In Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, one of the most bittersweet days of a liberal’s life was the day Michele Bachmann announced she was not seeking re-election. The sweet part is for obvious reasons, but the bitter part? In a heavily conservative district, the replacement could be just as bad, if not worse. Indeed, my fellow 6th-districters have done it again this midterm season, electing (by a landslide) none other than Michele Bachmann 2.0 ?Representative Tom Emmer.
This isn’t the first time you’ve met Mr. Emmer. Back in September 2013, he made national news when he appeared in an illegal campaign ad ? er, ?business endorsement? ? wherein he announced his candidacy for Congress before getting to his real message of how stellar the work is from Integrity Exteriors and Remodeling. Those of you who used to shop at Target may also remember the 2010 debacle where Target donated money to a tax-exempt committee named MN Forward, who thereby ran ads promoting the anti-gay marriage candidate. Target’s been trying to recover from that one for a while.
Here in Minnesota, Emmer has left an even more lasting impression with some of the crazy legislation he has put forward during his time as a Minnesota House Representative, not to mention his failed run for governor in 2010. Abe Sauer’s unbelievably thorough (and depressing) profile of Mr. Emmer outlines most of the absurdity that characterized his tenure as a state representative, and is worth a read if you are seeking confirmation of all the evils of the world. A few highlights are as follows:
?Emmer also authored bill HF1131, which greenlights surgical or ?chemical? castration of sex offenders. Naturally, he’s not just anti-abortion-he authored a bill that said Minnesotans had ?no constitutional right to abortion.? And, despite blaming the media for many of his woes, Emmer’s name is on bill HF0936, allowing ?News media representatives to enter polling places for up to 15 minutes during voting hours to observe the voting process? and ?make a list of persons voting or not voting.??
In addition to all these great ideas, Emmer even had time to advocate for less strict laws for drunk drivers, which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that he has two DWIs himself. But why limit oneself to freeing drunk drivers from the clutches of government? In 2010, Eric Black of Minnpost describes how Emmer wanted to amend the Minnesota Constitution to ?block federal laws from taking effect in Minnesota unless the congressional enactment was accepted by the Minnesota Legislature and the governor,? declaring Minnesotans as ?sovereign individuals.?? Now I’ll be the first to say that Minnesotans are wonderful and intelligent people, but this is taking it a bit too far.
It’s hard to say whether the voters in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district just have extremely bad long-term memory, or are simply masochistic. During this campaign, Allison Sherry with the Minneapolis Star Tribune described Emmer’s ?toned-down? rhetoric, ?from Tea Party flamer to Dr. Phil.?? She quotes a man who seems reasonable and compassionate, ?a humble servant of the people.?? Is it too much to hope that Emmer can restore dignity to our district with this radical new attitude?? With a track record like that listed above, I won’t be holding my breath.
Edited by D.H.