And with all the prelims out of the way, we’re up to the grand finale of this, one of Minnesota Politics’ greatest traditions; the top ten conservatives that Minnesota liberals hate!
And here we go:
10. Laura Brod (2010 Ranking: 14): Brod – a former legislator, and one of the sharpest, most articulate politicians in the state, is lurking in the wings for her shot at something. And when she does, she’s going to rock the place. And when conservative women are about to rock, liberals salute them – with boundless, condescending, sometimes unhinged ire.
9. John Kline (2010 Ranking: 15): Redistricting has cut John Kline’s fortunes back a tad. Instead of winning the 2nd CD by 30 points, he’ll win by 12. It was only 12 years or so ago that the 2nd was Tim Penny’s safe sinecure. And in Minnesota, only Liberals are supposed to have sinecures.
7. Keith Downey: Downey’s a fairly junior legislator – but during the shutdown, he made “Govenor” Dayton look like the gabbling marionette he is. As his nominator, my staff blogger First Ringer, noted, “During the shutdown, the unions called their protests “Downeyville.” Not bad for a 2nd term legislator. Expect his name to rocket up this list if he runs for governor in 2014 as expected”. No argument here.
8. Kurt Zellers: Speaker of the House – what some DFLers call “The Kelliher Seat”. And he’s Conservative. Say no more.
6. Erik Paulsen (2010 Ranking: 21): What do you call someone who took a “purple” district and rode it into one of the safest GOP seats in the state? Hated! But nothing like…
5. Chip Cravaack: …someone who “steals” one of “their” safest sinecures from them. The DFL wants Cravaack defeated more than they want tofu at Festivus. By far the strongest debut in this year’s poll, from nowhere (naturally – when the 2010 poll was going on, nobody had heard of Cravaack, even in the GOP, outside the 8th CD).
4. Jason Lewis (2010 Ranking: 7): Lewis, perhaps more than any other pundit, upset the “great thing” the DFL had going for so many years. He’s the father of modern conservatism in Minnesota – and clearly that’s neither been forgotten nor forgiven.
3. Tom Emmer (2010 Ranking: 3): They had to outspend him 3:1 to beat him by 8,000 votes, even with a dysfunctional GOP behind him. In so doing, they so exposed the incompetence and (likely) massive fraud in the DFL-controlled voting system that it set the wheels in motion to reform the entire toxic mess. And Tom is still kicking their asses. No wonder he’s holding steady at #3.
2. Katherine Kersten (2010 Ranking: 4): Liberals love their women to be the PC equivalent of barefoot, preggers and in the kitchen. Kersten broke the Blue Ceiling at the Strib – the first columnist to be an “Out” conservative, in a bullpen that has always called Dave Durenberger a right-winger. She rankled the establishment at the Strib, and in Twin CIties liberalism at large. They hate being rankled.
1. Michele Bachmann (2010 Ranking: 1): Not even close. More votes than the next two finishers put together. Not only that, but of everyone that voted for her, all but one put her in first place – for a passion index a point and a half higher than the next competitor. Representative Bachmann is the perfect bete noir storm; sharp, articulate (if occasionally a bit shoot-from-the-hip), attractive, female, paleoconservative, charismatic, smarter than they are (whether they admit it or not), and absolute master of all she politically surveys. By holding, Thatcher-like, to rock-solid principle, she was a bright spot in two dark GOP elections; she’s persevered to win her last race by 12 points, and likely win her next one by 20. And if there’s anything a Minnesota liberal hates more than a conservative woman, it’s a conservative woman who walks over them without breaking a sweat at their most depraved attacks. More than that? Their hatred only seems to make her stronger.
And in being so, she teaches all conservatives in this purple miasma a lesson; stake out your principles, explain them clearly, and stand by ‘em.
And in that lies the doom of the DFL, if there is any future to be had for this state.
And they do very very much hate that.
Thanks for voting, and stay tuned; we’ve only two years away from the next episode of “Who Do Minnesota Liberals Hate?”