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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Primary thoughts

So the results are in. To me, the most surprising thing was Lori Swanson's win. I'm not as surprised by Keith Ellison's win, although it definitely is a big story. The other races were pretty ho hum. But Lori Swanson? I thought that she would put up a good fight against Steve Kelley but ultimately lose. Why she won is a bit of a mystery to me. It is probably partly due to Hatch's support, partly due to Steve Kelley's stadium support (though by no means is that the major reason). Other than that...I don't know.

Another surprising thing was the Republican AG race. Jeff Johnson won, as expected, but somebody named Sharon Anderson got 42% of the vote? I didn't even know Johnson had an opponent. That came out of nowhere; maybe it is a testament to having a Scandinavian name.

About Ellison: the Republicans and MDE (they are pretty much the same thing) are going to waste no time in smearing Ellison from now until he is elected to Congress. They have already started. They have no shame. Want proof? This literally just appeared. Nice.

These attacks are going to come from two directions. First, his race. A not insignificant part of the Republican party is racist: just take a look at Senator George "Macaca" Allen or Representative Tom Tancredo. But outright racist attacks are pretty disgusting in this day and age, even for Republicans, and they know that being obviously racist is going to lose more votes than it will win most of the time.

So that leaves the obvious attack, the one that everybody will be focusing on: his religion. I find this utterly ridiculous, but it is happening all the same. Sure, for a lot of mouth-breathers out there, they think that "Muslim=Terrorist" because their leaders have told them so. In reality, of course, it's a bit more nuanced than that. Just because somebody is a Muslim doesn't mean that they are fundamentalist, just as all Christians are not fundamentalists.

But what is worse? Who is really dangerous? Was it a Muslim or a Christian who said that God let 9/11 happen because America tolerates abortion and homosexuality? When a very prominent person running for the Senate in a certain large state said that voters need to vote in politicians of a certain religion, because otherwise you will get sinful legislation, was she saying that we should be voting in Muslims or Christians?

There are a lot of politicians out there who sincerely believe that we must replace America's secular government with a government that is based on their interpretation of Christianity. In other words, a theocracy. To me, living under a Christian theocracy would be no better than living under a Muslim one, but do Republicans see the same threat? Of course not; you generally don't see your base as a "threat." No, they are so devoid of any sense of irony that they can bash Ellison while advocating their own theocracy.

Keith Ellison, unlike many prominent Republicans, is not a fundamentalist. You will never hear him trash homosexuals, you will never hear him denigrate women, and you will never hear him talk about how we need to get rid of the separation of church and state and get ourselves an Islamic theocracy. He's a moderate to liberal Muslim, just like Farheen Hakeem. They exist. Imagine that! And yet Republicans are going to bash him for his religion, all the while trying to force their own down everybody's throats.

I think that 5th CD voters are going to be a bit smarter than that, but that won't stop Republicans from trying. It could become a very ugly campaign season.


At 11:18 PM, September 13, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

Where does all this GOP rhetoric sound familiar from? Oh, yeah:

The United States Senate race is an extraordinary event for our community this year. Both candidates were born as Jews and historically this may be a first. But from there on the difference between them is profound.

One, Paul Wellstone, has no connection whatsoever with the Jewish community or our communal way of life. His children were brought up as non-Jews.

--Rudy Boschwitz, "Letter to Friends in the Minnesota Jewish Community", late-October, 1990.

That letter also did the guilt-by-association thing, since Wellstone had chaired Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign in Minnesota.

You're absolutely right that Republican politicians have said much more disturbing things about religion than Keith Ellison ever has. But those people are white Christians! That makes it okay.

At 11:27 PM, September 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where I grew up in Southern Minnesota, Fine's proclamation of being a pissed off Jew would cause many not to vote for him. I don't think religion should enter the campaign. It is a personal and private issue... Fine comes off all wrong in this. I can understand some Jewish people being put off by Ellison's college years, but don't think it really matters any more.

I think Fine has about as much chance to be elected as he would have had in the 1993 Riechstadt elections... but for different reasons.
What a putz!

At 11:28 PM, September 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would actually be 1933 not 1993.

At 11:36 PM, September 13, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

Selected county results from the AG race.


Hennepin: Kelley 45.0%
Swanson 37.3%
Luther 17.7%

Ramsey: Kelley 41.4%
Swanson 40.5%
Luther 18.1%


Anoka: Swanson 38.1%
Luther 34.1%
Kelley 27.8%

Dakota: Swanson 39.7%
Kelley 31.4%
Luther 28.9%


St. Louis: Swanson 62.1%
Kelley 33.3%
Luther 4.6%

Mower: Swanson 49.0%
Kelley 34.9%
Luther 16.1%


Aitkin: Swanson 55.1%
Kelley 27.0%
Luther 17.8%

Red Lake: Swanson 56.9%
Kelley 32.2%
Luther 10.8%


Olmsted: Swanson 47.4%
Kelley 36.5%
Luther 16.1%


Redwood: Swanson 37.0%
Kelley 31.7%
Luther 31.3%


Stearns: Kelley 37.8%
Swanson 36.6%
Luther 25.7%

At 7:22 AM, September 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just the Republicans. Somebody needs to call the Star Tribune to account for the undue attention they're giving to a fringe candidate (Fine) who is making false allegations.

At 10:24 AM, September 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Swanson (St. Paul) because she was the only female choice. Now that I know Kelly supported the stadium subsidy, so much the better.


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