Gotta dig that small town tavern ambience (
by Dan Burns
May 25, 2020, 6:00 PM

Muslim-bashers aren’t getting it done, in Minnesota politics

I’ll start with this.

Another warning to US Congress members: Deviate from “the party line” and be prepared for members to orchestrate challenges for your seat. As early as March 2019, several Minnesotan Democrats, e.g., State Senator Ron Latz (D) and Steve Hunegs of the Jewish Community Relations Council, sought to find a challenger to Omar for this year’s DFL primary. Two African-American legislators were approached as potential candidates, but neither took the bait.

…a political newcomer has now become a leading challenger to unseat incumbent Rep. Omar. Antone Melton-Meaux’s debut on the local and national political stage has earned him endorsements by several prominent, establishment DFL Minnesotans, and he has already received donations of nearly $500K. (Omar has raised more than $3 million, but she is incumbent.)

…For anyone who has paid attention to how politicians speak about Israel/Palestine in advancing legislation that favors Israel, it is clear that Omar’s challenger is repeating the talking points of pro-Israel lobbyists. Thus, his willingness to promote a pro-Israel position has earned him a potentially-lucrative endorsement from Pro-Israel America. This influential PAC, run by two former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), steers donations from its nationwide network of members to candidates who adopt pro-Israel positions.

I do disagree with the quoted material, just a touch. Incumbent or no, $3M+ is a sweet haul, especially with months yet to go, and an indicator of her political strength. As is the fact that in Saturday’s virtual MN-05 convention she walloped Melton-Meaux for the endorsement. There will be a primary, but with the usual caveats about anything is (distantly) possible, etc., it’s hard to see that being much closer.

Consider the likely reaction among Conservadems, if Rep. Omar spent a lot of time and resources seeking primary challengers for their seats.

(And, yes, I’ve seen that Rep. Omar believes Tara Reade. I certainly don’t. I also don’t know of anyone in elected office, past or present, with whom I’ve agreed about everything. And as for the all-knowing snap judgments of Twitterheads, they don‘t need me paying attention to have their fun.)

A precedent to the above goes back to the 2018 race for Attorney General, when Minnesota’s Party of Trump leadership welcomed some truly repugnant people to stir things up against DFL candidate Keith Ellison. Ellison won, and haters have had to live with that every damn day, since.

Then, not long ago, one of those “reopen protests” was organized, to take place at an outstate drinking establishment. (I note that I happily enjoyed the hospitality of many a small town tavern, myself, in my younger days, though I never made it to this particular one.) The plan was undoubtedly that this would be a flashpoint for “freedom ” rising, involving untold multitudes spanning the length and breadth of our state.

A central Minnesota bar owner who vowed to open his business (May 18) in defiance of state orders has relented, as Minnesota’s ongoing COVID-19 shutdown of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations is heading for a legal battle…

“I’m not standing out here in tears because I’m happy to open,” he said. “I’m standing out here in tears because the attorney general has just called, and they have shut us down.”

Though they’ll never admit it, I can well imagine the fuming rage among Minnesota’s right-wing operatives, and their allies elsewhere, at having been humiliated by Ellison yet again. We’ll see what they try next.

Update: Say what?! A recall effort?

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