Minnesota represents in small, amplified form the wave that Jay Cost describes in his analysis of the congressional voting results. It is therefore difficult to view as anything but idiotic the statement by Minnesota Republican Party chairman Ron Carey in Donald Lambro’s misleading retrospective on the election:
In the tight races where we had candidates who articulated the core issues like low taxes, less government and strong family values, those are the candidates that prevailed in our competitive races.
Carey cites one race — the congressional race in Minnesota’s (Republican) Sixth District, in support of the proposition. In the Minnesota House of Representatives, however, Democrats picked up 19 seats and now hold a 36-seat majority over Republicans (85-49). Moreover, in the Minnesota Senate, Democrats picked up six seats and now hold a 21-seat majority over Republicans (44-23). Carey’s statement is simply false as applied to the results of these races.
The last time Republicans held such a weak position in the Minnesota legislature was in 1994. Between 1994 and 2002, the Republican party gained a substantial majority in the Minnesota House and was within striking distance of a majority in the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota Republican party now stands where it stood in the state legislature twelve years ago.
On election night 2006, Minnesota Republicans were not only slaughtered in the statewide Senate campaign that Democrat Amy Klobuchar won by 20 points. They also lost the years of hard work that it took to reach a competitive position in the Minnesota legislature. If Ron Carey doesn’t have anything more reflective of reality to say than is suggested in Donald Lambro’s column, he ought to step down or, at the least, to maintain a respectful silence.
UPDATE: John Podhoretz devotes his New York Post column today to Jay Cost’s analysis.
JOHN adds: Over at the Forum, one of the Republican candidates who lost his re-election bid agrees with Scott:
I am one of the Republican members of the Minnesota House of Representatives who was shown the door on Nov. 7th and have given this election a lot of thought.
The macro-analysis is as simple as it is obvious. 1. This was a nationalized election where the electorate clearly was venting their frustration with a Republican controlled government. The ramifications were felt all the way down the ballot. 2. The results could not have been worse. The repudiation of all things Republican is as clear as can be. However, it was not a rejection of conservatism