Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Much Zeitgeist Can MN Republicans Ignore?

Three days ago Great Britain voted to withdraw from the European Union of which it had been a member state for 43 years. The results were rightly characterized as a global political earthquake.

Before the vote the Remain camp was smugly confident of victory, with every tool of the modern welfare state arrayed against the Leave camp, including laughable accusations that wanting to regain lost sovereignty, control over its borders and powers of taxation amounted to racism.

All was for naught with 52% of the country voting Leave with 48% voting Remain. The media in Great Britain, America and throughout the world proclaimed the end of days. Markets declined because they got it wrong; they always decline when they get it wrong because they failed to make money. Such are the ways of the market. As of this writing they are already stabilizing. Such are the ways of the market. The alternative is Venezuela: take your pick.

It's too bad there are more failed cultures than successful ones, more failed nations than successful ones, but the West has no moral obligation to destroy its achievements by importing backward, frequently rapist, cultures in order to make guilty white liberals feel better, wholly aside from the fact that they exempt themselves routinely from the worst consequences of their disastrous ideas.

Get stuffed, I believe, is the British expression.

* * * * 

How tight a leash does Ben Golnik have Speaker Daudt on? It seems to me they're both choking, so an adjustment might be in order.

I'm trying to figure out why Daudt so often seems stricken, unprepared but, worse, unsure. How can you not anticipate the questions the hilariously self-important, mind-numbingly liberal, local media will ask you, especially about Trump? 

Daudt seems to think that doing what Golnik advises constitutes leadership. Who will tell him?

Both men are friends of mine in a general sense; we don't socialize but they return my phone calls, which are rare. For someone who tries to write honestly, that's the best I can hope for, even (or especially) from my own "side." 

I always joke it's a good thing I didn't become involved in Minnesota republican politics to make friends. I'm continuously taken aback at it's fundamentally high school nature. 

The Speaker can't speak coherently about Trump. It's almost July. It's ridiculous.

There are any number of variations on the following: "I support our nominee, as I have all previous nominees. The overwhelming majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and the evidence for that is everywhere [insert Minnesota specific details here]. What no one wants is the most corrupt person ever to run for president being elected. The big banks and Wall Street own Hillary Clinton; she got rich while making others poor. She's never been a friend of the middle class."

Etcetera. Just think it through but stop avoiding the question because your advisors are afraid the DFL will tie you to Trump. They're going to try anyway but the old playbooks don't apply this cycle. We've seen it time and again. Just laugh as Minnesota progressives crank up their outrage machine. People no longer buy it.

Trump, if nothing else, has destroyed political correctness. The media hate him because their power lay in enforcing it. Now everyone just laughs at the media who are increasingly left to talk to themselves.

Minnesota republicans simply don't know how to play the game in this new age and it shows. Stewart Mills and Jason Lewis are notable exceptions.

Daudt recently said that Trump will do well in rural Minnesota so perhaps he's changing his approach from paralysis and equivocation to something approximating effective messaging. Much remains to be seen but I hope he continues in this direction.

Currently, the Speaker has been given a vision so myopic that it amounts to political blindness. His advisors have a bunker mentality, pretending a good defense is a substitute for a good offense.

Trump was an American Brexit before Brexit. Brexit itself has broad themes to be deduced from it. Our impoverished political commentariat says that if something can't be wholly applied to something else, then we need pay no mind, nothing of Brexit applies to the American presidential cycle. They're wrong: it's called the zeitgeist.

Brexit applies but only because the American political cycle got to what it represents first: a revolt against the established order set in place by the elites to benefit the elites. 

* * * * 

The day after the Brexit vote I saw in the early morning four local media anti-Trump tweets within a short span of time. Two were from Star Tribune editors and two were from MPR reporters. These democrats with a byline knew instinctively what the Brexit win meant for national politics in America. And they were unhappy.

How can Minnesota republicans be so politically obtuse? Why are they not seizing upon the extraordinary times this election cycle presents them?

Because they're not very good at their jobs; in fact routinely terrible.

This particular Occam's razor took some time coming to me, resisting it as I did given the fact there was little I could do about it if such were true.

The delegates being sent from Minnesota to Cleveland are a depressing lot; some exceptions apply. I expect tweets about jorts, the Tastiest! Burgers! In! Cleveland! a few craft beers comments and how they compare to Minnesota's and similar idiocies.

These people, as well as the people who know them in their political network, and those networks themselves, and their donors, are what I refer to as MNGOPe. It's nothing personal at all: most are very nice.

Politically, they're insisting they are purer republicans than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom have endorsed Trump without reservation.

What to do with such types? They'll scuttle to Cleveland, come back to hang onto the Minnesota House narrowly and set themselves up for an even worse performance than what we just saw in the last legislative session, where DFL spending was enacted into law but where Republican tax cuts got vetoed.

But they'll still be getting paid, which is their highest priority.

Looking to the 2018 gubernatorial race, they'll be poll tested, focus grouped and still out of touch, with messaging both feckless and unappealing. The wholly manufactured political persona of Marco Rubio appeals greatly to them and with good reason: in that fraud they see themselves.

They seem incapable of understanding at any level the enormous changes unfolding in America and the wider world. Large areas of the political terrain are theirs but for the asking. Ask they won't and serious observers must then wonder, if they won't take advantage of the zeitgeist, will they survive as a meaningful political party?

On balance Minnesota republicans are heading to a status similar to California republicans: irrelevant, a fossil that is tolerated with amusement by those who wield real political power. It doesn't have to be this way but, until Minnesota republicans realize only they can save themselves, it looks increasingly likely this will be the outcome they'll suffer.