Civil War, slavery remarks an issue in Minn. 2nd race

It’s not often we see a congressional race in Minnesota get as negative as the one that’s underway in the 2nd District to replace retiring Rep. John Kline.

Former state Sen. John Howe went on the offensive in a big way over the weekend when he released this video excoriating fellow Republican Jason Lewis for his comments on slavery and the Civil War.

“I take issue with … your line questioning whether ‘the abolishment of slavery was worth trampling states rights, etc.,” Lewis told MinnPost’s Cyndi Brucato in February. “I never said, wrote or insinuated that. What I did question is whether the war or emancipated compensation was the best way to eliminate slavery.”

His book comments were earlier amplified by Star Tribune blogger Michael Brodkorb, a former Republican operative.

Five Republicans are running for the party endorsement. Three, including Lewis, have said they’d abide by the endorsement process; one said she would not. Howe said at a debate earlier this month that he’d take a wait-and-see approach.

The winner will take on DFLer Angie Craig.

  • Quoting Jason Lewis from within the ad: “If you don’t want to own a slave, don’t; [but] don’t tell other people they can’t.”

    So … by that reasoning, Lewis is now pro-choice and pro-same sex marriage? Mr. McFlipflop McFlipfloppy. 😉

    • Dan

      It wasn’t clear from listening to that clip whether he was rhetorically arguing for slavery, or against gay marriage. Common sense points towards the latter, but to know for sure I’d have to listen to the whole segment.

      And for that to happen, I’d have to make myself care what Jason Lewis thinks, and I’m just not there yet.

      The “War between the States” and even “war of Northern aggression” B.S. is pretty typical in the South, along with “it’s was about States’ rights!” They are just lies they tell themselves so they don’t have to come to grips with having started a war to protect an evil institution, then getting destroyed for doing so. It’s always a little depressing to see racists from Union States internalize it, flying the Confederate flag, etc., but it happens.

      Edit: and when I say “pretty typical”, I mean, “this is what they learn in school”

    • Jack Ungerleider

      I believe the proper formulation of the name is Mr. FlipFlop McFlippityFlop. (Or maybe Flip McFlopFace.)

  • John Howe seems like a Ken Burns fan.

  • rosswilliams

    Why is Howe’s ad appearing unedited on the MPR web site with virtually no rebuttal or even discussion of its accuracy? And are people really that credulous that they simply take it at face value?

    • BJ

      Because the ‘story’ (a blog post not really a news story as normally heard on MPR) is about the items brought up in the ‘ad’, any editing would be weird.

    • BReynolds33

      No rebuttal? Other than the link to where Lewis issues his rebuttal?

  • lindblomeagles

    Anybody who watched Jason Lewis’s former program on PBS (used to follow the McLaughlin Group in the early 2000s), or listened to his former radio show (yep, he had one of those in Minnesota too, after PBS stopped picking up his TV show), knows who and what Lewis stands for. Lewis is the author of Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States Rights from Bascom Hill Publishing. Lewis has been the same dude for years, and John Howe was right to excoriate him.