As we tune in to the latest episode of Emo Senator, Southern Minnesota's most watched telenovela, fans will be dismayed (though probably not surprised) to learn that Mike Parry's signature soap opera disease, amnesia, has struck the Belle of Waseca County once more.
Difficult as it was for the viewers to watch last night's congressional primary debate last night on TPT Almanac, media reactions and reports this morning are a lot more harsh on Mike Parry and Allen Quist.
Parry was kind to himself, however, in a post-debate comment to a Southern Minnesota journalist.
Last night's contrition
Check it out: over at the New Ulm Journal, Josh Moniz continues to bird dog both candidates in Parry, Quist trade sharp exchanges at TPT debate. As one of the closest observers of the primary race, Moniz was able to detect a certain softening in the foes' rhetoric:
Mike Parry and Allen Quist, fellow Republican candidates for Minnesota's First Congressional District, delivered some sharp exchanges at their Friday debate on TPT's show "Almanac." However, the overall tone was muted compared to the heat generated between the two candidates over the last two weeks. . . .
It's worth your time to read the whole article. Moniz closes with:
The debate concluded with the moderators asking Parry whether it was appropriate to use 25-year old statements to criticize Quist.
Parry said it was very relevant, stating that he believed it showed the character of the candidate.
Quist responded by calling Parry a hypocrite. He said that Parry had claimed his controversial Tweets two years ago were not relevant to the campaign. In his prior tweets, Parry had linked Democrats to pedophiles for passing the Matthew Shepard Act. He also called Pres. Barack Obama a "Power Hungry Arrogant Black Man."
The reporter caught up with Parry after the on-air debate:
When asked post-debate, Parry would not make a definitive statement on whether his controversial statements were fair game given his use of Quist's controversial statements. However, he stated that he had apologized for his statements.
"I said I was sorry. That's not what's in my heart. That's not what's in my soul," said Parry.
Suddenly, last summer: no apologies for tweets
Curiously, those early tweets came before Parry was taken up by the MNGOP Senate caucus apparatus. Nor does it seem like he's always insisting that he's made his heartfelt, soulful apologies.
Just last summer, before he jumped into the race, Parry told MinnPost columnist Doug Grow:
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, claims he has two "tweet" advisers who "tone me down."
It's hard to imagine what the un-toned Parry might tweet.
In one of his latest messages to the tweet world, Parry had this to say regarding the "third way" committee formed by former Gov. Arne Carlson and former Vice President Walter Mondale: "With all due respect, Mondale and Carlson need to stay in their rockers unless they can get Dayton to do the right thing. … RESIGN!''
Was that vetted by his tweet editors, who include his spouse, Kathy, and an unnamed "editor." (The unnamed editor apparently is a member of the Republican Senate caucus, or someone who works close to the caucus.)
Apparently, Parry's heart and soul need editing before tweeting, although when it comes to editing his memory about his apologies or of lack thereof, he seems supremely able to handle this on his own.
Last summer, he wasn't so apologetic about the tweets, nor was he while running in the special election. Grow wrote last July in GOP hardliner Sen. Mike Parry not afraid to tweet what he believes:
That one [tweet calling President Obama an 'angry black man'] brought him national attention. After trying to ignore the outcries that the tweet was racist, Parry came up with an unapologetic defense of the message.
"My opinion is that our President is arrogant and angry," he told reporters. "The fact is, he's a black man. Now if the Democratic Party and the liberals want to take my opinion and the fact and mix it together … they're grasping at straws."
Those who bristle at his tweets are bound by political correctness, Parry says. He presents himself as a guy tough enough to stand up to the liberal critics and say what he thinks.
"The reason we have the problems we have today is that people don't say what they think," said Parry in an interview last week. "All they do is beat about the bush."
At this point in the campaign, what are EmoSen fans to believe? That Parry apologized, as he now claims, so that he doesn't look like a hypocrite in attacking Quist for remarks made in the last century (somehow, Parry can remember what Quist said 25 years ago, but not his interview with Grow a mere year ago)? That those remarks don't speak to his heart and soul? Or last summer's remarks that he tweets what he thinks and believes?
Regardless, the adult male mud-wrestling isn't getting good reviews for either Parry or Quist.
Meanwhile, back in Mankato
Take the short "Thumbs Down" handed out by the editorial board of the Mankato Free Press, Quist, Parry flounder in mudfest:
To the tone of the campaign battle between Allen Quist and Mike Parry. The two candidates vying to gain the Republican mantle to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Mankato, have been wallowing in an insubstantial debate over who said the wackiest things in the past.
Parry has been criticized for tweets he made months ago that some considered racist and homophobic. Parry told The Free Press, "That's so long ago that's past history."
But, he's been dragging up embarrassing quotes by Quist -- including one about husbands being genetically predisposed to lead wives -- that go back nearly 25 years. For his part, Quist tried to deny he ever said it -- until a tape recording of the original interview surfaced.
The level of the debate is doing nothing but harm to either man's chances in running a strong campaign against Walz. Still, it is kind of entertaining.
The Itchy & Scratchy Show. A couple of Toons.
And one of KEYC-TV's "Today's Top Stories," TPT Debate: Parry Continues to Slam Quist:
In the first of three debates before the primary election on August 14th, Republican First Congressional candidates Mike Parry and Allen Quist squared off in a debate on TPT's Almanac.
As Mike Parry and Allen Quist compete for the Republican nomination to take on incumbent Representative Tim Walz, the focus has drifted toward past statements and actions of the candidates . . .
Here's the CBS/Fox affiliate's clip:
Will our hero's fans ever learn his true heart and soul? Tune in to the next thrilling episode!
And here's the TPT Almanacc debate once again:
Photoshopped image: Mike Parry as the fickle Flouncette O'Parry, the Belle of Waseca County. By Tild.
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