Category Archives: God’s Own Party

The Reader

At the insistence of the Duluth Reader’s publisher I quit submitting my by weekly column when I filed for the Eighth District Congressional Seat. Heaven’s forbid that my dotty columns might pose a journalistically unfair threat to Donald Trump’s local pet Pete Stauber. The Reader, unlike Fox News, really tries to be “fair and balanced.” I was originally tendered my Not Eudora spot to be a “conservative” voice against the many liberal voices happily volunteering to keep the Northland informed. At the time these liberal voices considered the Trib to be rabidly conservative. (I have to pause briefly to laugh a little)

Actually writing even one column once every two weeks is more work than I could easily handle while occasionally poking Pete Stauber in the ribs, studying French, escorting family on trips and planning for next weeks departure for France. Now the later looms. My wife and I will board the plane one week from today.

I had originally thought I would submit a weekly column about France while I was away. I didn’t know if the Reader would want them or not. I’ve just decided to submit two columns on my travels instead – one every other week. I will likely blog daily about my travels for my eight loyal readers. To do so I will need to take my computer because posting from my cell phone, while possible, is a pain…….and I don’t mean a loaf of french bread.

The logo above is a computer graphic I used 18 years ago as a newbie Internet enthusiast to help get people to the caucuses to choose delegates for John McCain in his first run for the Republican nomination. The creeps, trolls and assassins who made Donald Trump an accidental Republican President were already at work back then slandering McCain. When he was slandered out of the running I only had a few pathetic Republican breaths left in me. I ran for the legislature as a republican in 2002 but I was not like the usual Republican suspects today.

I have roughed out a few words on the column I’ll be sending into the Reader later tonight. Polishing them up and last minute organizing for my trip are on today’s docket. Finishing a book on America’s involvement in World War 1 will take up the following days.

Gotta get started.

My Kind of Loser

John McCain is on his death bed. The news has it that he is no longer accepting treatment for his cancer and that his family is gathering together. Although he was not a perfect vessel for my moderate version of Republicanism he was the last Republican I could enthusiastically throw my heart to. In 2000 as the caucuses for the Presidential election grew close I became one of his early organizers from my home and started a webpage to encourage his supporters to go to the caucuses. I just found it in the Wayback Machine a service devoted to keeping old websites from evaporating into the void.

https://web.archive.org/web/20010127085800/http://snowbizz.com:80/CaucusMcCain/CaucusMccain.htm

I’ve been casting about for a subject to write about in my return to Not Eudora. Thinking about our current draft dodger President who called Senator McCain a “loser” while on his merry way to sullying our nation’s Oval Office I know just what to write. My next column will be about my kind of loser.

The elephant in Pete Stauber’s room

Pete told the Duluth News Tribune these wise words he picked up from Vice President Pence:

In recounting advice passed along to him from Vice President Mike Pence, he relayed the necessity of running a positive campaign.

“Don’t impugn the integrity of your opponent,” he said. “I think this country has had it with demonizing the loyal opposition and taking personal attacks. We are going to focus on the positives.”

Would that the mostly mute Vice President offer the man whose coattails he rode to the Vice Presidency the same advice – publicly:

A few samples of Donald Trump’s demonizing:

Of Arianna Huff he tweeted: .@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.

7:54 AM – 28 Aug 2012

Of Rosie O’Donnell he said:

“Rosie’s a person who’s very lucky to have her girlfriend. And she better be careful or I’ll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend, why would she stay with Rosie if she had another choice?”

Of Senator McCain he said:

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Of Senator Ted Cruz’s father he told Fox News: “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday during a phone interview with Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”

“I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”

Of President Obama:

“An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”

On Mexicans:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

Candidate Stauber, let me share some advice from Jesus of Nazareth before you get too comfortable with President Trump:

Matthew 7:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
On Judging Others:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

The “Deplorable’s” post continues then grinds to a premature halt.

The story today was a clawback from the suggestion that Joe Radinovich had sided with Nolan’s attempts to rehabilitate his butt groper buddy. The women who formerly worked for Nolan all said Joe had done the right thing and fired the lout. But back when Leah Pipher (hope I spelled that right) Radinovich was blamed for undermining her endorsement at the last minute bringing in a Twin Cities group representing latinos to complain that Phifer was too closely allied with the border guards enforcing Trump’s anti border crossing initiatives. In politics as in life grievances do not die easily and plenty of DFL women will remember the Latino bean-bag.

I’ve just been reading about the Meuse Argonne offensive in WW I and surrendering troops being shot so as not to become a nuisance. Bean-bag is pretty tame compared to that. If Radinovich shot Pipher’s campaign dead it could also be described as successful politics.

Nolan is now a burden on Attorney General, Lori Swanson’s campaign and she has so far steadfastly stood by him. The story in in MinnPost made Nolan look silly. A nice old guy who was prepared to shrug off the grabby side of an old friend from his first time in Congress back in the 1970’s. By 1970’s standards that was pretty tame. What was less winsome was Nolan’s fond reminiscing of the legislators of his Era blind folding themselves to grope the secretarial pool to see if they could identify them by touch. I was in college back then and that sounds creepy to me. Legislators, even if they are in their 20’s have power beyond their years. Laughing it off is cheap.

The great irony is that the real adversaries for the “me too” movement are not DFLers but Trump supporters. A recent poll says that 79% of Republicans are rabid Trump supporters. I’m part of a rump one-fifth that find the man a disgrace.

I guess these folks are the “deplorables” made famous by Hillary Clinton’s ill thought out words. They feel as poorly treated by big shots as women do about men in positions of power. Both are exacting revenge on the powerful. I sympathize….. but sadly the steam I had this morning to talk about tribal politics has expired. I don’t feel philosophical at the moment and I kinda regret starting a post that I’ve lost interest in fully explaining.

Unless I come back tonight or tomorrow that may be about all I have to say on the subject. I don’t even feel like proof reading this post.

But Pete. How about the man who started the “me too” movement?

My hypocrisy detector is on full alert after this story about a groper in Congressman Nolan’s Office made the Duluth News Tribune. Evidently Republican candidate Pete Stauber’s staff is in a tizzy over it:

Radinovich’s DFL primary opponents seemed to be keeping mum about the report on Thursday, but the Republican Party was not. Pete Stauber’s campaign spokesperson, Caroline Tarwid, tweeted that Radinovich “took no action in protecting the employees” on the Nolan campaign, and National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Maddie Anderson said Radinovich “enthusiastically agreed to let someone fired for sexual harassment join his team.”

I wonder if Pete’s campaign is indignant about the man who’s breast pocket Pete is peaking out from?

Jennifer’s third Question, re: affiliation

Also, what’s up with your party affiliation? You were a Republican. Then, the party abandoned you, so then you’re a Democrat. But now you’re running as a Republican. ARE you a Republican again now? Why should I, Jane Q. Voter, vote for you when your party affiliation is prone to such cussedly diametrical opposites? I’m a Democrat/Republican—c’mon, I want to vote for someone I know is on the team for real!

Jennifer,

I am an American first and foremost. That is my primary affiliation. And I’ve always cast my vote with America not a mere political party in mind. That has meant my votes for candidates from both parties as well as a few independent candidates. And Remember that George Washington, a model of humility, fidelity and honesty as well as the first President of our nation, was worried for good reason about political parties. He called them “factions”. He imagined that like in France during the Revolution such factions could cause much mischief and he was right. They damn near tore the nation apart leading up to the Civil War. They seem to be trying to replicate that experiment now.

I’m sure you have read many of my posts on Good Republicans or God’s Own Party or the Bush Leagues Those are nothing if not a lament for a very different Republican Party. I’ve been struggling for a quarter century trying to reconcile a great party’s history with what it has become.

As I have written before. I like Democrats. I tried being one for five or six years. I’d simply prefer liking them as my fellow Americans rather than as a cheap imitation of the good things that Democrats stand for.

Wake up call

My 65 second riff last night on Trump’s unhealthy admiration for murderous tyrants and threats to democracy could become soul crushing should it get stuck on repeat. I’m more inclined to take a philosophical view of Trump’s machinations. He is a wake up call to people about Democracy’s vulnerability. Its rather like the image taken of Earth by the Apollo crews from the Moon. From far away the Earth looks like what it is, a fragile place at the mercy of any wayward asteroid. Our Democracy may seem scrappy because it has survived civil war, one particularly nasty Republican spawned depression, the rise of Dictators in the 1940’s and the Cold War. It seems like after all that it should be able to weather an empty, narcissist like Donald Trump.

How did Donald Trump get elected? Continue reading

Abood today

I got a question from WDIO today on the case which guts public employee unions. I returned one email reaction. Then I returned a second email with additional comments.

Email from WDIO:

Hey, Harry!

Just checking if you want to weigh in with your thoughts on the Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling. I’m trying to get all the CD08 candidates in our story on the Web.

Let me know if you can pass along a statement.

Thanks,

MY FIRST RESPONSE:

This decision threatens to eviscerate public employee unions by treating even legitimate negotiation expenses as speech. It violates fair play and past compromises and demonstrates that the Republican Party has succeeded in making the Supreme Court a partisan branch of the federal government. 

MY SECOND RESPONSE:

BTW my father was the president of the Mankato State college faculty union and taught contract negotiation in their business school. I wrote about it once in the Reader. It has a pretty accurate prediction in it.

http://snowbizz.com/Diogenes/NotEudora06/CollectiveBargain.htm

AND ONE MORE THING I FORGOT TO TELL WDIO:

My Dad was a life long Republican.

At Hibbing last night

My computer just died so I am composing this on my cell phone. I hate doing this.

I attended a fascinating debate in Hibbing last night at which all the congressional candidates sans one appeared. Trump’s toadie.

From what people told me afterward I made an impression…a good one.

Two people caught my attention. One was a former union man who spent 3 years taking his corrupt union to court in a court system weighted heavily Democrat and pro union. We both patted each other on the back for our valiant if fruitless battles.

The other was a Hibbing teacher who had taken my father’s contract law class and who told me my Dad was beloved in the business school. If it wasn’t for my dead computer I would write more. HOWEVER. Check out my next post. It’s about Abood…….

Bimbos, Himbos and Limbos

Limbos, of course, refers to the Limbaugh listeners who have become as mindless in their enthusiasm for Donald Trump as they have been for the man from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. With that has his hometown I can’t help but wonder if he imagined himself to be a super hero when he was a kid.

I just learned that William F. Buckley’s intellectual heir, George Will, has left the Republican Party and urged all voters to vote against Republicans.

Better late than never George. I hope he would consider me an exception especially as I had the foresight to see what was happening to The Party of Lincoln thirty years ago and tried to do something about it over and over again. I began threatening to return to it a couple years ago for the party’s redemption not for revenge. I found a reminiscence about how I became a Republican written a few years ago in the blog. As with the Red Plan I find a gallant battle hard to stop fighting.

Willy Makeit and the Kunst Brothers

After a day spent far away from Donald Trump’s ego boosting rally at the arena (that one insider gives me credit for talking Duluth into voting for) I woke thinking about something unifying and faithful to the Minnesota I moved to in the Era of Hubert Humphrey. You might have heard of him. In 1948 he helped drive the Dixiecrats out of the Democratic Party at his party’s national convention. He had the temerity to cry out for an end to “state’s rights” and new future of Civil Rights:

“To those who say — My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say — To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”

I woke trying to recall the names of the young Minnesota brothers who walked around the world not long after I moved to Minnesota. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. Their entry is short.

They were the Kunst Brothers. I don’t know when I’ve seen a remembrance of them in a newspaper – maybe not for thirty years. However, when David and his brother John set out from tiny Caledonia, Minnesota in Minnesota’s southwestern corner of Minnesota (see map above) in 1970 with a mule they called “Willie Makeit” in the middle of the Vietnam War to walk around the world they caught a lot of attention. That only doubled when they got halfway around Earth to Afghanistan and John was murdered by mountain bandits. After four months recovering from the gunshot to his chest Dave continued his trek with a third brother Pete from the spot in Afghanistan where they were ambushed. John ended his trip solo in October 1974 a few weeks after I’d married and moved to Duluth, after Richard Nixon’s helicopter flight out of the Presidency and half a year before the end of America’s debacle in Vietnam.

Remembering this small shard of history when a couple young American’s went out in search of the world rather than trek to an Arena in Duluth to hear a man preen before an audience of folks who follow him like pimple faced kids at a professional wrestling match was a reminder that greatness is not measured in mouth. It is measured in deed.

An Open Letter to MCCL (and why even the Supreme Court will not end abortions)

A short note before I share the letter.

I was alive when “back alley” abortions took the lives of women. I formed my opinions on the subject of abortion in 1960’s and 70’s as a then liberal Republican. my thinking aligned with the Republican Supreme Court justices who ruled on Roe vs. Wade. My opinion hasn’t changed nearly as much as our society has where sex is concerned. I always wanted to make contraceptives available rather than rely on abortions. I was appalled that “pro lifers” of that era were more anti premarital sex than they were anti fetus killing. As you will see in my letter to the MCCL I haven’t changed my mind.

I have always felt that abortions, like guns and traffic and food production was a legitimate area for sensible regulation. I have always sympathized with the folks who felt that human life, even before birth, was sacred. But I’ve grown impatient with such people when they fail to act as though the life that follows birth is also sacred and have cemented themselves to a political party that makes a virtue of the poor being forced to “fend for themselves.”

The Pro-Life movement is woefully ignorant about what will result should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. They think that it will be the end of all abortions in America. That’s obviously wrong. If Roe is struck down it will take the passage of a pro life amendment with by a 3/4ths majority of states to make it illegal in all fifty states. That will not happen in my lifetime. Abortions will always be available to the well-to-do even in states that would outlaw it. All they will have to do is travel to a state where its legal. When I was in high school such folks had to have the money to fly to Sweden.

Here’s that letter I sent to the MCCL

MCCL stands for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life: Continue reading

A belated welcome to the Republicans in Duluth

Minnesota’s Republicans are gathering this weekend in our fair city by Lake Superior. Welcome to you all and thank you for contributing to our tourist sales taxes.

I remember the 1994 State Republican Convention I attended as a delegate to support our Governor, Arne Carlson, for re-nomination. I remember seeing Tim Pawlenty at the Convention supporting his former Republican leader in the House of Representatives fight off a challenge from a Anti-abortion zealot Allen Quist. Quist won the endorsement over the seated Governor Carlson who then won in the primary because lots of Democrats were scared wittless about Quist voted in the Republican primary, not to screw up the Republicans, but to insure that Carlson would be on the ballot for the General election. They gladly helped reelect our sensible, fiscally conservative, but moderate Republican candidate. 1994 was my best year as a Republican narrowly edging out the Republican’s “Minnesota Massacre” election of 1978.

This weekend it is Tim Pawlenty who is giving the Party the cold shoulder. Like Donald Trump who called for Korean Talks and then pulled out of them, Pawlenty is sending the world a message……one that harks back to the 1994 State Republican Convention.

By the way, I recently reread one of my columns on abortion from the Duluth Reader published back in 2004. Where have all the Fetuses Gone? Its still a pretty concise explanation of my thinking.

As for my relations with the folks who took my old party away from me. I’m still smarting from the time they told me that I was a worse mass murderer than Mao tse-tung, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler put together.