When Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced that she wouldn’t run for re-election in 2014, Democrats were predictably and understandably thrilled. No less thrilled, however, were Republicans. After all, in her brief time on the national stage, Bachmann has become known for her…let’s just say unusual view of the world. That had made her reelection chances dicey at best — and made it possible that Democrats could pick up the conservative 6th District seat.
Bachmann’s retirement makes that less likely. Republicans have the chance to run someone without all that baggage. And as Bachmann herself proved, even an extreme conservative with a track record of saying strange and bizarre things can win in the 6th at first.
Meet former state Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, an extreme conservative with a track record of saying strange and bizarre things.
Emmer was the GOP standard-bearer for Governor in 2010, losing narrowly to Gov. Mark Dayton. How did Emmer manage to lose in the strongest GOP wave year since 1994? Well, it’s because of some of Emmer’s brilliant observations of the world. For example, did you know that waiters make over $100,000 per year? It’s true! According to Tom Emmer! While trying to argue that the minimum wage should be cut for servers, Emmer argued that waiters make more than restaurateurs.
“With the tips that they get to take home, there are some people earning over $100,000 a year,” Emmer said. “More than the very people providing the jobs and investing not only their life savings but their families’ future.”
Yes, sure, everyone knows that the way to get ahead in the world is to be a waiter or a bartender! Just ask any waiter about their sweet lifestyle, funded by fat stacks of cash. They’ll laugh! Because they are just so happy about being rich!
Don’t worry, though. Emmer’s not just completely in the tank for business. He also holds extreme social views! Like Bachmann, Emmer supports You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, the anti-gay, anti-female, anti-secular hate group run by Bradlee Dean. Indeed, in 2010, his campaign donated money to the organization. Sure, Emmer has fundraised with Dean and gone door knocking with him, but he doesn’t agree with Dean’s sentiment that executing gay people might be a good thing. Of course, that didn’t stop Emmer’s campaign from donating to Dean’s hate group in the waning days of the 2010 campaign, though. Why would it?
But Emmer’s most damning statement came after his loss to Dayton. Like most failed conservative politicians, Emmer made the leap to media, although given his low level of achievement, the best he could manage was local talk radio. After the Newtown shooting, Emmer and his co-host, Bob Davis, went off on the worst people in the world. The NRA? The shooter? President Obama? Of course not. They went after history’s greatest monsters, the parents of dead children.
DAVIS: They trot out the victims. And I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting. I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims.
EMMER: Well they’re being used — they’re being used…
DAVIS: I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘go to hell.’
EMMER: It’s probably one of the worst, ah, political stunts you could do is to use the victims of the tragedy.
Don’t worry, though. Emmer understands those families are suffering. Unlike Davis, Emmer had empathy for the Newtown parents, who are victims, after all — of scheming liberal politicians. “[Y]ou have to understand,” Emmer explained, “that these people might not realize until years later that they’ve actually been pawns of these political charades when it comes to issues like this.”
Obviously. I mean, why would parents of dead children, mowed down in mere seconds by a terrible human being with access to weapons of war, be anti-gun? Clearly, they’re just being used. Some day, they’ll come to recognize the truth: their children had to die. For freedom.
Emmer is the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 6th, and the Republican is the front-runner to win. Nothing’s guaranteed, of course, but it appears more than likely that Minnesota’s 6th won’t be upgrading its representation in Washington. It’s impossible to do worse than Bachmann…but Emmer isn’t better.
Image Credit: Fibonacci Blue