Night of the Long Knives

Here’s a very quick take on local politics that reflects national intra-party warfare.

The Republican Party in Minnesota recently ejected 18 prominent and respected members, including a retired U.S. Senator and two former Minnesota Governors. Why? Because they were not far enough right. They put the needs of the State and the Nation ahead of the needs of the Party. They spoke their conscience instead of the Republican Politburo Party Line.

The war between the endangered species known as “Moderate Republicans” and the Teapers is heating up, and will be played out soon in a state near you. This is a preview:

From Politico:

The stunning purge, narrowly passed by the state Republican central committee last weekend, suggests more than just a fit of pique: by banning some of the state’s leading moderates, the Minnesota GOP moved toward extinguishing a dying species of Republican in one of its last habitats.

Tom Horner

Tom Emmer

Their crime against orthodoxy? They endorsed Tom Horner in the Minnesota Governor’s race, the moderate Independent candidate, rather than Tom Emmer, the far-right nutcase endorsed by the Republican Party.


About dcpetterson

D. C. Petterson is a novelist and a software consultant in Minnesota who has been writing science fiction since the age of six. He lives with his wife, two dogs, a cat, and two lizards, and insists that grandchildren are the reward for having survived teenagers. When not writing stories or software, he plays guitar, engages in political debate, and reads a lot of history and physics texts for fun.
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57 Responses to Night of the Long Knives

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    If you ever wondered how the GOP stays so unified, it is because they ruthlessly enforce party loyalty. This has nothing to do with ideology. These people supported an Indi candidate who siphoned off enough votes to allow the Dem to win in a GOP year. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

  2. dcpetterson says:

    You may be right, Bart. It’s not about ideology (i.e., belief, policy, thoughts about what’s best for the nation, etc.) It’s about power.

    The GOteaPers are about power. The rhetoric about “liberty,” “small government,” “lower taxes,” etc,. that’s all just meaningless advertising jingles. None of that matters a whit to the GOteaPers.

    It’s about power. Thank you for the clear admission. (A faux pas in politics is when someone accidentally tells the truth.)

    Now we watch as you walk it back…

  3. Brian says:

    So they endorsed someone with what they considered to be a better platform instead of deciding based on the letter next to their name? Seems like a good decision to me.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    If you Dems enforced party loyalty, you would not have a chunk of your party voting with the unified GOP on tough issues.

    Watch your senators up for reelection in 2012 bolt continuously over the next two years.

  5. dcpetterson says:

    The thing is, Bart, we Dems expect our elected officials to vote for what they believe is the good of the country. Unlike you Republicans who expect your elected officials to vote with the will of their totalitarian overlords, and the Nation and its People be damned.

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: The thing is, Bart, we Dems expect our elected officials to vote for what they believe is the good of the country

    You lie your ass off. Every time a Dem defects and Dems lose a vote, you folks are howling.

    The problem for the Dem left is that they only make up less than a quarter of the country and cannot enforce their preferred discipline on the Dem center without making themselves a minority party.

  7. Bartbuster says:

    The problem for the Dem left is that they only make up less than a quarter of the country and cannot enforce their preferred discipline on the Dem center without making themselves a minority party.

    Blankshot, is that why you wingnuts controlled Congress for most of the 20th century?

    Oh, wait…

  8. Mr. Universe says:

    Oooohh , snap.

  9. Bart DePalma says:

    bb:

    In reality, Congress went both ways over the 20th Century and the Dem majorities were built with center-right members from the South.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidents_and_control_of_congress

    The Dem left never achieved a majority on its own because they make up less than a quarter of the voters.

  10. dcpetterson says:

    I think Bart’s gotten really defensive here. Rather than defend the Republican concern for power above the good of the country, he is deflecting, and attempting to do a scarttershot attack on Democrats.

    Bart, let’s see you tell us why a concern for giving power to your corporate overlords is better than being concerned for the health of America. Tell us why bowing down to your elite oppressors who allow no deviation from party groupthink is more important than national security. Your elitist hive mind is trying to kill START, leave DADT in place, deny unemployment benefits, deny health care to 9/11 First Responders, all for the sake of authoritarian and totalitarian power. Tell us why that’s a good thing.

  11. Bart DePalma says:

    First, you had the populist Tea Party campaigning against the credentialed elite establishment.

    Now you have the credentialed elite establishment offering a “No Labels” alternative:

    No Labels was formed by a group of Democratic and Republican political consultants. On the Democratic side, there is Nancy Jacobson, a former finance director of the Democratic National Committee and veteran of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. On the Republican side, there is Mark McKinnon, who worked for former President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain before announcing, as the 2008 general election race got under way, that he would no longer work for McCain because, as he said at the time, “I just don’t want to work against an Obama presidency.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2010/12/no-labels-rally-bipartisan-democratic-tinge

    Sounds an awful lot like the short lived “Coffee Party” dropping the facade of a Starbucks “grass roots” movement.

    Fascinating.

  12. Mr. Universe says:

    I rather think that Republicans represent 36% of the country (the same number as FOX veiwership) and then there’s everybody else who just can’t seem to agree on specifics. The difference is that Republicans are pretty much lock-stepped to the same overture. And it’s a poorly performed piece that will likely grow annoying on everyone before 2012.

    The Republicans are partying like it’s 1894 when it’s probably more 1948. Enjoy your gridlock while you can.

  13. dcpetterson says:

    Bart December 14, 2010 at 11:08:

    If you ever wondered how the GOP stays so unified, it is because they ruthlessly enforce party loyalty.

    Bart December 14, 2010 at 14:06:

    First, you had the populist Tea Party campaigning against the credentialed elite establishment.

    This is precisely the war I described in my article.

  14. dcpetterson says:

    … the interesting thing is that the “establishment Republicans” have become the populist moderates, whereas the Teapers are now the top-down totalitarians enforcing party loyalty. Fascinating.

  15. shortchain says:

    It’s beyond obvious at this point that, exactly as Bart assured us was not the case, the true agenda of the “tea party” is social conservatism, not fiscal conservatism. I wonder what percentage of the teapers are going to to along with the rabid anti-abortion, anti-equality, anti-immigrant, and anti-education agenda these turkeys are going to try and implement?

    Not just in Minnesota, but across the country, where corporate money has funded GOP takeovers of statehouses and legislatures.

    I’m guessing the teapers are history, except for a few dead-enders like Bart.

    They just tossed the members of the GOP in Mn who were recognized, statewide. What they have left are like Emmer, Pawlenty, and Sutton — size 12 egos with size 3 intellects.

  16. Jean says:

    Bart,

    Your conservative Republican David Frum (speechwriter and special assistance to George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002) is one of the founders of this No Labels movement.

    As he notes, “A Pew survey taken after the midterm election found that 55 percent of respondents wanted Republican leaders in Washington to “try as best they can to work with Barack Obama to accomplish things, even if it means disappointing some groups of Republican supporters.” Sixty-two percent wanted Obama to work hard to cooperate with Republicans, even if it meant disappointing some of his supporters.

    In Congress, the center has collapsed, and ideological overlap between the parties has vanished. Although 30 percent of grass-roots Republicans consider themselves moderate or liberal, and 60 percent of Democrats consider themselves moderate or conservative, their voices are muted in the nation’s capital. As increasingly polarized media feed centrifugal forces, potential primary challengers stand ready to punish deviation from party orthodoxies.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/02/AR2010120205703.html

    and

    http://www.frumforum.com/a-grassroots-answer-to-gridlock

  17. Jean says:

    And here’s the tea party governing:

    “This week, Wisconsin, at the behest of its new Republican chief executive, gave back the federal money, which will now go to projects in other states. Right on cue, the train manufacturer is leaving Wisconsin, too, and taking jobs with it. (via Atrios)

    Talgo Inc. will shut down its Milwaukee train manufacturing operations in 2012, leaving only a maintenance base, because plans for a high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison have been abandoned, the company announced Friday. […]

    “In our view, this is even more tragic for the state of Wisconsin than it is for Talgo,” [Nora Friend, a Talgo vice president] said in a written statement. “This is the rejection of creation of direct and indirect jobs, of added tourism, of the increase in state income taxes with permanent employment and … lost opportunities (from) the establishment and growth of the vendor supply chain, among many other benefits.” […]

    The incoming Republican governor, rejected the funds, the jobs, and the development because, as he sees it, Wisconsin would have to spend money to maintain the rail system after the feds built it. ”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027043.php

  18. dcpetterson says:

    Excellent posts, Jean. The GOteaParty is all about enforcing authoritarian Party control and power, at the expense of America, American jobs, and America’s citizens. That there are still people claiming the GOteaParty to be “populist” is a testament to dishonest advertising. That anyone falls for this propaganda is evidence for the poor and declining state of our schools. Hence, the GOteaParty hates education.

  19. shortchain says:

    And let us not forget that other spectacular success of tea party politics as carried into action.

  20. dcpetterson says:

    Oh yes, Jean, and shortchain also. The Teapers and their policies will destroy the Republican Party. They will also do immense damage to America — but, in the long run, America will survive them.

    Teaperism was an ad campaign, a strategy to get Republicans elected (since, as Bart pointed out, Republicans are simply about power). Now that the election is over, the heat will die down (as, for instance, we are no longer hearing about the evils of Lower Manhattan’s Islamic Community Center). The extremes of Teaperism positions cannot, of course, be enacted — but True Prophets like Rand Paul will try, throwing wrenches into the wheels of government.

    The People are not in a mood to tolerate mindless obstructionism. This will not end well for the Republicans.

  21. filistro says:

    I find it interesting that the GOP is so aghast and appalled over Michael Steele running for RNC chair again. After all, he held that position during the “tsunami,” right? You’d think the guy who presided over historic Republican midterm gains would be feted and applauded by his own party… but instead they can’t wait to get rid of him.

    It’s almost as if they look on those big wins as sort of… accidental, isn’t it? As if they didn’t win fair and square but somehow stole all these seats, and now they want to beat a retreat, destroy the evidence and get rid of the witnesses.

    And of course we all know that’s true. The midterm vote wasn’t FOR Republicans at all, it was just against the recession and the economy.. .and smart “establishment” Republicans know it. What’s more, they know all too well that if they don’t marshal all their resources and find themselves the very best leadership possible, they’re going to lose all those seats (and more) in the next election.

  22. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro —

    It is the very trap you saw for the Republicans a year or two ago, playing out before our eyes. If they continue the unyielding arrogant obstructionism, the People will turn against them bigtime. Yet, after painting Democrats as enemies of the State, it’s hard to walk back from that.

    They appointed Steele as a token Black in an attempt to blunt the power and popularity of Obama. That didn’t work, and now their racism (and practicality — he is entirely unsuited and unqualified) is taking over. They’ve got to get rid of him, and risk a backlash.

    They created Palin in a desperate bid to draw off Hillary’s supporters. That didn’t work either, because America’s women are not that stoopid. But they’re stuck with her, because she is not as malleable as they imagined (though she is every bit as destructive).

    Maybe they actually have to work with Obama in the next Congress in order to not entirely piss off America’s center. That will risk losing what has become their violent base. A rock and a hard place. I don’t envy them.

  23. filistro says:

    Speaking of rocks and hard palces… I’m also enjoying the drama and machinations around the tax cut bill. Isn’t it fascinating? Ten minutes after the deal was announced, Bart was in here crowing that Republicans got everything they wanted and Obama was a weak whiny baby. Now suddenly the GOP smells a trap and is starting to recoil. High profile Goopers from Rush to Romney and Krauthammer to Palin are coming out in opposition to the bill. They’ve seen, too late, that it’s really a new stimulus in disguise, Obama was very shrewd in negotiating it, it’s going to stimulate the economy and Obama will get credit for the improvement.

    Rush said today he wants them to obstruct until the new congress is seated and then propose essentially the same bill so THEY get credit for it. LOL…

    They’re getting so skittish, if it doesn’t pass soon they might back away en masse and the House Dems will be forced to save the bill they hated with such passion, so it can go through and be a huge victory for Obama and his party.

    No wonder we all love politics so much. You just cannot make this stuff up 😛

  24. dcpetterson says:

    filistro —

    LOL! I can’t add anything to that, but I wanted to give you props for a brilliant observation.

  25. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Y’all note as well that we’ve heard NOT ONE WORD about:
    “no one had read the entire bill”
    “no one has had time to read the bill”
    “there needs to be 72 hours for the bill to be published so everybody can read the bill and comment to their Senator”

    Not ONE WORD!

    Funny ain’t it?

    Er, excuse me, but your hypocrisy is showing (again).

  26. Bartbuster says:

    In reality, Congress went both ways over the 20th Century and the Dem majorities were built with center-right members from the South.

    Blankshot, Congress was mostly controlled by the Dems. That happened because you wingnuts prefer goosestepping over compromising.

  27. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    See Mule Rider:

    goosestepping“, a loaded word, calling forth the spirit of the Nazis.

    Lack of any effort at reasoned discourse.

    Bart deserves my nasty retorts.

    I SELDOM turn the other cheek in a debate.

    So, am I a liberal or conservative?

  28. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Sorry Bartbuster. I had a point to make.

  29. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean says: Your conservative Republican David Frum (speechwriter and special assistance to George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002) is one of the founders of this No Labels movement.

    Frum is a classic neo-con with often non-conservative domestic policies.

    As he notes, “A Pew survey taken after the midterm election found that 55 percent of respondents wanted Republican leaders in Washington to “try as best they can to work with Barack Obama to accomplish things, even if it means disappointing some groups of Republican supporters.” Sixty-two percent wanted Obama to work hard to cooperate with Republicans, even if it meant disappointing some of his supporters.

    Ah, but working hard accomplishing what? These questions are nonsense without context. It is like voting for Obama for “change” and then finding that the actual change is not anything you ever wanted.

    In Congress, the center has collapsed, and ideological overlap between the parties has vanished. Although 30 percent of grass-roots Republicans consider themselves moderate or liberal, and 60 percent of Democrats consider themselves moderate or conservative, their voices are muted in the nation’s capital. As increasingly polarized media feed centrifugal forces, potential primary challengers stand ready to punish deviation from party orthodoxies.”

    :::yawn::: Change parties. You Dems get our libs (like Frum) and we get all of your center-right Reagan Dems. Come to think of it, that just happened a month ago.

  30. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro says: Speaking of rocks and hard palces… I’m also enjoying the drama and machinations around the tax cut bill. Isn’t it fascinating? Ten minutes after the deal was announced, Bart was in here crowing that Republicans got everything they wanted and Obama was a weak whiny baby. Now suddenly the GOP smells a trap and is starting to recoil. High profile Goopers from Rush to Romney and Krauthammer to Palin are coming out in opposition to the bill.

    And I thought I was the black and white personality. In politics, you have to take everything in context.

    I posted I was thrilled that a 42 member GOP minority obtained a much as they did and then I criticized the increased spending.

    The GOP members have to support their bill because they have to vote for it.

    GOP presidential hopefuls and conservative pundits can be pure and demand more because they do not have to vote on the measure.

    In a perfect world, where conservatives ran the government, both groups would be happy to cut both taxes and spending. Unfortunately, voters will have to live with their mistake of 2008 for awhile longer.

  31. shortchain says:

    Shorter Bart: “No true conservative …”

    Since we already have Bart, on record, as asserting that he’s a “classical liberal” — which, I guess, allows him to claim the sobriquet of “liberal” by set containment, we can calibrate our “liberalometer”. I point it at Attila the Hun, and comes back positive. OK.

    Since he also claims to be a “conservative”, I conclude that we have one of two assertions, one of which must be true:

    a) The labels “liberal” and “conservative” as used by Bart are utterly devoid of meaning — they change at his whim, depending on what point he’s trying to make at the moment.

    b) The labels — and the people they describe — are mutable and change by the moment. A person who is conservative one day — like Frum — wakes up the next and is no longer conservative.

    Let’s see. A person in their 40’s in 1980 would be in their 70’s now. Amazing longevity, those “Reagan Dems”. You’d expect half of them to have died off by now. On the evidence, it appears that Bart’s use of the term implies that a) is the correct assertion.

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    It is now official. The reprehensible Dem 111th Congress is now the most loathed in Gallup history.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/145238/Congress-Job-Approval-Rating-Worst-Gallup-History.aspx

  33. fopplssiegeparty says:

    Don’t hassle Bart. He’s running late for his constitution class with M. Bachmann.

  34. dcpetterson says:

    It is now official. The reprehensible Republican obstructionists in the 111th Congress have made it the most loathed in Gallup history.

  35. Bart DePalma says:

    It looks like the Dem Congress is determined to give both fingers to the voters who loathe them – The Dem Senate has drafted a secret $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill with 6,488 earmarks spending $575 million per page and refuse to release it to the public. Apparently, they hope that voters are too busy with their Christmas plans to notice the Christmas party the Dems are throwing for themselves with the voters credit card.

    This is your party at work.

  36. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, you still haven’t answered my questions from yesterday at 13:51. I note you still are trying to deflect the topic of this thread by engaging in a scarttershot attack on Democrats.

    But since you think Republican discipline is something to be proud of, let’s see you tell us why a concern for giving power to your corporate overlords is better than being concerned for the health of America. Tell us why bowing down to your elite oppressors who allow no deviation from party groupthink is more important than national security. Your elitist hive mind is trying to kill START, leave DADT in place, deny unemployment benefits, deny health care to 9/11 First Responders, all for the sake of authoritarian and totalitarian power. Tell us why that’s a good thing.

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    dc:

    Your 13:51 post was a rant, not a serious question. I do not bother with rants.

  38. shiloh says:

    Bartles ~ give both fingers

    Again, feel free to stop your teabagger whining at any time … or not.

    ok, Obama is still president so by all means let your faux conservative tears gush forth unashamedly lol.

    solo estoy diciendo

  39. shiloh says:

    Bartles, if “we” didn’t reply to winger rants, no one at 538 would ever talk to you, eh.

    take care, blessings

  40. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, my 13:51 post contained serious questions. Defend the despicable actions of your totalitarian Party.

  41. drfunguy says:

    ‘Rant’, like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘libertarian’, ‘socialist’, ‘totalitarian’ and any number of other words means what Bart wants it to mean at the time he says it.
    Serious questions need not expect a response.

  42. drfunguy says:

    How fitting that Bart model his ‘debate’ tactics after Humpty Dumpty
    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

  43. dcpetterson says:

    Judging by the inability or unwillingness of our conservative friends to respond, we can conclude there is no defense for the Republican tendency to place obedience to Party above the good of the Nation. This might remind us of other historical situations in which a Party became more important than the welfare of a nation or its people. I fear the Republicans are moving in that same direction. This is a development to keep watch over.

  44. fopplssiegeparty says:

    dc:
    “I fear the Republicans are moving in that same direction. This is a development to keep watch over.”

    I fear that horse has left the barn.

  45. dcpetterson says:

    fopplssiegeparty, I was being generous.

  46. fopplssiegeparty says:

    dc: I don’t disagree with you. I just think we (as a nation) have already passed the tipping point. The greed and shortsightedness of corporations will be their ultimate demise. It appears to me that they are not smart enough to merely bleed the the consumer, they fully intend to kill and make sausage with them.

    One of the many reasons I will be an expat within 5 years.

  47. shortchain says:

    I’m with fopplssiegeparty — except that I’ll still be here.

    I think the danger this country faces is the unleashing of the power of money through the Citizens United decision, which basically made all us individuals largely unnecessary to the process by which seats in legislatures and governor’s mansions are bought and sold. Given the prevalence of useful idiots like the teapers, plus those who are congenitally unable to vote for Democrats, plus — it saddens me to point out — a fair number of Democrats who are corporatists, corporations can outspend the rest of us with ease and control the country.

    Consider the numbers involved. Suppose that, in a typical house district of 650K people, where, let’s say, 500K are eligible voters, of which 200K vote, the numbers for GOP and Democratic party are about equal, 100K. Now, if each and every one of those people give 2500 to their candidate, while the other 100K only give half that, then their candidate will have a funding advantage of 12 million. Corporations can make up that difference out of petty cash.

    Which is what “American Crossroads” and “Americans for Progress” are intending to do.

    They can easily buy enough House seats to make it essentially impossible to regulate corporations. For the Senate the numbers are larger but they only need a couple of seats, say one each from Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Massachussets, and West Virginia, and they can, with the help of the GOP Senate caucus, stop any bill dead, prevent the appointment of unfriendly judges, and thus gain control of two of the three branches of government.

    Thus the “checks and balances”, which were meant to prevent the tyranny of government over the individual, have become a means of preventing the government from being able to protect the individual from the tyranny of corporations.

    The lock-step operation of the GOP is the enabling feature of this. All that’s necessary is to get enough of the leadership of the GOP afraid or otherwise under their thumb and they’ve got it made.

  48. fopplssiegeparty says:

    Thanks shortchain, you express it so much better than I.

  49. Jean says:

    Here’s an interesting tidbit:

    For the record, what kind of awesome job creation did those Bush tax cuts give us?

    Total nonfarm employment increased from 132,469,000 in January of 2001 to 133,549,000 in January 2009. Just over one million jobs in 8 years, or 11,250 per month.

  50. Monotreme says:

    In case you were entertaining any notion that the Senate Republicans were interested in, you know, legislating:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/15/start.treaty/

    Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, had indicated earlier he would request that the [START] treaty be read out loud, saying, “I know that a number of Republicans who support the treaty are frustrated with the idea of trying to jam it through with Christmas as our backstop.

    “While it’s being read, it does give us time to pull together and come up with our ideas and try to talk to the American people through the media,” said DeMint, a conservative who has become a leading voice in the Tea Party movement.

    A spokesman for DeMint said later that delaying formal debate on the treaty until Thursday achieved the same purpose as taking 12 hours or more to read the document out loud.

    Yeah, jam that thing through. We’ve only been working on it for 30 years. Hardly time to give it proper study.

  51. drfunguy says:

    According to a new ABC-WaPo poll Obama is still trusted more than the Republican congress:
    “the public trusts Obama marginally more than they do congressional Republicans to deal with the country’s main problems in the coming years, 43 percent to 38 percent. ”
    ” Most continue to say that the Republicans in Congress are not doing enough to compromise with Obama on important issues. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/14/AR2010121407681.html

  52. Jean says:

    shrinker and shortchain,

    Have you see this?

    “Despite getting no love from the state’s at-large electorate against
    President Obama in PPP’s Wednesday release, outgoing Minnesota Governor Tim
    Pawlenty is the slim favorite of his own party faithful to get the state’s Republican
    National Convention delegates. In the race to take on popular Senator Amy Klobuchar, however, he does less well despite coming closest to beating Klobuchar in Tuesday’s look at the general election. Instead, newly empowered Congresswoman Michele Bachman is overwhelmingly the darling of hardcore GOP voters.

    Bachmann pulls 36% support from usual GOP primary voters, with a wide margin overPawlenty’s 20%, Norm Coleman’s 14%, and a host of prospective contenders bunched in single digits: 8th-District Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack at 7%, Tom Emmer at 6%, 2nd-District Congressman John Kline at 5%, state legislator Laura Brod at 4%, and Erik Paulsen at 2%, with 6% undecided or favoring someone else. Pawlenty trails Klobuchar by only ten points, versus Bachmann’s 18 and Coleman’s 14.
    There is a huge ideological divide at play. Bachmann, founder of the Congressional Tea
    Party Caucus, gets a whopping 42% from the conservative supermajority, which makes up almost three-quarters of the electorate.”

    Sigh. You’d think the GOP would learn. How’d that same strategy work out for the with the GOP endorsing MN governor candidate Tom Emmer? Tom Emmer was a bridge-too-far as MN governor, with Democrat Mark Dayton winning. And Dayton ran an unabashed campaign to increase taxes of the wealthy. Michelle wins in her predominantly rural redneck district, but I seriously doubt she’d play well in the major metropolitan and Iron Range districts.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_MN_1213.pdf

  53. Brian says:

    @Shortchain

    For the Senate the numbers are larger but they only need a couple of seats, say one each from Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Massachussets, and West Virginia

    Why not just go for the cheapest states to buy senators from? I imagine Illinois would be rather expensive with Chicago markets, but somewhere like North/South Dakota and Wyoming wouldn’t be terribly difficult to get 6 Senators to vote on anything you’d ask for. I think that if you throw enough money at a campaign, and do it intelligently (i.e. not like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina), it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to persuade the voters to vote against their own interests. I hate to put on price tag on our country, but for 5 billion dollars or so, you could probably buy the 40 senators it would take to have a superminiority.

  54. Brian,

    The cheapest-states strategy makes sense, though it may not necessarily mean going after the states with the lowest population densities. It’s not simply the cost of advertising that needs to be considered.

  55. shortchain says:

    Brian,

    Have you looked into John Thune’s background? But small states are generally iffy. A lot of them lean so far one way or the other that they’re not so susceptible to the kind of shenanigans I described. In the case of some states, their representatives are already so deep in the pockets of corporate money it would be superfluous.

    No, where corporations can really make a killing is on the margin, where you have a state or a district which is close, like Nebraska a few years ago, or Illinois and Wisconsin this year. Then, a few million can make the difference and get a representative or Senator who knows what’s good for his or her re-election chances.

  56. Mainer says:

    Brian, Michael you are both way too close to the point of where we are even right now.Lets not quibble about this because it would probably take far less than 5 Billion to accomplish it. I’m afraid in fact that for way far less the corpro governance of the US is already at hand. First you are right there are a umber of cheap seats that could be purloined for political chump change. But before one did that think about all of the completly safe seats that are out there. Now lets consider just how predisposed some of those holding those seats are to well………Tom Lehrer probably had it pretty much nailed in his song My Home Town with the following ”
    No fellow could ignore
    The little girl next door,
    She sure looked sweet in her first evening gown.
    Now there’s a charge for what she used to give for free
    In my home town.

    Now with a few choice word changes we have the Senator next door and presto change oh we have a whole new political system in this country. Now we would be looking at still having a president and that individual would be largely involved in ribbon cutting, maybe a little over seas hand shaking but that would be about it. The real power would be in the Prime minister that would reside at 1615 H street in DC. Now if I am right he already does reside there and his name is Donohue.

    One can pretty much figure Will Rogers was right when he said that we “have the best congress money can buy”. Now I suspect that we have already passed the big buck days in this the last election and now those late to get on board are going to find that this has become a buyers market and the big money days have already come and gone now the politicians that were already predisposed to be bought but were holding out for more are going to find themselves fighting for the scraps. Isn’t the free market just grand?

    Personnaly I think we should develop a list of who the real political bought and paid for whores are. I know we can’t shame them but maybe we can shame some of the voters that keep sending them to DC. Lets see so you voted for your guy to represent you and you oh so trust the lieing SOB. Sending off a politician to represent you faitfully has been compared in some ways to a marriage where one party is away a lot. And that politician gets to DC and promptly hops in the first proffered bed…….political or otherwise. So we have in effect millions of voters in this country that are nothing more than political cuckolds……..I wonder how many of them ever think of themselves in those terms?

  57. shortchain says:

    Jean,

    Yes, I saw the report. I think it highly likely that Klobuchar would utterly destroy Bachmann, but I don’t think the Michele would accept the nomination. While she’s crazy and rather dim, I don’t think she’s that stupid.

    What this reflects is the fact that the GOP activists in Minnesota have come to be completely dominated by the extreme social conservative wing. This has been going on for a couple of decades. Remember Durenburger? Carlson? If Quie is no longer acceptable, Durenburger must be a radical socialist, and Arne an outright politburo member. The only acceptable candidates now are the ones that pander shamelessly to the most extreme right-wing voters.

    Like everybody, Minnesotans are unhappy about the way things are going, and in a mood to throw the bathwater out, and let the baby look out for itself, but this will not last, as a governing methodology. Sooner or later people are going to look around and notice that things aren’t getting better with the GOP implementing its insane policies.

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