Primary Colors: Strib To Peasants: “Know Thy Places, Knaves!”

The Strib is starting its endorsement season for next week’s primaries.

Before we get to that, let’s establish three things:

  1. The Strib “Editorial Board” is once, always and forever in the bag for the DFL.  They will do whatever it takes to see that either the DFL gets elected – and failing that, to try to ensure that any Republicans who do get into office are content to cause the DFL as little trouble as possible
  2. Berg’s 11th Law Is iron-clad and all-encompassing.  The law – listed here – says “The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected“.  Beyond that, we need to consult the “Huckabee Corollary to Berg’s 11th Law”, which states that “the Republican that the media covers most intensively before the nomination for any office will be the one that the liberals know they have the best chance of beating after the nomination, and/or will most cripple the GOP if nominated.
  3. Buckley Was Right.  Conservatives should elect the most conservative candidate that can win.
With that in mind – the Strib endorsed Connie Doepke in the SD33 race n a piece yesterday that oozed patrician, elitist condescenscion.  No, really – Tea Party and Conservative groups should put this bit here…:

Minnesota has long been able to count on the Lake Minnetonka area to send thoughtful, pragmatic Republican leaders to the state Senate. Gen Olson, who is retiring after 30 years, and George Pillsbury before her fit that description.

…on T-shirts and lawn signs to rile up the conservative base.   When the Strib calls someone “thoughtful” and “pragmatic”, they mean “more willing than the average Republican to go along with the DFL to get along”.  As some of us call them, “Sturdevant Republicans” – Republicans who’d rather get the Strib’s seal of approval than stand up for the principles the conservative Republican base supports.

The Strib “Editorial Board”, in a piece that reeks of Lori Sturdevant’s authorship, endorsed Connie Doepke in the Senate primary.

Now, I have friends and people whose opinion I respect who are supporting Connie Doepke.  Some have told me offline that I’m selling her conservatism short.  I hear those objections – and raise them the Freedom Club’s enthusiastic demurral, and her in-the-bag-for-the-education-lobby status, and her stadium vote.   Any of all of which might be forgiveable, if no better alternative was available.  We’ll come back to that.

I don’t live in SD33, but I support Dave Osmek, to whom the Strib gives criminally short shrift:

It’s a disappointing commentary on the west-metro Republican Party that Doepke, 66, was passed over for party endorsement. It went instead to David Osmek, 47, a project manager for United Health Group and a budget hawk during 10 years on the Mound City Council.

The Strib hates people like Dave Osmek, because they prove that conservatism works.  Osmek, along with the sitting conservative city council and mayor, have weaned the city off of the state’s blessed “Local Government Aid”, while keeping the government functioning well and helping the region prosper.

And why the hell would the Strib wanna promote that?

But let’s cut to the chase, here; I’m going to add some emphasis:

Among other things, Osmek faults Doepke for supporting the Vikings stadium bill; for willingness to require Amazon to collect state sales taxes on Minnesotans’ purchases, as Minnesota-based retailers must; and for accepting the Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award from the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, which he notes gave a similar award to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Doepke can hold her head high for her position on all those matters.

Oh, can she, then?

Well, that settles it!

No, the hell it does.  Why can she “hold her head high” on these?  What makes any of these good policy or good recommendations for office?

Well, we know why; the AMSD is a constant, reliable shill for the DFL’s priorities.  Her vote on internet commerce taxes carried the DFL’s water.  And the Strib desperately needed the stadium; not just any stadium, but one on the east end of Downtown Minneapolis.   Was there a quid pro quo – “give us a vote, and we’ll give you an endorsement”?  I don’t know, and I’m not going to suggest there was – but if there were, how would Doepke’s behavior on the stadium issue have been any different?

Buckley said “elect the most conservative candidate that can win”.  Dave Osmek can and will win if he gets on the ballot.  And he’ll bring a solid budget-hawk voice to the Capitol, to backstop the redoubtable former Freshmen that will be returning as sophomores this winter – the Tea Party class that the Strib ˆso deeply hates, all obstreporous and principled and not giving a rat’s ass about Elmer Anderson and Arnie Carlson’s legacies of worthless, spendthrift accomodation.

And the Strib will fight that with all they have.


The “N-Head” “controversy” – which was the most contrived, yellow bit of journalism since Rochelle Olson’s hit piece on Alan Fine back in the ’06 race in MNCD5 – may not be what knocks Rick Perry out of the presidential race.  Indeed, there are months before the fat lady sings, and anything can happen.

But Perry is making some unforced errors.  And it looks as if Mitt Romney is making some moves toward testing the thesis that he’s “the most electable Republican”.

Now, let’s be clear ; Romney’s never been my candidate, but he’d be light years better than Obama.  Indeed, except for John Huntsman and Mike Huckabee, every GOP contender (I know, Huck’s not in the race; work with me, here) would be a better president than Barack Obama, especially if we flip the Senate this next session; on dealing with the economy, Mitt Romney at the head of a Tea-Party-motivated two-house majority to temper whatever flecks of “moderate” impedimenta he still has would be just the cataract of common sense this nation desperately needs.

There is danger here, of course.  “Berg’s Law” – the immutable laws of human and political behavior that I’ve compiled over the years – pretty clearly apply here.

I’ll cite the relevant ones:

Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.

The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: If that respected conservative ever develops a chance of getting elected, that “respect” will turn to blind unreasoning hatred overnight.

The Huckabee Corollary the McCain Corolloary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: The Republican that the media covers most intensively before the nomination for any office will be the one that the liberals know they have the best chance of beating after the nomination, and/or will most cripple the GOP if nominated.

No ambiguity here.

It’s why the media has given the likes of McCain, Huckabee and John Huntsman such “favorable” coverage; in the hopes of building them up into contenders that’d sap the real Republican front-runner, or even fatally weak nominees that they could then turn around and demolish (vide McCain).

Now, I think the Democrats and media (pardon the redundancy) are in a bind here; they hate Perry, obviously; if nominated, he’s win in a landslide, so the media is on full-blown destructo alert; unfortunately, Perry is obliging.   But they really wanted to prop up someone like a Huntsman, who is indistinguishable from a mainstream Democrat, or Huckabee, who is more of the same plus the kind of pro-lifer that’ll get the social libs exercised enough to maybe squeedge out some votes.

Romney?  He’s not a Tea Party favorite, but most of the Tea Party is driven by common sense, not purist ideology; the Tea Party is as much about rejecting socialism as it is adopting pure conservatism.

And that may sum up Romney’s appeal; he’s not a pure libertarian ideologue; nobody will ever mistake him for Ron Paul.  But he’s conservative enough on the issues that matter – the economy, business – and he’s got a lifetime of experience actually executing on that ideology, unlike the current resident.

So yeah, if Romney is the nominee, I won’t need to hold my nose to work and vote for him.  He’s not perfect, but he’s way more than “good enough”.  On a stage full of candidates who would all be better than Obama on every issue, Romney (along with Perry and Cain) stands out from the pack on the issue – the economy.

Could Herman Cain still blow this thing up?  It’s fun to think so; I’d hate to think that our race was already decided 10 months before the convention, 2-4 months before the first caucus or primary.

At any rate, as (I think it was) Mark Steyn noted on the Hewitt show the other day, the GOP race really has devolved  to “who is going to be Marco Rubio’s running mate?”

Trump, The Media, and Bandwagons

For background, I’ll refer you to…:

The Huckabee Corollary the McCain Corolloary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: The Republican that the media covers most intensively before the nomination for any office will be the one that the liberals know they have the best chance of beating after the nomination, and/or will most cripple the GOP if nominated.

If you’re like me, you looked at the polls “showing” Donald Trump “leading” the GOP field and thought “Huckabee Corollary!”.

Nate Silver – fresh from playing a role in engineering the DFL’s “Bandwagon Effect” in the Minnesota gubernatorial election last year – notices the media blitz on Trump without, I suspect, getting the “Why“:

One of the few pieces of statistical evidence that we can look toward at this early stage of the presidential campaign is the number of media hits that each candidate is receiving. Apart from being interesting unto itself, it’s plausible that this metric has some predictive power. At this point in 2007, Barack Obama and John McCain were receiving the most coverage among the Democratic and Republican candidates respectively, and both won their races despite initially lagging in the polls.

In contrast to four years ago, however, when the relative amount of media coverage was fairly steady throughout the campaign, there have already been some dramatic shifts this year. Sarah Palin’s potential candidacy, for instance, is only receiving about one-fifth as much attention as it did several months ago.

In the past, I’ve usually used Google News to study these questions, but I’ve identified another resource — — that provides more flexibility in search options and more robustness in its coverage. (One problem with counting things on Google is that the number of hits can vary fairly dramatically from day to day, for reasons I don’t entirely understand.)

(Another downside to Google News: it seriously overweights the left).

I’ve counted the number of times on in which the candidate’s name appeared in the lead paragraph of the article, and a select combination of words appeared down in the article body. In particular, I’ve looked for instances in which any combination of the words “president”, “presidential” or “presidency” appeared, as well as any of the words “candidate”, “candidacy”, “campaign”, “nomination” or “primary.”

The idea is to identify cases in which a candidate was the main focus of the article (as opposed to being mentioned in passing) and when the article was about the presidential campaign itself (as opposed to, say, Mr. Trump’s reality show). The technique isn’t perfect — there are always going to be a few “false positives” from out-of-context hits — but it ought to be a reasonably good benchmark for the amount of press attention that each candidate is getting.

And the results?

So far this month, however, Ms. Palin has accounted for just 124 hits out of 1,090 total, or roughly 11 percent. Instead, her place has been taken by Mr. Trump, who has accounted for about 40 percent of the coverage.

The decline in media coverage for Ms. Palin tracks with a decline in her polling numbers. Whereas she was pulling between 15 and 20 percent of the Republican primary vote in polls conducted several months ago, she’s down to about 10 percent in most surveys now.  Mr. Trump, meanwhile, whose media coverage has increased exponentially, has surged in the polls, and is essentially in a three-way tie for the lead with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee over an average of recent surveys.

Hm.  What do you suppose the odds were that the mainstream media would pump the hell out of a buffoonish cartoon like Trump at the expense of the serious GOP candidates?

After the MN Gubernatorial election we noted that  the “Bandwagon Effect” is known to have an effect on election turnout,  shown in academic studies on the subject.  As studied, it’s a negative effect – people are less likely to turn out for candidates that the media says are getting drubbed in the polls (like the Humphrey Institute’s polling last fall, which showed Emmer near-tie race as a 12 point loss with all-too-convenient timing.

So why would the media not be building up Trump as a “force to be reckoned with”?  It’s a win/win for the Media and the Democrats (pardon the redundancy); as long as Trump is pictured as a contender, GOP candidates have to waste time and money fighting the strawman with the bad combover.  And if by some freak of fate he gets the nomination (he won’t, because he’s no conservative, but let’s run with it) the media will tear him down promptly, because – let’s be honest – that’s what he’s there for.

This blog will be watching the libs/media and their bandwagonning over the next year and a half.  It’ll be a growth industry.