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:
- As I’ve noted (and will be noting today and tomorrow), a raft of gun laws almost bizarre in their absurdity.
- A rules change in the House seemingly designed to poke Republicans in the eye.
- A flip-flop on the “school shift” so seemingly clumsy it could come from a Betty McCollum speech.
- A groaningly extreme sales tax plan that only the Iranians would stick us with, one that not just tax experts and economists but even Democrats who work in the private sector think is stupid.
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.