Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Primary Day: Kurt Bills Falls Into The Abyss

Tonight Ron Paul hand picked first time candidate for statewide office and cheesy high school teacher Kurt Bills put in one of the worst performances of a Minnesota Republican Party endorsed candidate in tonight's primary election. As of this writing, the results show Bills received a naked 51.31% of the vote in his race for the US Senate. David Carlson, a veteran of thre tours of duty in Iraq, received 35.21% of the vote while the very strange wayfarer Bob Carney, Jr. received 13.48%. Both competitors were invisible, for the most part, before today's primary.

How does the crackerjack Bills campaign respond to such a calamity? By bluster and bravado in a press release issued while its candidate was being made a national laughingstock. Here is that press release:

Kurt Bills Wins Big in MN Senate Primary

Kurt Bills Wins Big in MN Senate Primary

Tea Party, Ron Paul, and “Paul Ryan” Republicans Unite Behind Bills

BLOOMINGTON, MN—High School economics teacher Kurt Bills soundly trounced his Republican primary opponents, setting up a contest between Bills and incumbent Senator Amy Klobuchar.

It was a contest between the Tea Party/Ron Paul wing of the Minnesota Republican Party and their establishment opponents.  Bills, a political newcomer, is a high school economics teacher who first ran for office only 4 years ago; he won a city council seat in 2008, defeated a Democrat incumbent for a state legislative seat in 2010, and won the Republican endorsement to run against Klobuchar in 2012.

Bills has run unapologetically standing up for free enterprise, for a common sense foreign policy, and against monopolies and crony capitalist ventures such as bailing out wall street banks.

Bills’ meteoric rise in the Republican Party coincides with the growth of the Tea Party and Ron Paul movements in Minnesota. As an economic teacher, Bills has run as an unapologetic proponent of ending government intervention in the economy, and scaling back US military interventions. He is a strong opponent of the Federal Reserve.  Bills’ campaign theme is “Econ101.”

It’s a message that resonates in populist Minnesota. One of his opponents, David Carlson, ran a harsh television advertisement directly taking on Bills’ ties to Ron Paul; it backfired.

“Don’t underestimate the Tea Party energy out there,” said Bills.

“Grassroots Republicans aren’t just angry at Democrats for mortgaging their future; they’re angry at Washington DC.,” argued Bills.

“There is a prairie fire of populism in the Midwest. Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan for VP is feeding that fire. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa are now all in play in the presidential race. That same energy will carry my own campaign across the finish line,” Bills concluded.

Which stoned intern wrote this fiction? Does the campaign think the reader doesn't notice a lack of numbers in the release? Soundly trounced? A 51 to 49 win is not trouncing, even for the marginal liberty denizens. Bills has run a lousy campaign, going to safe areas (parades!) and never reaching out to moderate democrats and independents. Indeed, Bills has made no overture to the base of his own party which he and his unserious, moronic Paul supporters pretend he represents. Tonight the base told something the Bills campaign didn't, apparently, understand until tonight: we're not that into you.

And a backlash against David Carlson's completely true ad about Ron Paul? Toke up! Andy Parrish asked me if I had a hand in that ad and I told him no. This happens to be the truth and the truth about Ron Paul is available to anyone with an internet connection. Carlson had exceptional production values and was up on TV air before Bills. Who do they blame for that? The Jews again? 

Amusingly, the Paul supporters on Twitter tried to blame the base for not endorsing the alien transplant who has done nothing to make himself a real republican instead of a living sock puppet of the failed, odious Ron Paul. One friend of mine, a candidate this time actually, blamed the embarrassing primary numbers on low turn out. How do you educate such a mind set? Then again, she thought Emmer's tip credit idea was a teachable moment so I may as well never try.

The amazingly stupid & out of touch "film" 'Staring Into The Abyss' the campaign released weeks ago introduced Bills as a fool and illegitimate candidate. He's running for the Senate. There are only 99 others. One might wish to take note.

The second attempt at video coherence was incoherence bordering on plagiarism: Busy Kurt, also known as ripping off the dead Paul Wellstone. This was a frame by frame remaking of Wellstone's video showing him in fast motion having government control every aspect of our lives. OK, I jest but the idea was terrible. That no one killed it, instead of green lighting it, shows just how poor the talent is on the Bills campaign. But really, is it any worse than the candidate himself? No.

Bills' legislative supporters were noticeably absent on Twitter tonight (shades of the legislators who supported Emmer but ran away after his endorsement because, well, they're losers). Party leaders, such as they are, were mute in their praise of this smashing win. The requisite MN GOP press releases were issued so one is at least comforted that the mechanics of a functioning state-wide party were in order. But Shortridge, Fenton, Johnson & Anderson lead a fool's brigade to Tampa. They made a conscious decision to align themselves with what they thought was the ascendant movement in the party. Yes, the very definition of leadership, that. Someone should break it to Jeff he'll never be governor. One assumes the other three know how to dog paddle.

Bills' abject press release attempts to co-opt both the Tea Party and Paul Ryan. Sorry, the first is legitimate, organic, decentralized, not crazy or Jew hating and doesn't think 9/11 was an inside job. Paul Ryan has, literally, nothing to do with Kurt Bills but, given that he voted for TARP, would not the Paul zombies have problems? Yes. No matter. When you almost lose your own primary in a party that heretofore respected greatly the endorsement process, you ought look to yourself for fault instead of, Obama-like, blame others who have nothing to do with your incompetence.

Kurt Bills demonstrably cannot do this. That he let the above press release go out shows he knows nothing of personal responsibility or any understanding of the fundamentals of politics. This augurs poorly for the general election against Amy Klobuchar, who is Minnesota mediocrity incarnate. But, as the saying goes, you can't beat something with nothing.

My friend Maggie Mulvaney coined the Twitter hash tag #TwentySevenPercent. It's a way of saying, on Twitter, that we don't think Bills will get above that amount of the vote come November. All of us who use that hash tag would be delighted to be wrong. After tonight, though, we might have to lower our expectations to comport with the new reality that set in. And the idea that the Bills campaign will take down just those who are on it is fanciful. Too many were involved in stepping aside at every level of the MN GOP for this spasm of Paulism to have taken place. We actually know who you are because you told us so to our faces.

I'm told elephants don't forget.

Correction: This post initially said, incorrectly, that David Carlson had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. It has been corrected to reflect three tours in Iraq.