The Luger lobby, cont’d

Andrew Luger was the United States Attorney for Minnesota, appointed to the position by President Obama on the recommendation of one or the other of Minnesota’s two Democratic Senators. The Star Tribune recently quoted these two senators — Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken — lobbying to support Luger’s continuation in office under President Trump. As I noted in “The Luger lobby,” their comments have entertainment value but are not to be taken seriously.

Luger’s office prosecuted the “Minnesota men” who left Minnesota to join ISIS, but Luger never tires of publicly instructing Minnesotans against “Islamophobia.” Luger himself is a liberal Democrat uncomfortable with the recognition of “radical Islamic terrorism.” He is an incredibly poor fit to serve as United States Attorney in the Trump administration. He was one of the 46 Obama-appointed United States Attorney asked to submit his resignation by Attorney General Sessions. He promptly complied and has moved on.

The editors of the Star Tribune, however, are stuck on stupid. Today they have published an editorial seeking Luger’s reappointment. Channeling Luger and his supporters, the editorial asserts: “Countering extremism [sic] is a relatively new field, resulting in trial and error. Luger’s understanding of what works and what doesn’t is an important reason to have him back at the helm.“ Vacuity meets non sequitur.

The editorial lumps its lobbying for Luger’s reappointment together with criticism of President Trump. Here we get to the heart of the matter. The editorial notes that a local Somali group declined a $50,000 grant funneled to it through the Building Community Resilience program established under Luger’s auspices. “Among the reasons” for the group turning down the money, the editorial observes: “the bungled Trump travel ban and the push to rename ‘countering extremism’ programs as ‘countering radical Islam’ programs. Ka Joog’s leaders worried they’d lose their community’s trust by taking funding from a government seeming to target it.”

It puts me in mind of the slogan “Support mental health or I’ll kill you.” For the editors of the Star Tribune this is not a slightly twisted joke. Rather, it represents an element of their case for Luger’s reappointment by President Trump.


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