National media discover candidate Jason Lewis

That didn’t take long.

Just a day or so after Jason Lewis won a crucial GOP primary in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, left-leaning national media are showing a deeper interest in the past comments and writings of the former conservative radio talk show host.

Like him or not, there’s no doubt that with his win, Lewis has graduated to a new level of political scrutiny.

On Tuesday, for instance, Mother Jones magazine showed a strong interest in Lewis’ thoughts on the Civil War, slavery and women, writing:

Lewis’ past comments have been a gold mine for critics. In his 2011 book, “Power Divided Is Power Checked: The Argument for States’ Rights,” he questioned the wisdom of the Civil War, arguing that it had been fought over states rights, not slavery, and changed the nation’s constitutional framework for the worse.

In his book, he proposed a constitutional amendment that would help restore what he believed had been lost, by allowing any state to leave the Union peaceably.

Today, Esquire Magazine political writer Charles Pierce gives a shout out to the Mother Jones piece as he gets in a dig or two, first on Wisconsin, then Minnesota:

Skipping across the St. Croix River, we discover that some nice folks in Minnesota have nominated themselves quite a character for Congress in that state’s Second District. It is always a very bad sign when you see a major-party candidate described as a “former talk-show host” because you just know that the person is the Comstock Lode of oppo research.

Lewis faces Democratic nominee Angie Craig for a seat Republicans have long held. But with retirement of GOP Rep. John Kline, the race to replace him is expected to be expensive and fierce.

Given that the Minnesota 2nd is among the districts that could be a difference-maker in deciding which party controls the U.S. House, we’re expecting a lot more people from out of state, national press credentials swinging from their necks, to show up, drive to a coffee shop, then plumb the depths of voter discontent from Prior Lake to Plainview.

  • Jeff
    • I wonder when the last time is that a congressional district seat was occupied by someone who didn’t live in the district?

      • Jeff

        In Minnesota or nationally?

        • mn

          • Jeff

            I think the district borders changed on Michele Bachman (so she was no longer living within her district), I believe that was one of many reasons she decided not to run in what is now Tom Emmer’s district.

          • Redistricting took place in 2012. She simply moved into the new district after having been placed in the 4th. She won by 1.2% in a district that was pretty red (she might’ve lost without the redistricting since Woodbury (which was in the old 6th) was pretty purple. She even outspent him 12-to-1.

            There’s a fair chance she would’ve lost in 2014 if the DFL put up a strong candidate. She was pretty well wounded by the time 2014 rolled around.

          • Jeff

            Oh, well she was running for at least some period of time in the 6th while living in the 4th:


            Do you have a link to an article where Bachmann moves into the newly drawn 6th district before the 2012 election??? Wikipedia seems to indicate that “Although Bachmann’s home was not located within the new boundaries of the 6th district, she legally ran for re-election and won.” but the link it cites is broken and has a date in February of 2012. So maybe she did actually win an election while living outside the district…so it did happen somewhat recently if that’s true.

    • lindblomeagles

      While Jeff’s right, Republicans did attack Jason Lewis, Jason Lewis is no stranger to Minnesota just like David Duke is no stranger to most of America, and certainly Louisiana. He had a TV show on PBS and had a radio show twice here in the Twin Cities. We all should know by now who and what Jason Lewis represents. We all should also be aware, by now, Republican voters have been sending more Dukes, Trumps, and Lewises to political office since George W Bush was elected in 2004, in spite of claims the party isn’t or doesn’t support racists.

    • PaulJ

      He shows poor character in suggesting something that 600,000 + soldiers died in fighting about. OTOH states rights could be shored up; there’s far too much trust being showed each other.

      • Jeff

        I think some of our biggest problems today are due to the fact that nearly every issue is decided at the federal level (many times with the SCOTUS) which makes federal elections, especially the presidency extremely important. If states were allowed a bit more freedom to decide things you’d see people able to vote with their feet. I think drug legalization is a great example of states rights working.

        • DavidG

          Too many of the things people want decided at the state level simply aren’t workable at that level.
          Aquifers, rivers, the jet stream don’t recognize state borders, so most environmental regulations need a higher level.

          Marriage is another example. When we are supposedly one country, how do you justify someone’s marriage being recognized on a state by state basis? Certain states now become no-go zones for some citizens?

          • Jeff

            “No go zones”??? Seriously? We’re talking about government benefits which could be set up by a lawyer if you so desired. Individual rights to property, freedom and loving who you want can’t be restricted, only those benefits/categorizations which the government offers would be different between states. Odd how you’re holding marriage above pain treatment. BTW, I support gay marriage within my own state, I just don’t think I should be enforcing my viewpoint on other states like Alabama or Georgia.

          • DavidG

            If a state is allowed to ban same sex couples from adoption, no amount of lawyering is going to set one up in that state. If something happens to one partner while that family happens to be in a state that doesn’t recognize the adoption or marriage, what happens to the children?

            If the marriage is allowed to be banned, no amount of lawyering is going to allow the spouses to inherit the estate or social security survivor benefits of the other spouse.

            So yes, there are a lot of benefits that couldn’t be set up by a lawyer. There are guardianship issues that couldn’t be set up by a lawyer that would make it problematic at best to even travel through some states.

            I’ll also point out that the Lovings were subject to arrest in some sates prior to the Supreme Court ruling. And even today, there are sates that would jump at the chance to criminalize homosexuality, if given that opportunity.

            With that, I’m dropping this, since it’s only tangential to the post.

          • Jeff

            I’m not sure how or why anyone could prevent adoption by any individual wanting to adopt…I agree that’s a federal violation right there…gay or straight a single person should have the opportunity to adopt.

          • DavidG

            Some states did prohibit gay people from adopting.

            What I’m talking about is joint adoption where both partners adopt the child. The easiest example would be where one partner is the “biological” parent: If the non-biological parent, adoptive parent was traveling with their child in a state that didn’t recognize that adoption, they could be denied access or decision making authority in the event of an emergency.

            The point is: there are simply a lot of things where if we are supposedly one nation, a patchwork of laws where your legal status depends on what state border you happened to cross is unworkable.

  • Gary F

    Think the campaigns will actually talk about stuff happening today? Like the sub 3% economic growth, the low worker participation rate, radical Islam worldwide as well as at home?

    • Kinda digging the record-setting stock market, though.

      • Gary F

        Then why isn’t anybody working? Why is the black unemployment rate so high?

        Because the interest rates are almost nothing, and most of the world is suffering with their huge governments, our crappy economy is still better that their crappy economy. And it will be for years to come as Europe’s big governments can’t handle all the new immigrants. Europe is hitting the edge of the cliff while we rush right behind.

        • //Why is the black unemployment rate so high?

          A real mystery, indeed.

          Part of it is racism.

        • chris

          “Then why isn’t anybody working?”

          Preaching phony doom and gloom isn’t working for your guy Trump. Time to try something new. Slow and steady growth is preferable to boom and bust.

          • Jeff

            Holding the participation rate to 66% (which it was stable between 66-67% between 1988-2008) the unemployment rate today would be 9.6%. But of course, no one really writes about that work force participation rate (showing how it was constant around 66% pre-2009) and does a very obvious thing by holding that rate constant and recalculating the unemployment rate.

          • chris

            The biggest drop in participation is among 16-19 and over 65. Not really a problem. But hey, keep trying the doom and gloom if you want while the clock runs out. Trump just wasted two entire weeks.

          • Jack Ungerleider

            Thanks, Chris. I was just going to go there. Based on the definition of the Baby Boom as 1946-1964, in the period cited by Jeff, baby boomers ranged from 24-42 years at the beginning to 44-62 years old at the end. It’s no surprise that work force participation has dipped as that cohort (one of the largest in US history) is now 52-70 years old.

            Math: it just works. 😉

          • James_R

            Your “slow and steady growth” is usually referred to as stagnation.

    • Rob

      Not seeing a lot of radical Islam where I live. Stagnant wages, yes. Do we need to be scared of trans kids using different bathrooms? No. Are tax cuts for 1%ers the answer? No. So is Jason Lewis the answer? No.

      • Gary F

        That’s what the people of San Berandino and Orlando said too. Minnesota is high up on the list because of us prosecuting the three jihadists.

        • Rob

          Still not worried.

        • There’s a list?

        • >>That’s what the people of San Berandino and Orlando said too. Minnesota is high up on the list because of us prosecuting the three jihadists.<<

          I think it was Grover Cleveland's wife, Frances, who said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

          I'll take my chances.

          But thanks for all the hand-wringing on our behalf.

        • tom55306

          Gary, you sound terrified. Try to get a grip on reality. Relax. Take a walk around Calhoun or Harriet. Enjoy the summer.

  • Kar ellis

    Why can’t reasonable people be reasonable! Of course Jason Lewis doesn’t want a return to slavery! It is so sad that intelligent people believe there are people in the world whom they can get to belueve anything they want, true or not. Shame on you.

    • Jared

      That’s quite a strawman you’re building there. Where does anyone even imply he wants a return to slavery?

  • crystals

    I find it shocking that Republicans weren’t building a better bench in anticipation of Kline’s eventual retirement. That this crew of candidates – Lewis, Miller, Howe, and OMG-he’s-scary-Erickson – was the best they could come up with says a lot about the Minnesota GOP’s campaign and organization infrastructure. They *should* have had someone who could easily keep the district a safe Republican seat, and instead it seems more and more likely that it is Angie Craig & the Democratic party’s to lose.

    • tom55306

      Honestly, it’s also a shame that the Democrats couldn’t find someone to take down no-friend-of-the-2nd-district John Kline for the last decade. Kline’s always had his own agenda and never given a $#!t about his constituents.