A dripping-with-phony-outrage DFL press release Wednesday demanded that U.S. Rep. Gil Gutknecht retract and apologize for an “ignorant and incendiary” insult to the Democratic Party.
DFL Chair Brian Melendez demanded, via the press release, which was emailed to reporters and posted at dfl.org, that Mark Kennedy denounce and disavow Gutknecht’s calumny because Kennedy was standing on the Mankato stage with Gutknecht when the slander was uttered.
What was the insult that Gutknecht must withdraw and Kennedy must repudiate?
Gutknecht told an audience of College Republican at Minnesota State University that if they help “hold the line” for the GOP in this year’s midterm election, they could play a role as pivotal as that played by Minnesota’s 1st Regiment in holding the line at the Battle of Gettysburg. (Here’s the coverage of the event from the MSU Reporter, the student paper.) Do you get the outrage? Here’s your next clue.
According to the headline on the DFL press release:
“GUTKNECHT LIKENS DFL PARTY TO SLAVEHOLDERS AT KENNEDY EVENT, DFL PARTY CALLS FOR APOLOGY.
Of Human Bondage
It is true, although Gutknecht cleverly avoided saying so directly, that the forces the Minnesota 1st helped defeat at Gettysburg were Confederate troops, which came from the side in the U.S. Civil War that was defending slavery.
The student paper’s coverage does not indicate that slavery, slaves or slaveholders were mentioned at the MSU event. Gutknecht didn’t say that if they get control of Congress next year, the Dems would re-legalize human bondage. But he did say they would raise taxes on the rich.
The DFL press release fits the pattern of political parties looking for opportunities to feign outrage, put the other party on the defensive and create a lot of weird self-serving partisan linkages. (The DFL press release says that if Kennedy fails to denounce Gutknecht’s rhetoric “Minnesotans will know they can expect another campaign full of distasteful distortions and distractions from him” and managed to work in a passing reference to Kennedy’s pro-Bush voting record and a reference to “the insult-and-divide strategy he learned from the Karl Rove playbook.”)
The kindest interpretation of this press release would be to take it as payback for the phony outrage expressed by the John Kline campaign over the silly caricature of Kline as Col. Klink from “Hogan’s Heroes.” How dare they compare us to Nazis?
Is That a Fact hereby launches a catalogue of the different kinds of bull slung in political rhetoric. We declare this to be in the category of “Feigned outrage.”
p.s. If you want to know more about Is That a Fact, read the much meatier example just below.