippings. But an equal smack to both sides and a Rodney King-like appeal to "just get along" isn't strong, brave or admirable.

Did Johnson call out those who booed uniting behind Mitt Romney? Did Johnson condemn those who booed Israel? To ask the question is to have your answer. Of course the press ran with his tag line of "get over it" as he knew they would. Thanks, Jeff. Oh by the way? Iceberg, dead ahead. Keep lining up those deck chairs.

Any number of resolutions got passed as well but MC is aware of only one: the MN GOP is now officially on record as demanding the end of the fed. Thank goodness for getting over it: we can become as crazy as the zombies who took us over. 

As a state central delegate, the only bright spot for MC was the election of Janet Beihoffer to the RNC for a full, four year term. Incumbent lobbyist Pat Anderson lost in a landslide. The state central committee is the last redoubt of what the RPM used to be. The Paul zombies are looking to take it over next year but plans are already in place to prevent that from happening.

Beihoffer now needs to shed her task oriented focus and become more of a big picture woman. This means being less abrasive and letting people finish their sentences. And stop tying herself to IBM: for the younger generations this is Jurassic Park. MC supported Janet and is confident that with a bit of polish she'll represent Minnesota extremely well on the national stage. She waged a flawless campaign. Thank you, Janet.

Although the end note was good, on balance the 2012 MN GOP convention was a disaster. Kurt Bills won't be able to raise the money needed to defeat senator for life Amy Klobuchar.  Large donors have already closed their checkbook. But get over it. With him at the head of the ticket the GOP House and Senate majorities are further imperiled. But get over it. The sweep of delegates and alternates by Ron Paul could be seen since the February 7th caucuses. But get over it. The Republican Party of Minnesota is currently unrecognizable. But get over it.

Enough with Vichy Republicans. Lots of us aren't over it and won't be. It would be a mistake.

We'll take the party back eventually. Then those who cooperated in its surrender will be held to account.

PHOTO CREDIT: By Glen Stubbe of the Star Tribune. All rights reserved. Follow him on Twitter at @gspphoto 

UPDATE: MC requested permission to use the original photo used in this post but was denied by the Star Tribune. MC respects copyright and has since substituted the graphic you now see. MC is awaiting a link from the Star Tribune so readers can see Stubbe's brilliant photo on a site where the paper controls its own copyright. This isn't tyranny; it's the rule of law.

Click HERE to see the brilliant photograph.  Hat tip Rachel Stassen-Berger

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Time For The Independent Republican Party?

The hideous Ron Paul invasion of the Minnesota Republican Party is not quite over--the denouement known as its state convention in St. Cloud this weekend awaits--but enough evidence is in hand to draw some grim conclusions for those who are not enamored of a Jew hating fringe cult political figure who speaks to alienated, fairly ignorant and frequently unwashed lost souls. There are just enough exceptions to this characterization on an individual basis to prove its general truth.

The Paul zombies™ tried their best last cycle and were rebuffed by the party establishment. To these strange persons this was akin to living in North Korea. Their bleating about tyranny is perhaps the easiest example by which to show how they are simply not serious people in a political sense. They have no idea what tyranny is except the infantilized one fed them by friend of David Duke Ron Paul.

What's new and extremely disturbing is their winning of party positions on a variety of levels throughout the state. The old guard, to use a term it seems impossible to get away from, tells itself that these interlopers will soon fade away as they did in previous cycles. MC disagrees and believes that hope to be profoundly misguided if not outright dangerous. More, the idea that they can be worked with is positively delusional, a willful refusal to look at and admit what has recently happened. It's like those poor Russians who said, during the Great Purge, if only Stalin knew. Guess what?

One measure of their malice is found in a recent email from the newly elected chair of the 4th CD, John Kysylyczyn. A laughable fool and former disastrous mayor of Roseville more than a decade ago, he was put forth by Marianne Stebbins--chief zombie in Minnesota for the Jew hater--over then current chair Jim Carson if the party didn't bow to her demands. Much to and fro was had, involving Pat Shortridge, Matt Dean, Pat Anderson (the stealth zombie choice for RNC) and others. Because Shortridge would not capitulate to Stebbins' demand to remove certain people from various convention organizing committees, the idiot was elected by his fellow morons. Carson was shocked but those of us who had been paying attention were not. MC usually doesn't employ such language as idiots and morons but unless the reader has actually met these Paul zombies™ they have no idea how true such characterizations are; not ad hominem but veritas.

Here is the new chair deliberately eviscerating the organizational structure of the 4th CD in an email dated May 14, 2012:


Mike B. has forwarded me some concerns that you have concerning CD4 activities.

First, no full committee meeting has been scheduled.

Second, the exec committee is planning on meeting at the state convention.  I anticipate that we will set some of the schedule for the coming year at that meeting.

Third, CD’s have nothing to do with legislative races.  It is clearly stated in the constitution.  We also have little to do with the congressional district race.  We are not the candidate’s committee.  In fact, we are not the committee of any candidate running for office this fall.

To be frank, it does not matter if we are up to any particular speed for this fall’s elections.  I understand that many may not agree with this or maybe things have been done differently in the past.  As someone new to the position, I sat down the first week on the job and read the state and CD constitutions and the bylaws.  My analysis is strictly based off of those documents.

There seems to be this mistaken belief that the CD is some sort of super campaign committee.  It is not.  There also seems to be this mistaken belief that CD’s win elections.  This is not true.  Candidate committees win elections.  There also seems to be a mistaken belief that CD’s sort of bind together BPOU’s that choose to operate as house districts.  This is not true.

We are required to hold four full committee meetings per year.  It is my intention to have 4 full committee meetings a year.  It is my intention to have actual agendas for meetings and a real purpose for having a meeting.  Every time we have one of these meetings, there is potentially 100 of our best volunteers who are not spending an evening on the campaign trail.  That is a lot of manpower.  Meetings need to exceed this expense of manpower.  I don’t believe in holding meetings for the sake of holding meetings.  Meetings are for the purpose of getting specific business done.

In the past, there appears to have been a cattle call mentality concerning the calling of meetings.  Just have one every month.  It doesn’t matter if we have any agenda.  Don’t bother sending out agendas.  Whoever shows up does.  Fill the time allotted.  To be clear, I do not operate in this fashion.

When we call a meeting, there will be a specific agenda.  We will have everyone’s email address and they will get the meeting agenda.  Meetings will be for members participation only.  We therefore need to know who the members are.  This takes time.  Normally we have elections in the odd numbered years.  We have 18 months until the next election.  In redistricting years, we have 6 months.  Moving forward in an organized fashion takes time.

But let me be clear, the bottom line is that no candidate’s campaign is affected by the efforts of the CD.  Any excuses claiming such, is just an excuse on their part to place blame if their campaigns are not successful.

John M. Kysylyczyn

Frighteningly, Kysylyczyn now runs a day care center. Is stupidity contagious?  It's no wonder he's never held elected office since his stint at mayor; no wonder he's a perfect rube for Stebbins. She has an army of them. She prevented Joe Westrup from being elected to the State Executive Committee from the 4th CD and instead rammed through a Paul zombie™ who is barely sentient.

All of which presents the question: is it time to bring back the Independent-Republican Party of Minnesota? The Paul zombies™ can have the RPM; what, really, is left of it? Why the party jettisoned the IR structure in 1995 can be discussed another time. What real republicans in Minnesota need to discuss amongst themselves is whether resurrecting the IR is a good idea and, if so, how to go about it?

Republicans in CD 4 are organizing and meeting on their own outside the Kysylyczyn circus. This perhaps forms the germ of a future IR party. Or not.

What happens at State Central is crucial: if Janet Beihoffer is elected to the RNC for a full four year term, the party as currently known may be salvagable. If she isn't, it most likely is lost and another vehicle for real republican ideas and candidates must be found.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

When Republicans See John Marty As Their Own

What do you call it when Minnesota republicans and democrats together sell out their respective parties' core principles?

The Vikings stadium.

In an astonishing public display of craven opportunism, toadying and corruption the Minnesota House of Representatives and then Senate bucked every opportunity to stand for that which they claim. Democrats, naturally, believe there is too much corporate welfare and "giving" away to the rich. There is much not to be believed in this. Republicans, equally naturally, believe in market forces and reduced government spending. Here too there is much not to be believed in.

Yet at their fundamentals, this is indeed what both parties are and then some. The natural tension between the two defines our local, state and national politics. How was it then that we saw those members in each party who, apparently, are foolish enough to want to act on such principles, easily pushed aside and a toxic stadium bill passed in each chamber with room to spare?

A Twitter account gave one a ringside seat to the brawl. MC could be mistaken but has there ever been this high a profile legislative issue in Minnesota history that was given such intimate scrutiny by the public, the media and the members in real time? Amendments to the bills were an adventure in policy discourse alone. Humor abounded, as did barbs and snipes. Local media, in MC's view, did an exceptional job in tweeting the facts, the corrections, the ups and downs in the process.

Perhaps what was most fascinating about this sordid process was how the low rent politicians prevailed over the principled ones in both parties. It puts one in mind of that (relatively) famous Nora Ephron quote: "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."

Time and again the implausible case was made that a many-times-over millionaire needed the taxpayer money of Minnesota. Concerns about the funding source of the state's share of the project were more or less dismissed out of hand. Gambling, that hideous thing, made numerous appearances in numerous Faustian guises. The DFL's Eddie Haskell, Rep. Ryan Weiner, er, Winkler flipped when his masters told him. MC gives him credit, though, for advancing the truly bogus notion that the give away of taxpayer's money to the already wealthy was for Minnesota's "quality of life" and not because of the economics of the deal. This must be akin to what liberals think of the Constitution's commerce clause: either a nuisance to be ignored or a concept stretched past the point of recognition. Either way no credibility is left. The creepy rent a mob known as the Welfare Rights Committee protests against Rep. Mary Franson but not this? Mark must have told Alida (or Carrie? has anyone seen those two together?) to keep them in check.

The House debate was a debacle. Chaotic, venal and at times pathetic, those watching could only marvel. Interestingly, the pro-stadium types let only a few of their supporters talk, for which MC could be forgiven for thinking they'll be amply rewarded. The others were grinding the sausage.

What was left of real conservative republicans in the House did their level best. So too did liberal democrats. At one point Sen. John Marty gave an impassioned, reasoned argument against the bill so sounding in GOP principles that those listening had to check to make sure the identity of the speaker. This is the political equivalent of an out of body experience.

Particularly painful were the tweets of House caucus staff. MC understands they have to bleat out the leadership line but must they pretend to superiority while doing so? It only makes them look worse than they are, which takes some doing. MC also understands that "activists" are looked on by them with indifference at best and with scorn usually. That's ok; it would be cruel to wake them up. Oh, and can someone tell Chas Anderson that that Kurt Zellers rocket she was going to ride to the governorship? It ain't happening.

Having been passed by the House, a similar but different bill was then take up by the Senate. It's no exaggeration to say that the Senate debate over the bill stunned even the most jaded, thereby exonerating by excess the heretofore thought of low point in Minnesota politics (or was that when Jesse Ventura was elected governor?).

At any rate the discourse was so egregious MC suggested in a tweet that Sen. Geoff Michel be waterboarded. No apology will be forthcoming. Actually, others should be added to the list.

In due course the mandate of Heaven was passed by a wholly owned senate that represented no one except those who had bought them off. When RINO's, liberal democrats, Ron Paul supporters and other flavors of both parties are in agreement, something genuine is occurring. That occurrence is the selling out of principles; real, genuine principles. Not every vote, not every issue, invokes those principles in the way the vote on the Vikings stadium did. But that vote did. We have been tested and we have been found wanting.

Perversely for republicans, a majority of the vote in both the House & Senate were democrats. As Sen. Dave Thompson (who has taken a few whacks from MC) tweeted: Who is the majority party? Indeed, Senator.  Credit where due though he had the support of others who are well known if you have been following the battle. He was hardly alone. Pro-tip Dave? Don't give media interviews as if you were.

Enter Nick Coleman, who weighed in with an exceptional J'accuse. It can be read by clicking here. If you're reading this post, you must read it as well. MC doesn't agree with all of it but that's not the point. The point is that MC and many, many other republicans do in point of fact agree with it. To his credit, Coleman on Twitter heaped praise upon those republicans who stood true to their principles. As MC does to the John Marty's of Nick's party. Coleman & MC are now following each other on Twitter.

Passing strange.

Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, who gives hope to those of us who believe in leadership, tweeted that the Senate debate was so much "bread and circuses." That was enough for Sen. Julie Rosen, our Medea when it comes to republican principles. Photos show her in victory as buffoonish as the buffoons with whom she poses.

DFL Eddie Haskell's manufactured quote that this is about Minnesota's quality of life ("Robin Hood in reverse" as Ralph Nader called it), is endlessly telling. Don't look to him to understand it though. Robots only know their programs.

Instead, those who thought this would improve the state in which we live are deluded. What the supporters of this stadium bill have delivered unto us is not Minnesota but Illinois.

The worst of it is that they don't even know it.

But we do and for now that must suffice.

This post is dedicated to Susan Closmore.