Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Who Thinks The GOP Has Halted Their War On Women? Let's Visit Southeast Minnesota


Angie Craig should be a shoo-in for Congress

Hate Talk Radio host Jason Lewis, is the leading contender for the Republican nomination to replace retiring GOP reactionary, John Kline in the suburbs and exurbs south of St. Paul (MN-02). It's a swing district that Obama won-- albeit narrowly-- both times, and with a vaguely competent DCCC it would be in Democratic hands today. The Democratic candidate this year is Angie Craig a former health care industry executive and journalist who, when elected, will be the first openly gay member of Congress from Minnesota and the first woman ever elected from Minnesota's Second District.

Keith Ellison, the leader of Minnesota progressives, has enthusiastically endorsed Angie Craig and has been working hard to help elect her and to introduce her to other progressives around the country. This morning he told us that "Jason Lewis' comments on women are not only offensive, they perpetuate a shockingly out of touch world view. I'm proud to support Angie Craig because I know she will fight tirelessly in Congress for all Americans, regardless of their age or gender." Lewis' reputation as a dangerous crackpot comes from his comments on the radio where he delighted sharing his own ugly bigotry with his listeners. Have you ever heard of a congressional candidate saying "You’ve got a vast majority of young single women who couldn’t explain to you what GDP means. You know what they care about?... They care about The View. They are non-thinking." Really? The vast majority? Did he take a survey? Young women are more unaware than young men are about GDP?

I'm surprised the Minnesota Republican Party hasn't officially asked him to withdraw from the race. Well, not that surprised. After all, former crooked congresswoman and extremist nut Michele Bachmann has endorsed Lewis. Despite Bachmann's enthusiasm for Lewis, though, Chris Fields, Deputy Chair of the state GOP and an African-American, was horrified by reports of Lewis' racism. Lewis said the "white population" has been "committing political suicide" and "cultural suicide" by not reproducing at higher levels, and in belittling calls for more income inequality he said that "the median income for blacks in America would make them rich in most African nations, not most-- all." In a crazy screed he calls an audio book, Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States' Rights, he questioned the role of the federal government in outlawing slavery, claimed that President Abraham Lincoln "exploited the issue" of slavery, adding the Civil War-- which he calls "War Between the States"-- had "more to do with secession" than slavery. How would you feel about someone who put this into a "book" being your congressman?
In fact, if you really want to be quite frank about it, how does somebody else owning a slave affect me? It doesn’t. If I don’t think it is right, I won’t own one, and people always say ‘well if you don’t want to marry somebody of the same sex, you don’t have to, but why tell somebody else they can’t.  Uh, you know if you don’t want to own a slave, don’t. But don’t tell other people they can’t.
Angie and her wife live in Eagan with their 4 teenage sons. I kind of feel badly for her since she is enthusiastic about making the election a discussion of serious issues impacting the real lives of working families, and will now be forced to confront this crackpot who wants to relitigate slavery and marriage equality. Brian McClung, Tim Pawlenty's former spokesman seemed aghast at Lewis' attempts to paint himself as a junior Donald Trump just angry about political correctness. (Lewis insists that "liberal reporters and typical politicians may not like the bluntness of the way I’ve framed some issues in my career.") McClung, who is still active in Minnesota GOP politics pointed out that "defending the institution of slavery in any manner is abhorrent and out-of-bounds" and that "this also highlights the fact that Lewis' outrageous and often indefensible statements are a treasure trove of opposition research that would be used by Democrats to destroy him in a general election fight in a closely divided swing district." Really? You think Minnesota women might be upset that Lewis claims they are "simply ignorant of the important issues in life?"

Lewis has said over and over that he stands by his hate-filled comments about blacks and women. Only 3.6% of the district's population is black but, over half the voters are women-- and they vote. In fact, MN-02 is one of the highest-turn-out districts in the country, 79% of eligible voters going to the polls in 2012. (For the sake of comparison the turn out of the state of California was 54.8%, for Texas it was 48.4%, for Idaho it was 58.4%, for Nebraska 59.9% and for neighboring Wisconsin 71.9%.) I bet when women hear this kind of thing even more will vote:

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