DFLer Kevin Dahle rode to disappointing victory in the SD25 Special Election yesterday, carried to the Capitol on a wave of college kids that drove over a Strib-endorsed, District-Leadership-approved, not-very-conservative Ray Cox, who proceeded (apparently) to phone in a campaign.
…the DFL has revealed a private side that is strategically superior to the GOP campaign mechanism. We should pay attention. Especially those of us that think being philosophically “superior” to our socialistic opponents is somehow going to carry the day in fall 2008. We can be as right as right can be on the philosophical arguments but as Wheelock Whitney said in his complaint about Pat Robertson’s takeover of the party in the late ’80s “Victory goes to those who show up”.
And the GOP didn’t show up – at least, not enough of them to counter the DFL’s play:
Local politics is finite math. The DFL found victory in coy manipulation of same-day registration and what is reported as a higher than expected student turnout in Northfield proper. There was no credible rallying alarm for the conservative base to respond to. That was largely because many in the conservative base felt somewhat excluded by the process whereby Neuville anointed Cox without the benefit of a grassroots vetting of the GOP endorsement.
Are you paying attention, Third District? When you take an imperious, top-down process (see: CD4) and add a “play it safe”, “Sturdevant-Approved (R)” “moderate” Republican who is “safe” for the party leadership (he was endorsed by the Strib! I mean, what kind of warning sign do you need?) but puts out no reason to vote for him (because if you give the voters a choice between a DFLer and a DFLer-in-all-but-name, they’ll take the DFLer)…
…you lose the veto.
“We” were out-smarted, out-flanked and out-worked. For the record, I did nothing to help in SD25. How about you?
Didn’t think I’d need to, frankly. I’ve got my own tide to try to turn in my own town.
Without the veto, the next session is going to look like the shower-room scene in Midnight Express. Hang onto your wallets; if you thought you could escape the Komintern by fleeing to suburbia, hang on.
More – much more – on the NARN tomorrow, and in this space on Monday.