Given it's primary season, the Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Board has recently been doling out its endorsements of political candidates. Since there are very few high profile DFL primary contests (State Auditor notwithstanding), much of the focus has been shifted to the Minnesota Republican primaries for governor, U.S. Senate and various U.S. House races. In my home district of the Sixth Congressional District, Tom Emmer, who won the CD6 GOP endorsement with 78% of the nod from delegates and has held a huge advantage in fundraising, is the heavy favorite to win in next Tuesday's primary. Despite that, the Strib E.B. chose to endorse his opponent Rhonda Sivarajah, who is currently chair of the Anoka County board.
Upon reading the Strib’s endorsement of Sivarajah, I posted the article to Twitter and made the comment that their typically leftist voice carries little weight in solid red CD6. Naturally I received quite a bit of push-back from Sivarajah supporters. The most popular chanting point was how, if the proverbial shoe were on the other foot, I would be touting a Star Tribune endorsement of Emmer. I am here to tell you that said chanting point is unequivocally false. The reason being, quite simply, is this is merely a GOP primary race. The Strib has to endorse a Republican obviously.
But what happens when said Republican (regardless if it’s Sivarajah or Emmer) takes on a Democrat in the general election? Do you honestly believe the Star Tribune wouldn’t prefer a DFLer over a Republican in that instance? It all comes down to what my friend and Northern Alliance Radio Network colleague Mitch Berg so eloquently stated in Berg’s 11th Law of Inverse Viability (as well as The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law):
The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.
If that respected conservative ever develops a chance of getting elected, that “respect” will turn to blind unreasoning hatred overnight.
Of course, to be fair, Berg’s 11th (as well as subsequent corollaries) may not be as relevant in CD6, given that even the Star Tribune likely would concede that the district is too overwhelmingly red.
But what about a state-wide race?
Earlier this week, the Strib endorsed Jeff Johnson to be the Republican to oppose incumbent governor Mark Dayton this November. Now as a Johnson supporter, do you think for one millisecond I’m touting this endorsement? Not a chance. Why? Suppose Johnson wins next Tuesday. Again, whom do you think the Strib will endorse in a Dayton-Johnson contest?
Yes, for all the fine qualities the Star Tribune Editorial Board feels Johnson possesses this week will magically become glaring weaknesses come late October.