Good Generic News

A new KSTP/SUSA polls says Minnesota voters aren’t enthralled with “the Trifecta“:

When likely voters were asked if they’re “generally more inclined to vote” for a Republican, Democrat or candidate from another party, 45% said they prefer Republicans, 44% prefer Democrats, 8% were undecided and 3% preferred another party.

Minnesota Republicans are taking encouragement from this – as they should.

The same poll shows Trump and the First Potato in a dead heat:

According to our latest exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll of Minnesota voters, Biden leads Trump 44% to 42%, with 11% saying they’ll vote for another candidate and 4% undecided. The poll has a credibility interval, similar to margin of error, of ±4.9%

“When you have a 2-point race in a presidential year, you’ve got a competitive state,” Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier said. “One that both campaigns will probably pay attention to.”

I’d urge a little caution along with the exuberance:

  • See that11% “Other Candidate” and 4% in the Presidential poll (and 11% between “Other” and “Undecided” in the House race)? I’m going to guess that, among the Legal Pot and Libertarian and Ventura Party dross, that involves a lot of “Uncommitted” DFLers. Democrat intraparty squabbling is like a couple of bull hogs fighting for the best patch of mud – but being essentially herd animals, Democrat voters almost always “come home”.
  • The numbers in the House poll refer to generic Republicans versus generic Democrats. It’s contingent on coming up with candidates who are better than generic. There is a strong undercurrent in the MNGOP of the same crowd that made Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Tayor Green into powerbrokers. Someone needs to teach some Minnesota GOP voters what legislatures are for. On the other hand, it shows that for exceptional candidates – people cut from the same cloth as Harry Niska, Eric Lucero, Pam Scott, Walter Hudson and Mary Franson – there is immense opportunity.
  • The Conventional Wisdom in 2016, when Trump came without two points of toppling Hillary!, was that Trump didn’t “almost win”; Hillary!, being a terrible candidate, almost lost. We’ll see if Trump has increased his cachet, but it’s entirely possible the First Potato is a worse candidate than Hillary! was.

Still, two years into the “trifecta”, we’ve had worse news.

Let’s try not to screw this pooch, MNGOP.

Politicians Field Guide: The Moderate In The Race

Elon Musk illustrated the truth for many in America’s political “middle”:

I’m not in “the middle”, by any means. I used to call myself “center right”, but these days I am proud to call myself a Paleocon, from the “let’s get back to the Sharon Statement” school of paleoconning.

Trump from 2016 to 2020 governed largely, but far from consitently, as a conservative; he secured the border, exerted productive pressure to support US interests overseas, and cut a crap-load of regulations. He also blew up the deficit – just as Dubya and Lightworker before him, and not nearly as badly as Joe “Obama 2.0” Biden have. Never mind his Democrat origin story – I have one too – but he’s a populist standup comic, not an activist. He can, and is, publicly on any side of any issue that suits him. No different than his opposition.

But as the Biden campaign settles in to try to battle back from polls that, at the moment, seem a little encouraging to Trump, it’s worth asking – what is “the center” in America today? Or, more accurately, where are the American people as a mean, and who is closer to it?

The BorderTrump +21Mayorkas: “The Administration bears no responsibility for the problems”. Illegal immigration is destroying the country. Build the wall.
AbortionTrump +5. 16 week ban has 48% approval. Biden supports taxpayer-funded abortion until and after birth and repealing the Hyde Amendment. Trump opposed a federal ban and the six-week ban, and is casually pushing the 16 week ban.
National SecurityTrump +6Do we even need to go into it? “Make America strong again”. “Today, [the world] laughs at America”
CrimeTrump +13Crime is a result of “systemic racism”. “We should execute…” fentanyl smugglers.
InflationTrump +18“Inflation is transitory, so let’s spend our way out of it” Time to reel in the spending – but don’t touch
Jobs and the economyTrump +5. Also – in 10/14, interventionism was nine points behind “government does too much”Tripling down on “Bidenomics” – spending our way to Pointing out, correctly, that Bidenomics is strangling the American dream.
Climate Pew, 10/23: 30+ support phasing out fossil fuels Administration is committed to “net zero by 2050”“Drill, baby, drill!”
Israel vs. Hamas82% of Americans support Israel. 62% say any ceasefire must be contingent on release of the hostages. February 2024: “The hostages should be released, but…” Administration is actively undercutting the Israeli war cabinet supported by 80% of Israelis. Trump advocates revoking student visas for antsemitic students.
Ukraine54% of Americans support maintaining / increasing aid to UkraineBiden has no clear realistic end goal in sight. July 2023: “We’ll stay as long as it takes”, whatever that means. Trump supports increasing aid with the goal of bringing Putin to an “off ramp”, a negotiated settlement. February 2024: “Trump is the only president who hasn’t given Putin what he wants”.
NATO53% of Americans support NATOBIden has pushed NATO in no direction in particular. Trump pushes for NATO members to pay fair share, thus strengthening the alliance.
EducationBiden +2 (43-41) – hardly a mandate.Biden backs CRT, racial division. Promises cutting federal funding to school systems teaching CRT.

Say what you will about the value of moderation; I’m here to pull the conversation to the right however I can.

But if the center decides the election, then Trump might just have a shot.


Joe Doakes, formerlly of Como Park, emails:

Republicans need better advertising to win this Fall.  They need a cartoonist. 

Panel one:  Biden saying “We must make gas more expensive so people use less, to save the planet for our children.” 

Panel two: farmer telling trucker: “The price of fuel went up.  I can’t afford to eat the cost, I’m passing it along to you.”

Panel three: trucker telling grocer: “His cost went up and so did mine.  I can’t afford to eat the costs, I’m passing them along to you.”

Panel four: grocer telling Black woman carrying baby: “Their costs went up.  I can’t afford to eat the costs, I’m passing them along to you.”

Panel five: Black woman holding baby, both looking out of the panel at reader: “We can’t afford to eat.”

Joe Doakes, no longer in Como Park

Conservative cartoonists have a half-life of about one year.

But hope springs eternal.

Pulling The Weight

Another campaign, another flap about Trump vs. NATO:

On the one hand, Trump’s rhetoric about NATO is…not “reckless”, so much as annoying.

On the other hand? At a policy level, Trump strenghened NATO – and his rhetorical, er, “unpredictability” seems to have caused America’s would-be enemies to sit out the aggression and wait for the US to change leadership to someone like, well, Obama and Biden.

But now, as in 2016, the NATO members complaining the hardest are the ones – like Germany – that didn’t get the actual message; hold up you end of the damn deal.

To be fair, Gemany’s spending has risen by something like 30% – although the Bundeswehr has thirty years of sloth to work off; the Luftwaffe’s fighter force at one point was 8% action-ready, the Army is a glorified Boy Scout troop that’s 1/6 of its 1992 size,

(And don’t think we’re not looking at you, Canada, whose Navy is about as old and decrepit as, well, the US’s current leader).

And then on the other hand there are the countries that didn’t need to get the message: Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the other former “Warsaw Pact” nations.

The Thing About Trump

I’ve been pretty open about it for going on four decades. I don’t like Donald Trump.

Let me be more clear; I don’t like people with the public persona people like Donald Trump cultivate.

But personality and social media aside, Trump accomplished things.

My biggest problem with Trump?

His personality cult.

Like this particular piece of…work.

PS: Just so we’re clear: everything you can say about personality cults can be said equally about anti-personality cults. The more insipid (to say nothing of deranged) Never-Trumpers are just as bad.

Let’s Stir Up Another Republic-Threatening Hornets Nest: Part II

Since roughly the 2020 election, I’ve simultaneously:

  • Thought something was amiss about the elections; if not Chicago-style ballot stuffing, at least a world of irregularites with the “legal” changes due to Covid – mail in balloting, and the collusion between the DOJ, the Biden campaign, big media and big tech to “shape” the Hunter Biden story, among others
  • Told some of the more extreme election skeptics, especially on the air, “That’s an interesting theory, but until Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani bring an actual case with evidence to court, rather than beclowning themselves, what do you expect we’re going to do about it?”

Three points.


The first point? I made that a few weeks back, when I talked about why I don’t necessairly think “a judge and jury say so” is completely invariably the dispositive last word on any issue. Long story short – judges and juries make mistakes. And that’s ignoring the fact that some prosecutors play fast and loose with the rules, some defense attorneys have no idea what they’re doing, and some judges just want to make their @$%$#& tee times.

Sometimes it gets caught.

The legal system isn’t perfect, but it beats most of the alternatives.

Which may or may not be good enough.

Second: In a separate, seemingly unrelated topic: in Minnesota, most judges are elected. But the candidate pool is intensely circumscribed because, as a lawyer once told me, running a campaign against a sitting judge in front of whom one will one day have to appear in court is pretty much a one-way trip toward spending the rest of your career chasing people who bounce checks.

Judges, by inference – who are charged with being our society’s stentorian impartial guardians of justice and fairness and due process – apparently have the egos of a bunch of middle school “mean girls”.

Reading between the lines: the reputation and social standing of practitioners among other practitioners is as much a part of the judicial system as due process and gavels and the literal letter of the law.

Socially Rigged

So – did the social pressure among lawyers, judges and everyone else in the legal profession that we discussed above affect the election, or the way the courts approached questions about it?

I don’t know. But this article, among others, certainly seems to brag about the power of the Legal Mean Girl caste to bring Big Law into line. Certainly Big Media isn’t going to report on it.

Let’s just say I can be convinced.

Attention: Secret Service

To: The Secret Service
From: Mitch Berg, obstreporous peasant
Re: SOPs

Secret Service,

Am I remembering wrong, or wasn;t there a time when “threatening a current or former President” was worth investigating, if not actually chargable?

Just curious – Rick Wilson, NPR’s sole GOP source and former head of an organization that had a bit of a “predators in leadership” issue, was on Twitter the other day:

Call me naive and old fashioned, but this kind of thing seems like your turf.

That is all.

Ask And Be Answered

Last week, I asked “why all the hate for National Review?”

Joe Doakes, formerly of Como Park, responded:

I had a subscription to National Review for decades.  I let it lapse when I realized O’Sullivan’s Law applied to his own magazine.  The writers I admired – who stated my views better than I could – were no longer welcome there.

Samuel Francis.  John Derbyshire.  Mark Steyn.  Conrad Black. Theodore Dalrymple.  Victor Davis Hanson.  Some of their names still appear on the website but they haven’t had an article published in years.  The views of the magazine have shifted.  Look at the articles in the last few issues, the most conservative guy is . . . James Lileks.  I love his writing but he’s not the successor to William F. that I would have chosen to write insightful political commentary.   I didn’t leave the magazine, the magazine left me but it’s worse than that.

“National Review is now run by a nest of never-Trumpers,” said Francis Sempa in 2021, and his comment is still on-point today. The man who is far and away the most popular candidate for the Republican nomination for President isn’t classy enough for National Review.   He’s a boor.  He doesn’t lose gracefully.  And those tweets!  He’d never get invited to one of National Review’s cruises.

Neither will I.  My views are too extreme, too conservative.  Like their former columnists and the former President, and the 80 million people who voted for Trump last time and the 120 million who will vote for him this time, I’m not good enough enough for National Review.  Which puts me in mind of Grocho Marx:  “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

Joe Doakes, former National Review subscriber, no longer in Como Park

Well, I do subscribe to the National Review. Some of my favorites are gone – Derb, Kevin WIlliamson – and others like Charles CW Cooke and Andrew McCarthy remain.

“Never Trump?” Some are. Some are, like me, Trump skeptics, or from the “what have you done lately?” crowd. Not sure if Trump isn’t classy enough for the NR, but I’ve never gelled with his personality, even back when he was a Democrat.

I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. I did in 2020, although his behavior between the election and Biden’s coronation was almost as stupid as, well, the system he fought. I’ll be in Team Ron ’til the bitter end, but I won’t be voting, directly or indirectly, for a fourth Obama term. Make of that what you will.

But the Trump era is going to end – next summer, next November, or perhaps in January of 2029. And I want the GOP that picks up at the end of all that to be more like the GOP of 1994 than the Matt Gaetz clown car of 2023.

And the National Review, whatever else you say about them, is about the same thing.

I hear what Joe’s saying. I understand it. I even agree to a point. I’m also a conservative before I”m a Republican. There will be a post-Trump era, sooner or later. I’d like whatever replaces Trump to reflect beliefs I can get behind. Love Trump, hate him, or fall somewhere in the middle,


I don’t get the National Review hate – that might be worth a letter from Joe in and of itself.

Anywayt, Joe Doakes emails:

I know better than to read National Review Online but sometimes I can’t help myself.   The recent article about Nikki Haley reminds me why that’s such a dumb thing to do. 

I hate ‘gotcha’ questions.  They are inevitably out of context and intended for use in a slanted, partisan media campaign.  For instance (paraphrasing):

Q: What was the cause of the Civil War?

A: It was a dispute about who decides how a state will be run – the federal government or the people living in the state.  

Q: You didn’t mention slavery. 

A: Well, what do you want me to say about slavery?  That wasn’t the cause of the war.  


Except she’s right.  Elimination of slavery was not the cause of the war.  We know this from two crucial pieces of history.  You can look it up and should, because almost everything being said today is wrong. 

First of all, if abolishing slavery was the reason for the war, why did four slave states – Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri – fight for the North?  If those states had wanted to abolish slavery in their state, they could have done it any time.  Instead, they joined the Union side to fight against the Secessionist side. Slavery was not the issue.  Secession from the Union was the issue.  

Second the publicity campaign to make the war about abolition of slavery came with the Emancipation Proclamation, announced long after the war was already going.  It only applied to the states in rebellion – NOT to the slave states in the Union – further evidence that the abolition of slavery was not the reason for starting the war in 1861, but was simply a tactic intended to divert attention from federal government over-reach to a high moral crusade of abolition which would justify Lincoln’s unconstitutional actions during the war.  

The historical evidence supports Haley but you can’t convince anybody of that today.  Slavery is everything and always the most important thing, to Liberals and RINOs alike.  Haley didn’t mention slavery so GOTCHA.  


Joe Doakes no longer in Como Park

I’m going to stake out one (actually two, given that I don’t get the zing at NR) difference Joe.

“Secession was the issue”. And what were they seceding about?

  • “Preserving the Union” – and what was the political issue breaking up the union? Slavery.
  • “Economics” – And what was the economic issue? Competition between an industralizing society and an agrarian plantation society based around slavery.
  • “Why were border states exempt?” – For the same reason the US allied with a rogues gallery of dictators when it was in their interests.

“Abolishing slavery” wasn’t the reason for the war – and yet all of the reasons for the war were one degree of separation away from slavery.

So the real answer, as usual, is everyone is wrong.

Open Letter To Every Republican Candidate, Everywhere

If you aren’t running on this…

…for the love of all that is holy, please tell me why?

The Company You Keep

As I’ve been noting for about eight years on this blog, I’m intensely ambivalent about Donald Triump.

His personality roils with traits I personally don’t care for.

But something about all the prosperity, peace and border security is looking good.

“Oh, Merg, so you just want someone who’ll make the trains run on time, yuk yuk”

Peace and security are legitimate jobs of a national government. Prosperity is the opposite of the “Fascist” dynamic you’re yukking about. And Trump at his wackiest didn’t approach the level of authoritarianism of any of Baraclk Obama’s three terms in office.

I’m on Team DeSantis [1],but if it came down to Biden, Harris or Newsom against Trump, I’d probably hold my nose and vote Trump.

The worst thing about Trump is that he, like Obama before him, is the center of a personality cult. And with Trump, soooooo many of the cultists are just so deeply dim:

Loomer – charitably described as “insane” – cites a piece on by David Greenberg, a Rutgers historian who’s never been mistaken for someone who’d throw a life ring to a conservative who fell overboard.

Bill Clinton infamously threw some of his more extreme supporters under the bus in his long forgotten”Sista Soulja” moment (in the the long-forgotten Sista Soulja”). Trump’s never gonna have a “Crazy Laura” moment.

If he did, I might have to hold my nose a little less hard.

[1] And yeah, I think in a just world Doug Burgum would be on the short list, but we don’t live in a just world.

Open Letter To GOP State Central Delegates

To: MNGOP SCC Delegates
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: On Your Predilection For Running Headfirst Into Walls And Kicking Yourself Repeatedly In The Groin

Esteemed Colleagues,

I got your letter the other day, about the intent to try to toss state party chairman Hann at the next State Central meeting.

I know who’s driving this, and I suspect I know why.

I’ve also seen no evidence that there’s any more of a “plan” to this than there was to Matt Gaetz’s defenestration of Kevin McCarthy.

Seriously – show me the alternative you provide. And I don’t mean vague blandishments or the usual impotent tough talk.

You want to take a run at Hann? Come on my show on Saturday. Let’s talk.

There will be questions. Serious ones.

I’d like to the delegates to know if there’s a “there”, there, or if this is just another round of ritualized head-into-sidewalk smashing.

All Talk

Back when I was working in bars, I was working at this toilet bar in North Saint Paul. It was a boring Friday night in the middle of summer. Once of the bouncers left early, leaving the bar with one bouncer – a big guy with a curly perm that was trying to get into professional wrestling.

The other bouncer apparently went out to the parking lot and hoovered up a line of bad Bolivian Marching Powder, maybe spiked with PCP – because he came back into the bar, started bellowing at the room, and then throwing punches. He smacked the bartender, cutting his lip and knocking out a tooth or two. He also tangled with a couple of customers. throwing tables and chairs and bottles all over the place.

The rampage went on for a while. Five minutes? Ten? I’m not sure.

But the entire time, as the coked up loony was on his rampage, the Wrestler guy bouncer stood and bellowed “You want a piece of me? HEY! Do you want a piece of me?” over and over, like he was filming an interstitial bit for a pro wrestling tournament.

Nothing at all useful, mind you. Just bellowing ” You want a piece of me? Yeah, you! You want a piece of me“, as the guy trashed the bar and a few of its employees and patrons.

I wonder if that wannabe-wrestler isn’t working as a consultant for the GOP these days.

Conservative groups have been very susceptible to the siren song of tough, unyielding talk combined with poo-poohing actually affecting policy. One example particularly near and dear to my heart – “Minnesota Gun Right”, a group that’s not from Minnesota and will never affect gun rights, but does make a lot of tough-talking videos.

Democrats are phenomenally vulnerable nationwide – married to exploding debt, economic stagnation, genocide against Israel and “woke” decay.

And far too much of the GOP, appears to be heading to the election focused not only on talking the talk and ignoring the walk, but saying “the walk” is stuff “Establishment RINOs” do.

Ben Shapiro talked about this in the first couple of segments of his podcast a few days ago:

To much of the GOP, politics is a (picking adjective carefully) vicious cycle:

  • “The swamp” needs to be drained.
  • But the swamp has rigged the system to prevent us from draining it.
  • “The Swamp” is the product of policy – which, like any policy in a democracy, can be changed, provided you win enough elections to push policy in the direction you want.
  • But getting elected to office, and having to do the inevitable horse-trading and make the inevitable compromises that come with actually having to make policy in a divided government makes you “the swamp” (see: Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy). Indeed, talking in terms of “Moving the Needle”, as opposed to “draining the swamp” or otherwise “burning it dall down”, is itself considered being “part of the establishment”.
  • But bellowing against the Swamp feels good (and is good for fundraising). Because…repeat from the top.

Conservatives used to be able to play the long game – indeed, conservatism used to be about society’s long game. The Left sought their immediate gratification.

Maybe it’s the most toxic possible result of the collapse of the societal attention span – “conservatism”, or at least the GOP, has become the party of emotion.

If At First History Doesn’t Go Your Way? Rewrite It Again!

Good thing Rep. Phillips grew up with a silver foot in his mouth. If he’d had to succeed on his merits, he’d be living in a homeless camp by the Quarry.


Show the world you know nothing about history by bellowing on social media you’re utterly ignorant.

Uh,, no. You got 1 out of 4. Roosevelt – the president who set the stage for Wilson’s “progressive” orgy – probably qualifies.

Lincoln didn’t promote slavery, so morally-consistent modern Democrats would not know what to do with him.

Jefferson would be a Libertarian; he’d hang out with Justin Amash and Rand Paul.

Washington? Someone who was given the chance at unfettered power, even declaring himself king, and demurred in favor of a constitutional Republic? Not a chance. He’d be a proto-Reagan conservative.

And JFK would get kicked out of today’s DFL. HHH was all but kicked out of the DFL of the 1970s, for crying out loud.

CD3 – please do better.

Politics In Minneapolis

On Saturday, I had a chat with Shawn Holster about the new, vastly streamlined Minneapolis GOP. It’s a reform that makes sense – going from four Senate district and 13 ward committees to a single city organization. No more wondering what side of what arbitrary dividing line you live on, no more wondering if you went to the right meeting, no more wasted effort among a dozen sub-units, more focus on what matters- it’s freaking brilliant, and Saint Paul should do the same.

It starts at the :33 mark:

In the meantime, as I was talking with Shawn, this was the MInneapolis Ward 10 convention:

Ken Martin – who runs the party of Bill “Guillotine Republicans!” Davis, of Matt “He Who Flexes on Reporters who are 30 years older than him” Roznowski, of Leigh “Thrilla On the House Floor” Finke, whose party has presided over probably half a dozen cycles of Minneapolis district conventions breaking down into riots…

…is making vigorous noises about violbla beingbla bla unacceptibiblablabla.

Justice Is Blind And Probably A Little Buzzed On Adderall

I mean, it’s a grand jury, intended to allow prosecutors to indict ham sandwiches, etc etc, bla bla.

But looking at this interview with the forewoman of the Trump grand jury in Fliorida…

…it’s hard to be filled with confidence in the future of one of the most important institutions in our democracy.

Good Riddance

Adam Kinzinger proves he knows nothing about the constitution by saying it in as many words.

No. Really.

The only thing that bothers me as much is the Trump personality cult is the anti-Trump personality cult


DeSantis tops Trump in a new poll – and not by a little bit.

Emphasis added by me:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leads former President Trump by 23 points among Republicans in a hypothetical GOP presidential primary, according to a poll released Tuesday. 

The USA Today-Suffolk University poll found that 56 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters prefer DeSantis, while only 33 percent would support Trump. More than 60 percent said they want a nominee who will continue Trump’s policies but is not Trump, while 31 percent want the former president to run. 

I don’t care about mean tweets. I do care very much about slashing regulation (and, since Trump didn’t do it, spending as well) and acting in the nation’s best interest.

I’m not interested in relitigating the 2020 election; rooting out the corruption that does exist, sure; barbering on about remedies that aren’t anywhere in the Consitution, not so much.

Most of all? I want to force the Democrats to defend themselves, their record, their squatting on American democracy, in 2024. Without Trump to deflect to, they fail.


SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking around Uptown Minneapolis trying to decide which pop-up brunch joint to go to. Absorbed in thought, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE has approached


BERG: Oh,Go…olldarnit, Avery, how have you…

LIBRELLE: Shut up. Why aren’t Republicans condemning Donald Trump’s latest attack on Demoracy?

BERG: Republicans and conservatives are, in droves.

LIBRELLE: But when are they going to condemn it?

BERG: Uh…they re?

LIBRELLE: But when are they going to condemn it?

BERG: While you ponder that, here’s another question: when are Democrats going to condemn their party’s constant erosions of the Constitution and the rule of law? Their efforts to erode Federalism, abolish the electoral college, add states to tack on Democrat Senators, weaponizing the IRS, FBI and DOJ, squat on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th and 14th Amendments, circumvent the FIrst Amendment via “public/private partnership” between Big Tech and the Democrat Party, weaponize “Emergency Orders”, pack the SCOTUS?

LIBRELLE. But when are you going to condemn it?

BERG: (Backs slowly away)

LIBRELLE. But when are you going to condemn it?

BERG: (Leaves building)

LIBRELLE. But when are you going to condemn it?

LIBRELLE. But when are you going to condemn it?

LIBRELLE. But when are you going to condemn it?



Remember when Jesse Ventura got elected governor?

He had what appeared to be a “deer in the headlights” look about him – like he never expected to win the race, I had no idea what to do when he did. When he said “we shocked the world“, he was being inclusive.

There are those who say Donald Trump was in the same basic boat; He never really expected to become president. I don’t necessarily believe that.

But I could read this next story and wonder if he’s really thought all that terribly hard about running again.S

Stay with me, here.

Now, I was never a Donald Trump fan, but it would be dishonest not to say that he did some great things in office, and punched way above his weight on many levels.

One of his greatest achievements? The sentencing reforms he drove halfway through his term, reducing federal sentences for petty drug distribution convictions and renegotiating sentences imposed during the insanely oversentenced crack epidemic, started breaking the log jam of the black vote.

This was one of his announcements last night:

Is he actually going to do a complete 180 on one of the best things he ever did for the actual party that nominated him?

Tuesday’s Gone

Fleshing out my first thoughts on the most recent election:

In Minnesota, the age-old wisdom prevails: money talks, bullshit walks. Tim Walz is sputtering fool, but he will be governor for the next four years. Unless his A1C level approaches triple digits, it’s highly likely he’ll complete his term and step aside for another sideshow act once he passes his sell-by date, some time around 2027. The DFL has the money and the infrastructure to control this state for the foreseeable future and the GOP has nothing. The DFL proved they could elect any droolbucket with a brand name when they pushed Mark Dayton across the line in 2010 and 2014. A guy with Walz’s skillset and mien wouldn’t get beyond middle management for any respectable company in the state, but he’s won twice. We can see all see it for what it is, but it doesn’t matter in the slightest — for the fourth election running, the DFL showed Team Rocks and Cows their ass. I don’t doubt they’ll find another standard bearer who is (a) absurd and (b) likely to win in 2026.

Keith Ellison is corrupt as the day is long, a 30-year grifter. He let a $250 million fraud run without interruption for the better part of two years. He’s now won statewide office twice. We’re pretty far gone if he can’t be defeated. I don’t doubt Jim Schultz is a competent lawyer, but his affect was of a guy who doesn’t get out of the conference room nearly enough and he was too nice a guy to run against a bully. To take the AG’s office back, the Republicans need a crusading litigator type who can prosecute the prosecutor and expose the rot within. There has to be one of those out there.

On the national level, it has to be said: Donald Trump didn’t help. He was and continues to be horribly wronged by what he’s gone through at the hands of his persecutors. And since civic education in this country is essentially dead in the water, most citizens can’t recognize that Trump is living example of why the Founders were against bills of attainder. Having said that, Trump will never get a sympathetic audience. He’s an obnoxious boor and he can’t get past his own solipsism; if he had even a scintilla of self-awareness, he might understand where he is, but we’ve been watching him for well over 40 years and that’s not in his skill set. Trump fancies himself the indispensable man, the conquering hero, but if he sincerely loves his nation, he’d recognize that martyrdom is a better career move. Not a chance in hell he’ll accept his fate, though.

Aside from the utter domination of Ron DeSantis in Florida, election results did not go well as one might have expected. Even so, the Republicans could still flip the House and the Senate. Based on reports from Arizona and Nevada, the Republicans could get over the line despite the Fetterman debacle in Pennsylvania. It appears likely that Adam Laxalt will win his seat in Nevada and there’s reason to believe Blake Masters may squeak by with Kari Lake becoming the governor in Arizona. Meanwhile, Herschel Walker will be going to a runoff in Georgia and has a good chance of prevailing this time. Even if the Senate ends up 50/50 again, I can imagine Joe Manchin may try to cross the aisle to save his ass in 2024. What will be interesting is whether Mitch McConnell would want him. I am not convinced McConnell enjoys being majority leader; he has more opportunities for self-enrichment in his current position.

Meanwhile, the Donks own the next two years. And they are going to hate that. There is still an urgent need for them to ease out Biden before too long, but they aren’t going to have an easy path to removing him, unless they decide to use Hunter Biden’s depredations as the pretext. Still, they will need a plausible successor. Kamala Harris impresses no one. Gavin Newsom is an empty suit. Pete Buttigieg? I don’t think so. Maybe it will be time for President Fetterman.