Anyone who’s ever covered the DFL knows that it can’t get along. More than a few DFL chairpeople have decided that there are better ways to get the pain of a sharp stick in the eye than trying to herd the diverse interests in the party into a cohesive group with an actual strategy.
Still, it was a touch surprising — and a little entertaining, we’re ashamed to say — to read the blowtorch that long-time Minnesota pol John Gunyou took to the party today in his Star Tribune op-ed.
Gunyou, who, for the record, once worked at Minnesota Public Radio, was a finance commissioner under Republican Arne Carlson (and also for the record, I’m not entirely sure Republican and Arne Carlson go together anymore), and was the endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor in 2010, a year in which the DFL’s endorsed ticket couldn’t find its way to the general election. Again.
He and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the gubernatorial choice of the party, barely lost to Mark Dayton and Yvette Prettner Solon in the primary, splitting the DFL almost in half.
Gunyou seemed to reinforce that split today when he sounded positively Republican in giving the party his recipe for being relevant again.
Garrison Keillor led off your postelection response, before all ballots were even counted, with a whiny, condescending piece in the Washington Post. The working-class men and women who gave Republicans their victory know when they’re being insulted by an effete snob, even one masquerading as a folksy balladeer.
Another vivid example of your cluelessness is the ongoing coverup by the political elite to protect the buddies they fete with exclusive access to luxury suites in the “People’s Stadium.” Those would be the same DFL officials who have been lecturing suburban leaders for their supposed lack of commitment to equity.
Your electoral implosion was not driven by ignorant, racist, homophobic misogynists, and you need to let go of that morally smug meme if you ever want to regain the trust of middle-of-the-road D- and R-leaning voters.
While deplorables will always occupy a corner of the Republican tent, Democrats lost the country because you are tone-deaf to the perspectives of your rural and small-town fellow citizens, who justifiably feel ignored and left behind by the ruling order. It really is that simple.
Lest there be any doubt otherwise, Gunyou’s essay made clear he wasn’t speaking as a fan of Republicans:
You cannot afford to wait for the celebratory Republicans to fumble the scepter you handed them. They probably will, by arrogantly interpreting their election as a mandate, but you cannot rely on some self-satisfying I-told-you-so moment that will translate into a mea culpa from the electorate. See step two.
Tomorrow, the DFL’s Central Committee, the governing body of the party, meets in Lakeville. If you forget your sharp stick, don’t worry. There’ll be plenty on hand.
Related: It’s Not All About Clinton — The Midwest Was Getting Redder Before 2016 (FiveThirtyEight)