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When his pregnant wife died in a car accident in 1986, (Republican candidate Allen) Quist had the six-and-a-half-month-old fetus placed in his wife's arms in an open casket at the funeral.
Wow. I didn't know that about Minnesota congressional candidate Allen Quist. And there's a bunch of other things I didn't know about Quist in a profile that appears in Mother Jones article that appeared this week. (See the link below.)

People who follow Minnesota politics know that Quist was a key figure in bringing the state's evangelical right into partisan politics. They know Quist's longstanding relationship with the state's most prominent politician, Michele Bachmann. (Quist's wife is a longtime Bachmann staffer, a staffer who's never been replaced despite Bachmann's notorious penchant for turnover.)

But did you know that Quist "believes that humans and dinosaurs may have coexisted in Southeast Asia as late as the 11th century?"

There's a bunch of stuff like that, in this MoJo profile...

Bachmann's name is all over this profile of Quist (eight mentions, including the headline.) But it's not an article about her, it's all about Quist.

Who was the source? Well, former Minnesota governor Arne Carlson is quoted extensively, and he and Quist are long time foes. But where did all the oppo research on Quist come from?

The biggest threat to Quist's congressional effort is inside the Republican Party. It's the loathsome Mike Parry, another ultraright Republican who scrubs his tweets when the media notices they're racist.

The contest between Quist and Parry for the GOP nomination has been extraordinarily bitter. There was endless battle between their Republican supporters at the nomination event this year. (The MoJo story notes that evangelical conservative Quist--not Parry--had the support of the Ron Paulites present. We wrote about that at the Minnesota Progressive Project blog. We discovered that by looking at tweets and blog posts from Quist fans during the event.)

The nomination event was an epic struggle between right wing nut candidates. Parry ignored repeated on-the-spot debate challenges from Quist. Ballots for both candidates were cast until their supporters were actually requested to leave the building...

And no result; the struggle continues inside the GOP. So you have to wonder: did Parry's camp dump a bunch of Quist oppo research at Mother Jones for this piece?

Or did some uncredited blogger hand the Quist stories to MoJo?

...Quist provides scientific evidence for the existence of dragons, and suggests that the Book of Job be taught as a science lesson: "Today we know beyond a reasonable doubt—Job 41 is a picture-perfect description of SuperCroc."
Parry's argument would be that Quist is unelectable; that Walz would triumph against a guy who says he believes in dragons, etc. (The problem for Parry there is that a very significant number of Minnesota Republican activists also believe in dragons, etc.)

Quist was considered "washed up," a kind of wannabe candidate who's been around for decades without any notable campaign success. But in the current Minnesota political environment, I'm not so sure that Quist is washed up.

Bachmann endorsed Quist, and her name goes far in tea party and evangelical circles. As an evangelical conservative puppet, she has an interest in seeing the nomination go to Quist. As a tea party queen, Parry is more than acceptable to her. But she went with Quist. Was it Bachmann's loyalty to Quist and the conservative evangelical movement? Or her sincere belief that a nut like Quist can beat the Democratic incumbent?

Probably the former, is my guess. Bachmann was probably instructed by her national mentors in the conservative evangelical movement to support Quist. It's my position that Bachmann's positions are determined by people outside the state.

I often write about the composition of the current Minnesota state legislature. It's now riddled with Bachmann supporters and imitators whose politics would have made them unelectable at the time that Allen Quist began his political career. And remember that evangelical conservative Rick Santorum won the state GOP's presidential primary, defeating Mitt Romney easily.

All of that indicates the sea change in the state's GOP; the fact that conservative evangelicals are now able to dominate Minnesota GOP activist circles. That means that the nutty, angry evangelical Quist is more viable now than ever as a GOP candidate.

Maybe some liberal or progressive Minnesota blogger leaked the weird but true stories about Quist to MoJo. (If so, the blogger did that without asking for credit. That's the way to be, in my book.)

Or maybe the reporter did some old-fashioned reporting and dug up the facts about Quist's extreme views himself.

In any case, you gotta read this stuff. The Minnesota Republican Party now considers Quist viable-- with his bizarre worldview and his dragons and his alternative reality. No one in the state's GOP is coming out in public and calling Quist "nuts."

That's more proof of the big drop in the state GOP's standards of sanity. And it's already reflected in the composition of the state house and the state's congressional delegation. The nuts are already winning.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Someone who thinks DragonHeart (5+ / 0-)

    is a documentary wants to run for Congress.

    Oh how wonderful.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu May 17, 2012 at 12:08:54 PM PDT

  •  She's paying back. Her letter says so. (3+ / 0-)

    Yeah, it's the super-secret government plan to plan a super-secret plan, or something. A conspiracy theorists' wet dream.

    As this crap keeps going on and on, I just get more and more confused. These idiots just won't go away. They think the voices in their heads come from Gawd, for sure.

    One would think that Governor Jesse "conspiracy theorist" Ventura would have had an effect. Apparently, it only served to make them double-down on the crazy.

    In April, she sent out a letter to her vast fundraising network asking followers to support Quist's bid. "The reason our organization did so much good was largely because of Allen's intellectual firepower and courage," Bachmann wrote, referring to her anti-Profile roots. "Many thousands of Minnesota students owe a huge debt of gratitude to Allen for his highly successful work with EdWatch." (MREC had since rebranded itself EdWatch in an effort to reach a national audience.) In her book, Core of Conviction, she praises Quist for blowing the whistle on the federal government's plan for "central planning."
    And just what "intellectual firepower" is she talking about?
    Then, in the late 1990s, Quist passed the torch. A longtime opponent of any centralized educational system, Quist was energized by the implementation of the Profile of Learning, an attempt to bring the state into compliance with federal curriculum standards. He and Julie formed a nonprofit, the Maple River Education Coalition (MREC), to push for the Profile's repeal. In Bachmann, they found a charismatic spokeswoman for the movement.

    With Quist providing much of the intellectual grist, the MREC argued that the Profile was a step toward a United Nations takeover of Minnesota. International Baccalaureate, the global Advanced Placement program, was brainwashing by another name. "Sustainability" was a euphemism for a future dystopia in which humans would be confined to public-transit-oriented urban cores. Schools would be breeding grounds for "homosexual indoctrination." Even math was under assault by the forces of moral relativism.

    In 2000, Bachmann won election to the state Senate with help from the MREC and the Quists. When Bachmann ascended to Congress six years later, Julie Quist joined her, serving as the congresswoman's district director until 2011.

    Yeah, right. Math is an evil plot contrary to Gawd. They've literally argued that 2+2 isn't 4.

    There is no rational explanation for irrational behavior. I can only watch the sideshow and urge others to vote appropriately.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu May 17, 2012 at 01:58:46 PM PDT

  •  Oh Yeah (3+ / 0-)

    my mother quit the republican party when Quist told her she couldn't be a catholic and a christian.  

    If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

    by Nada Lemming on Thu May 17, 2012 at 02:43:05 PM PDT

  •  He's challenging DFL's Tim Waltz. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    Has anybody seen any poll numbers on that?

    It's a swing district, with a CPVI of R+1.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

    by Kimball Cross on Thu May 17, 2012 at 03:56:30 PM PDT

  •  Ah yes, Allen Quist. His next, and possibly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    current wife had 2, count them 2 abortions before she met either Allen or Jesus and then became a fervent anti-abortionist holy-roller.

    If women choose abortion, that is their right; what I find enraging is the hypocrisy.

    And then came 1994 when the Rs took over the legislature and Minnesota began its sad slide into the muck.

  •  Well, that's just creepy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    Makes the thing about Santorum taking a fetus home for the kids to mourn look almost normal.  Or not.

    Burying a child or fetus with a mother isn't all that unusual, but showing it at the wake is, um, creepy in the extreme.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Thu May 17, 2012 at 06:51:40 PM PDT

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