Thursday, May 27, 2004


Yesterday some coworkers went to a CLE seminar in downtown Minneapolis where octogenarian ex-pol Al Quie spoke briefly. (For the non-lawyers among you, CLE stands for Continuing Legal Education, which in turn is a euphemism for Total Fucking Racket.) Today at lunch one of them wondered aloud when Quie had served as governor of Minnesota. I thought for a moment and said "1978 to 1982." At which jaws dropped, as if I were some cyborgian data repository cleverly masquerading as a lunch-munching human.

But people, people! Who could forget the so-called Minnesota Massacre of 1978? When Quie took the governorship from Rudy Perpich (possibly the goofiest governor in Minnesota history, and no, I'm not forgetting Jesse Ventura) in the same election in which Rudy Boschwitz beat "incumbent" Wendell Anderson for one Senate seat (scare quotes owing to his rather cheeky scheme for obtaining the seat after Walter Mondale vacated it to become Jimmy Carter's Vice President in 1977: Wendy resigned his post as governor and had Perpich, the ascending lieutenant governor, appoint him to Mondale's seat) and Dave Durenberger beat Bob Short (who with the help of a large Republican crossover vote had bested the endorsed DFL candidate, Don Fraser, in the primary, and who earlier in life had owned the Minneapolis Lakers and moved them to Los Angeles, the fucking bastard) (and I realize that's two "fucking"s in one post, and now three, but they were all well deserved, and besides, we're potty mouths) for the other Senate seat, which Muriel Humphrey had been serving out the term on after her hubby Hubie died in early 1978.

Okay, perhaps I really am a cyborgian data repository cleverly masquerading as a lunch-munching human.

By the way, in confirming my recollections, I found this article on the MPR website. It opens with this howler (emphasis mine):
The term Minnesota Massacre was a term largely adopted by the State's DFL Party. Independent Republicans likely had a much kinder name for the outcome of Minnesota's 1978 general election.
Because of course it's impossible to know for sure. It's not like the reporter (Bob Kelleher; here's hoping this is what he finds the next time he Googles himself on a lazy Friday afternoon) could have--now bear with me, I'm just going to throw out a wacky hypothetical here--called the Republican Party and asked them about this. Contact between the parallel universes inhabited by MPR and Minnesota Republicans? That would violate Einstein's principles of general and special relativity! MPR employees may be free to flout traffic laws, but there's no getting around the laws of physics!


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