Can Do

An accident at the Steamboat Days parade in Carver County yesterday left GOP Secretary of State candidate John Howe and his campaign manager Tim Droogsma injured.

The float had just completed the Steamboat Days parade and was heading to back to the staging location when the accident occurred, according to Amy Koch, the campaign manager for Republican candidate for Senate Karin Housley. Koch said the tractor pulling the float sped up and hit a curb.

John Howe, the candidate for Secretary of State said he was thrown to the pavement along with his campaign manager, Tim Droogsma. Howe spoke to MPR News while being transported by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center. Howe said it appeared the flatbed trailer ran over Tim Droogsma his campaign manager.

Here’s the part I thought was interesting:  when the accident happened,  GOP Senate candidate Jim Newberger – a paramedic when he’s not in the State House – responded.  Amy Koch directed traffic,  Other GOP officials and candidates stepped in with their own expertises.

If this had been a DFL float accident, the place would have been flooded with grief counselors and personal injury attorneys.

Sometimes, I’m glad to be a Republican.

UPDATE: and sometimes I’m even happier that I’m just not a Democrat:

Howe got this response:

Remember – Democrats are the party of compassion.

A little checking turned up that the “woman” sending this charming Mrs. is a Hennepin county employee – a rent seeking DFL client.

Play Progressive Games, Win Progressive Prizes

Dario Anselmo is the lone Republican representing Edina.

Now, considering the Democrats that run in Edina these days – Anselmo beat Ron Erhardt, after all – it might be fair to say that of the options available, Anselmo passes the Buckley test (the most conservative candidate who can win) under the circumstances.

But as we’ve noted in the past, Anselmo is a prominent turncoat on the gun issue.  He’s one of few Republicans found at Moms Want Action events; the sole gloss of “bipartisanship” in the extreme-left gun control movement.

But if he’d hoped that his accomodationalism would buy him any favor from Big Gun Grab (a wholliy owned subsidiary of Big Left?)

Well, what do you think?

For Anselmo, a bitter lesson was learned this week when, after months of supporting limits to Second Amendment rights in order to curry favor with far left gun control advocates “Moms Demand Action,” his opponent, Heather Edelson, was effectively endorsed. Heather wears pearls; you can’t say she doesn’t know Edina. But this endorsement puts paid to the idea that if Republicans only find the illusory “common ground” with the other side, they will be rewarded for their efforts.

Moms Demand Action is part of “Everytown for Gun Safety,” a radical gun control group largely financed by Michael Bloomberg.

So he danced with the devil, and didn’t even get his thirteen pieces of silver, apparently.

Anselmo was frequently the lone Republican at Moms’ rallies at the State Capitol. This garnered him the approval of Democrats in the media like Lori Sturdevant but at the cost of discouraging his base, for which one could be forgiven in thinking Anselmo believes he doesn’t need.

Having contempt for the people who put you there – even if you don’t really know that – is a bad, bad plan.

Question: wonder if Lori Sturdevant will castigate the Action Moms for their lack of bipartisanship?

Throwback Friday

Tim Pawlenty is officially in the Governor’s race, surprising nearly nobody that’s been paying attention for the past few months.

Ideological conservatives are unimpressed, of course.  Being an ideological conservative myself, I completely get it.   Pawlenty wasn’t and isn’t a doctrinaire conservative.  He’s the sort of pragmatic center-right small-c conservative that is a product of a career in the legislature, rather than as a doctrinemonger.

But remember – just four years before he was elected governor, the Minnesota Republican party had gotten Arne Carlson elected.  Carlson may have been to the left of the liberal, Rudy Perpich, that he beat in his first bid for office on many bedrock Republican issues.

Is Pawlenty “conservative enough?”  Of course not.

Is Minnesota going to elect a doctrinaire conservative?  Highly doubtful (although I do hope for a Wisconsin-like miracle one of these days).

Indeed – is conservatism in and of itself a winning ideology, statewide, in Minnesota?  I have  my doubts.

I follow the Buckley doctrine – elect the most conservative Republican who can win.

I’m still open to being convinced.

Still Waiting For The Winning

Trump, and a GOP controlled Congress that hasn’t upheld Republican principles since the mid-nineties and seems to be herniating itself to out-Trump Trump in terms of giving goodies to populist bases, has just passed a budget bill that only Chuckles Schumer could love.

And he does.

Note to Trumpkins in the audience:  the Growth Fairy will only reduce the deficit if you stop spending money faster than you can create wealth.

We Shall Fight On The Beaches…

In  a video circulated among Republican activists last week, State GOP deputy chair Dave Pascoe said that if the platform resolution barring Muslims from participation in the MNGOP passed, he’d resign. 

All due respect to Deputy Chair Pascoe, but I”m not resigning anything. I’m going to fight the know-nothings in the party just as hard as I do the know-nothings outside the party.

American conservatism is built around *rejecting* the ideal of collective guilt. Anyone who says “All Muslims…” do, believe or act on *anything* as a group (even if the argument is based on sound information or even logic, which these days it’s not – it relies on “information” from a series of fever-swamp websites and the sorts of “experts” you run into at last call at bars in areas with no real problems) is no better than the most worthless DFL social justice warrior and their blabbering about identity.

Think about it, if you’re so inclined; we demand (justly) that Muslims assimilate to our society. Then we tell them “But not with us!”

The idea that the soul of the party of Lincoln, Reagan, Buckley and Goldwater would be taken over by people who subscribe to collective guilt is too much to handle.

Anyone bringing this moronic resolution at SD65 is going to get their face singed.

And that, as they say, is all.

UPDATE: And to everyone out there who says “You stand for tolerating Muslims? So, what – you want to live under Islam?” That is, and you are, too stupid to bother answering. Shut up.

The Herd Of Cats

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Senate Republicans can rejoice that the pervert lost. They should rename themselves The Purity Party: only the truly virtuous may apply.  If they get choosy enough, they can save on convention expenses – meet for coffee at the local Denny’s, plenty of room for The Chosen Few.

92% of Democrats voted, only 50% of Alabama Republicans. Disheartened? The Establishment, the media, everyone against them, and some people probably had legitimate concerns about the allegations.  Still, it was close.  Democrats learned the tactic will work but they need to adjust the timing. Republicans learned . . . what?

What everyone in The Purity Party forgets is that Democrats vote as a unified monolithic block, marching to the same party line with no thought of principles or morals. Senate Republicans are like herding cats, which is why even with a majority they can’t get anything accomplished. One fewer person in their saintly congregation isn’t going to make it easier to roll back Obama’s successes.

Which makes one wonder: do Rockefeller Republicans care about that?

Joe Doakes

On the one hand, I’d very much like to see the GOP get a lot better both at vetting candidates (if Moore did do what’s been alleged, I find it hard to believe it surprised everyone) and defending against this sort of thing (why did Moore not sue every single accuser for defamation, as fast as possible, if only to get their statements – perjured statements? – on record immeidately?)

On the other?  I thinks this is a continuing lesson to Republicans that are paying attention – especially if the charges against Moore wind up being frauds.  I say “continuing”, because the election of Donald Trump itself proves that an awful lot of voters are starting to ignore the noise machine.

A Different World

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Never-Trump senator from Arizona, retiring.  Blasts Trump for setting a bad tone in politics.

The Washington big-shots still don’t get it.  We didn’t vote for Trump because he was crass, we voted for him even though he was crass.  We voted for him because he wasn’t Jeb or Mario or any of the other appeasers quietly going along with Hillary’s coronation.  We voted for him because he was willing to push back against the endless slanders issued by Democrats, the media, academia and Hollywood against ordinary, decent, law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying Americans.

Trump is not the swamp, senator, he’s the guy we hired to drain the swamp and you’ve been standing in his way.  Don’t let the door hit you . . . .

Joe Doakes

Hard to pick who to like less.

Marketing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump got skunked in the Spring continuing resolution – no money for The Wall.  He was busy with the Supreme Court nominee so okay, let that one go.  But in this next deal, he absolutely must get some money for The Wall or he’s never going to get it.  If the Resisters beat him on his signature issue, his presidency will be lame duck all the way down.

Trump should start tweeting now, warning citizens to prepare for a shut-down if the money’s not in the resolution.  The people who elected him want that, first and foremost.  He’s got to deliver.

Doesn’t have to be much money. It could be a symbolic $1.00, just as long as Congress votes for it. Trump must make them cry “Uncle” because after that, we’ve established the principle and we’re only arguing over the amount.

Frankly, Democrats are not the problem. They continue to serve the interests of the dead people and illegals who elected them.  But the Never-Trump RINOs have no excuse so why not go after them?  Because we need them.  We need every one of their votes and as tempting as it might be to name names while kicking behinds, a different tactic is warranted on this side of the aisle.  On that side, we know Democrats will never break ranks so there’s no harm in savaging them.

Of course, Liberals will complain that funding The Wall is a budget-buster.  We can’t afford it.  There are higher priorities.  Get out in front of that argument early.  Start by proposing to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and shift that funding to The Wall.  Trump gave up his salary this year, but he could offer to redirect his salary as President toward The Wall next year.  Divert federal aid from sanctuary cities to The Wall.  Revenue neutral, no additional funding required, completely affordable if we would only make national security a higher priority than frivolities.

And blame Democrats for the shutdown, starting now.   Send a tweet every day. “Democrats make Grandma eat dog food; shut down!”

“Democrats end school lunch: shut down!” “Democrats squander dollars, pinch pennies: shut down!”

This is not a political problem or fiscal problem, it’s a marketing problem.  Trump has to rally the troops to swing the polls so finger-licking moderates can feel the change in the wind and cast a vote to fund The Wall. There will never be a better time.

Joe Doakes

Electoral fear is both sides’ best weapon.  Trump has the initiative.  Will he use it?

The Racket

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Dayton signed the budget bills, but vetoed funding for the legislature because he didn’t get the bills he wanted.

Some might think Dayton’s move was petty and vindictive.  I disagree.  It was genius.  In chess terms, he’s put the Republicans in a fork – agree to a special session to give the governor what he wants in exchange for funding the legislature, or take your complaint to a court packed with judges appointed by Democrats.  Both are losing moves.

Joe is absolutely right.

When all the moves are losing moves, refuse to play the game.  The Republican Speaker of the House should say “We convinced Governor Dayton to cut spending for a third of state government, which is a good start.  Since he’s defunded the Legislature, we won’t be coming back into session and that means the rest of the government will shut down when this current budget runs out in two years.  Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy a well-deserved vacation.”

And Joe is even more absolutely right.

Of course he wouldn’t mean it.  But it ups the ante.  Every time somebody says “but what about” you point them to the Governor and say “Sorry, the Governor shut us down.  Take it up with him.”

Joe Doakes

I dream of a world where Minnesota Republicans have that kind of political killer instinct.

Open Letter To The MNGOP Legislative Caucuses

To:  The MNGOP Legislative Caucuses
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  You Never, Ever Learn, Do You?

Deaar MNGOP Legislative Caucuses – House and Senate

Today, after months of wrangling, word dribbled out that the Stand Your Ground and Constitutional Carry bills were not going to get a floor vote.  While the bill wouldn’t pass into law, we wouldn’t need to re-argue it next session – which would be a huge benefit, especially given (cough cough) it’s an election year. 

It was a kick in the teeth for Second Amendment voters.

Which is a bit of a problem.  Can you think of a group in this state that has done more, with less outstate support, than the shooters?   That did more to get your majority?

Thanks for nothing.

I get it – politics are complicated.  Compromises happen.  It’s just that as for me and a lot of people like me, you made the wrong one.

So – not another dime.  Not another phone call.  Not another minute of time until you get your collective head right.

That is all.

If I Were A Betting Man…

…and I am not, but if I were, I’d bet good money that the headline at the Strib tomorrow will be something like:

Minnesota Republicans Reject Black Chair Candidate

I can honestly say that I’d have voted for anyone in the field – Rick Rice, Dave Hann or Chris FIelds (who I figured would be the final two in the running) or the actual winner, Jennifer Carnahan.

Jennifer Carnahan (Courtesy Jennifer Carnahan)

Incoming MNGOP chair Jennifer Carnahan (photo courtesy the Carnahan campaign).

Not to say I doubted Carnahan’s merits; she went from attending her first GOP caucus 14 months ago, to running a very impressive MN Senate campaign in downtown Minneapolis, to the little Chair campaign that could.   And I’ve interviewed her, and she is very much a force of nature in person.   Not to say I doubted she’d win; I just thought the notoriously pragmatic State Central would make a more mainstream choice, like Hann or Fields.

So I’m surprised, and happy about it all in all.

I would, of course, be lying if I said that I was surprised by the depravity of today’s DFL.

While I don’t know “Jordan Parshall”, I’m pretty comfortable saying he represents the mainstream of today’s DFL.   I think it’s hilarious – right after telling a Korean-American woman not to get uppity, he congratulates none other than…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…Alondra Cano.

(And lest you wondered, Urban Liberal Privilege means “never having to apologize for saying something corrosively racist, sexist and entintled”:

But who cares.   Congrats to Jennifer Carnahan!

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper, former chair of the Minnesota GOP and longtime CEO at TCF Bank, passed away earlier this week  at 73.

In addition to leading the MNGOP during the Carlson years, Cooper did two things that made him a hero to me.

Nick-Slapped:  Back in 2005, then-Strib columnist Nick Coleman wrote a deeply dumb column wondering how Scott Johnson of Power Line  managed to blog during his work day (Johnson was at the time TCF’s corporate counsel), and urging TCF customers to pull their money out of the bank in protest over employing an “out” conservative.

Cooper pulled TCF’s ad money from the Strib – $250K a year – and followed up by cutting off the City Pages as well.

And the whining and carping lulled me to a sound, happy nap.   I’d like to think that costing the Strib a cool quarter mill had a lot to do with Coleman’s retirement.   For that alone, we should thank Cooper.

Friends:  In a more serious and productive vein, Cooper was one of the movers and shakers behind “Friends of Education”, a chain of charter schools that were focused on specific communities and educational models.

Friends of Education schools were, and perpetually remain, among the top-performing charters in the state.  And that was in part due to Cooper’s business sense; “Friends” charters that didn’t succeed got shut down; the successful ones carried on.

Open Letter To The House And Senate MNGOP Caucuses

To:  House GOP Caucus, Senate GOP Caucus
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Re:  Focus

Dear Cauci,

Congrats on taking the majority.  I’m truly overjoyed.

Now, let’s get real.

Focus:  Ever watched someone doing karate?  When they do a strike, they focus all their energy, from their waist on down through their hands, into their knuckle.  One or two of them.  Because that’s how you inflict as much force as possible on your target – focusing the energy.

We’ll come back to that.

Focus Some More:  When the Allies landed in Normandy in 1944, it took eight or so weeks of brutal fighting to break through the German defenses.

And when the Allies forced that breakthrough, did they then pause, and redirect to the invasion of Denmark?

No!   They focused on driving to Berlin, and destroying any enemy that got in their way!

They focused on the mission at hand!

No.  Really Focus:  You have the majority in both chambers of the Legislature (if only by a vote in the Senate).

You got it for three reasons:

  1. The Dems brought us MNSure, and you were able to tie it around their necks
  2. The economy in greater Minnesota isn’t nearly as spiffy as it is in the Metro
  3. Just like nationwide – the metro “elites” are utterly disconnected with the experience of Greater Minnesota.

That is why you have the majority.  Not to protect marriage.  Not to argue about who goes in what bathrooms.

Heathcare.   Economy.   Elites.  

No more.  No less.

I Said Focus, MKay?:  It was six short years ago that voters last gave you both chambers of the Legislature.  Even with a DFL ideologue for a governor, it was a golden opportunity.   You were given that majority because:

  1. Obama overreached – on healthcare
  2. The economy in Greater Minnesota sucked!
  3. The DFL had made a hash out of the budget.

What did you – or at least the previous leadership – do?

Well, good work on the budget, to be honest.  But that wonky triumph was overshadowed by the national, media-stoked furor over the Gay Marriage issue.  The legislature bet a ton of political capital…

on an issue that had nothing to do with you getting your majority.

Nothing!

If you’re a North Dakota or Montana Republican, with a near-permanent majority and an opposition Democrat party that barely qualifies as a party at all, you can spend political capital on anything you want, and there’ll be no consequences.   It might even work (long enough to get struck down by the Supreme Court, anyway).

But not in Minnesota, the purplest of purple states.

Focus Focus Focus Focus Focus!:  This is not North Dakota.  Perhaps if you hold your majorities long enough to bring a quarter century of unbridled prosperity to Minnesota and we might become so lucky.  But we’re nowhere close to that yet.

You were elected by a fickle electorate over…what?

Let’s run the list again:

  1. MNSure
  2. The economy in greater MN
  3. Our idiot elites

You have political capital – a mandate, indeed.

And like the Allies after D-Day, you need to focus that capital on beating the enemy in front of us; MNSure, taxes, regulations, mining-phobia.

And like Bruce Lee, you need to focus that energy straight to the metaphorical knuckle, as narrowly and overwhelmingly as you can to win on the issues we, the voters, sent you there to win!

For The Love Of God, Focus!:  I’ve heard talk of legislators discussing floating some legislation:

  • Rest Rooms:  Don’t be idiots.  We already have laws making mischief in bathrooms illegal. And all it’s gonna take is one angry father or grandfather at some Target somewhere to make that issue pretty well self-enforcing.  It’s a private property issue,   And it’s a distraction.   Deal with the restrooms when the majority is rock solid safe.
  • Abortion:  It’s an important thing.  I get it.  It’s also not why you were sent to Saint Paul.  Not this time.  If you win long and big enough, you’ll get your chance.  This is not that chance.   Do not screw this up.  
  • Other social issues:  Stop.  Just stop.  Now.  Seriously. 

GOP legislators:  today, you control the agenda in Saint Paul.  It gives you a huge opportunity.  With the opportunity comes risk; if you take the GOP majority off beam, and bog the party down in a fight that has nothing to do with why you have the majority, fighting a veto you can’t win over an issue that does nothing but focus all of the Big Democrat Money, all their bottomless funding and masses of drooling droogs, over something that the voters that sent you to Saint Paul don’t care about nearly as much as healthcare and the economy, you will deserve to lose again in 2016.  

Focus.

Focus.

Focus focus focus.

Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

No.  More than that.  Focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus.

No.  More than that.

Sing along with me:  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.  Kill MNSure.  Kill regulations.  Lower taxes.

Win the war we sent you there to win.

Oh – and focus.

No.  More than that.

Report Card

Frank Drake is running and extremely aggressive, and fairly tart, campaign against Keith Ellison in the fifth Congressional District.

Will it work? I saw the 1980 Olympic hockey team; I do believe in miracles. I’m a Republican in the inner city, so I have to.


Anyway – Drake provides a list of Keith Ellison’s “accomplishments” in office:

Top Keith Ellison accomplishments:

1) I promise to end these wars, and not start any new wars.

2) Minneapolis is now a UN sanctuary city funded by Minnesotans.

3) I can show up anywhere, and I’m the story.

4) The DNC was impartial. That’s why “Keith’s for Hillary” now.

5) Who’s this Frank Drake dude anyway?

6) Community Action of Minneapolis was a great front and money laundering operation until it was seized by the Government for fraud. Bill Davis remains a trusted advisor. President Obama will pardon him before leaving office.

7) Marijuana remains a Class 1 Narcotic, just like Heroin.

8) Keith Ellison was never involved, in any way, with the overthrow of Syria or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

9) Unemployment is low, especially in our urban centers. That 4.5% Unemployment Rate is true, despite 1/3 of all Americans not working. Over 94,000,000 Americans don’t work.

10) Our Government is in the business of War. Private prisons are a growth industry.

11) My ideas are proven in Venezuela and many controlled economies.

Keith Ellison’s ideas resonate like a frying pan dropped from a five-story building hitting the pavement.

Drake has a way with words that we could use a lot more of an inner-city Republican politics.

Berg’s 11th Law Is Also Inerrant And Immutable

The Strib endorses John Howe for the CD2 congressional seat currently held by John Kline.

Nothing against Howe, who was a capable legislator and an estimable mayor of Red Wing – but this endorsement is a classic example of Berg’s 11th Law:

Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.

Jason Lewis is the endorsed candidate, with immense name recognition and a record as the father of modern Minnesota conservatism.  Darlene Miller is John Kline’s preferred candidate.  The fourth, the putative Trump-supporting candidate Hey Look At Meeeee, along with Howe, rounds out the field.

I’ll be interviewing Jason Lewis this coming Saturday on the NARN, by the way.

NARN-day I’ve Got Friday On My Mind

Tonight, we’ll be doing a special edition of the NARN, live from the GOP State Convention in Duluth, from 6-8PM!

Who will be on the show?  What’ll we be talking about?  We’ll be talking a fair amount about the goings-on at the GOP State Central Committee – and of course, the Judicial Elections Commission.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

While In Duluth Tomorrow

I’ll be broadcasting live from the GOP State Convention on Friday from 6-8PM, and again on Saturday fro 1-3PM.

I’m neither a delegate nor a member of the State Central Committee, so I won’t be voting on anything

But I will be doing my level best to help any group that seeks to limit the power of the Judicial Elections Commission.  Perhaps not end the JEC, per se – but in exchange for leaving the JEC alive, I want the heads of those responsible for the Michelle MacDonald debacle displayed on pikes outside the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

Speaking of Michelle MacDonald:  she’s running for the Supreme Court again.  That’s certainly her right; hopefully the convention chair won’t make the same mistake that happened in 2014.

Speaking of MacDonald – her followers are making the technically true but contextually laughable assertion that MacDonald got a higher percentage of the vote than any other GOP candidate in 2014.   Which is true…

…and also deeply misleading – and I can not wait for the first MacDonald supporter to try to bring that up on the air.

MacDonald got 46% and change, it’s true – running mostly against the GOP, and little or not at all against David Lillehaug (who ran, effectively, no campaign at all).  As I pointed out after the last election, all contested judicial elections get an average of 35-40% – it’s an outlet for people’s obstinacy, apparently (I always, always vote for challengers, whether I know or care about them or not, and I can not be the only one).

So MacDonald got about 4% more than “background noise”.  And while I have no empirical evidence for this, I’m going to speculate with confidence that had she not been running against Darth Lillehaug – one of the most anti-gun politicians (excuse me, “jurists”) in the business, she’d have come in in the thirties without a whole lot of shooters voting against Lillehaug and not for MacDonald.

So while my actual means for dealing with the JEC and MacDonald are limited, I’m going to use what I can to encourage those who can do something about it to seriously punish the JEC, and send MacDonald back to famlaw.

Speaking of family?  Read this time-line of MacDonald’s most famous case.  I have no idea if MacDonald was involved in any wrongdoing – specifically, the systematic alienation of a custodial father’s children against him – but as a matter of principle, everyone who interferes with another parent’s access to their kids should rot in hell.

Death Is Easy: Survival Is Hard

Walter Hudson says if there’s to be a civil war in the GOP, let’s fight it to win:

hat said, the risk of a general election loss was first assumed by embracing Trump to this point. As our nominee, Trump will decimate what remains of our credibility. Our candidates up and down the ticket will be saddled with his horrendous personal behavior and called upon to answer for his irresponsible rhetoric. Efforts at developing new constituencies and expanding the base to suit rapidly shifting demographics will wither and die. Trump will further homogenize and calcify a party which needs now more than at any other time in its history to diversify and grow.

The only way to mitigate the damage Trump will cause, and repair the damage already done, will be for Republicans to oppose him as Republicans. We have to lay claim to our party and reject him as its standard bearer. We have to present a contrast, from within the party, to his vile persona and unprincipled authoritarian agenda. That means stepping outside our comfort zone, defying conventional expectations, and ruffling more than a few feathers.

The whole thing is worth a read.

As far as I’m concerned?

I grew up reading stories like “Endurance” (30 guys surviving on an ice floe for over a year, before rowing lifeboats across the subarctic South Atlantic to safety), and “Escape from Sobibor” (people escaping an extermination camp and surviving in the woods until liberation came) and “Rickenbacker” (surviving on a raft in the Pacific for three weeks) and “Alive” (people surviving in the Andes after a plane crash). Non-fiction, by the way.
Those are the stories I’ve kept in my mind as I’ve gone through some of my life’s own travails (and I’ve had some doozies – but nothing like the above. Which is, of course, the point).

The Trump “Crisis” and the battle for the soul of the GOP? Pffft. Bring it.
I’m not going to theatrically pack up and leave the GOP. Partly because I (and many people much better than I) have worked too hard to bring the MNGOP a long way from where it was a generation ago. Don’t believe me? Check out Arne Carlson’s and Dave Jennings’s budget numbers, and then let’s talk. It’s not changed enough, fast enough, but it’s changed.

And partly because I did it once. I left the GOP in disgust in 1994, and went to the Libertarians. The Libertarian Party is a clown car. It will never get anyone elected to office. It *can* never get anyone elected – because it is a glorified frat party that exists mostly to purity-test each other to a fine sheen. They can’t even run a state convention, much less a government (and they’ll say “that’s the point!”, and they’ll be correct, but not the way they think they are). And libertarianism is a lovely philosophy, which at its logical conclusion depends on a complete suspension (or ignorance) of human nature. It’s no less a fantasy world than “democratic socialism” is. I’ll write in my dog before I vote for a Libertarian.

Anyway – I’m coming around to Walter’s point of view. Give it a read.

Stork King

There’s an old parable; I want to say it’s Russian, since it sounds like it’s part of the Russian character.  I don’t know.

But it’s a good parable.  There once was a swamp full of frogs.  The frogs in a swamp were happy; plenty of slime to jump through, plenty of bugs to eat.

But something was missing.  So they asked “why can’t we have a king?”

And presently, a king was sent to them; a stork.

Storks, of course, eat frogs.

The moral:  be careful what you wish for.

Along those lines, a longtime friend of the blog writes:

I have a friend here at work who for years has said our problem is that we elect politicians. Well, now he belly-aches because he thinks a Trump presidency is a bad idea. Unless there is a serious change, soon, he’s going to get exactly what he said he wanted, originally — in nominee-form, anyway.

 

Jesse Ventura II

I like to think that’s why Minnesota bucked the Trump wave last night; we’ve been through this before.

Caucusians

I’m going to the caucuses tonight.

Who am I going to caucus for?  Well, not Trump.   I think he’s an epic fraud who will betray the conservatives who’ve lined up behind him.  He’s like an executive brand David Souter, via Vince McMahon.

And I won’t be caucusing for Kasich – who I think is a solid VP candidate – or Carson, who I believe is way out of his depth, and who needs to run for Mayor of Detroit, where he’ll do a lot more good than he’s doing now.

My short list – Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal – are both obviously out of the picture.   So it’s down to Cruz or Rubio for me.

Who’s it gonna be?

Not sure.  Partly because I am, genuinely, not sure.  And partly because the vitriol inside the party has gotten so very, very mindless and pointless.  Dennis Prager writes about  it – and it’s something every Republican, and especially every conservative, should read before they go to the caucuses:

So this is where we stand today: Many anti-Rubio Republicans regard Rubio as a traitor on the immigration issue and therefore have contempt for his supporters. Many anti-Cruz Republicans regard Cruz as an extremist conservative who is, moreover, a misanthrope, and therefore have contempt for his supporters. And many anti-Trump Republicans – perhaps most – regard Trump as a dangerous fraud, and therefore view his supporters with contempt.

Needless to say, with these attitudes, there is little chance any Republican can win.

So, then, despite eight years of failure under a Democratic president, and with Hillary Clinton — widely regarded as a completely untrustworthy woman who has put pursuit of money and power above the interests of her country — as the Democratic candidate, Republicans will still lose. And Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

One observation I made of Ron Paul supporters in 2008 and 2012 – that they seemed to be personality cultists, who believed not only was Paul the only valid choice, but that any other choice was no better in any way than a Democrat, or nobody at all – has metastasized across much of the GOP body politic this cycle.

And so while the “passion index” favors the GOP by landslide proportions – it is, at this point, almost entirely aimed at other Republicans, rather than at the doddering would-be Hugo Chavez or cynical, calculating would-be Eva Peron who, some need to be reminded, actually would be worse for the country than Rubio, Cruz or even Trump.

So if Trump wins the nomination?  I’ll vote for him – not because I think he’ll be a good president, not because I think he’s going to hold to his promises (not even on immigration), and not even because I think he, himself, will nominate better SCOTUS justices than Hillary.  I’ll do it because he’ll have to run to the legislative majority to get anything done – and if we don’t have a GOP Senate or House, we’re truly screwed.  And if Trump doesn’t win convincingly, then the coat-tail effect will tend to increase the power of the worthless whackdoodle Democrats.

And that is the only reason.

So I’ll be going to caucuses tonight.  Hope to see you there.

Tremors And Trash

Republican Chad Anderson upsets the DFL – ahd “Democratic Socialist” trash collection –  in a special election, flipping Ann Lenczewsi’s seat in a district only marginally less DFL-secure than any other in the first tier of burbs:

With all the precincts tallied in the special election to replace Lenczewski, Anderson netted 51 percent to DFL Bloomington City Council member Andrew Carlson’s 49 percent.

The win gives Republicans, who are already in the House majority, an extra legislative vote this year and a key boost of confidence before November’s election, when the entire Legislature is up for election.

Both House Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor campaign arms spent thousands of dollars on ads targeting the Bloomington area, an unusual step in special elections. About 5,000 voters turned out Tuesday.

Losing Lenczewski’s seat has to have people at the DFL’s office on Plato Boulevard changing their underwear today.   It’s not quite like flipping a seat in Minneapolis – but it’s not that far from it, either.

Andrew Carlson – the DFL contender, and an incumbent Bloomington City Council member – was instrumental in jamming down Cuban-style socialized trash collection in Bloomington last year.

UPDATE:  What could be better than flipping a DFL sinecure?  Doing it while spending 1/4 as much as the Democrat did.

More on that tomorrow.

What If?

On the weekend before the official kickoff of the GOP nomination season, Donald Trump would seem to have the momentum.  Now, both of “my guys” for this race – Walker and Jindal – are long gone, so my short list is (in very rough order) Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Christie.

Trump’s ascendancy has, of course, brought out the usual jeremiads about the oncoming implosion of the GOP (to which cooler and more historically-grounded heads reply “What?  Again?  This happens every eight years or so“).

But I keep getting asked – what if Trump is, at the end of the day, the nominee?

Simple.  I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

It’s not just because I regard third-party candidacies as irrelevant exercises in personal philosophical navel-gazing – that’s between you and your conscience, and is none of my business.

And it’s not that I’m a “my party, right or wrong” guy; I’m a Tea Party Conservative who votes GOP because it is, to evoke Buckley, the most conservative party that can win.  And if Trump, heaven forefend, is the most conservative person on the ballot who can win next November, then I’ll vote for him.

But Trump promises to be a rerun of the Jesse Ventura years, only coast-to-coast.   So why bother?

Three reasons:  Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia – one of the better conservative minds in the history of the court – lamentably can’t last forever.  Having Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders nominate his “replacement” – or that of Kennedy, the most powerful “Moderate” in the history of the universe – would turn the SCOTUS bright blue for decades to come.  Kiss any chance of rolling back Obamacare, getting control of immigration or voting or the borders, or the Second Amendment, goodbye right now.

And by the opposite token, if Kennedy retires, or Ginsburg gets called by her overlords back to her mothership, during a GOP administration, there’s at least a chance of getting a much better, more conservative justice on the bench.  And don’t be caterwauling at me about what disappointments Roberts and Souter turned out to be as conservatives; without a GOP president and GOP Senate, “eventual disappointment” is the best you can hope for.

Remember – Trump may well nominate a complete idiot.  But the Senate has to confirm them.  And if both a hypothetical President Trump and a GOP Senate are idiots, then we’re screwed – but those are both “maybes”; you can bet a hypothetical President Sanders will nominate Saul Alinksky, and Clinton’s nominees will make Sonia Sotomayor look like John Marshall.

So yeah.  I’ll hold my nose and vote Trump.

And then set to work on fixing the rot that led us to this point.