A Kentucky Ex-Patriate in Minnesota

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by Eric Levy

I am a Kentucky “ex-patriot” of sorts and also a former Ace contributor. If anyone doubts my Kentucky credentials, please tell them I witnessed Laettner stomping Timberlake. I’m still angry about this. Go Big Blue!

At first I was curious as to why Ace, a publication based in the Bluegrass, would be at all interested in an insider’s take on the Minnesota’s Senate Race. On one hand the race is ongoing, incredibly vicious, insanely expensive, and most perhaps the most controversial senate race in the country.

So what? Your readers are in Kentucky! You’ve got Mitch McConnell.
He was involved in the second most vicious, expensive and controversial senate race in the country. Known as the “Kentucky kingmaker” in some circles (known as “King Douche” to the rest of the country,) McConnell has been making Kentucky look bad for many years. He won by a very narrow 5.8%. His previous victories in 1984 and 1990 were just as slim. What’s it going to take to get rid of that guy? The answer may lie here in Minnesota. It may not. How will it end?

Probably in a courtroom.

As an insider (and by the word “insider” I mean a guy who lives in Minnesota and owns a t-shirt with one of the candidate’s names on it), I want to paint a picture of how Minnesota Joe-12 pack* views this very tight race. I want to attempt an objective stance, focusing primarily upon the challenges our democracy faces through these rigorous recounts, in hope of learning from it. I call it “Franken Vs. The Douche: Random Thoughts from a Frustrated Voter.”

December 10th, 2008
Surprise! I have no updates for you so I looked up a couple of stats. I learned today that Minnesota had the highest voter turnout in the Nation at 77.8% (+ or – the ones that the judge lets in for the recount). This would explain why I had to wait in line 2 1/2 hours to vote this year. This number is no exaggeration. What are the only lines I have waited in longer?

  1. The Rolling Stones (1989) – 12 hours.
  2. U.K. enrollment before real computers (1990) – 3 hours.
  3. Some damned roller coaster that she “just had to ride” (1991) 3 hours.
    I have to say I felt very patriotic on that Tuesday and I have not a single regret even though my district really didn’t need my vote as it’s annoyingly liberal.

December 11th, 2008
Again, no updates. Some very good patriots (“Civic Minded Angels” as we all call them) are still recounting votes. What would that be like? In my mind it goes something like this… Scene – A man sits under a dimly lit light bulb at a table piled with ballots. He combs both hands through his thick brown hair and sighs. He places his elbows on the table and his face in his hands. He sobs quietly. Why the hell did he sign up for this? This was not volunteering! Why did he have to recount the votes again? None of it made any sense. None of the ballots made sense. What did they mean? Just look at this one. Is this an ink mark or is it a smudge? He’s certain it was a smudge…maybe it was…And what was this one? Who the hell turned this in? Oh crap…what number was he on? Good Lord! The swirling thoughts came crashing down and he was now longer able to think. He felt a deep void from within and then it hit him… Didn’t we elect a professional wrestler a few years ago?!!!???!!! What the Hell? That’s it, I’m finished! Screw your civic duties!

December 15th, 2008
“The Douche” leads by 188 votes. 188 votes.
All policy-making for the next 6 years will be decided by something less than half of one percent. This is a mind-boggling percentage, but no one really has time to think about it because it’s Monday and we have to get to work and it’s really really cold here.

December 18, 2008
It’s 33 below today with the wind chill…The lawyers are poised. The papers are still flooded with daily editorials from angry old people. “The Douche” is still leading Franken. I heard this on the radio because my Minneapolis Star Tribune delivery has stopped. I haven’t paid in months and they finally pulled the plug on me. Why? I stopped paying back in October when they officially supported “The Douche” for Minnesota State Senate. How and why a newspaper feels a need to support any candidate is beyond me. Oh, I forgot–to appease their Liberal readers, they also supported Obama…could they be more transparent? I am a big boy. I know I am the jerk here and I will pay The Star Tribune their money but really, it was a subscription tele-marketed to my wife as a “free trial.” (She was pregnant and half asleep during that call) Screw ‘em! Don’t worry, The Star Tribune is selling more papers than ever. They even have a ballot re-counter and headline-updater for your Facebook page! What on earth would we do without that? My theory is that without the newspaper’s support, “The Douche” would not have gotten so many votes. Lots of morons vote a certain way because someone else tells them who to vote for.

December 19th 2008
The family is in from Kentucky. They are not sure how to deal with the cold or the politics. Franken is ahead in the polls for the first time in the recount. He holds a 188-vote lead! Is that not a strange number? It was the same lead that “The Douche” held over a week ago. It is exciting news—-however, I must explain to my family that the news here is no longer real. You cannot believe anything. They understand because, like many Americans, they have not believed anything for 8 years. Still–188 votes! That’s just strange. Chaos ensues. Both Franken and “The Douche” issue press releases urging voters to remain calm. The pointlessness of blogging becomes a daily part of life for those with absolutely no influence on the process at this point. Angry old people send in the letters. The recount continues! The people of Minnesota have spoken, but what have we said? My Dad laughs at me because the dog left a turd on the sidewalk again and it’s frozen solid.

December 24th 2008
No updates. I begin to feel a bit guilty for not using the proper name for the incumbent. By using the nickname “The Douche,” I realize I’m coming off as childish and inappropriate. I am a bigger person than that. So, in good faith, I dusted off the thesaurus in search of something more suitable, only to find there is no other word for “douche.” Look it up. It’s true. Look – the biggest reason “The Douche” angers me is that he used to be a Democrat, and once elected “changed” parties! Regardless of your party YOU CAN’T DO THAT! This happened a while back. People seem to have forgotten. Who would have guessed it? This guy is so very Republican that you could not possibly believe it. The National Republican Convention was held over in St. Paul where he was the former Democratic mayor. Coincidence? Nope. You see, they are grooming “The Douche.” You will see him on the national stage in 2112 along with Tim Pawlenty (Our Republican Governor) somehow. Pawlenty was initially on the short list before McCain surprised the nation by announcing “what’s her face” as his VP running mate. OK look- I could present you with many facts related to the blunders that “The Douche” has supported. I could go on about his record of voting with Bush, his shady contributions from health plans, his support of war, how he has strangled the state by not supporting tax raises (taxes that fund roads and bridges…remember the interstate bridge that fell into the Mississippi River last year? Yup, that was here.) but it’s pointless. It’s a recount…there’s nothing you can do.

December 26th, 2008

No updates. Things really are tough all over. They certainly are tough in Minnesota. I was informed today that 73 million dollars may be cut from Human Services funding here in Minnesota. That would affect my job as well as the welfare of my company. We’ve already been hit hard. Honestly, there are no new updates. And there will be no more updates to this circus as we all know two things will happen:

  1. Republicans or Democrats will try to cast doubt on Minnesota’s electoral process depending on who wins.
  2. We’re going to court.

With such a tiny margin of victory, there’s no way we will avoid litigation. Both sides have lawyers and I hope my candidate’s lawyers are nastier. This is really all you need to know about the Minnesota Senate Race. “Blogging” is almost pointless. Editorials have bored most of us. Most people here want the whole thing to be over. My Franken 2008 t-shirt is still relevant, however, it is buried under several layers of warmer clothing at this point. We all still have hope. Franken is my candidate and I stand by him. Minnesota is where I live and I still believe in our system. In the end I am sure that the State of Minnesota can pass this test and it will serve as a model for the rest of the country, just like Florida did…
Fingers crossed!


Eric Levy was a contributing Ace writer in the 90s and now lives in Minneapolis.



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