As Trunk likes to say, we are consumers as well as producers of this site. Today, I’m mainly a consumer, and I’m learning a great deal about recent Minnesota political history. I had no idea that things Jewish could prove decisive in Minnesota elections. What percentage of the Minnesota vote is Jewish? How did Rudy do with Jewish voters in elections before and after the letters? What did non-Jews in Minnesota make of all this, if anything. I don’t suppose it’s possible to post the 1990 letters and the news stories regarding them but if anyone can do it, Rocket Man can. Maybe you guys would rather not, in any case.
Trunk, I think your description of Mondale as “a perfect fool” is itself perfect. Offhand, I can’t think of anyone who got so far in American politics yet seemed so mindless. He strikes me as just about the only Democratic politician of note who couldn’t figure out that old-fashioned liberalism had to be repackaged. Everyone else either became a “new Democrat” or a strident class warrior. Mondale just kept serving up affable liberal platitudes. I recall his debate with Bob Dole in 1976 pretty well. Mondale kept talking about the “tremendous problems” we faced and how the government needed to solve them. Dole seemed to become irritated by the sheer idiocy of what Mondale was saying and couldn’t resist taking shots at him. In the end, Dole was perceived as mean-spirited and Mondale was proclaimed the victor. Mondale reminds of the guy who goes for a walk, whistling all the way. Alll sorts of horrible things are happening around him, but he doesn’t notice and isn’t at all affected. He arrives at his destination with a his hair perfectly in place and a big smile. I fear that this time his destination, once again, is Washington D.C.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell