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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Time in the US Senate Race is Not Well Spent

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/18/09 16:46

by Dave Mindeman

During political campaigns, you get used to the constant fund raising letters....the pleas for that next donation.

You get calls to support a candidate...calls for funds to work against a candidate.....money, money, money.

But in the Minnesota Senate race, we have moved into the Twilight Zone. Consider the latest fundraising tome from Cullen Sheehan with the Coleman campaign.

It starts with this...

Dear Friend,

As Norm continues his legal challenge to make sure that every vote is counted fairly, accurately and honestly, our support continues to grow.

Support is a funny word. The election ended 3 months ago. The voters have ended their part of the race. Support can't grow there.

No, Norm is looking for dead presidents. The green stuff.
They're looking for money that does little but keep Minnesota devoid of the representation it deserves.

There is something unseemly about it. It's not productive. It is supporting a negative. Norm's campaign wants your money so they can keep lawyers busy and Minnesota frustrated and wanting.

Sheehan's letter starts name-dropping:

As Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says, ?Anything you can do to help Norm financially to make sure that he can tell his story before the court is much appreciated.?

"Story" seems like the wrong word. Is Norm retelling an adventuresome tall tale? Well, I suppose you could correlate "story telling" to what his lawyers are attempting in regards to the Minnesota election system. In a way, it is the "greatest work of election fiction" ever told.

Norm is rapidly running out of viable arguments to overturn the recount result. But it will continue and the money will keep coming. Because the GOP Senators are using this as part of their strategic obstruction.

Norm can extend the trial; he can appeal the decision...and then appeal that one. Winning is becoming a fading objective. Now success is measured in delays....in amounts of time....

...time that is not well spent for Minnesota.

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US House GOP Holds "Victory" Retreat?

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 01/31/09 14:45, Edited: 01/31/09 14:50

by Dave Mindeman

The US House minority GOP caucus had their retreat. And you would think they had just won the lottery. I guess they are convinced that their smaller group has the ability to unify in ways they haven't before. Since most of this group comes from hard core districts, they probably do have a lot in common. But can that bring them back to a House majority?

The election of Michael Steele as RNC chair was probably the better indication that they are coming back. Of all the candidates vying for the position, Steele can probably attract the broadest appeal.

And in a way, it was probably a good sign for Governor Pawlenty's national ambitions. Steele and Pawlenty are closer in broader goals than any of the other RNC candidates.

However, the message is still not changing much. Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, spoke about the recent stimulus vote:

?I know all of you are pumped about the vote the other day,? Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the party whip, told lawmakers Friday night, eliciting loud cheers from the roomful of Republicans. ?We?ll have more to come.?

Pumped up about a bill they lost by over 50 votes? Cheers that they all voted to do nothing? I guess victory is in the eye of the beholder.

Maybe I'm missing something, but being negative and obstructionist when the country desperately needs action seems like a wrong headed message to me.

And here's another puzzling symbolic gesture:

Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, the chairman of the Republican Conference whose office organized the three-day retreat, kicked off the final dinner with a clip of George C. Scott as Gen. Patton imploring his troops, ?We?re going to kick the hell out of (the enemy) all the time, and we?re going to go through him like crap through a goose.?

After the drubbing the House Republicans have taking in the last two election cycles, you have to wonder which side they think Scott/Patton is supposed to be referring to.

The voice of reason came from our own Governor Pawlenty, as an invited speaker:

He also warned Republicans away from the divisive politics and infighting that have plagued the party for years. ?We don?t have a big enough party to be throwing people overboard,? the conservative governor said.

Nice thought....but a little late.

I guess the most symbolic distortion of reality came from Cantor:

Cantor had all his deputies sign a magnum of wine to uncork when the GOP wins back the House.

Well, they say wine always gets better with age.
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