The world took little note, nor long remembered what Gil Gutknecht said to College Republicans at Mankato State in March 2006, when he introduced U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kennedy to the young activists, but it can never forget what they did there, because Operation Yellow Elephant fisked a story from the MSU Reporter that--like the link to Gutknecht's official website--is no longer online.
It is for us the enduring bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who posted have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored episodes from Southern Minnesota political history that we take increased devotion to that cause for which Gil Gutknecht and Mark Kennedy gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these careers shall not have died in vain.
Thus, when Bluestem read the opening paragraphs of Allen Quist's press release on today's Supreme Court ruling--
Abraham Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, said that the Civil War was a test of whether our nation, conceived and born in liberty, could long survive.
Our nation is being put to that same test once again—the test of whether a nation conceived and born in liberty can long survive.
In direct contrast to Lincoln, President Barack Obama, just before his inauguration, said he was just a few hours away from “fundamentally transforming” the United States of America.
The transformation President Obama had in mind was the loss of our liberty as accomplished by his health care law.
--Bluestem could only stand back in awe at the audacity of summoning forth that long-buried item of 2006 Republicania. Nay, Quist far exceeds Gutknecht's hyperbole by comparing insurance reform with a bloody internal war that included:
approximately 10,455 military engagements, some devastating to human life and some nearly bloodless, plus naval clashes, accidents, suicides, sicknesses, murders, and executions resulted in total casualties of 1,094,453 during the Civil War. The Federals lost 110,100 killed in action and mortally wounded, and another 224,580 to disease. The Confederates lost approximately 94,000 as a result of battle and another 164,000 to disease. Even if one survived a wound, any projectile that hit bone in either an arm or a leg almost invariably necessitated amputation. The best estimate of Federal army personnel wounded is 275,175; naval personnel wounded, 2,226. Surviving Confederate records indicate 194,026 wounded.
Gutknecht, whose remarks generated press release outrage from the loyal opposition's party headquarters, was far more chaste in his hyperbole by limiting his frame to one battle in the Civil War. The Rochester-area auctioneer compared the effort that the assembled student activists would have to make in electing Kennedy and himself to the uncommon valor of Minnesota’s 1st Regiment at Gettysburg.
Operation Yellow Elephant memorializes the MSU Reporter article (OYE remarks stricken):
U.S. Senate contender Mark Kennedy visits Minnesota's Mankato State University, promotes political involvement. by Benjamin Marti - March 28, 2006
The role they take on will be just as pivotal as the part played by Minnesota’s 1st Regiment to hold the line at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
As Congressman Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn. introduced U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Kennedy, R-Minn. to a small crowd of MSU College Republicans and other students Thursday, he used those words to describe their stake in this year’s mid-term elections.
“We’re asked to stand in that gap and there are big stakes in this election,” Gutknecht said. “I’m not asking you to make the kind of sacrifices that were made on July 2, 1863 by those brave Minnesotans, but I am going to ask you to give your best effort.”
Gutknecht said Minnesota’s 1st Regiment suffered 78 percent casualties in the first 15 minutes and were outnumbered 10:1, but still held the line.
“There’s going to be a lot of folks like you that are going to make the difference as to whether or not we win or lose this battle,” Gutknecht said. “And remember, had we lost the Battle of Gettysburg, we might have lost the war.”
That was six years ago; both Kennedy and Gutknecht lost their battles, and despite a last minute warning from now-disaffected Republican Joe Repya that “What is at stake is literally the survival of Western civilization,” the election of Tim Walz to Congress didn't mean the end of the world as we know it.
Rather, what we have from Walz are highlights like hard work for constituent outreach, veterans, agriculture, and transportation, the passage of the STOCK Act and other reforms and some courageous stands like that Walz took to end DADT. These are punctuated by some particularly lame votes, like that taken with the Republican majority today on contempt charges for Attorney General Holder.
I also must point out that Mike Parry today released a statement on the Court decision, but in that statement he never directly clarifies his own position. In this critical time in our nation’s history, politicians who avoid stating their own positions are part of the problem, not the solution.
As August and the Republican primary draws closer, we're likely to see more overheated rhetoric from Quist--who said he would try to impeach President Obama over the DREAM Act-lite policy--as it does generate some earned social media from the Left.
It's strategic. Quist and Parry are locked in a stink contest over who can generate more progressive outrage and DFL tracker expense reports in the sprawling rural district. BSP will try to chronicle both the jabs and the pearl-clucking for your entertainment.
Stay tuned as Bluestem's blogging for the people and of the people continues, and the Republicans wave the bloody shirt as they obscure the human needs that prompted health care reform.
Painting: The Minnesota 1st at Gettysburg, via http://www.1stminnesota.org/