Launching True North

Today’s the big launch for True North. 

We’re a blog.

Perhaps you’ve heard; there are 70 million blogs out there. You might be forgiven for asking: “Why another?”

The answer: because it’s needed.

Minnesota is a tough place to be a Republican; it’s tougher still to be a first-principles based, center-right conservative. We face a media and DFL machine that is huge, well-funded, and has insinuated over the past three or four generations into every corner of Minnesota life.

And yet for all of that, we – underfunded, working mostly as volunteers – have twice brought this state to the tipping point, from “purple” to the ragged brink of “red”. In five straight elections, from ’98 to ’06, Minnesota’s volunteers took on the paid, plutocrat-propped minions of the DFL on the streets, in the community centers, and finally at the polling places. And except for the national debacle of ’06, we gave MUCH better than we got. We turned “liberal” Minnesota into a swing state.

And it’s been a lot of work. Minnesota’s volunteers are tired. They’ve been asked a lot. But they’ve delivered.

Among those volunteers have been Minnesota’s center-right bloggers. Minnesota’s center-right has, since 2004, fostered a blog community that is the nation’s most vibrant, smart and influential.

And they’ve put in a lot of work. And they’re tired, too.

But it’s another season. And someone needs to do their bit to help focus those bloggers, that alternative media, those many many volunteers in precincts and wards across this state, to shake off the fatigue, and ride once more to the sound of the guns; like bagpiper Mike Millin leading Lord Lovat’s troops across Sword Beach on D-Day with the skirl of his highland pipes, someone’s gotta fly that flag and walk toward the fight , so that everyone else can see, grit their teeth, and follow along.

That’s why we started this blog. What makes us think that “True North” is guaranteed to succeed? Simple. It’s a blog. There are no guarantees. But we’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right people:

True North has a bunch of Minnesota’s finest center-right bloggers and other pundits. These are people who’ve waved Minnesota’s cultural barometer in the world’s face for years, now, and made the world listen. We have some people with INCREDIBLY good insights on board.We are living in a situation that is ripe for this type of blog. We face a huge-profile Senate race, one that will pit Hollywood (and Kenwood) against Main Street.

We are a Purple State with a governor that is a contender to go to Washington. We are going to be hosting a national convention (and a few thousand demonstrators in the bargain), which will put our state and our people on the world’s front pages. And the Minnesota House in the balance, as Minnesota wakes up from the ’06 election, sees what the DFL has tried to abscond with, and quietly tries to chew its arm off to avoid waking the Democrats up; we could flip the State House, and possibly the US House, back to the GOP.

The question isn’t “why do this blog”. The question is “could we do without it?” Hope you can join us. It’s going to be wildest year of our lives, so far.

(Cross-posted on True North)

18 thoughts on “Launching True North

  1. The Patriot coverage was excellent. Say, who is that erudite, cogent person making the plea to Governor Pawlenty to resist a special session? I agree completely.

  2. Boy, a lot of “cross-posts” (read: retreads). Kind of an Utne Reader for the Minnesota right-wing nutjob set, eh?

  3. Or a forum for people to express their opinions. They used to do that in the Democrat party, then purity tests became the standard. Now you guys think what you’re told to think. It must be such a relief, not having to actually think. Freedom…..

  4. Kermit- will the forum allow comments for people (non-bloggers) to express their opinions? I will be very disappointed if it didn’t.

  5. Boy, a lot of “cross-posts” (read: retreads).

    Nah, not read re-treads.

    Blogs are about networking.

  6. Since it’s all about me, I’m pleased; this gives me one place to go to read lots of the folks I want to read regularly.

    The lack of a comments section, though, is a minus, but not a big one. YMMV, and all.

    Now, if only somebody wants to do the same sort of thing for those of us who are radical moderates . . .

  7. Well, Kermit, at least the DFL still lets people vote in competitive primaries. I realize Pawlenty had a challenge from Sullivan in the ’02 race, but other than that, I’m racking my brain to recall any competitive GOP primaries since I moved here in ’95.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with strong party leaders who know how to work the back rooms. It’s especially helpful if they aren’t tone deaf and stupid like the leaders of some other parties I can think of.

  8. Peter, I’d love to introduce you to Sue Jeffers some time. She owns a bar and challenged Tim for the nomination last time. You might want to check your facts before going all dopey on us.

    “newsflash: there are no purity tests in the Republican Party.”

    Rudy Giuliani, pro-choice
    Mitt Rmoney, pro-life.
    Both serious GOP candidates.
    Keep laughing, blogesota. We all are.

  9. “Blogs are about networking.”

    With no comments? Not good. Not good at all. Even MiniMon allows (some) comments. Who’s decision was this?

  10. I’d love to meet Sue Jeffers. I liked what I heard when I caught her on the radio. Strong libertarian streak.

    Kermit, how close was that primary? And did Jeffers get any cooperation from the party? If I recall correctly, some party apparatchiks tried raising procedural concerns in an attempt to keep her off the primary ballot. Or was that just to keep her out of a televised debate?

  11. It wasn’t close. Everyone knew Tim had the best chance of beating the DFL, and with that prick Mike Hatch as the candidate it was vital that he did so.
    The point is there was a competition. Sue’s a great gal, and will contribute to these threads from time to time. I would gladly support her in a race she could win.
    You made the assertion that the Republicans don’t allow competition for nominations, and that’s just simply wrong. You are just seeing the end of the process. There is tons of competition and debate at the local level in the BPOUs. By the time we get to the state convention we are mostly unified and focused on the real adversary, that being the DFL.

  12. PH,

    I’ll go along with Kermit. While you only saw the tip of the iceberg at the ’06 GOP convention, there’d been quite a scrum at the BPOU level; the Jeffers people did turn out in some numbers.

    Likewise, another big-deal race – the Sixth CD – was pretty hotly-contested (although Bachmann’s street organization carried the day, it looked easier than it was, I think).

    But look at the ’02 Goober race. It came down to something like 2,246 ballots between Sullivan and Pawlenty; more importantly, Sullivan made his presence felt in the final Pawlenty agenda, which skewed to the right of TPaw’s normal positions on things.

  13. Kermit mentioned two guys who haven’t drawn a single vote outside their libral northeastern states:

    “Rudy Giuliani, pro-choice
    Mitt Rmoney, pro-life.”

    Give me a call when one of these guys gets the nomination, big fella.

  14. C’mon, AC, Romney got votes in the Iowa straw poll. He had to spend nearly $500 for each vote he got, but he got ’em.

    Kermit missed the best example of there being ideological diversity within the GOP.

    Mitt Romney, pro choice
    Mitt Romney, pro life
    Mitt Romney, for gun control
    Mitt Romney, against gun control

    As to my point, that being a Minnesota Republican means you never have to vote in a primary, Kermit and Mitch both raised a couple exceptions from the past decade, one of which I already alluded to. Could you at least admit that the DFL has had more wide-open primaries in the past decade than the MN GOP?

    And as I said, strong party leadership (and a party mostly sharing a common vision) is not such a bad thing. Ellison won his primary largely because there wasn’t sufficient leadership in the DFL to insist that either Erlandson or Reichgott Junge to step out of the race.

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