SCENE: Mitch BERG is prowling the aisles at Fleet Farm in Lakeville, looking for .22 Long Rifle ammo.
He rounds a corner, and runs into Bill GUNKEL, former Republican and now chairman of the Inver Grove Heights chapter of “Former Republicans for Ron Paul”,
GUNKEL: Hey, Merg!
BERG: Hey, Bill.
GUNKEL: The RINO statist John Kline is retiring from office!
BERG: Yeah, Representative Kline wasn’t the most conservative congressman we’ve had.
GUNKEL: He may as well have been a Democrat!
BERG: Enh. And in an R+2 district…well, bygones is bygones. The real question is who’s gonna replace him? I’ve heard talk of State Senator Dave Thompson, Mary Pawlenty…
GUNKEL: Why elect another RINO?
BERG: Um, what? Dave Thompson is a RINO?
GUNKEL: He never criticized Kline!
BERG: Er, why would he do that?
GUNKEL: Why not?
BERG: Violating Reagan’s 11th commandment by attacking other conservatives, even imperfect ones? Alienating Kline supporters in his own district, to no benefit to himself? Spending political capital on something that gains him nothing?
GUNKEL: Gains him nothing? He’d get the respect of the Liberty voters!
BERG: You mean the people who bum-rushed the 2012 State Convention to send a slate of delegates to Tampa to make a symbolic vote for Ron Paul, and then largely went home and never came to another GOP meeting? Who pushed Kurt Bills to the nomination, then abandoned him when he actually acted like he was part of the party that endorsed him? A group that seems more focused on bashing Republicans than winning elections?
BERG: Right. OK, so Dave Thompson is insufficiently pure. Gotcha. So who do you support?
GUNKEL: David Gerson. The only candidate to support if you care about Liberty!
BERG: Gerson says all sorts of things I support. I’ve got no problem with him. I’d love to have him on the show. It’s just that last go-around, he raised less money than a typical Saint Paul Republican legislative candidate.
GUNKEL: So? Money isn’t everything.
BERG: Right. But it’s a leading indicator. If someone can’t raise money from supporters to run a campaign, it’s a fair question to ask whether they can raise votes.
GUNKEL: Well, it’ll be different this time!
BERG: Well, that’d sure make the race more interesting! I think a solid, credible challenge from the Libertarian wing of the party would be a very good thing. But the candidate – and especially his campaign – have got to ramp up the game.
GUNKEL: Oh, we will, by the time of the election on March 1.
BERG: Um, what?
GUNKEL: We’ll get the support out in droves by the time the battle for all the marbles, on March 1, happens.
BERG: Um, March 1 is the caucuses.
GUNKEL (looking confused): Riiiight?
BERG: Not the general election.
GUNKEL: (Shrugs extravagantly, indicating non-comprehension)
BERG: March 1 is when he’ll try to knock off other GOP…Oh, never mind.