Somewhere inside the Minnesota Capitol (
by Dan Burns
Mar 23, 2022, 9:30 AM

MN lege: What’s the real deal with the Party of Trump insanity?

From earlier this month:

A Minnesota program that protects the addresses of victims of intimate partner violence and others with high safety needs has become the latest target in the Republican drumbeat over voter fraud, stalling a proposal at the Capitol that proponents say is needed to ensure the safety of participants.

Changes related to the Safe at Home program, which also includes some judges, prosecutors and law enforcement members who might fear retribution, have typically received bipartisan support, including from some Republican legislators who are now calling for a pause on the legislation.

“[This] is bringing the big lie to a whole other level,” said Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, whose bill to make changes to the program was held up in a Senate committee this week by Republican objections. “It just was uncalled for, to be blunt, but also unfortunate because this is going to protect victims of domestic abuse.”
(Star Tribune)

Other states are seeing proposals for things like letting parents sue teachers for daring to bring up reality in classrooms (Iowa, etc.), and severe penalties, even – I’m not kidding – death, for leaving the state to get abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned (Missouri, etc.).

(Maybe seven or eight years ago I once looked through all of the bills proposed in the Minnesota legislature for that session, seeking the most extreme stuff from right-wingers. It took most of a morning, and was massively tedious. In fact it had the lowest reward-to-effort ratio of anything I’ve ever done online, and I wouldn’t do it again even if someone paid me. Unless I got paid a lot, of course.)

I regularly ponder the question of to what extent most Republican electeds now are actually wholeheartedly behind stuff like that, and to what extent many might see it as not great, but necessary in order to get occasional voters who showed up for Trump in 2016 and 2020, but not so much in 2018, to the polls this year. I haven’t arrived at any kind of satisfactory answer. Those are hard to come by, in any case, when thinking about anything as complicated and messy as how people really think and behave.

Certainly the real diehards are totally into it, because they’re ignorant and deranged. But to my mind probably the majority of current Party of Trump electeds are not very comfortable with everything that’s being done. But they rationalize their apparent support, or at least acquiescence, by believing that the extreme stuff won’t actually become law, or will be blocked by the courts if it does. And/or is what is needed, like it or not, to keep power out of the hands of atheist homosexual hippie liberals. And/or is what’s needed to keep themselves from being primaried. And/or one of their very few sadly accurate collective beliefs, which is that their long-time rural, white base will turn out for them no matter what.

And, probably most importantly, they just don’t think about it much. If at all. Thinking isn’t what they’re great at in any case.

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