Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


The Minnesota GOP has an internal rift

There aren’t a lot of Romney campaign offices in Minnesota and judging by how things are going with the Minnesota Convention delegation, I doubt that the number is going to increase.

I watch Pat Shortridge put the best face he can on the GOP situation right now, but the evidence keeps mounting that the state Party is divided and in turmoil.

This tidbit from the convention probably didn’t help:

(Ron) Paul did get a last minute invitation to speak to the convention but there were strings attached that caused him to reject the offer. Paul reportedly would have had to unequivocally endorse Mitt Romney and let Romney review his speech. Paul refused, saying “It wouldn’t be my speech.”

Marianne Stebbins has made a few appearances on the Almanac couch as one of the usual two GOP reps to discuss politics. But when she talks, the discussion is not really about the current GOP. Rather it is more about the GOP that she envisions and that party most certainly is a different animal.

As we move past Labor Day and into the serious campaign season, the evidence is mounting that the State GOP is fractionalized and the moving parts will be on their own.

Kurt Bills is the US Senate candidate because of his support for Ron Paul. Forget the public statement that he is “fully backing” Mitt Romney. That is a desperate campaign tactic of a candidate that is 30 points behind with no money. The Ron Paul people will forgive him for that because they know he has to say it….but they also feel that the day will come when he won’t have to cater to the “powers that be”.

The National GOP party (the party of Romney) is fearful of appearances at the convention. Too many Ron Paul hats might give the TV audience the wrong impression. The Minnesota delegation has become a wild card at the Romney party. And the less than subtle hints that the Ron Paul “movement” is not welcome are getting more frequent.

The biggest party lockdown came when Ben Ginsburg orchestrated a national rule that would have (had it been in place now) kept the majority of the current delegation at home. In the future, more restrictions about delegates will be coming from the top rather than relying on the judgment of the grass roots.

Surely that will seriously irk Marianne Stebbins and her disciples.

When the delegation comes home after getting knee-capped in Tampa, how much activity will they be encouraging their activists to do for November?

And how will the House and Senate caucuses tip toe the fine lines between party faithful and party insurgents? It looks more and more like each individual House and Senate race will be on their own.

How deep is the rift? The next two months will be telling us more. We will have to try to read between the lines…

This post was written David Mindeman and originally published on mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog. Follow Dave on Twitter: @newtbuster.

If you blog and would like your work considered for Minnesota Blog Cabin, please submit our registration form

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/27/2012 - 11:23 am.

    I’ll say it again

    I think the Republican party is coming apart at the seams. It’s weird because the electoral success in the last cycle has obscured it AND accelerated it at the same time.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/27/2012 - 01:07 pm.

    The republican party

    has always consisted of the three wings of conservatism … the fiscal conservatives, the social conservatives, and the libertarians, each with an emphasis on one of the three pillars of freedom (economic, personal and political). The True Conservative is someone who embraces all three of those pillars with equal priority and importance. Over the past several decades, each of the wings of the party has taken center stage at one time or another as conditions changed in America and one of the three pillars came under attack by the collectivists, the secular humanists, or the totalitarians.

    At certain times in history two or more of the conservative wings attempt to drive the party’s mission because it becomes apparent that more than one pillar is under attack. Their debate and disagreement amongst themselves is based on which of the three pillars is in greatest danger of collapse. If you paid attention to the republican primary race, this is what it was all about because this is one of those times in history. Though we disagree on the emphasis, we all agree that the objective is a free society and how leftist ideology is the antithesis of that. And so the good news is, at the end of the day we will all vote for the party nominee.

    It’s certainly a more rigorous debate than the one going on in the other party where people join because of their skin color, what they do for a living or who they happen to sleep with, and where the intellectual challenge of “who-gets-what?” is first premised on how successful the party’s politicians are in confiscating other people’s money.

  3. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/28/2012 - 05:20 am.

    Not all freedoms are ideal

    The three pillars of freedom, eh? It pretty much boils down to two: the freedom to do anything with your money that you want regardless of consequences, and the freedom to enjoy the fruits of civilization without paying for it. Freedom to employ people without minimum wage, without government mandated workers’ rights. Freedom to pollute, freedom to mess with consumers. Freedom to amass huge wads of cash without paying a fair tax to support the infrastructure and society that you need in order to be successful.
    And what is that “social conservative” commitment to freedom? Freedom to deny women’s rights, rights of gays and lesbians, the rights of people who don’t want your brand of religiosity forced upon them.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/28/2012 - 07:55 am.

      And that’s why you’re not a conservative

      Because you don’t get it. Your obsession with what other people have, your resentment of your own freedom and your fear that someone won’t take care of you sadly prevents you from sharing our vision of a free society.

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/28/2012 - 09:42 am.

    Three pillars?

    This is a tidy fantasy but all you have is request clear definitions and description of each “pillar” and it quickly comes apart at the seams much like the current Republican party.

    None of this has much to with any conservative ideology. Conservatives recognize the value of democracy and want to participate. Conservatives recognize that in a democracy you have to live with democratic outcomes. The guys Dennis is talking about don’t want to participate, they want to dominate, dictate, and control. They want to crush and de-legitimize any opposition, that’s the true extent of “freedom” in this program. It’s a perverse and distorted vision of “freedom” that ultimately promotes totalitarianism under the guise of individual liberty. Why would anyone assume that a bunch of guys who can’t even tolerate the existence of “liberals” would recognize or defend individual liberty? This is nothing more than intolerance masquerading as patriotism pretending to be a defense of liberty.

Leave a Reply