Get The F Out

Here’s a question for our DFLer friends.

Back from the 1890′s through maybe the 1930′s, farming had a radical fringe; the “Granger” and “Prairie Populist” and “Non-Partisan League” movements back in the Dakotas still have their political vestiges.

And the presence of an “F” in “DFL” – “Democrat Farmer Labor” party – is another vestige of an era when farming had a radical element.  The “Farmer Labor” party of Floyd Olson and the other softcore socialists of the twenties through the forties was a serious force in Minnesota politics.

But that was eighty years ago.  Since then, farmers have been among the most conservative people in our society.  The “Red States” are stereotypically (and misleadingly) seen as agrarian, and the conservatism of the ag sector (once you leave out the deeply interventionist farm bills) is legendary.

Here in Minnesota it’s the farming areas of this state that are among the most conservative and Republican.  Oh, Collin Peterson is a blue-dog holdover from an era when there wasn’t much to distinguish a Republican and a Democrat in Minnesota, a pro-NRA, nominally pro-life Democrat whose politics are less important than the fact that he has the seniority it takes to deliver the farm-bill pork.  And Tim Walz down in the First makes just enough social-conservative noises to keep from alarming the farmers in his district, without unduly alarming his base of power, Austin union members,  the Mankato college crowd and Rochester’s new urban-hanger-on set.

But other than the utterly bipartisan pursuit of farm-bill pork, I’ve gotta figure support for the DFL – especially its Twin Cities metrocrat focuses – has got to be very, very low among actual farmers.  And it’s for sure that while Labor is a huge constituency in the DFL, I’m at a loss to remember seeing any signs of a “farm” caucus at a DFL convention.

So maybe it’s time for the DFL to change its name in the interest of accuracy?

Maybe to the “Democrat-Oligarch-Labor-Education” party?

I’m here to help.

15 thoughts on “Get The F Out

  1. For those fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republicans….they say ditch the social conservatives and Republicans will do better. I disagree. There are a ton of people out there who don’t follow politics. They don’t know much about $100,000,000,000,000 in unfunded liability in Big Entitilement. They don’t pay much attention to mandates coming out of unelected bureaucrats.

    But they are pro-life. Pro-familiy. Anti-free ride (even farm subsidies require you to still work). And they tend to go to church most Sundays. And they tend to vote Republican for those reasons.

  2. How many people of influence in the DFL are farmers or laborers? All their candidates seem to be lawyers.
    Why would a farmer or laborer support a tax system that takes money from farmers and laborers and gives it to well-healed bureaucrats with soft hands?

  3. I once heard Joe Niehaus speak to a group of constituents – Stearns County farmers – telling them that if elected, he’d go to St. Paul and vote no. When they ask if we should raise taxes, I’ll vote no. When they ask if we should take away guns, I’ll vote no. When they ask if we should give more welfare to layabouts . . . he never got to finish, the cheering and applause was so loud.

    I miss him.

  4. Some groups exist primarily to raise money, which is then used to pay the staff. Pay them well for doing little work. And give them free trips to conferences in nice cities.
    NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, NOW, NARAL, community activists and union officers.

    I know a union rep who always has a blast on his all-expense paid bi-annual trip to Las Vegas for a “conference”. A conference that has few meetings.

  5. Chuck wrote:
    Some groups exist primarily to raise money, which is then used to pay the staff. Pay them well for doing little work. And give them free trips to conferences in nice cities.
    This is what Obama & his posse consider ‘the real America’.

  6. “I know a union rep who always has a blast on his all-expense paid bi-annual trip to Las Vegas for a “conference”. A conference that has few meetings.”

    Me too! My brother, a district level “operative” in the railroad union. He’s always bragging about these jaunts!

  7. I don’t think it’s possible to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The consequences/fallout of profligate socially liberal policies are expensive and lead to even more “victim” classes.

  8. The “farmer” in their label may be misleading, electorally, but it gives Lori Sturdevant another reason to presume liberals are everywhere.

  9. My favorite DFL pseudo-populist phrase, one that I recall vividly from the Wellstone years but probably much older, is “working families.” As opposed to…non-working families?

  10. Ironically, GolfDoc, in DFL talk, ‘working families’ can refer to a family in which no family member has ever worked for wages.
    BTW, I seem to remember that HHH welded together the DFL from Democrat party, Farmer Party, and Labor Party, but only after he had purged the Stalinists from the Labor party. Or he thought that he had.

  11. Mitch, you’re a genius! I think D.O.L.E. should become the designated acronym of all Minnesota Democrats going forward!

  12. Why would the DFL turn their party over to a kulak?

    But as to farmers being conservative, they are in many ways until it comes to their subsidies.

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