What I Saw At MinnRoast 2018

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I prevailed upon the powers that be at Alpha News to secure a “show-only” ticket for me to attend MinnPost’s annual MinnRoast, a celebration of themselves, their aging readership and their failing, destructive, corrosive and bitter Regressive Left politics that were comprehensively defeated in the presidential election. Big wounds would be nursed at the event, I thought, and I wanted to observe. I like to watch, so to speak.

Last year’s spasm of self-congratulation didn’t interest me because I figured that the Cultural Marxists would more or less still be unhinged from the prior November. Now, I reasoned, they have both (some) distance from that glorious event as well as (some) focus on the upcoming off-year elections. In addition to the sad spectacle of liberals trying to be funny, regular “if we mock ourselves they’ll like us” Republicans like Rep. Tom Emmer and Amy Koch were slated to appear in skits, as well as newcomer Speaker Kurt Daudt. Resistance proved futile and Koch a no show.

Doors to the State Theater opened at 7 for the 8 p.m. show and I arrived about thirty minutes into the milling and earnest social intercourse. The main event was scheduled to run ninety minutes but that proved optimistic.

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I didn’t avoid people but I’m not a glad-hander either. A friend suggested that I interview people on my iPhone but that likely would have gotten me thrown out, depriving posterity of this  column. I quickly checked out the three bars in the venue where nothing much was happening.

The real action was at the VIP reception which I didn’t attend. I wasn’t about to ask Alpha News to pay $500 to support the kind of “journalism” that MinnPost is known for. That crowd came flooding into the lobby about ten minutes before the show started. Ah, the show.

Reader, I suffered for you. The introduction made fun of a Minnesota First Amendment case now pending before the Supreme Court challenging the state’s ability to regulate what can and can not be worn into a voting booth. The MinnPost crowd must think it’s a “conservative” case, not knowing those right wingers at the ACLU joined in support of striking down Minnesota’s overly broad law on the subject.

Next was a cheesy cabaret number, literally singing different lyrics to “Cabaret.” How fresh. Gov. Dayton appeared next, behind a podium stage right. He received a standing ovation, thereby blowing my cover as a faux squish but I pretended to write more urgently in my notepad as a response. I don’t think I fooled the people in my row.

To be fair, the Governor’s words were less slurred than usual although he said nothing of interest and walked the few steps off the stage with difficulty.

A gay men’s chorus then sang and minced about the stage, looking like a dozen nascent Andrew Cunanins. Speaker Kurt Daudt next appeared in a dull, forced video about the mute button at the Speaker’s podium magically being made portable. Hilarity did not ensue. At one point he was in a cafeteria with someone at the next table slurping loudly the last drops of their pop. Muted! Rep. Kelly Fenton then turned to reveal herself as the slurper.

The “comedy writers” at MinnPost suggested to the Daudt borg that this stupid theme involve Sen. Paul Gazelka, who wisely rejected it out of hand, leaving the Speaker’s favorite lapdog to fill in.

He then appeared onstage with material that seemed pointless, including the long discarded notion of running for governor. Not much laugher, not much applause.

Sen. Tina Smith next appeared behind the podium of boredom, burbling something about all the “white guys” in the Senate, followed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar attempting to imitate a human being. She went on too long, focusing excessively on Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s new baby, Millie Pearl, being allowed to be breast fed on the Senate floor. I doubt it crossed her mind that her colleague who spoke immediately before her would be fine with that very baby being torn to pieces a few months before birth in order to be sold in parts.

“Sisters Roar” was the name of one act that followed our two unfunny Senators, singing acapella “I Am Woman” along with, weirdly, Twisted Sisters’ signature song “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” I was disappointed they weren’t dressed in “The Handmaid’s Tale” garb.

Vice President Mondale appeared, to be greeted by another standing ovation which I also sat out. Nothing personal Fritz. Then President Carter appeared by video and made some preposterous remark that Fritz would have made a better president than Reagan. Yes, the audience applauded lustily which, at least, drowned out my laugher.

Another pitch for money and it was intermission. I missed most of the second half because after vaping in the fresh air outside I had come to my senses. It was also getting late and late in downtown Minneapolis is never where you want to be.

I understand that Rep. Tom Emmer trashed Trump, himself, the Democrats and anything else that came in handy. The star of the evening, however, was my own St. Paul Mayor, Melvin Carter who sang, danced and took on race shibboleths. I hope MinnPost releases video of some or all of his performance. I don’t regret not seeing the vile & loathsome Keith Ellison and his grifter son Jeremiah Ellison. A dynasty of sleaze and hatred. No thanks.

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I thought I would leave MinnRoast triumphant, superior even, given the stale and retrograde political ideas on display there. There is that, they’re really losing, being bitter, ugly and vicious in the process. Trump has changed everything and that’s no exaggeration. The hardest part of living through an epochal historical time is to both not over read it but not underestimate it.

Still, by the time my drive to the better city of Saint Paul had come to an end, I reflected on what brought these liberals together on a Friday night in April. Fun, on their terms, conviviality. Republicans have our “economic man” gatherings like the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner or the Business Partnership annual dinner, along with the arid destitution that implies.

But we’re far more than economics and these events speak only to a small part of who we are. They exclude culture, they exclude human foibles, they exclude mirth.

However imperfectly, I realized that, Mary to Martha-like, liberals had chosen the better part.

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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor.™ He blogs at MinnesotaConservatives.org and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy. He can be reached at John@alphanewsmn.com

Photo credit: MinnPost

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