We’ve been covering the DFL’s chanting points for the past month or so.
As the DFL still has two months to go until they get to the primary, they still have eight weeks of internecine bloodletting before they actually have to try to unite behind Mark Dayton.
And so the regional media and the left-leaning “alternative” media are focusing their coverage of the Emmer campaign on a number of chanting points whose relation to factuality doesn’t stand up to the most cursory examination….
…but then, chanting points aren’t supposed to. They are responses to Josef Göbbels’ classic Public Relations dictum “if you want people to believe a big lie, repeat it often enough”.
They’ve got the repitition part down, of course; you can practically trace the Minnesota leftyblog chain of command , watching the various memes – Chanting Points – making their rounds, starting with the big DFL-affiliated blogs, and filtering their way down to the little footsoldier blogs.
The purpose of the “Chanting Points Memo” is to give you, the conservative in the street who may not spend your time living and breathing politics, the material you need to respond to some of the tripe the DFL is spreading about when you hear it from your DFL friends, relatives and co-workers – not so much to convince them, as to make sure any undecided or non-aligned voters that are in on the conversation can get the actual facts. From you!
So let’s run down the big Chanting Points offenders so far in the Gubernatorial race:
“The GOP is in disarray because Tom Horner and Arne Carlson oppose Tom Emmer”: This is often followed with “Tom Horner is a Republican. End of Story”, from the kind of people who believe that saying “end of story” actually ends the story. See below.
Right. And the DFL is in disarray because Randy Kelly and Norm Coleman aren’t part of it. Right?
It’s balderdash, of course. While Horner, Carlson and Dave Durenberger were part of the GOP mainstream twenty-odd years ago, before conservatism made any serious inroads in the party, today they are relics of an era when the old “Indpendent Republican” party was no less a big-government, big-tax party than the DFL. Just like Kelly and Coleman are, by DFL standards, fossils from an era when Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey combined their “progressive” ideals with a staunch patriotism and the sense that the the taxpayer wasn’t a ripe suck that deserved what they got and should just shut up already.
 Oh, I know – it’s not a literal chain of command, except as re the Minnesoros “Independent”, which takes its orders from the supremely-ironically-named “Center for Independent Media”. But watching memes circulate through regional leftyblogs is a bit like watching word spread through a bee hive that there’s a pollenating flower nearby.
“Tom Horner is a Republican! End of Story! Hahahahaha!” – Right. He’s part of the big-government, big-tax, big-spending wing of the GOP; the part that has been so completely marginalized within the party that they have to go to places like the “Independence” Jesse Ventura Party to get a shot at running for office.
Since the twilight of Governor Ventura, the “IP” has been mostly a haven for “moderate” Democrats like Tim Penny, cast-off wonks like Dean Barkley, and “Independent Republican” fossils like Horner, who may have been a typical Minnesota Republican establishment figure in the early eighties, but is not today.
Is it possible it’ll backfire on the GOP? Has the GOP moved “too far to the right?” Well, we’ll find out in November, in the only poll that matters. It’s entirely possible the party could lose its shirt this fall – but I”m just not seeing it.
Because what’s interesting is that Republicans who’ve run to the right of the conventional wisdom in the past two cycles – historically awful cycles for the GOP – have done better than the ones that scampered to the center. Michele Bachmann beat back two challenges in a row, and rode out being abandoned by the weak-kneed leadership of the national GOP. Tim Pawlenty took a hard line on taxes and spending – very “red” behavior – and held on in 2006. Erik Paulsen ran well to the right of the conventional wisdom in the Third District, back when that “wisdom” said the Third was “deep purple”; Paulsen may be no Newt Gingrich, but he’s well to the right of his predecessor, Jim Ramstad – exactly the opposite of what the conventional wisdom was saying about the district two years ago.
If bright red carried the day in both of those horrible cycles, what do you think it’s going to do with the Tea Party at its back, in a year that is shaping up to be less “anti-incumbent” than “anti-big goverment?”
“Tim Pawlenty has destroyed Minnesota!” – We’re in mid-recession, and our unemployment rate, while high, is the 13th best in the nation, almost three points below the national average. Check out the states with the best unemployment; most of them conservative-run states outside the deep south. Liberal cesspools California and Michigan, at 48 and 50 on the list, with 12.6 and 14% respectively, are what the DFL would have; high-tax, high-”service” states that, when times get tough, fail with a huge “foomf”.
I’d love to see what would have happened in this past four years had the MNGOP been able to hold even one of the houses of the Legislature; while Pawlenty essentially held the line on spending, he couldn’t stop everything that the DFL’s two-house press threw at him. Spending rose – at a time when it needed to be cut, and cut sharply.
But no – when the DFL says Pawlenty “destroyed Minnesota”, what they mean is “Pawlenty made government a tad less comfortable; he slowed the rate of increase in a way that forced government to have to actually adapt, like all the greasy hoi-polloi have to do when times get tough”.
Goverment hates that. DFL is the party of government. Connect the dots.
“Emmer is running scared!” – Of what?
Leaving aside the fact that the only poll that shows dodgy results for Emmer – the “PiPress” poll earlier this week that was commissioned from a company run by a pal of Tom Horner’s - is the most transparently risible exercise in DFL morale-building since…well, the last “Minnesota Poll” – so what? If credible polls taken months before elections mattered, Emmer would have dropped out of the race after Marty Seifert won the Central Committee poll, and won it soundly, last winter.
Emmer spent the winter getting name recognition among Republicans, and bit by bit snuck up on and, finally, defeated Seifert for the nomination. And he did it the old-fashioned way – one voter at a time.
Emmer has always been the underdog. If he’s the underdog now, that’s fine – Mark Dayton has huge name recognition outstate (Entenza doesn’t matter, and I’m verging on saying Kelliher doesn’t either), but after the primaries, when Minnesota voters look at the DFL slate and say “Oh, that Mark Dayton?” It’s fair to say that someone meeting Tom Emmer stands a great chance of coming away a supporter; someone meeting Mark Dayton may need a cup of coffee, stat.
“Emmer is an extremist!” – Over what? His push to fundamentally rebuild government into a more responsible, less costly, less-entitled institution? Most Americans and Minnesotans agree these days.
Over Arizona’s immigration law? Emmer supports the same law – which does not allow profiling – that nearly two in three Americans do.
Emmer is the mainstream candidate. Which is the only reason the DFL and their blog friends need to keep repeating the lie that he’s not; it’s the only response they have.
We’ll do another digest after the DFL and their pals in the media and their kept blogs send some of these memes to the showers and wheel out some new ones.