Kenrick A. Claflin & Son Nautical Antiques (
by Steve Timmer
May 2, 2012, 9:00 AM

Do as we say! Do not as we do!

If I had put these words into a Republican’s mouth — just for fun — there would be people who would jump all over me. But here they are, delivered straight, with plenty of unintended irony, as a Letter of the Day in the Strib:

Joe Repya seems to miss the larger and more critical point concerning the future of the Republican Party of Minnesota (“Money, sex, Ron Paul hits KO GOP,” April 25).
While political parties serve an important role, it’s the principles they represent that matter most. Like any other human institution, political parties are made up of people whose words or actions can sometimes fail to live up to the principles that they support.
Nevertheless, the failures of individuals, however disappointing, don’t prove or disprove those principles.
While Repya goes to some length recounting recent disappointing events involving some Republicans [that’s because there are so many events to recount], the principles of fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility and a strong national defense [yes, take that, Col. Repya, you coward*] are what matter and should be the focus this election year.
Contrary to Repya’s assertion, the real threat comes from those who would distract us with sensationalistic stories of failures by some individuals instead of what voters need and deserve: a genuine debate on the issues facing our state and nation.

Really now, who does that first sentence remind you of?

Come on; it’s easy.

It’s Katie, of course: the Sacajawea of the Moral Way, the Mistress of the Larger Point, the Minister of the Ministry of Troubling Signs. You can almost hear Katherine Kersten in her linebacker-barking-out-assignments voice declaiming that first line.

According to the letter’s writer, we must focus solely on the marble tablet on the altar with the words principles of fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility and a strong national defense written on it, while paying no attention to all the scrubs, confidence men, and tin horns milling around it.

I told you you’d I’d never get away with putting those words in a Republican’s mouth.

According to our correspondent, the wizards really can award you a brain, a heart, or courage, even if the wizards are feckless themselves.

This is laughable. The last time somebody tried to pull such a transparent ruse was when — well, let me think a moment; ah, I have it! — Katie tried to make us focus on the Catholic church as a timeless institution with such great values, and never mind all the priests buggering children.

The truth is, you cannot separate the values from the people who preach them — or pretend to.

Further Update: Because it was such a silly letter, I refrained from naming its author, just out of decency. But Aaron points out to me that Todd Vollmers, the author of the letter, is a director of the Elephant Club. This is something, you would think, that Scotty Gillespie would have remarked on when publishing the letter. But maybe Doug Tice was on duty that day.At all events, Vollmers’ apologia remains laughable, doubly so now.

* Update: And before some irony-challenged Republican accuses me of calling Col. Repya a coward, I’m not. But the letter writer intimates that Col. Repya wants to ignore the issue in favor of airing the MNGOP’s dirty laundry.

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