Thursday, July 06, 2017


Political Mayhem Thursday: Parades and Politics

Like a lot of towns, Edina has a parade every July 4th. It's a big one, and usually a lot of politicians march, including Minnesota's two senators.  

The town is divided between two Congressional districts. One (which I live in) is solidly Democratic, and our Rep. is Keith Ellison. The rest of Edina is one of the few competitive districts in the country-- usually Republican, but not by much.  The Rep. for that district is Republican Erik Paulsen.  

Ellison was, as usual, in the parade. Paulsen was supposed to be in the parade (they had reserved a spot), but did not show up. Apparently, he cancelled on Sunday. In what has to be a particularly bad political disaster, protesters took over his spot instead. Paulsen claimed a "scheduling conflict," though his spokesperson didn't see too convinced of that explanation, saying "I think it’s more of an on-year versus off-year thing.”

This builds on top of Paulsen's choice not to have town halls this year, and the level of contempt for him is rising in the community. Fair or not, there is a sense that he is hiding from his constituents. 

Will it matter in 2018?  What do you think?

The Republicant party is well funded and good at marketing. Politics is their business and whatever is good for business' profit margins is their politics. As long as they aren't associated with governing they will be O.K. At least until things get really bad in our country and it affects the polluters, the very rich, the gougers, the heartless bankers and insurers, and the indifferent. Not governing well is the main job for someone who opposes investments in our communities.

Not walking in parades and answering questions shouldn't concern them as long as the money comes in. They will just continue to exercise their superior marketing skills. At the moment, America prefers slick over plain, schemes over hard work. get rich over get by, win over play fair and accumulate over share. The Repubicon Party has the right messages for these times. They are also facing almost no opposition to their messages. Don't worry too much about them.

I would like to think it will matter if the Democrats put a formidable candidate on the ballot against this person. That said, statistics indicate that people no matter how dissatisfied they are with the candidate, incumbent or fresh, rarely cross party lines. The sin committed against the voter has to be really egregious to get them to change their vote.
@Christine: in competitive districts its often less about converting the other side than it is about turning out your own voters. My superficial reading of people in the know suggests that 2018 is unlikely to flip the House (by today's metrics), but Republicans are sure to lose a few seats--in part because you might not go to the poles to support your guy when he didn't even come to your parade.
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