Keep Our Powder Dry

I’ve been a little nervous about this for weeks.

Let me explain:

The Minnesota GOP is a shambles – but this state is full of conservative people.  And while conservatives are not the kind to stand around waving signs for any old thing, when you get us riled up, we turn out in droves, and we punch way above our weight.  One conservative out on the street speaking out is worth four or five figures of Alida Messinger’s money.

And the DFL knows this; they know that while they’ll get inundated with hard-working, well-informed, taxpaying folks when they propose radical and stupid legislation, that – unlike the people who turn out (and, often, are paid to turn out) for their events, they work for a living, don’t have unions giving them time off, can’t leave their lives on hold while they play politics for an extended time.

And so they’ve been proposing an avalanche of radical and stupid legislation:

On the one hand, it’s the DFL getting control of the wheels and levers of power after ten years of incomplete control, which has to be a little like an ex-con looking for a hooker after ten years in jail.

Still, it’s made me a little nervous.  And I can’t be all wrong, because it makes Dave Thul nervous too.

There is only so much in the conservative activist excitement bank. You can get our people out once, twice, maybe three times in droves during a session, and after that fatigue as well as lack of vacation time come in to play. I can’t say with complete confidence, but it sure looks like the DFL is ramping up the outrage on issues they really don’t intend to make a full court press for-gun bans, tax hikes on the poor, tax hikes on businesses, ect. They are getting us to waste our ammo on targets that don’t matter, so we will be low on ammo when the real battle starts.

If there’s anything more insidious than overestimating your opponent, it’s underestimating them.

The DFL has to know that even in the best of times the GOP runs on volunteers (2000 and 2004) or the passion of activists who somehow scrape up the time and energy to move mountains (2002, 2010).

If you were Ken Martin Mark Dayton Alida Messinger, it wouldn’t be rocket science to see that the weakest link remaining in the GOP is the energy and passion level of the volunteers and activists that are, really, the party’s only real resource at the moment.

9 thoughts on “Keep Our Powder Dry

  1. ….it sure looks like the DFL is ramping up the outrage on issues they really don’t intend to make a full court press for-gun bans, tax hikes on the poor, tax hikes on businesses, ect. They are getting us to waste our ammo on targets that don’t matter, so we will be low on ammo when the real battle starts.

    A plausible scenario to be sure. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, these are lefties we’re talking about. As Kurt Zellers told us earlier this month, it’s quite possible the DFL just won’t be able to help themselves and thus try to press forward on all the aforementioned proposals. As Mitch said, conservatives have shown the ability to punch back twice as hard when Libs attempt to overreach.

  2. I don’t think your scenario, while possible, is a matter of overestimating or underestimating [the intelligence of] the DFL. I’ve just found that these folks run pretty much on pure emotion, feel-good, if-it-sounds-good-do-it, rather than any tactical or strategic brilliance. Their success has come because there are lots of voters out there just as dim as they are.

  3. The Left has two advantages:
    1) The ability to deficit spend through the Federal gov’t, and direct that money to constituents at the big-city level.
    2) A mainstream media that is in ideological agreement with it.

    Take away either of those two items and they would crash and burn. I suspect that those on the Left know this.

  4. Let’s be clear; the Republican and Democratic parties are equal offenders when it comes to deficit spending.

    Mr. Obama has perfected the art of appropriating Republican talking points in the service of an assertive liberal agenda, which leaves even the most polished Republican looking a bit disoriented and anachronistic. George W. Bush was far better at speaking to the center and painting himself as a “new breed of Republican” than anyone in the party now.

    Mr Obama is personally popular, but many of his policies are not. If nothing else, this suggests that Republicans need to back way off from attacking the man personally, no matter how much he personally rankles them. They need to admit that they’re on the defensive and that their opinion of Mr. Obama is a minority opinion. That said, they should be able to find some specific areas of policy in which they can consolidate their strength by scoring small victories on points where public opinion does not necessarily track Mr. Obama’s desires.

    Once they’ve shown that they can stand and fight and win on a few small issues of real significance rather than on the largely symbolic issues in which they either score a hollow victory or lose righteously, the Republicans could even legitimately attempt to usurp some liberal issues. They could attempt to cut military spending on the grounds of fiscal responsibility, or legalize marijuana on the grounds of personal liberty and states’ rights. I suspect the Tea Party faction would be supportive of such policies, while the dyed-in-the-wool militarists and moralists could safely be left to fume, since they are hardly going to start voting Democrat out of frustration.

    As background for this, Republicans should assume that Mr. Obama’s long-term strategy is to utterly crush the Republicans as a party and Republican ideas as politically legitimate. His legislative tactics over the next two years will all be in service of a strategy of gaining Democratic control of the House in 2014. To accomplish that, his legislative approach will be to force the Republicans to take unpopular votes (e.g, turn an anti-tax vote into a stop-the-government vote), to show them as radicals and extremists at every turn (alienating the moderates), to demonstrate their impotence to their conservative base by forcing them to the mat on issues dear to the conservatives (gun control may be first test), all while maintaining and expanding the Chicago machine politics that uses patronage to buy important loyalties. It’s no surprise that Mr Obama’s recent gun control proposal included $500 million in new federal money.

    When the Republicans fully realize two things — that most people like Mr. Obama, and to Mr. Obama, annihilation of all opposition is always the ultimate goal — they may begin to turn their party around.

    It might be worth pointing out that in the recent campaigns it was the religious nuts, not the Tea Party people, who got the Republicans in the most trouble. The Republicans could arguably have gained the senate if a couple of their candidates could have been restrained from spouting off stupidly about abortion and rape. Despite all the mockery they’ve received in the media, I give the Tea Party faction a lot of credit for largely sticking to economic issues and putting religion aside. That alone distinguishes the Tea Party from the Republicans previous internal reform movement, the Moral Majority.

  5. Really, Emery? To your first point, you are correct, but not just on fiscal issues! You might want to take a look at the elitist, Democrat women haters in the Colorado legislature who during their gun grabbing testimony, told women that they aren’t capable of defending themselves with guns, even if they are facing a rapist and should use other means to resist.

  6. Mitch–

    If the energy and passion of its volunteers are the GOP’s “only resource” at the moment, it might be because your party has lurched so far to the right (thank the TP’ers) that a lot of its constituency has abandoned it.

    People like me, f’rinstance. I was a good Republican until folks like Scott Walker, Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan made a smoking ruin out of my state.

  7. I’m not Mitch, but if you think Scott Walker and Paul Ryan have made a smoking ruin out of Wisconsin, I seriously doubt you were ever a Republican, good or otherwise.

  8. gosh Alois, next you’re going to tell me that Tammy Baldwin is the kind of conservative democrat you can feel good about voting to elect.

  9. I was a good Republican until folks like Scott Walker, Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan made a smoking ruin out of my state.

    Provide five examples of how they did this. Show your work. And Warren Knowles isn’t coming back, dude.

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