Ryan Winkler is leaving the House of Representatives.
Winkler spent nine sessions in the Legislature. During the last five or six of them, his job, coming from an utterly safe seat in Golden Valley, seemed to be “the DFL’s Costco version of Sidney Blumenthal”; to say and do the things that no DFLer in a contested district – or human with an education and a conscience – would dare to say.
Winkler racked up a long, storied history:
- Saying that women who run childcares are just too dumb to get a fair shake without the big strong union watching out for them
- Lying to the rubes outstate about the “bipartisan” support for his minimum wage shakedown
- Of course, his consistent, serial rape of fact in
pushing fordemigogueing the minimum wage bill
- Participating in the politically-motivated slander of a company that employs (for the moment) tens of thousands of Minnesotans
- And of course, the moment that may have ended his aspirations for higher office – calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “Uncle Thomas“. In defense of his corrosively racist jape, Winkler – a graduate of Harvard and the U of M Law School – pleaded…ignorance of history.
…enough that he seemed to be well on the way to becoming Minnesota’s Joe Biden.
Of course, Paul Thissen said what caucus leaders are supposed to say about their hatchet men:
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he’ll miss Winkler’s “impatience with injustice. He is always willing to take on the tough fights and not back down. He drove the discussion forward about how to make our economy work better for people. His work to raise the minimum wage and improve opportunity for average Minnesotans is a tremendous legacy.”
Um yeah. When a Minnesotan loses a job to pay for his precious minimum wage hike, we need to say they’ve been “Winklered”.
But this isn’t about my observations. Look at the adjectives the media uses in describing Winkler’s career; “outspoken” (as in “outspoken advocate on behalf of…” yadda yadda), “sharp-tongued”, “Harvard-Educated”, and the like.
If he’d been a Republican, I’d have looked for adjectives more like “Controversial”, “stridently partisan”, and maybe “gaffe-prone”. More to the point? A “sharp-tongued” Republican would be “contibuting to the nasty partisanship” around the Capitol.
But he’s a DFLer in Minnesota. He was just a character, one that the reporters could always get a cutesy quote from.
Ryan Winkler is the poster child for the Minnesota media’s double standard.