Keith the Snoozer - Aaron Klemz photo
by Steve Timmer
May 21, 2012, 9:00 AM

Keith the Smartest Guy in the Room I

As long as it’s full of ideologues and extremists

The senate race in SD49 is shaping up to be a struggle between Thomas Malthus and Melisa Franzen. Or maybe William McKinley and Melisa Franzen.

Of all the crackpots in all the towns in all the world, Keith Downey has to walk into mine.

A recent expression of Downey’s semi-sentient but febrile condition is his decision to co-chair the campaign committee of that high school Svengali, Kurt Bills, in his bid to run and lose to Amy Klobuchar. (Bills won endorsement on the second ballot at the MNGOP convention last weekend.)

Kurt and Keith are both running on the full-hysteria ticket, trying to use the same baloney that Bills buffaloes impressionable kids with in class. You’re up to your adolescent eyeballs in debt! Well, that will be true, kids, but only after you run up a bunch of students loans that you can’t pay back, in part, because all the free market morons won’t regulate the banks to keep them away from the poker table where they keep losing their shirts and crashing the economy.

But I digress.

Keith Downey, TSGITR, wasted no time after the session was over in sharing his profound thoughts on the state of the world.

And, my friends, it pains me to say that according to Keith, we are all in deep trouble.

We are, in fact, on the road to perdition: France. Greece. Europe.

We must conduct a Zippo raid on Minnesota and the whole country, too; we must burn them in order to save them.

Downey believes that there are ominous signs in the stirrings of the hoi polloi in France and Greece. You see, there are people there who question whether austerity and privation are the solution to, um, austerity and privation.

Yes, all of our economic problems stem from the fact that we haven’t driven nearly enough people into penury in this country, and far too many of them are permitted to linger in illness, rather than letting the Good Lord put them out of their misery! Or at least just make the counties pay for it. And it is foolish to spend all that money on education for young people who are destined to be just Deltas, anyway.

Downey is the kind of guy who would have been right up front with the all the British evangelicals arguing against sending food to Ireland during the famine, and also arguing against the repeal of the Corn Laws, because the potato blight was God’s way of teaching the Irish to become self-sufficient . Better to let a million people die, says Kurt, than abandon moral principle!

Or kill and starve five million, as the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia in its longing to return to the year zero.

We’ll be better off in the long run.

We’ll explore the depth of the craziness of the economic and monetary fantasy world of Keith Downy and his fellow traveler Kurt Bills in future stories.

Warning: This story employs hyperbole to make a point. For those unfamiliar with the technique, a definition is provided at the link.

Update (6/4/12): Well, it’s only June, as Downey says, but he’s already playing the victim card. In an email to supporters — and at least one who’s not — he refers to this post as an example of how everybody is out to get him. When you’re an extremist record, Keith, you have to expect that people will point it out. Just because you live in Edina doesn’t mean you get a pass.

Downey calls me a “DFL activist,” but just for the record, I’ve never held a post in a campaign or any unit of the DFL party.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.