39 thoughts on “Those Tacky Convention Circuses Are Rolling Again.

  1. WP Wicklund says:

    “It’s a pathetic sight to watch a 63 year-old man still struggling to know himself, but that, at the bottom line, remains Dayton’s biggest problem.”

    The self-loathing is palpable. Embarrassed to be born rich, but no so embarrassed as to give it all away.

    1. PM says:

      Or to just step away from the cameras.

      Is he addicted to ‘adulation”? and why does he mistake adulation and attention?

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    One man’s “grifting nickels and votes for a seedy vaudeville show built around a delusional master of ceremonies” is another man’s “trying to improve the world.” There’s a bit of both at the conventions.

  3. Newt says:

    Is anyone surprised that the DFL field is populated by so many political lightweights?

    When I ask that, I confess that I don’t know who would qualify as a DFL heavyweight (don’t go there, Newt).

    Seriously, there seems to be a complete dearth of real bigshots.

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    A what? Good one, Rob. I agree.

    The word charismatic doesn’t belong in the same sentence structure as politician.

    What a snoozapalooza.

  5. Newt says:

    The conventions are populated by characters from the Star Wars bar scene. It’s high time to move to a primary runoff system.

      1. PM says:

        (i apologize to all of you trekkies out there–you are far more intelligent than the average state convention attendee)

  6. PM says:

    yeah, imagine the benefits of a Rukavina/Emmer race! We’d have headlines all over the place!

    It would be fun and memorable

    (I heard snatches of the convention speeches in my car over the noon hour–Rukavina talked about how an Anoka County voter referred to him (Rukavina) as the “…love child of Paul Wellstone and Jesse Ventura…”. Now that was a funny line!)

    1. PM says:

      I wish i could disagree with you, Newt.

      I’m not saying that I do not like her, substantively, but I am afraid that she is not an easily electable candidate.

      This is probably a big positive for Entenza. I think that a Rybak victory would have killed his hopes.

      Spent time last night with a bunch of generally Republican-oriented lobbyist-types, who feel that Emmer both has the inside edge within the convention and is more electable (statewide) than Siefert.

  7. Newt (telling it like it is) says:

    After Anderson-Keliher, Dayton and Entenza cannibalize themselves, Seifert or Emmert will be standing there to sweep up.

    There has to be one last speed bump between the DFL and our wallets. And voters won’t see any Dem fulfilling that role.

    They’ve seen what unfettered liberalism has done to our national economy. I’d be surprised if they signed up for a double-whammy at the state level.

      1. Newt says:

        Real conservatives don’t bail out industries, real conservatives don’t raise federal education spending 40%. Bush was NOT a conservative, not even close.

      2. Gentlemen: Which way do you want to have? “It’s Congress’s fault” or “The President drives the bus”? I’m afraid I’ll have to call you both for, um, “misleading memory”, on the roots of Obama’s budgeting dilemma. The numbers are big and nasty, but would either of you care to reiterate who created the majority of the deficit, who offered no realistic solutions to managing that calamity and who has, as a matter of party “unity”, denied any responsibility for unbudgeted multi-trillion dollar wars, the prescription drug benefit, etc.? Folks like myself are entirely familiar with your parsed revision of history. But that doesn’t make it an effective or impressive tool for discussion.

    1. Do “real conservatives” have it as good as it gets, or what. By the standards implicit in Newt’s logic these guys get into high elected office … and do absolutely nothing. That’s their gold standard. read the cue cards from Goldman, Sachs and spew “free market” theories. The irony that “real conservative” lions like Reagan and W* invariably spike deficits and unsustainable military adventure, leaving Democrats to apply serious budgetary remedies, never registers. What a fantasy world.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        Fantasy world? Serious budget remedies? Have you taken a look at the size of the current and proposed “budget” (and I use the term loosely).

        By the time this administration is finished (and quite possibly sooner than later), I think you will be able to add the Gipper’s deficit to Bush’s and still not equal Mr. Obama’s.

        Oh and just to clarify and be historically accurate, Reagan supported a tax increase and spending cuts — (TEFRA) back in 1982. As part of that compromise, the deal called for $3 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases.

        Guess what, Congress, led in the House by the Tipster himself, never delivered on meaningful spending restraint, and the Act resulted in $1.14 in NEW spending for every $1 collected.

        This whole nonsense that liberals save the day economically without any help from Republicans (1994 sound familiar) is something beyond the scope of fantasy.

      2. Mike Kennedy says:

        Uh, are you serious?

        It seems the deficit was an historic $700 billion through 2008 under W. How does adding another $1 trillion to that, (I’m rounding down here, I believe), indicate to you that a “majority” of the deficit is the fault of Mr. Bush rather than Mr. Obama?

        Personally, I think both the president and Congress “drive the bus,” the president by leadership, the Congress by voting and passing the budget.

        I think Bush created a big mess. I think Obama is on his way to creating a much bigger one (ongoing public debt in the neighborhood of $5 trillion). How politically convenient to try to blame someone else for that foul smell. The problem comes in when the accuser is the same one wearing the soiled diapers.

      3. Yeah, I’m serious. Anyone who CHOOSES to discount the wars, the prescription drug bill and the tax cuts is the one not being serious, adult, logical, rational, realistic … whatever you’d like to call it.


        “Some critics charge that the new policies pursued by President Obama and the 111th Congress caused the huge federal budget deficits that the nation now faces. In fact, the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the economic downturn together explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).

        “The deficit for fiscal 2009 was $1.4 trillion and, at 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was the largest deficit relative to the size of the economy since the end of World War II. If current policies are continued without changes, deficits will likely approach those figures in 2010 and remain near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.

        “The events and policies that have pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term, however, were largely outside the new Administration’s control. If not for the tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush that Congress did not pay for, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated during that period, and the effects of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression (including the cost of steps necessary to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term.”

        Or, if you’d like …

        “As for the deficit’s cause, the single most important factor is the legacy of President George W. Bush’s legislative agenda. Overall, changes in federal law during the Bush administration are responsible for 40 percent of the short-term fiscal problem. For example, we estimate that the tax cuts passed during the Bush presidency are reducing government revenue collections by $231 billion in 2009. Also, because of the additions to the federal debt due to Bush administration policies, the government will be paying $218 billion more in interest payments in 2009.

        “Had President Bush not cut taxes while simultaneously prosecuting two foreign wars and adopting other programs without paying for them, the current deficit would be only 4.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, instead of the eye-catching 11.2 percent—despite the weak economy and the costly efforts taken to restore it. In 2010, the deficit would be 3.2 percent instead of 9.6 percent.”


      4. Mike Kennedy says:

        There you go again — a typical misrepresentation of what was said to postulate your own uber partisan views. Call it what you will……..mathematically challenged………..delusional……….Kool Aid inspired.

        I love arguing with both Righties and Lefites — neither can admit that their side bears any sense of responsibility — (thank God the American people aren’t so dim).

        As Sir Winston Churchill famously said:

        “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

        Just to be fair to the Right, since you have the Left covered, is another side to the liberal Center On Budget and Policy Priorities.


      5. Look Mike, if your position is that Bush’s (politically expedient) decisions NOT to budget for two wars, the prescription drug bill and his tax cuts is either irrelevant to a deficit discussion or somehow the fault of Barack Obama you kind of lose me as a debating partner.

      6. McArdle takes the “informed-sounding talking point position” that … again, ignores the enormous structural consequences of Bush vis a vis wars, tax cuts and prescription drugs (all of which come with staggering interest payments beyond their trillions in debt creation) … and continues to present as logic that because all that business happened in the past we really have got to get passed it, move on, if you will, and direct our SOLE FOCUS on who’s running the game now.

        By what logic would Obama have gone to the stimulus package — which appears to have worked BTW — had he not been handed a cratering economy hobbled largely by govt. debt and private finance’s reckless casino-gaming of debt “products”?

      7. Brian – didn’t you know that *conservatism* never fails? It is only *conservatives* who fail IT. George Bush was a liberal? Only someone in deep denial could make such an assertion.

      8. …adding: Say what you will about George W. Bush’s personal politics, he represented more than any president – even Reagan – the epitome of the conservative movement. He took on the entire movement, especially the think tanks, during his campaign in 2000. In 2001 the movement moved in – hundreds of positions in his administration were filled with hard-core conservative movement ideologists and apparatchiks. EVERYTHING was politicized, asJohn DiIulio said when he called them “Mayberry Machiavellis” for the lack of ANY domestic policy making apparatus in the White House.

      9. Mike Kennedy says:


        Again, you don’t fully digest what I’m putting on the table. Of course, W bears great responsibility for the fiscal mess we are in, wars and all. Although I don’t think even the most left of lefties took a powder on the Afghan War.

        I’m no fan of W’s performance. Everyone I seem to vote for disappoints me. Clinton twice. Twice disappointed. Bush twice. Twice disappointed.

        I adopted a different strategery.

        I held my nose and voted for McCain, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by Mr. Obama. Nope. I guess the next thing is voted for someone who can’t win.

        Here’s the bottom line, this country is in a shit of a mess, and Democrats have, since they have come to power, done nothing to stop the bleeding except revert to the silly playground exercise of pointing fingers — and then proceeding to increase spending.

        Okay. The adults are now in charge and have been for going on a year and a half. We’re waiting.

        BTW, a number of economists disagree with your premise the stimulus worked.


  8. I’m sorry RT didn’t get the nomination. I’m with Brian — Kelliher doesn’t inspire. She’d be a damn good governor, and I will probably vote for her, but we had a chance to have someone with both substance and flash with RT. Kelliher will have an uphill climb.

    One commentator on MPR noted that RT’s signs and banners were turquoise in Duluth. No doubt a campaign consultant would have changed that for the general, she said. I would have hoped not. RT was always the most stylish dresser at the Star Tribune — not saying much, as the sartorial bar is damn low there. But he’s always had that metrosexual lilt to him, and turquoise was fitting. But not winning.

    I hope Mark Dayton finds himself — somewhere else. Get out of our politics. We don’t need retreads right now. We need to take the state back toward some shadow of a state that works.

    I’ve dubbed 54th Street between 35W and Lyndale in South Minneapolis “Pawlenty Way.” it is so full of holes and holy patches that you need a Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle to get through. Enough. Le’ts win this damned election.

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