Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

MC wishes to thank its supporters and detractors for a most interesting year. MC attempts to fill the gap in regular thinking on the right in Minnesota politics. Sometimes, this wins us praise from the other team. MC knows the type of "republican" to whom that is anathema. That reaction doesn't bother MC at all. Really, those purity types have given us Senator Franken and Governor Dayton. The coming new year is an opportunity for them to be quiet. If they don't take that opportunity, it will be enforced upon them. Enough with losers. MC is in it to win.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End Of Social Issues & The Last Republican

Francis Fukuyama famously wrote an article later turned into a full length book "The End of History And The Last Man." Buy it by clicking HERE. Be forewarned: it contains a lot of Heidegger. To MC's mind, not a bad thing but surely not to everyone's taste.

His critics mostly misunderstood his thesis but proceeded to take it to task nonetheless.

Consequently, MC feels (a dreaded word, really) that its critics will do the same with this post. So be it. MC is up to the task.

What, then, are the social issues? The tiresome ones, of course. Abortion, same-sex marriage, and, well, that's it, isn't it?

Abortion will never be illegal in America. No, the analogy to slavery is not apt. Conservatives should shun ridiculous groups like Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. MCCL is mostly concerned about paying its ossified staff good salaries. They save no unborn. They take you for and treat you as suckers. Do not enable the charade to continue any longer. Give your money and time to the the Catholic church or any other legitimate group that reaches out to real women in real distress. You will be doing good. Don't forget to try to act like Christ either. Tough sledding but that's what you signed up for.

Same sex anything: it's over. Isn't it slightly creepy that some care about how others achieve sexual satisfaction? The marriage debate is real and MC is not for same-sex marriage but really, if civil unions flourish, who cares at the moment? MC favors social change organically, to use that silly word. Put it to a vote. Then follow what the people say. More or less, this is a good guide to social comity.

MC supposes this approach would defund the silly Minnesota Majority, which, apparently, exists only to raise money to pay its lone staffers Jeff Davis and Dan McGrath. Readers, send them no money at all. And voter photo id? A solution, as Joe Mansky said, in search of a problem.

The left was mightily disappointed in the lack of right wing outrage when DADT was repealed. Do they not understand that their favorite enemy, Dick Cheney, has an openly lesbian daughter in a committed relationship and has come out, so to speak, in favor of same sex marriage? In this Mr. Cheney is ahead of MC. Go figure! The military concerns, to be sure, are of a different order yet MC could not help but think that if those exceptional Israeli soldiers have no problem, why should we?

The point of this post is that no matter what one may think about this or that issue, the social issues as we once knew them are over. Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said as much recently and this generated a small boomlet in the the blogosphere. Michael Barone weighed in and dismissed it all as so much nonsense. The American people, the ones the left professes to love and care for but mocks at every opportunity, have moved on.

They want jobs, less government, less debt. The left can mock them all it wants in order for their dwindling numbers to feel better about themselves.

But, paradoxically, it is the American people who have now put the knife to social issues they themselves have outgrown. Can the blood suckers on both sides of the aisle do this?

One can hope.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Census: Conservatism Confirmed

MC emailed the link of an interesting article to friends of this blog earlier in the day. They in turned tweeted it to their followers who in turn retweeted it and so on. The focus of all this attention? An exceptionally insightful and comprehensive article by Patrick Ruffini on the recently released census results and its implications. Click on the title of this post to read it.

It is always easy to overstate any given case or outcome in politics (or in politically biased science, for that matter, think global warming junk science). Yet here the data, collected only once in a decade, is truly astounding and vindicates the essentials of the conservative position. MC highlights this article not to boast or preen; that way lies hubris and defeat. But MC is sure its readers will agree with Ruffini that "this week's numbers were the most ringing endorsement of the Republican governing model since Rudy Giuliani towered over the vested interests in New York City." Good for us. More importantly, good for the American people.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Losing: Lessons Learned

Tom Emmer conceded the governor's race in the cold of his front lawn in Delano yesterday. Running mate Annette Meeks was nowhere to be found. MC has been alarmed by the reaction of his hard core supporters, ie, those who got the endorsement for him, upon this denouement. Their rationalizations as to his loss are alarming for their continued political tone-deafness and unwillingness to examine the premises upon which they based their earnest support of this candidate. Precisely the wrong lessons are being learned, or spun, from this debacle (there is no other word) and MC is unable to continence them.

First, Minnesota's electoral system works just fine, thank you. Take your fraud allegations, your vapor-filled scenarios of Mark Ritchie's nefarious conduct and your desperate, wholly beside the point campaign for voter photo id and come back when you are serious about politics. By definition, that would mean wanting to win.

These allegations mystify MC and others. We are hardly soft on voter fraud. Did some felons vote previously who should not have? Yes. Is that voter fraud? Not as we understand the term. Did Mark Ritchie steal the election for Al Franken? No. How many times do we have to refer readers to Powerline and the writings of our friend Scott Johnson who analyzed the abject failure of Senator Coleman's exceptionally mediocre local attorneys who did so much damage that when real, national legal talent was brought in the damage could not be undone? MC is at a loss to explain the fetish with which some activists take after Mr. Ritchie. He's always struck us as perfectly average, the type of lesser talent who tops out in the position currently occupied. Why he should be imbued with real talent--albeit wicked--is beyond us and serves only to make him more important than he is in the state constitutional system.

Second, the media didn't drag Mark Dayton over the finish line. This narrative from the hard core is boring, actually. MC doesn't think the Minnesota media is all that tough (this *is* Minnesota, after all) and we can't really find any sustained mistreatment of our endorsed candidate. That he had lousy skills in dealing with them is his fault. Why can't that be said outloud? MC does fault the media and all three campaigns for endless debates. For those not born in Minnesota, as MC was not, there are at times things deeply weird about this state that those born here cannot perceive. We offer the earnest, rote, school-boy debates as a first but not only example.

Three, Minnesota isn't a Tea Party state but that section of the RPM more or less got Emmer the endorsement. A high school mentality reigned supreme in that faction at the convention and no amount of cold, rational argument could convince them of the downsides of their choice. In one sense, MC admires such passion and loyalty enormously and we mean no disrespect of any that in these comments. That said, we found it odd that the singular focus on being (far) right outweighed any studied consideration about the goal of the endorsement process: winning. More than once we were asked: Do you want a third Pawlenty term? To which we now say: well, do ya punk?

How does one talk sense to delegates elated by the endorsement of Tom Emmer by Sarah Palin? This is Minnesota, we emphasized. No matter. Such talk by MC was just so many wet blankets. We'll see, we were told. Indeed we did. Yet we haven't had any of the Emmer convention supporters contact us and say we were right. This is disconcerting. It shows a lack of learning anything from this--that word again--debacle. A poll released yesterday showed Palin's unfavorable rating in Minnesota at 60%. For those still in Emmer denial, that's a majority of the state's population. MC doubts it was much lower in late April when she delivered her hockey Mom loves hockey Dad endorsement. Hooky. If we see another hockey jersey it will be too soon.

Third, pick a running mate of your own choosing, not that of a fringe, single issue outdated group like MCCL's. MCCL, should you not know anything about Minnesota politics, is Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Apparently this retrograde group vetoed the selection of former and now current Senator Linda Runbeck as Emmer's choice for Lieutanant Governor at the last moment. Her crime was only an 80% voting record on their scorecard. The RPM needs to leave such zealots behind and fast. Carry on in your futile effort to criminalize abortion: it will never happen again in America and MC would urge you to funnel your efforts to women in a crisis pregnancy, one-on-one. This is much more difficult than preening and feeling good about yourselves, playing king makers in Minnesota republican politics. It would also accomplish something, however. Annette and Tom were a match made in hell. Thanks, purity people for that dysfunctional ticket. MC thanks Annette Meeks, though, for going through with the arranged marriage. Her change yesterday in her Facebook avatar did not go unnoticed or, to our mind, unappreciated. In fact, we quite agree.

Fourth, reject players behind the scenes with agendas. MC would be looking at Vin Weber, our own insider and who, by rights, should be anathema to the Tea Party and anti-establishment types that at the convention got Emmer the endorsement. Does MC have to do *all* their thinking for them? Vin is the quintessential corpulant lobbyist trading for decades on his slender Congressional service. Apparently, because Tony Trimble was childhood friends with Vin and Jack Meeks he remains ensconced in the RPM providing 3rd tier legal advice. Lovely. Then there's Laura Brod, more spoken about than seen. May it remain ever thus. She trashed Marty Seifert to a degree none of his other detractors did. MC says no more about her, karma being what it is. Brian Sullivan stood insider-cheek-to-insider-cheek with Vin Weber in throwing his, um, weight to Emmer. He still can't be bothered to attend RPM state central committee meetings, understandably so. He'd float right away. Like Evie Axdahl, he needs to be fired and replaced with real people. MC has it own replacements in mind.

Fifth, don't nominate graceless people like Tom Emmer. Can the ur-base handle that? After the election results were announced, he vanished for a week. Would the purity people have put up with that from Marty Seifert? Of course not. Yet in this instance, they excused it, if they even admitted it. Do you know how tiresome you people have become? A good friend of MC's said before the endorsement that she didn't even know how to pronounce Marty's running mate's last name. That would be: @SivarajahMN Call me, Sue Jeffers, for pronunciation lessons. But kindly do not be proud of your ignorance in not being able to do so. It's just more of the nonsense MC fears in going ahead with republican candidates in 2012.

As for any of you who supported Emmer at the convention, we await your apology. MC told you but you persisted in your know-nothingness. When it comes to 2012, stay silent. We republicans who want to win can figure out a winning path on our own. With you Emmer supporters, we repeat what we just went through. You have nothing to offer our future except defeat.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Republican Purge Problems

At the end of a long state central committee meeting December 4th a motion was made from the floor to "renounce" those republicans who publicly supported Tom Horner for governor. Those named were pretty much has beens although they included two nominally republican former governors and one nominally republican former senator. While much outrage was directed at these miscreants, an observer could be forgiven for wondering if delegates have too much time on their hands or are unable to think of a productive use with which to put that time. Having just won control of the state legislature a large segment of the delegation promptly looked backward and in a manner that made the RPM look petty, small and foolish.

The final vote on this ridiculous motion was 59 to 55. Lost in media reports, almost understandably so, was the fact that this motion split the party. Why would republican activists insist on proceeding with a course of action that would damage the party? Because these type of activists insist on being right and pure rather than effective or useful in winning elections. MC would have enjoyed listening to them explore why their candidate for governor failed in spectacular fashion in a wave election but no such self-reflection was forthcoming. Instead, another target was chosen and off they went: smug, self-righteous and tone-deaf.

Those opposed to the motion, including MC, tried to point out that this group of republicans should not be given the attention the motion would bring. How this motion would be perceived by the press and general public was dismissed out of hand by these Robespierre wanna bes. Needless to say, the publicity has been uniformly negative.

Unfortunately, there is a large overlap of these types of delegates with those in the RPM who think our entire election system is fraudulent, that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is a communist or pals around with them and who see a conspiracy of some sort around every corner. This is a worrisome development on many levels, not least of which is the diversion from focusing on how to govern best in 2011. It also constitutes some sort of political pathology that will poison the party if left unchecked.

Our friend Craig Westover has a very different take on the issue and explains his position with his usual eloquence. Click here to read him.

MC doesn't care for those republicans who endorsed Horner any more than those delegates who thought the purge motion was a good idea. In our view, the cure was worse than the disease. These people are not moderates, either, and there should be no doubt about that. The best approach to outliers or those who have left the reservation is to ignore them. The need to punish is usually one best to avoid.

Now we'll have to live down the wholly expected media attention, the memes of civil war in the party and the glee of the recently defeated democrats. All this, of course, will pass. But the mindset that caused it is not likely to pass, at least quickly, and at some point in the near future the RPM will have to deal with the purity people who erode what they insist they wish to strengthen: the GOP brand.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Against Challenging The Election

The day after the election MC asked: who lost the governorship? Our analysis still stands, we believe, upon re-reading that post a month and a day later. The question we now face, however, is whether Tom Emmer should challenge in court the election results after the ongoing recount concludes and the almost certain certification by the Secretary of State that Mark Dayton won, that Mark Dayton is, incomprehensively, Minnesota's next governor.

The answer to that question is no, Tom Emmer should not contest in court the outcome of the election for governor. We were appalled that Emmer vanished after the election--some leader!--and appeared a week later to give a defensive, graceless 19 minute press conference without once ever thanking his staff or supporters. Cue Kennedy's comment about Nixon: no class. Where, pray tell, was his running mate Annette! Meeks? She was a no-show at the ersatz press conference. MC can't exactly blame her, can't exactly absolve her absence either. Emmer's supporters insisted he should be the the GOP nominee because Seifert was too establishment. Meeks was formerly Newt Gingrich's chief of staff. We are not certain how much more insider one can get and her selection split Emmer's far right base in the party. The omens were bad coming out of the convention and the campaign's subsequent hapless performance only underscored them.

MC understands perfectly well the campaign's request to the Minnesota Supreme Court to engage in reconciliation before the state canvassing board met. This claim would have been time barred after the board met. We don't believe, having said that, that its argument was particularly persuasive or well grounded. Contrary to many of our friends' protestations, the Minnesota Supreme Court got the decision exactly right. We can't judge its analysis because it has not yet issued its opinion in the matter. We do believe, however, that its considered opinion is likely to intentionally close off any arguments based upon its decision in a subsequent election challenge. One apple. One bite.

Currently the recount proceeds apace with the occassional flared nostril of a volunteer or election official providing the only passing drama. We pity our friends in the media who have to cover this as though it were the Coleman/Franken recount, which most assuredly it is not. The observations on Twitter about the recount are worth their weight in, um, ballots or something.

Which brings us to our present position: all known facts indicate that Dayton has an insurmountable lead that cannot be overcome either through the recount process or a challenge in court. There is no path, despite being given such assurances.

We have read in news reports of our friend Tony Sutton, chair of the RPM, saying that reconciliation and the vouching issue could provide a basis for a court challenge after the inevitable certification in Dayton's favor. MC doesn't see it. To be sure, anything could be ginned up as grounds to justify an election challenge in court, the effect of which is to leave the current, what's his name, governor in place. The salient point is that with such an enormous lead (these things being relative) the average Minnesota voter will be repulsed, and rightly so, with actions that smack of gaming the system, of bad faith, as politics not really as usual in squeaky clean Minnesota. MC is sorry Senator Coleman had such abject, lousy lawyers last time out but getting a better one from DC this time won't do the trick. The dog barks, the caravan moves on and all that.

MC must, however, admit that it is not privy to all of the facts and circumstances that the party and Emmer have at hand. We don't mean to suggest that a court challenge should be foregone if there are, in fact, real and credible issues that warrant such. Having paid excrutiatingly close attention for the last month, though, we'd be hard pressed to name any. Hence our concern that actually contesting in court the governor's election would look to be nothing more than an obvious attempt to keep a republican governor in office while a republican legislature proffered up for the former's signature legislation that Dayton most likely would not sign.

MC stands for Minnesota Conservatives and as conservatives we don't believe voters are stupid. Our fear is that their disgust will be taken out on republican candidates--especially in the senate--in 2012. That's the self-interested take. But there is also the idea that we as republicans and conservatives stand for something, opportunism not being one of them. We hear endless trashing of Dayton. We get it. We also offered up to voters such a flawed candidate that he could not beat Dayton. A little humility is in order from the crowd that got Emmer the endorsement. His performance with the press recently not only leaves much to be desired but reveals the candidate for himself. We're not sure there ever was a mask but if so, it has slipped and the man behind it is unappealing.

We're surprised we're surprised.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

About That "Coexist" Bumpersticker

Click on the image to enlarge. MC can't improve on it.

Hat tip: Kevin Eder. Follow him on Twitter @Keder

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Scourge Of Republican Purity Activists

Well that didn't take long: fresh off a republican win that left everyone grasping for metaphors we find some conservatives trying to re-argue lost causes and threatening current and future successes with a rigid purity test that few could pass and for which they have no standing to impose on the rest of us.

MC speaks primarily of Dan Riehl and Mark Levin but, we are sure, there are others. Unpleasant, nasty people as people, Riehl and Levin have taken it upon themselves to lecture the rest of us about what can or cannot constitute an appropriate choice in any given republican primary. They do so in strident, repulsive and frequently ad hominem ways. Given less to reason than outrage, they focus on the dreadful Christine O'Donnell and roundly condemn anyone who thought Mike Castle would be the better candidate for the general election. There is, really, no question about this but the purity activists insist that this isn't true. In fact, some of them go so far as to say her loss is a win. MC walks away from discussions where down is argued strenuously as really being up. We're not fond of Kool-Aid on either side of the political aisle.

The problem is not that republicans have different ideas as to whom to endorse at a convention or vote for in a contested primary. It's that one small group takes unto itself anathema-like powers as to those with whom they disagree. MC thinks this is a threat to future GOP successes and shows the shallowness of political thoughtfulness on their part. The purity activists here tend to (that dreaded word) bully those who disagree with them. But being nasty politically merely fits in with their personalities. Republicans who want to (continue to) win simply have to be fearless and either ignore these types or push back. We're doing the latter at this point, no doubt to be followed by the former. These people are, after all, mostly marginal. The goal is to keep them that way.

Idiotically, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie has come under fire from these, well, idiots. His crime was to tell David Gregory on Meet the Press that Delaware was a lost senate opportunity. Yes, MC wishes Mike Castle was more conservative. In a fit of purity, Delaware put up the flaky Christine O'Donnell and the results were a classic foregone conclusion. And no--why should we have to say it?--MC doesn't think she deserved the media ridicule and piling on that she received. But Delaware isn't a Tea Party state. Is it apostasy to say so? Apparently to some but we think they point toward permanent minority status. No thank you.

MC is a big admirer and supporter of the Tea Party movement. Being judicious in running such candidates doesn't contradict that support. In fact, MC thinks it showcases our understanding of what has brought it to prominence. Slap-dash anywhere and everywhere foisting of those kind of candidates is simply unwise if not ignorant. The smugness of Riehl and Levin, to say nothing of those like them, is suffocating. By themselves, they do precious little to actually help republican candidates win. Contrast this with Governor Christie criss-crossing the nation in support of all kinds of republican candidates.

MC wants republicans to be a durable, lasting governing party which, we believe, best represents the views and values of the American people when we don't stray from who we say we are. The purity activists fancy themselves guardians of the cause but, in fact, they are the leading edge of an ideological position which, if allowed to become preeminent, assures our defeat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who Lost The Governorship?

First, context: Republicans won nationwide on a scale not seen since 1938. More than 60 seats in the House and at least 7 in the Senate. On the national state level, republicans gained legislatures and governorships in unprecedented numbers. Locally, republicans gained control of both chambers of the Minnesota legislature for the first time since before the dawn of creation and against any reasonable expectation. In some sort of Hollywood movie, Chip Cravaak defeated the ossified, entitled, Congressman-for-life James Oberstar in Minnesota's CD 8. Know hope, to quote that idiot Andrew Sullivan. There, dear reader, is your context.

Into this amazing and refreshing conservative environment we must face facts and welcome Governor Dayton. It fairly kills us to say this but we are not the denial type. There will be a recount by operation of law due to the closeness of the race but MC is not in doubt about the outcome. Nor, to our extensive knowledge, are any serious political observers. We understand the political expediency of Chairman Tony Sutton and Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb's efforts to stoke up energy and focus on the recount. That isn't the point of this post. The point is:

Who Lost The Governorship?

First, Tom Emmer and his campaign staff. How could this not be said? For almost two months after his endorsement at the state convention the campaign was a textbook exercise in how not to run. Servers making $100,000 and "tip-credit" dominated the summer months. Some on our side said it was a teaching moment. What? At the same time they told us that voters were not paying attention to the pratfalls and would not be remembered by the average voter. Well, which is it? Because both cannot be true at the same time. Senator Amy Klobuchar warmed up the crowd at the Obama led rally last month by reminding the crowd of Emmer's views on servers. The rally was in October. The comment made in July. Thank God that storyline didn't have legs. Town hall seppuku: it was actually a considered decision by Team Emmer. Sorry about those pennies from, er, heaven. Or whatever.

Eventually (cough) the campaign tossed out its tone-deaf, never-run-a-statewide-campaign-before leadership and brought in Norm Coleman's people. Norm Coleman's. We can hear certain of our friends choking as they read this. Good.

Tom Emmer and the campaign improved markedly. Here's the pity: we know Tom. Love him (in a conservative, uptight, don't touch me sort of way) and think he should have won. One half of MC even spilled beer on him more than a year ago (long story; saving the rights for big money from the National Enquirer) and he's teased us ever since. The nice guy lost and we are not happy.

MC wonders what would have been different if Tom had had his current team in place from the outset. Well, we won't be coy: he'd have won. But . . . .

Purity people would not have stood for this until a crisis. The same people who outfoxed Marty Seifert and Ben Golnik at the convention. Once Norm's people were in place they were rather quiet. For the life of us, MC couldn't get them to utter RINO about Tom. Odd, no? And they say RINO so recklessly otherwise.

Where is Vin Weber? Brian Sullivan? Laura Brod? [see reader's comment below about Brod's participation] Those three were big names in getting Emmer the endorsement (note to DFL readers: our endorsement actually means something; yours is more like something Christine O'Donnell would tell you not to engage in). Their absence in the campaign should be held against them. Thanks for nothing.

Only a day after the moving hand has written on the wall MC is seeing (Twitter!) the usual suspects run from any responsibility for the outcome. We're having none of it. Yes, we thought Seifert more electable. Thank god the Palin endorsement proved us wrong.

We wrote about this day two weeks ago: Prepositioning The Scapegoats. Damn we're good: it's all coming to pass as we predicted.

Only the "First Principles" group has no standing to speak to the rest of us in the Minnesota republican party. You told us we were wrong, or worse. You were full of yourselves. You believed your own insular hype. And in the republican tsunami of 2010 you turned Minnesota from red to blue. We don't want to hear from you for a very long time indeed. You deserve your silence but we doubt you have the grace to observe it.

Who lost the governorship? The Minnesota republican purity people. You know who you are.

So do we.

Update: Cindy Brucato has a post mortem on the campaign:

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Last House Foreclosure

Hat tip: ExJon. Follow him on Twitter or you will miss out: @ExJon Oh, and if you are not on Twitter, you don't exist. Also, follow him on under the same name as a DJ; excellent taste in music. And yes, Minnesota, you are welcome.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minnesota: Not Only Not Florida, Not Illinois

During the endless Coleman/Franken recount a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court informed an attorney: "This is not Florida." The observation deservedly got wide-spread attention. Indeed, Minnesota is nothing at all like Florida when it comes to election recounts although some of our choices in elected officials bring widespread scorn and contempt, ie, Senator Franken. Minnesotans simply think too highly of themselves and avoid the obvious conclusion that at times they are something of a laughing stock in nation, ie, Governor Ventura. Should we go on?

Yet what MC has noticed of late is that Minnesota is also not Illinois. We say this because of the very serious issue of voter fraud being bandied about, mostly by our team but in ways so overt and heavy-handed that the issue is drained of importance, not highlighted. A disservice is done to the very issue that is sought to be made serious to a wider audience. This is a pity.

MC has had these thoughts for some time but kept them to itself until now. Our candidate for secretary of state, Dan Severson deserves to win over the hack, ACORN coddled Mark Ritchie. Yet the former's claim in a recent press conference that voter fraud swayed the outcome of the Coleman/Franken senate race of 2008 is simply not supported by the facts. Coleman's own attorneys said that there was "not a whiff" of voter fraud. We are confused as to why a solid, decent candidate should claim otherwise. The case against Ritchie is overwhelming and is only undermined by unsupportable assertions.

Minnesota Majority has done a fair amount of work on the issue of felons and others who should not be voting voting. This is to the good. Large, dramatic, over-arching conclusions about the integrity of the Minnesota electoral system should not be made, however, let alone be made fodder for breathless fund raising efforts. Minnesota is not Illinois. By claiming more than can be reasonably proven, or even inferred, an important issue is marginalized as a football between two political parties. The issue deserves more, deserves better.

MC would be remiss if it didn't point out that the DFL routinely minimizes the issue of voter fraud and irregularities. This is a disgraceful abdication of its responsibilities as a political party wielding great power in this state. We hope our friends on the other side take the DFL to task in the same spirit in which we caution our side from inadvertently making Minnesota into Illinois.

MC supports voter photo ID but does not see it as a panacea because we are not convinced of any underlying pathology. With same day voter registration still in place, we aren't sure that any alleged fraud will be remedied. Still, presenting a picture ID is not a burden in any meaningful sense and democrat opposition is not only misplaced, it positively suggests bad faith. So, too, does democrat opposition to voting integrity efforts while placing complete emphasis on voter registration. If democrats don't want to be seen as suspect, they might want to stop acting in suspect ways.

The point MC is making is a simple one: voter integrity is crucial to any healthy, functioning state in this nation. By overstating the case of problems, republicans only serve to make it more likely than not that an effective corrective can be brought to bear on the matter. By minimizing, if not denying outright, any such problems brought to light, the democrats in Minnesota make themselves resemble democrats in Illinois, failing the public in being responsible and responsive to a legitimate--and bi-partisan--issue of great importance.

The public has every right to expect more and better of these parties and, starting November 3rd, MC hopes they begin to provide it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

After The Deluge: A Republican Abattoir?

Last week MC cast about the Minnesota political landscape and detected signs of blame being queued up in advance of a potential loss of the governorship. You can read what we wrote HERE. Now, one week to the day out from what increasingly looks to be a tectonic shift in the national political landscape MC finds alarming signs of a coming political bloodbath amongst republicans. This is both utterly unnecessary and avoidable. The rising level of snark from the Twitterati and the blogosphere does not suggest, however, that the malcontents understand the potential for the damage they can inflict.

First, MC understands the frustration with the professional right and the atrophy of principle in the republican party in the second half of the second Bush term. The losses of 2006 and 2008 are entirely understandable even though the latter has given us a frighteningly incompetent and hubristic president. The tea party movement, far from giving rise to a third party movement and the mortal danger that could have presented to the GOP, has largely been incorporated in the party. Always misunderestimated, Sarah Palin deserves enormous credit in sheparding that movement into the GOP instead of watching it grow from the outside. And no, we don't want Palin to run for president. But credit, please, where it is due. Besides, who more than she reduces the left to foaming at the mouth idiots?

Recently, however, certain conservative activists have seen fit to attack the "establishment" GOP in advance of the election. MC finds extremely little of value in bashing the party at either the state or national level. We've not been shy in this regard and we think there is value in constructive criticism, not criticism that advances the agenda(s) of the critic at the expense of the party.

Among others being lined up against the purity wall is none other than Karl Rove. MC is amused at this development while at the same time disgusted by it. There is much with which MC disagrees with when it comes to him and to his former boss, frankly. That disagreement, however, does not make him the enemy of the party or of the conservative tide likely to hit shore on November second. Unfortunately, for others it does.

Michelle Malkin attacked Rove for stating his belief that Christine O'Donnell was an exceptionally flawed candidate and that her nomination in Delaware likely lost a relatively sure seat to the Democrats. We do hope Michelle weighs in a week or so from today and lets us all know where Rove went wrong. MC never for a moment thought Christine was a witch but we did think her a loon and we've not exactly been proven wrong by the way she's run her campaign.

This week Dan Riehl (don't worry if you've never heard of him) attacked our friends at Powerline for the sin of taking the fraudulent, non-conservative Elmer Gantry-like Mike Huckabee to task for attacking Karl Rove. Anyone noticing a pattern here? Huckabee is a comprehensive fraud who guarantees the GOP failure at every turn. The late John Paul II decreed that no man or woman in Holy Orders could serve in government; it wasn't their calling. We wish the protestant world had an equivalent decree.

At any rate, Riehl attacked Powerline in typical snarling, self-satisfied juvenile fashion. It was an exercise in who we do not want leading the activists in the party after the election. You can read his drivel HERE. Displaying his trademark cool restraint, Scott Johnson responded and effectively demolished the alleged basis for Riehl's attack. You can read his sword work HERE. Never one to quit when behind, Riehl responded further HERE. We trust readers can discern who are the adults and who are the juveniles in these exchanges.

Inevitably, talk show host Mark Levin and his third rate mind (when he's in it and not having a nervous breakdown over the death of a pet dog: no joke, read his book about it HERE) gets brought into the fray. And all he can do is slash and burn the "establishment" in similar unhelpful fashion. Is this really what we have to look forward to after a strong election showing next week? His radio show, mercifully, airs late at night with a corresponding lack of audience. Try to listen to it sometime. It's almost as bad as Air America.

MC is certain that at some point the scope of sniping will expand to include the likes of Norm Coleman and others. We think this is a huge mistake. Rove, Coleman and others have created independent expenditure committees that have allowed many races this cycle to be competitive against the usual flood of union and Soros money. It's alarming that these critics cannot see the value in this. Do they have any idea how much help they have been to Sharon Angle and others?

Purity has been our word of caution since the Minnesota Republican State Convention earlier this year. We won't be told that we have less conservative principles simply because we can discern between stronger and weaker candidates. Conservatives can disagree about them without losing their status as conservatives, thank you.

Just as purity must be avoided on a state level, so it must be on a national level. The goal of politics is to win. Once in office, the goal is to achieve as much as is reasonably possible of one's agenda. If republicans overreach upon winning in the same way that Obama and the democrats did after their enormous back to back victories of 2006 and 2008, they'll be thrown out promptly. And if the purity conservative activists don't think the American people will keep doing this until one side or the other gets it approximately right, then they manifestly don't know the people they claim to understand and represent best.

Illustration above: Michelangelo's
"The Deluge." Click to enlarge

Friday, October 22, 2010

Peggy Noonan Punks Conservatives

Obama voter Peggy Noonan pens another trademark column of the obvious and the treacly and some conservatives waive it around as exoneration of, well, anything they wanted exonerated. Really? From Peggy in pearls, who called Sarah Palin part of the new vulgarization of politics? Because politics was so refined in the oral sex era of Bill Clinton? MC is afraid that if conservatives are taken in by this tripe there is no hope for our side, no matter how excellent the results may be for the GOP come November 2nd.

The title of her most recent, moist, missive is: "Tea Party To The Rescue." How *does* Peggy do it, staying this far ahead of the curve? If she had written this months ago MC might not be so hard on her for it would have taken some smidgen of courage to have done so. Courage, however, is not her metier. None of the alleged observations in her most recent column can be vaguely said to be fresh or new. She writes as if the rest of us have been cut off from news and developments. She even goes so far as to opine that 11/2/10 will be a good night for republicans. Alert the media!

Peggy (the name puts us in mind of "Mad Men," not "What I Saw At The Revolution." How times change) says that the Tea Party movement released the GOP from Bush. Perhaps and so far so good. But she then goes on to say it released the GOP establishment as well. Not so fast: weren't they as complicit as W in straying from conservative principles? Did we miss something?

Earlier this week the "establishment" talked about compromising with Obama after the election, counting unhatched chickens. The base recoiled from the supine position of the Professional Right, to steal a phrase. To feed into a narrative, this came along and with Rush Limbaugh calling them out. All this work only to see the sellout this far in advance? No, but people like Peggy think it's this easy, couched, of course, in upper-eastside speak.

"We are a nation in crisis," observes Noonan. Phew, thank god someone diagnosed the situation at long last. Why are we, though? Crickets from the sensitive one, the one who took to praying the rosary on the subway after she left the Reagan White House and during which she was, by her own admission, not a particularly devout Catholic. MC knows the feeling but we're not trying to pull a fast one on conservatives. Peggy Noonan is. Peggy Noonan is trying to stay relevant to a base with which she long ago lost touch and to which she has condescended in order to stay in the good graces of MSNBC with which she, to steal another phrase, pals around with.

Peggy borrows credibility from someone who really did take a chance, Moe Tucker, drummer for the legendary Velvet Underground. Most of us knew of her involvement and support of the Tea Party long before Peggy cut short a ladies-who-lunch appointment in order to make deadline. Say this for Peggy: if she doesn't possess integrity, she is still able to recognize it in others.

Appallingly, she moves on to quote Fareed Zakaria! MC has been accused of snobbishness (we are not save when it comes to food and chocolate) and one friend of the blog suggested we were trying to be The Claremont Review of Books in blog form. Neither is true but we choked when we saw Noonan quote the deeply flawed Zakaria in approving form. Was she trying to shoe-horn some multi-culti nonsense into her column? Had Zakaria provided an approving blurb for a forthcoming Peggy book? We know the Affirmative Action President has read Zakaria. Was it cat-nip for him to read her column? Who knows; we wondered how many readers on the right knew Zakaria for what he is instead of as the innocuous observer she presents him. (Born in India: be impressed whitey!)

Noonan concludes---are you ready?---that the upcoming election is about Obama. Gadzooks, what brilliance, what insight, what a penetrating understanding of the American human condition. What lameness.

MC is afraid that people who betrayed the cause are now racing to catch up with the group that made them wealthy, bought their books, paid attention to what they proffered as ideas. That Peggy can throw a few sops to the Tea Party and some locals in Minnesota think that that is peachy is an equal concern.

Peggy Noonan voted for the worst President ever. If you're a conservative, instead of an ideologue, she has nothing to say to you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MN Gov Race: Pre-positioning The Scapegoats

Two weeks from tomorrow Minnesotans will learn if they have a democrat governor for the first time since 1986. Mind you, this real possibility is being discussed in what by all accounts looks to be a wave election of some strength in 2010. Endorsed GOP candidate Tom Emmer has never once lead in any polls save one. The third party candidate is fading in accordance with historical experience. The democrats betrayed their own formidable endorsed candidate and gave the primary victory to a profoundly flawed man whose failure in elected office has been on previous, spectacular display. How did Minnesota republicans get to this sorry state?

Before one can answer that question, it is worthwhile to observe the actions of the Emmer borg who, candidly, are pre-positioning the scapegoats for use in an Emmer loss. It's never them, you see, nor their frequently appalling political instincts. MC wanted to position itself ahead of this pre-positioning so that if the unthinkable happens, and Mark Dayton becomes governor, readers will at least have our view without questioning whether we ourselves are spinning after the fact.

MC supported Marty Seifert because we thought he could win. MC is old school: politics is first about getting elected and then purity tests or whatever is the fad du jour can be applied. This is also sometimes known as the Buckley rule: run the most conservative candidate who can win. Once in office, by all means get that man or woman to tack right on certain issues if you don't feel they are sufficiently so. It doesn't work in reverse, however, but you'd be hard pressed to get any in the Emmer borg to admit such.

Consequently, the first scapegoat of which we are hearing is Seifert supporters abandoning the endorsed candidate. This is true only if you want it to be. MC knows of no Seifert supporters who didn't fall strongly into line after Emmer won the endorsement at the state convention. More, there simply aren't enough of them to matter statewide. We insist on reality.

Another scapegoat is the RINO: republican in name only. Such creatures exist, we've no doubt, but not in large numbers in Minnesota. Liberal leaning republicans (laughably called moderates by the old media/democrats) have already left the party. They are not missed. Consequently, the call for RINOs now to show up in numbers and support Emmer is a bit quixotic to our mind. One can't credibly dismiss RINOs at the front end and then clamor for them at the back end when election day is nigh. Worse, one has no legitimacy in blaming them for any subsequent loss. But that's some of the pre-positioning we have been noticing. We're having none of it.

An eternal favorite scapegoat of the borg is "the Party," both before and after the convention. In fact, it's not going too far to suggest some Emmer support was premised on sticking it to the party. How brave! Outre! And pointless, if not futile. The party exists to elect republicans to office in Minnesota. For the first time in something like 32 years, the party filled all house and senate races with candidates. Apart from this crucial objective, the party's only real interest thus far was a well run, fair and enjoyable state convention. By any objective measure, it succeeded in fine fashion but collected its reward from the "no good deed goes unpunished" department. Has everyone in the borg forgotten the previous management of the party? MC hasn't and refuses to be blind to exceptional improvement. If Emmer loses, watch for party bashing from those wishing to absolve themselves. If Emmer *does* win, it will be due in large part to the consistent, focused support of the party for which it will be given absolutely no credit.

Weirdly, another RINO variation scapegoat is Governor Mitt Romney, in town today and scheduled to participate in a rally this evening. Comments on Facebook and elswhere claim he's not sufficiently conservative (code for the rampant anti-Mormon prejudice in our party?) and people will not be attending. One tone deaf commentator suggested that nutjob Ron Paul would be much better. We aren't joking though we wish we were. MC plans to be at the rally because we want to show our support for Tom Emmer as our next governor.

We cringed at Sarah Palin's endorsement of Emmer but only because she doesn't exactly play well in Minnesota. Even the republican woman running for Congress in South Dakota, Kristi Noem, took a pass on her endorsement (although Romney endorsed her; horrors!). MC is relieved Palin hasn't become more of an issue in this race but there's still time, we suppose.

After receiving the endorsement at the state convention, the Emmer campaign was very badly run indeed. MC didn't stay on the sidelines because the stakes of losing were too high. We thought the month of July would never end: 100K earning servers, tip-credit, a town hall forum/seppuku replete with a shower of pennies played endlessly on tv and the internet. Some of this was called a teaching moment. We called it political malpractice if not suicide. MC can't bring itself to recount the various DUIs that cropped up.

Eventually Team Emmer jettisoned its top staff and brought in others who know how to run a campaign. Oddly, those people can be fairly characterized as Norm Coleman's people. Oh dear, the Emmer borg considers Norm to be RINO number one. They've been painfully silent as to what this development makes Emmer. RINO-lite? Who knows. Who cares. A focus on actually winning was long overdue. Whether it came in time we'll find out soon enough. But there can be no denying the improvement of the candidate himself and the campaign after new staff. Kudos to both.

During the rocky summer of the campaign, MC noticed that some of the most prominent supporters of Emmer were AWOL. Curious. Whither Vin Weber? Brian Sullivan? Not exactly in the front trenches defending Tom or helping to steady the campaign. Smelling a possible win in the Demmer campaign, Weber signed on. Opportunism rarely is this well executed.

Perversely, it was the Seifert campaign manager who was routinely on "At Issue" and other political shows ably defending the Emmer campaign, its issues and the party in general. The contrast in integrity could hardly be greater.

Finally, we saw Tim Pawlenty being utilized by the Emmer campaign to mixed results. MC is no fan of the governor but thought he should have been used much earlier in the election cycle. Why? Because Pawlenty can only help Emmer win. Remember winning?

Yet many supported Emmer because he was seen to be the non-Pawlenty. Seifert was Pawlenty-lite. This was their calculus, not ours. In supporting Seifert at the convention, we were asked repeatedly if we wanted a third Pawlenty term. To which we replied: "It beats a first Dayton term."

We'll be working flat out for Emmer and other republican candidates in the frantic last two weeks of the election year. Having seen disastrous one-party rule in Washington, DC, we'll be agog if the same comes to Minnesota next month. If it does, Minnesota republicans will have a lot to reflect upon but the discussion will not be lead by those who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

If Emmer does win, our analysis still applies but only with a caveat from Bob Dylan: "I can't help it, if I'm lucky."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Almost a year ago MC told you about the plight of this brave man, Liu Xiaobo. Click HERE to read our original post. Today he won the Nobel Peace Prize and rightly so. What a contrast to the fraud of Obama who won the same prize for doing and being nothing. When we despair of the incompetence of the political class, the recognition of Xiaobo gives us hope. We further hope that international attention to his enslavement brings his release. We're not optimistic because unlike our president, we are not naive.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th Nine Years On

MC remembers those who lost their lives and their loved ones. Never forget.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Germany Abolishes Itself: Trying To Talk About Muslim Immigration

Germany is currently experiencing something of a convulsion over a newly published book (Deutschland schafft sich ab or, Germany Abolishes Itself) that suggests Muslim immigration, on the whole, has not been a net positive experience for the country. MC finds that an unremarkable proposition but in a telling sign of the politically correct world in which we live, the author, central banker Thilo Sarrazin has been demonized and ostracized in a very comprehensive fashion.

Make no mistake: there are, apparently, some lame claims about genetics in the book and MC doesn't pretend to endorse them. At this point, we are reading everything in translation and are attempting to put the issue to our readers as fairly as possible. What does seem clear at this point is that the body politic of Germany is seizing upon extraneous claims in order not to deal with Sarrazin's underlying arguments. If those are as we understand at the moment, MC agrees with them. Indeed, there is almost nothing new in commenting upon the lack of integration and assimilation of Muslim immigrants in host countries. It seems, however, that establishment Germany cannot countenance an honest discussion about this fact. MC suspects the book will be a best seller and everyone in Germany will deny buying it. The subject is a big deal and has already come to this country which lacks its own Sarrazin.

A few brave souls have come to Sarrazin's defense and for the right reason. We quote them below:

Sociologist Necla Kelek asks in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung why Sarrazin has simply been demonised when a proper discussion about his book was what was needed. "All this fuss strikes me as somewhat staged and the racism argument smacks of red herring. So he doesn't want to live in a Muslim Germany because he is suspicious of that sort of society. What's wrong with that? The economist in Sarrazin has calculated that the 750,000 Turkish immigrant workers now number almost 3 million and of the able bodied among them, 40 percent live off the state instead of working. This makes no economic sense for him and leads him to ask whether immigration, in its current form, is not a mistake. This is no reason to get upset at Sarrzin, instead we should be asking the politicians who are responsible for this state for affairs whether or not they have really served the interests of the country."

For the writer Monika Maron in an interview in Die Welt, the public debate has missed the point: "Why can't we leave aside Sarrazin''s obviously potty ideas about genetic theory and start talking about something much more worrying: the growing confessionalisation of our society, the millions of euros we are shelling out in welfare cheques, the deficits in education and the criminality of Muslim youth? Government schemes and vast sums of money have done little or nothing to change a situation that has been well-known for many years. What has to happen?"

In the Frankfurter Rundschau, Markus Tiedemann, a professor of educational philosophy dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's nonsensical hereditary theories in two paragraphs, before turning on some of Sarrazin's critics who, he says, are no better. "In 2007 Pascal Bruckner, a representative of the French mouvelle philosophie, tried to rock the self-satisfied boat of political correctness. His concept of the 'racism of the anti-racists' exposes the negative dialectic of multicultural tolerance. ... Anyone today who claims that it is too much to expect 'the Muslims' to embrace the achievements of the modern age such as emancipation and freedom of opinion, are no better that the voices who used to say that the blacks lacked the maturity to vote."

Click on the title of this post to read a not-bad-article in, of all things, The Hindu (usually too left wing for us). We liked the following:

Mr. Sarrazin’s thesis is that Germany’s demographic decline, coupled with the supposedly low educational attainment and cultural alienation of the Muslim immigrant population, will lead ultimately to the abolition of German culture.

“The departure of Germany from history is deeply worrying to me, he said.

Mr. Sarrazin’s speech was preceded by an introduction by equally controversial Turkish—German intellectual Necla Kelek, who believes that Islamic values have hindered the integration of Muslim immigrants into German culture.

“A responsible citizen has spoken bitter truths,” Ms. Kelek said, calling for a discussion of the book’s contents rather than moral issues.

“This book, despite the reaction, will change politics in this country,” she added.


Paris Isn't Burning But It Is Under Muslim Seige

Friday, August 27, 2010

About That Ground Zero Mosque . . .

the image above says it all for us.

Image hat tip: Diana West @

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: How To Win The Clash Of Civilizations

Nonpareil Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls upon us to drop the pretense of a One World approach to reality and foreign affairs. Instead, she urges us to defend the West and its values. MC could hardly agree more. Click on the title of this post to read her article in the Wall Street Journal. And if you are debating the Ground Zero Mosque with friends, ask them if they know of her. If they don't, they have no business discussing Islam and, yes, it really is that simple.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Almanac Analysis: What Somali Terrorists?

Unannounced, watching "Alamanac" one could be forgiven for thinking they were watching an online version of The Onion. The sequel to "Fargo," as it were. But no. This is the state we live in and this is the taxpayer ponying up for mediocrities shilling failed liberalism. Where to begin?

First, welcome to the premiere (isn't that a French word?) to "Almanac Analysis." This third rate show has an especial hold in the minds of third rate politicos. Look for them to appear on the show regularly. Sans tie or not. Mostly left but Kirstin was great tonight.

Look for a more detailed analysis tomorrow. In the meantime, rubbish TPT did nothing t0 follow up about the terrorists amongst us. Why not?

Because it's Almanac!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Obama: Losing The Love He Never Needed

In an article clogged with middle-brow literary references, Mark Gerson, not MC's favorite of writers, remarks upon President Obama's increasingly disturbing aloofness. While hardly a new observation, nor among the best written of them, Gerson is timely in his remarks now that the summer flows to an end and the election season proper will soon be upon us. Click on the title of this post to read his remarks in full. The best, MC thought, were these:

As president, Obama's rhetorical range runs from lecturing to prickly -- the full gamut from A to C. His speeches are symphonies performed entirely with a tin whistle and an accordion. To switch metaphors, Obama is a pitcher with one pitch. He excels only at explanation. Initially this conveyed a chilly competence. But as the impression of competence has faded, we are left only with coldness.

. . . . .

Obama's limited rhetorical range raises questions about the content of his deepest beliefs. For this reason among others, the man who doesn't need the love of crowds is gradually losing it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Banning Bullfighting: The Problem of Some Conservatives

One doesn't have to be a vegetarian to have moral reservations about the custom of deliberating taunting, enraging and then slowly torturing to death an animal while other animals scream their approval, ie, bullfighting. Catalonia recently banned this activity which some call a sport. Is there any better example of a misnomer in the English language? Click on the title of this post to read the Bloomberg wire service story. MC thought it well done, taking into account the issue of Catalonia's nascent desire to leave Spain, a very bad idea indeed.

At any rate, some conservatives on Twitter have clucked about this development as though they have any deeper understanding of the subject than what comes from reading that most overrated of writers, Hemmingway. Instead of seeing the matter clearly for what it is--animal cruelty--these Tweeters insist on seeing the ban through some misplaced lens of loss of culture and erosion of tradition. They seem genuinely unable to grasp the thought that not all cultural practices are good (indeed, not all cultures are equal) and some traditions aren't worth retaining. MC is slow to say the latter and believes our liberal culture jettisons many traditions too quickly and at a grievous cost to society. Say, oh, two parent families?

These defenders of bullfighting (cue the Monty Python sketch!) also fail to see that this change was wrought through the democratic process in Catalonia. No ridiculous group of robed masters brought this about nor should they have. Our liberal friends like the courts here when they can either avoid the people's will (the AZ immigration bill) or want to circumvent it (same-sex marriage, abortion, etc). That didn't happen in this instance. When did conservatives dislike the people's will being expressed? We conservatives always take the risk that something unwise, in our opinion, might be done. Yet, that, too, is the perogative of the people's will: sometimes making egregious mistakes. We give you a President more incompetent than Jimmy Carter as an example.

Some of the more pompous Tweeters cluck about how this is another step toward Catalonia leaving Spain. Why of course. How could MC fail to see the obvious connection? This is rather desperate in our opinion for it smacks of hiding behind one thing to support another. We suppose it won't do to simply come out and say they enjoy watching animals suffer grievously. Yet it would be more honest. Human nature has a very dark side, something liberalism fools itself into believing doesn't exist or can be minimized with enough social work. Rubbish.

What genuinely concerns MC, however, is the reaction of some conservatives to this development. That they can't see the obvious cruelty in bullfighting is baffling when we have no doubt they were outraged when some barely literate football type was engaged in dog fighting. As they tucked into their steaks, their moral outrage was on display. Bully, so to speak.

More to the point, their smug obliviousness to what this ban really represents suggests an inability to deal with reality in a way that can advance genuine, positive conservative values. In a sense, it has almost nothing to do with animal cruelty and everything to do with understanding where certain threats and problems lie and where they do not. To misdiagnose the development in Catalonia is to misdiagnose our own political predicament here in this country. Some progress is good and can be so without constituting destructive progressivism. Or constituting that lame term of opprobrium: RINO! We are surely at sea if conservatives cannot tell the difference in order to make themselves feel good. That way lies failure: electoral, moral, political and cultural.

And as readers know, MC is in it to win.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saving Private Emmer: Up From 35%

Tom Emmer lost to every DFL candidate in the latest poll released Tuesday last. The weirdly cheerful response from his team and hangers on: we were within the margin of error. "Laissez les bons temps rouler."

Doubling down on seppuku, the talking points were that with millions (really?) spent on ads, the candidate came out ok. Any port in a storm, apparently. The election season has just begun and there will be millions more dollars spent painting Emmer out to be an angry white guy; someone out of touch with Minnesota. Even the otherwise excellent MN Forward ad ended with Emmer being touted as a fighter. We understand the Emmer campaign had no control over the content of that ad but MC thinks the better word choice would be leader.

Our concern is that nothing has been learned from the town hall debacle over tip-credit. Even the Washington Post has taken notice of a campaign that leaves much to be desired. It rates this race a toss up and speaks about negative beltway buzz over the candidate. Would that buzz be Vin Weber absolving himself of his endorsed candidate?

Tone-deaf is the best word to describe this campaign. It's not too late to save it, despite the daily concerns we hear. A staff shake-up would seem to be in order. "Teachable moments" are not for politics and the idea that one can teach about minimum wage while being gored by your opponents is naive. MC wants Emmer to win but he's going to have to run a different kind of campaign from the one he has shown Minnesota thus far. This requires different staff.

Focusing on jobs, the economy, taxes, the oppressive multi-layered regulations of the state and the need to be competitive with nearby states are not new ideas. They are, however, ideas that can get this campaign back on track and ultimately prove victorious in November.

Our last blog post engendered a great deal of comment. MC took a fair amount of grief for it but even we could not have guessed how badly the server town hall meeting would go. Campaigns can't afford many fiascos like that and it's imperative another one never happens. Our worry is that those around the candidate live in an alternate reality. Do they think they are doing a good job? Really? If so, they should get out more.

Emmer is a charming candidate one-on-one or in small groups. The pity is that he is being portrayed as anything but in the larger arena. The campaign needs to understand and neutralize this. It then needs to go on the offense in defining Emmer and what his governorship would be like. At the moment, it's all defense and reaction.

Governor Dayton would be a calamity for this state. MC hopes once the dust of the August 10th primary has cleared our man Emmer will find renewed focus and determination. He's by far the best choice for Minnesota. He's knows it; we know it. He needs to let the rest of the state know it and he needs to begin now.

Friday, July 9, 2010

On Saving The Emmer Campaign From Itself

MC believes it is vital that Tom Emmer be the next governor of Minnesota. While we supported Marty Seifert (but did not endorse) during the endorsement battle, MC promptly closed ranks behind Emmer, attending the Unity Breakfast, welcoming home the plane that took the statewide ticket around the state and in numerous other ways since Emmer/Meeks became our ticket. Unfortunately, we have become concerned, as have legions of other activists and Republicans across the state, about the campaign and its ability to formulate and stay on a winning message. In short, to run a campaign that will win in November.

Initially the campaign message was something about taking back Minnesota. Given that we have a Republican governor currently in the office Emmer seeks, we were unsure what this meant. This message was followed by a lengthy period of radio silence. Apparently the thinking was better no message than one that made no sense. The absence of any message, however, and for a relatively lengthy time, had many asking MC if the campaign was still functioning. We assured them it was. Not that all was well: Emmer opined recklessly that the Arizona immigration law might be worthy of replication in Minnesota. We grimaced and soldiered on. Next came the Freedom & Prosperity theme. Here, we thought, were things only Democrats could oppose. We tease our Democrat friends. But it was a theme, we thought, that could have some traction.

Then came the Eagle Grille and the self-inflicted statement about servers making $100,000 a year. Why a relatively obscure tax issue like the tip-credit came to the fore is beyond us. Why the campaign staff did not realize it had a calamity on its hands baffled us. Why it still believes it does not despite the evidence makes us want to waterboard them.

The DFL immediately seized upon the matter and painted Emmer into a mean Republican corner, one who will slash away at workers who earn minimum wage, one who wants to coddle business per se, one who wants "gut" state government and who has no plan of particulars but who speaks in bromides and platitudes. Great.

Showing the salience of the blunder, there is now a website devoted to servers who don't support Emmer. More, one can print out flyers that excoriate Emmer on this issue (yes, yes, we KNOW it is unfair, fair isn't the point; welcome to politics) and can be left with your tip when you dine out or have a drink at a bar. Well played squishes!

When your opponents seize on an issue to this degree, ought not the campaign pause and think: "Perhaps we have dug ourselves a hole and should stop digging?"

But no.

Compounding the disaster by orders of magnitude, the campaign decided to announce it will hold a town hall forum next Wednesday at a Mexican restaurant in Roseville to address the very issue that has proven toxic to it: tip-credit and servers. MC has it on good authority that any number of politically experienced and savvy people urged the campaign not to do this. We are witnessing a perfect storm of political tone-deafness. One wag left a comment on a local newspaper website wondering if at the town hall Emmer would ask his server for their papers. Ouch.

When you are explaining in politics, you are losing. MC didn't come up with that; doesn't everyone in politics know it? One Emmer staffer told MC that they thought the issue would be a "net win" for the campaign by the end of next week. When told of this, an accomplished political operative told MC "Riiight." One friend of MC suggested out loud that there was a DFL plant in the operation; nothing else could explain the missteps. We dismissed that out of hand and he's prone to black helicopters anyway. Another activist thought the "truth" of the tip-credit could be explained away on Twitter. Reader, we despaired.

Nor will taking to local conservative talk radio repair the damage. Self-selected conservative audiences are neither the problem nor the solution. The damage lies in those to whom the DFL is adroitly getting out their spin on the subject. It does not matter if Emmer is right on the substance; as a political issue it is causing him to lose support among Independent and moderate Democratic voters. And we don't buy the idea that the entire hospitality industry is happy with the way this issue has been presented. We know for a fact of much unhappiness within that group. Net win?

Not being glass-half-empty liberals, however, MC believes the campaign can right itself and move forward to victory in November. But the change has to be immediate, if not sooner. And the person who came up with the town hall seppuku should be tasered. We suggest the following, by no means complete, list of ideas:

1. Cancel the seppuku. Sure Emmer will be mocked but such pales in comparison to being tagged as the guy who wants servers to make $2.13 an hour. Such tagging has been ongoing all this week.

2. If the death wish can't be scrubbed, then Emmer should come out for making tips and gratuities tax-free. Who cares what it does to revenue? Just get on the right side of this issue politically.

3. Stop running for the endorsement. Emmer won. He can't win with the narrow base that propelled him to victory. He's in a general election race now and any campaign staff that can't grasp the obvious ought to be waiting tables. We jest! Don't shoot!

4. Run on winning themes and speak of nothing else: lower taxes for all, less nanny-state interference in our lives, reduced state spending and the legitimate fear of the intellectually lazy DFL in control of the executive and legislative branches.

5. Don't take the post August 10th bait from Mark "Renoir-Toulouse Lautrec" Dayton. He'll run a class warfare campaign and the tip-credit snafu only plays directly into that. Like most Democrats, he hasn't had a new idea in decades. Point out he's to the left of our wholly incompetent affirmative action President.

Finally, one friend of MC suggested something brilliant: bring in New Jersery Governor Chris Christie and campaign for real reform and not just tinkering around the edges. New ideas scare Democrats; so scare them! Voters will reward you. Look at what he's doing in his state and think about what could be applied here to good effect. If Christie can have such success in New Jersey, MC holds out hope for this state of government workers.

We hope the Emmer campaign takes our suggestions in the good faith with which they are offered. MC could no longer pretend that things were going well. We are not purists who don't mind losing. We are Republicans who want to win.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In Which We Have Nothing Further To Add

Click on the image to enlarge.

Hat tip: Powerline

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Barack Obama: Brilliant No More

MC never but never bought into the meme that Obama was sheer brilliance. Seriously, we've been around many blocks, domestic and foreign, and have actually met brilliant people. Of course, we're aware of many brilliant people we have never met as well.

Our point is that the Affirmative Action president was never what his cheerleaders said he was. The last election cycle was a pathetic exercise in projection and wish fulfillment.

Jennifer Rubin at Commentary has a brief take about how Obama is "brilliant no more." Click on the title to read it. MC enjoyed the following:

"Now that Obama’s policies and political standing are faltering, the media mavens are puzzled, as Emery notes. How can it be that he’s failing when he’s so smart? It never dawns on them that they confused slickness with smarts and urbanity with insight."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Unengaged President

Mark Steyn has done it again. Click on the title of this post to read his latest article. MC liked the following:

To return to Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward from the Harvard Law Review to state legislator to United States senator without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-forties with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On The Future Of The Tea Party Movement

Matthew Continetti has written a very well received article on the tea party movement and its future. Click on the title of this post to read it. MC both admires the tea party movement and has reservations about. We think most thoughtful observers do as well.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Good Walk Ruined

MC loathes golf. Sorry Butters and Co-defendant and Snap. Seriously, it is a seriously stupid sport and we can't help but laugh at the seriousness with which this nonsense is taken. However, an Irishman won the US Open, apparently the first European to do so in 40 years. Cue the old country jingoism! Congratulations to Graeme McDowell on his useless victory!

Click on the title of this post to hear the winner at about the ten minute mark. We're rather in favor of the Irish brogue than the BP lilt but that's just us.

Either beats the Chicago thug-speak we've been hearing too much of lately. Thanks just same.

And no, we have no idea what junior high school-like trophy McDowell is holding in the picture above. Good grief, we're only paying attention because an Irishman won the event and apparently sober!