The incredible lightness of being Jim Schultz
I wrote an email to a not-lawyer friend about the unsuccessful Republican candidate for attorney general, Jim Schultz. Since Minnesota has probably not – regrettably – heard the last of Schultz, I thought, on reflection, that my remarks were worth summarizing and repeating here. They are intended for our collective memory when Schultz resurfaces.
I’ve known many lawyers like Jim Schultz over the years: smarmy, smug, and supercilious, but at their root insecure and thin-skinned. Wan and apparently physically wasted, and with sweaty palms, they inhabit the warrens of Big Law as office lawyers everywhere. They are poor candidates for politics or public office.
I sound dismissive of the type. That’s because I am.
Shortly after Schultz appeared in a debate with Keith Ellison, a tweet appeared that said he sounded like Bugs Bunny on speed; it was true; he did. Schultz was near-unintelligible, because he was nervous, talked much too fast, and he spent so much bandwidth monitoring what he was saying that he tripped over his words. At one point after a debate, Schultz posted a tweet where he said that he “wouldn’t be bullied.” Politics ain’t bean bag, Jimmy; that was a preposterous remark.
Really, he sounded a lot like the last guy the Republicans put up for the attorney general’s office, Doug Wardlow. Here’s Wardlow in his only appearance at a Friday afternoon press conference during his brief candle tenure in the Minnesota Legislature, self-inflated, talking too fast, and tripping over his words. After it, the Deputy, Geoff Michel, undoubtedly remarked to Kurt Zellers (the Republican Speaker of the House at the time), “Where did you unearth this character?”
Schultz’s campaign was full of innuendo and smear, and without the smallest idea of how the AG’s office really works or coordinates with the county attorneys around the state.
I challenge readers to name an initiative he said he would undertake, other than gutting consumer protection at the AG’s office and braying about crime and promising to do something about it that the office really can’t do. He was an empty vessel that people like the Federalist Society could pour their hopes and dreams into. Jim Schultz is a callow, lightweight naif.
At the end of Keith Ellison’s next term, it will be fifty-four (54) years since the Republicans have held the AG’s office. It’s a stunning, unbroken record of non-achievement. The Vietnam war was raging the last time that Minnesota had a Republican AG. And frankly, we can thank our lucky stars for that. Reserve Mining cannot dump asbestos-laden taconite tailings into Lake Superior; Minnesota obtained a large settlement against tobacco companies for health care expenses, and we got a large settlement against opioid manufacturers for damages also caused to Minnesotans’ health because of DFL attorneys general.
Put Junior Jimmy Schultz in place for any of these events, instead of Warren Spannaus, Skip Humphrey, or Keith Ellison. Dispiriting, isn’t it?
I haven’t even touched on what a religious zealot opposing reproductive freedom and LGBTQ rights Schultz is.
I understand that purring Republican sycophant Andy Brehm (shown above with Schultz) thinks that Jim Schultz would be a good candidate to run against Amy Klobuchar in two years. Seriously, I think this is a really bad idea for Republicans; Amy Klobuchar would tear off Jimmy’s limbs one by one and eat them. She made Brett Kavanaugh wail in anguish, and whatever you think of Brett Kavanaugh, he’s a much more formidable character than Jimmy.
I hope you will keep these thoughts in mind when Jim Schultz comes around again, or if you don’t, that Google will.
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