Tear down this Walz

Senate Republicans ousted Minnesota Commissioner of Labor Nancy Leppink this week. (Republican) Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka explained on Twitter (below).

Senator Gazelka also discussed developments with Justice and Drew during the third hour of their show yesterday morning (embedded below in podcast form). Senator Gazelka is a mild-mannered gentleman who represents the view widely held among his caucus that it is past time for Governor Walz to loosen the reins.

The Minnesota Reformer is a left-wing site run by former Star Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican. The Minnesota Reformer is inside the circle of media love that surrounds Governor Walz. An unidentified senior Walz administration official forwarded Patrick a statement on the forced departure of Leppink. Patrick reported the statement here. I quoted it verbatim and commented on it briefly in “Not Minnesota nice.” Here is the statement one more time:

Minnesotans will remember Nancy Leppink as a badass woman who fought like hell to protect the health and safety of working people during a pandemic until her final day in office. Minnesotans will remember Paul Gazelka’s final days as Senate majority leader as a crisis of character on public display. A man who prided himself on his principals, a penchant for business and labor, and his prized relationship with the governor, chose to flush it all down the toilet in a manic, brazen attempt to appease a band of angry, mask-less men who couldn’t stand losing the spotlight to actual public servants. At this point, the only living organism voting for Senate Republicans and their flat-earth strategy in November is, in fact, the coronavirus.

So far as I can tell, only the Minnesota Reformer and Power Line have reported the statement, but it is extraordinary by Minnesota standards. Patrick himself only commented “wow,” but that was not unwarranted. I would like to pause over the statement and add the following questions and comments.

• Who in his right mind thinks that this statement is a credit to Walz in any respect?

• Will any reporter ask Walz if he stands by the statement and would like to reaffirm it?

• The senior Walz administration official doesn’t know the difference between “principals” and “principles.”

• What is a “flat-earth strategy”? The senior Walz administration official seems to have meant “scorched-earth strategy.”

• It’s not clear who the “mask-less men” are. To whom is the senior official referring? What is he talking about? What about mask-less women?

• The Senate Republican caucus includes a number of outstanding women who support Senator Gazelka. Among them are Michelle Benson, Karin Housley, Mary Kiffmeyer, Carla Nelson, Julie Rosen, and Carrie Rudd. Are they chopped liver?

• The senior official appears to be predicting that the DFL will retake the Senate in November. I think he underestimates the deep resentment of the Walz administration felt in outstate Minnesota, but we shall see.

• The senior official appears to believe that insulting prospective voters is the path to electoral success.

• Please consider the concluding assertion: “At this point, the only living organism voting for Senate Republicans and their flat-earth strategy in November is, in fact, the coronavirus.” It is nonsensical. It is stupid. The senior official does not know how to formulate an insult or target it.

• The insult is worse than stupid. Likening citizens to a virus is a form of dehumanization consistent with propaganda employed by mass murderers. If a Republican did it, the media would run him out of office.

• It sounds to me like the senior official was drunk when he sent off this statement. What else might explain it? Maybe Governor Walz could explain, if only someone would ask him.

• Governor Walz is not well served by the narrow circle of flacks and supporters surrounding him. The statement of this senior official provides insight into their state of mind that is deeply disquieting.