Emmer Guarantees More of What Made the GOP What It Is

NEW SLAUGHTERIt was a tough enough week for our fringy conservative friends even before Tom Emmer decided to leave talk radio and make a run for Congress.

I saw Emmer up close only once during his dare I say “clumsy”, (but nearly successful), run for Governor. It was at a Sixth District rabble-rouser at some sports bar up in Big Lake in late 2009. The assembled faithful had mainly come to see Michele Bachmann, so Emmer and fellow candidate Marty Seifert (and ex-House Speaker Kurt Zellers) were merely the warm-up acts.

This was the event where Zellers warned the choir that if Obama had his Kenyan/muslim/European/Socialist way with high-speed trains they (the audience of farmers, small town businessmen and spooky apocalyptics mumbling about “righteous reckonings”) would be “astonished” by the flood of welfare cases pouring into Minnesota from Chicago. To diagram the inference (which was lost on no one): Spendthrift black guy in White House provides express train service for a lot of high-crime, low-cash types who don’t look much like anyone in the Sixth District to ride up and squat in Minnesota.

And that was one of the classier moments of the evening. (I was eventually kicked out by the sports bar owner, despite having paid the $10 to get in.)

What Emmer guarantees is another competition to see who can out-crazy the other for the hearts and alleged minds of the Sixth District’s rabid, caucus-going base. To be sure, if you’re him, it’s worth saying whatever it takes. Because the winner, almost certainly a Republican, unless Bud Grant or Ron Schara (or Raven the dog) decides to play Democrat and run for office, is guaranteed a sweet and easy ten-year run, at minimum. Do the math: $140, 000 a year plus federal pension. For Emmer it sure beats a Clear Channel talk radio contract. (Believe me, I know).

So … prepare yourself for a fresh outbreak of grim, hellfire warnings of “socialist havoc”, “government controlled health care”, “godless liberalism” and “reckless government spending”.

That last one is always fraught with irony, since Emmer is another one of these local Republicans who seems to have a very hard time conserving their own money. (How do you borrow $1.6 million against a house you bought for $425,000? Only a fiscally responsible quasi-Libertarian knows for sure. )

But as I say, Emmer’s return comes at the end of a tough news week for the Grand Old Party, which I would have thought would be all about cleaning up its act from the mess it made last fall.

In order of embarrassments we had:  The Lou Dobbs/FoxNews sausage fest conversation about that study showing 40% of women are the breadwinner in American households with children. Lou and the boys couldn’t paint a darker picture of cultural collapse. Clearly, gals out there picking up a bigger paycheck than their boy toy (if they have one) is a descending peril along the lines of a sun-blotting swarm of pecker-picking turkey vultures. The classic among them was blogger Erick Erickson — a bona fide voice of influence to the literate among the Sixth District base.

Said Erickson, who is also a talk radio host:  “I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role.”

This set off an internal kerfuffle lead by FoxNews’ main female personalities Megyn Kelly and Greta van Susteren, both of whom were, like Captain Renault, “shocked, shocked” that 1950s-style troglodyte sexism was alive and walking the corridors of Roger Ailes’ and Rupert Murdoch’s FoxNews. (All you could do was roll your eyes at their “indignation”, which really was poorly disguised embarrassment at “the boys” being so crass and obvious about their innate sexism, thereby forcing the women to say something.)

Finally, (and by that I mean before Emmer), we had the really kind of astonishing report from … the frickin’ … College Republican National Committee … describing the party as it is today — led by talk radio jocks, FoxNews pundits, self-aggrandizing mega-church pastors and palpably sociopathic bloggers — as, “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” (At least that’s how young “winnable” voters described the party.)

Rolling Stone summarized nine other points in the report. Including these tough-to-dispute gems:

3. “For the GOP, being thought of as closed-minded is hardly a good thing. But if the GOP is thought of as the ‘stupid party,’ it may as well be the kiss of death.”

5. “An outright majority of young people still think those Republican policies are to blame [for the Great Recession] – hardly an encouraging finding.”

8. “Perhaps most troubling for Republicans is the finding from the March 2013 CRNC survey that showed 54% of young voters saying ‘taxes should go up on the wealthy.'”
The point to all this is entirely obvious, I guess.
Namely, if someone beats Tom Emmer to the bile-marinated heart of the Sixth District it will be by confirming every appalling, out-of-touch, discredited thing young people (by and large), immigrants, minorities and the mooching 47% find reprehensible about the Republican party … today.
Worse, the party’s economic message, supposedly its intellectual anchor amid storms over “legitimate rape”, working mothers and blocking gun and immigration reform, is clearly a non-starter among a majority of younger voters. And I’m guessing most of them aren’t even aware of the collapse of the vaunted Reinhart-Rogoff theory, the “intellectual foundation” for the Darwinian economic ideas of Paul Ryan, the party’s designated “brain guy”.
In other words, to beat every other Republican for the Sixth District nomination, the winner is going to have to say and be everything that has the party on the brink of collapse … outside the Sixth.

30 thoughts on “Emmer Guarantees More of What Made the GOP What It Is

  1. Jeremy Powers says:

    Just what this country needs: Another angry, hard-to-deal-with white male and mediocre lawyer who thinks rules don’t apply to him, with a huge sense of his own entitlement but who thinks everybody else are already over-paid to do nothing. He will add absolutely ZERO to this country and instead spend all of his time worrying about frail traditions that this country is abandoning voluntarily and trying to kiss Rick Santorum’s ring.

  2. PM says:

    Yeah, i think you are right–the forces at work in the GOP will cause Emmer to say the same things that he has so much practise with on his radio show. And i expect that this will work in the 6th district. But it will certainly hurt the GOP both at the state level and the national level. And, in a few years, it will make it possible for Emmer to be in a similar position to Bachmann(vulnerable).

    But maybe Emmer can tone it down over time. I have met him on a couple of occasions and “lobbied” him about some issues, and he seemed pretty reasonable. He certainly seemed not to be like Michelle Bachmann (who i think really believes all the crap she spouts).

    Same with Zellers. Again, i have been in small group meetings with him, and he seems to understand that he needs to govern as well as get elected. He is not a fire breathing fool.

    But this is the dichotomy of the GOP–they needs to act like idiots in order to get elected, and then try to hide their responsible selves behind a curtain so that their constituents don’t catch on. Except, of course, for the few of them (like Michelle) who are true believers who really have drunk the kool-aid.

    This is what sickens me about today’s GOP–it is a form of street theater managed by a group of people who are manipulating the fools in the streets and fleecing them of their social security checks–getting them to invest in gold, buy scooters thru medicare, etc–basically living off of the government teat, while decrying the fact that others (with different sounding last names or different shades of skin color–“them”) are living off the government teat.

    I wonder how much longer people like Ailes and Rove can keep this thing going…..but they are laughing all the way to the bank.

    1. The whole party these days is all about the caucus/primary … which is another way of saying all about reassuring the minority of the minority who think of talk radio as God’s gospel that they (the candidates) speak in the same tongue. If the GOP ever dared to modify its selection process it could spare itself the embarrassment of reaffirming its guffaw-inducing cluelessness … and still easily win that district.

    2. Joe Loveland says:

      I get your point, and agree with it. But the whole ‘he’s not a dangerous guy, he just makes dangerous policy’ doesn’t make me feel any better about him. It makes me feel worse about him.

      1. PM says:

        Trust me, i didn’t intend that as an endorsement!

        what interests me is (to use your phrase) how someone who isn’t a “dangerous guy” can “make dangerous policy”. Clearly, something about the situation he is in (by his own choice, of course) causes this to happen. there is obvious dysfunction here, as he is in a position of doing things he does not necessarily agree with.

        It all reminds me a lot of a really interesting book (Private truths, public lies: the social consequences of preference falsification; by Timur Kuran). This is the phenomena of people saying one thing publicly, but really feeling/believing something else. This is why the USSR and Eastern Europe collapsed so far and fast–everyone though that everyone else supported the system–when they all found out that no one really supported it, it simply fell apart.

        At some point, Republicans are going to realize that they really are not part of a silent majority–instead, they simply exist is a giant echo box. And, that a lot of Republicans are really RINO’s–just in it for the money.

  3. bertram jr. says:

    Loveland: Is it always about your “feelings”, because that’s the liberal way? Does it “feel good, therefore it’s right”, a la Le Lambert (empasis on the French)?

    What skin do you actually have in the 6CD game?

    1. PM says:

      my experience is that people who make off hand references to “the French” in the above fashion usually do so with more than a little bit of envy…..

    2. Jim Leinfelder says:

      “Bertram,” you live in Medina, Hennepin Co. Not a part of the Sixth Congressional District. So you’re hardly in a position to challenge Loveland’s standing in the discussion.

      1. PM says:

        not that it would matter, anyway–we may not all get to vote, but we can all contribute! (and our speech is almost as free as our money is)

          1. PM says:

            Name or not, I think that we know enough about Bertram to adequately value his endorsement. What extra would his name offer (especially as you appear to have his address)?

            and, btw, how do we know bertram jr. isn’t his name?

            1. Jim Leinfelder says:

              I’ve known “Bertram, Jr.” for decades,”PM.” He’s actually very good company off line. You? Who knows? Anonymity brings out his darker side, as it does so many people on line. What would his name offer? Credibility. People sign their work for a reason, “PM.” The courage of their convictions, And they don’t sign for a reason, too.

            2. PM says:

              Actually, Jim, there are many reasons that people sign their work (including, sometimes, pride and vanity), and many reasons that people do not. There are no simple answers, and no single reasons, as much as that might fit your preferred view of the world.

            3. PM says:

              So, if you’ve known him for decades, your “Nice, an endorsement from a guy afraid to use his own name.” response is simply an ad hominem attack on your part–because you actually do know his name, right?

            4. Jim Leinfelder says:

              I like that anonymity has you and “Bertram” confederates. But, no, PM, that fact that I may know who “Bertram” is still makes his otherwise anonymous stand in defense of Emmer no less lame.

            5. PM says:

              But Jim, is it lame just because he chooses to be anonymous? Or is it lame for another reason? If he were to post exactly the same words, but with his real name attached, would you accord it any more worth?

              Or if I were to say “the moon is made of green cheese”, and signed my name to it (or, signed a name to it that you might or might not suspect was real, because you’ve never seen any form of identification from me and so couldn’t possibly know if I was anonymous or using a nom de plume), would you attribute more authority to my statement than if I just used PM?

              Seriously, it is pretty well established in philosophy that you should judge an argument by its content and coherence, and not by who said it. Arguments from authority are pretty universally rejected (would you think more of me if I signed my posts PM, PhD.?). Should we think less of the Federalist Papers because they were written by Publius? (not that I am in the same league, of course…).

              Judge me by what I say and do, not by my name or skin color or accent or age or education or wealth or religion……

              In contrast, judging me by my name (or lack thereof) is lame…

            6. Jim Leinfelder says:

              PM: I’m not discussing you at all. Fear, I assume informs your anonymity. But you don’t seem to be posting things that you’d be reluctant to assert in, say, a mixed group at a bar.

              But I was specifically talking about an anonymous political endorsement, not an argument. “Bertram” didn’t make a case for Emmer, so the text itself is utterly without weight. And made anonymously it’s, well…as I’ve said Try using anonymous references next time you’re looking for a job, or, hell, a date.

              In general, the anonymity of the web yields less civility and lots of downright hate speech and ugliness. As a whole, I think it’s bad for public discourse and breeds trollish behavior. You have to disagree, of course, as that is the course you’ve chosen. You’re a benign exception. But hardly adequate compensation, in my view.

              Still, this is a pretty moribund blog since the new policy, whatever it is, so maybe I’m wrong.

        1. Joe Loveland says:

          Brian Lambert is a friend of mine. Should that fact deny your right to disagree with Brian?

          And just because I am arrogant and rude and am never caught dead without a beret on doesn’t mean I’m French. Brian, on the other hand, is as French as the day is long.

    3. Joe Loveland says:

      My skin in the 6th congessional district game: Congress governs me. If Emmers nullification nonsense passes, it harms me and my country.

  4. bertram jr. says:

    Oui,oui, mon frere. I’m not the one with the circus dog and effete manner, however.

  5. bertram jr says:

    No “endorsement” tendered, my man. Just challenging the motivation of Lovey’s virulent little emission…

  6. bertram jr. says:

    Ahhh, and Loveland brings the issue to it’s rather expected close: He embraces all of Congress – and toute le monde!

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