The first thing that comes across in this video is that Keith Ellison is an extraordinary spinmeister who’s skilled in the art of building straw men:
Here’s a partial transcript of Rep. Ellison’s opening:
We have a big challenge in front of us now. When I think of the challenge, it is a challenge, it’s simply a challenge between those of us who embrace community and those that say that you’re on your own, those that believe that our government has a responsibility to make the rules fair, promote equality and protect us and those that believe that it’s all about giving as much money as you can to the wealthy and taking as much as you can from the poor.
Rep. Ellison doesn’t believe a word he said. He doesn’t think that Republicans steal from the poor and give to the wealthy.
Rep. Ellison knows that his schtick is pure class warfare, which is what people who don’t have appealing ideas resort to.
First, from a philosophical standpoint, “the poor” don’t have enough money to rip off to make “the rich” wealthy. Small businesses don’t sit around thinking ‘how can I rip off the masses so I can be filthy rich’?
Only an idiot would think that. Keith Ellison isn’t an idiot. He’s probably corrupt but he isn’t stupid.
Rep. Ellison’s speech is classic progressivism. Progressives think that the poor need government to level the playing field because the rich are skilled at ripping off the poor.
Why don’t progressives like Rep. Ellison ponder the possibility that the poor make too many wrong financial decisions? Why don’t progressives like Rep. Ellison ponder the possibility that the poor make too many impulsive decisions that waste money?
The conservatives that I know think that people that make good decisions, that don’t make impulsive decisions, will prosper if government a) provides basic services and b) gets out of the way.
Rep. Ellison didn’t stop there. He had this to say about Photo ID:
If you look at America, our great country, we have seen an expanding right to vote, increasing the right for people to participate and to choose their government. And so, today, this voter ID bill is an ugly stain on our trajectory, on our right to vote, expanding the franchise for everyone.
Rep. Ellison apparently is excusing the DFL from staining their trajectory while expanding the franchise to vote. At the DFL’s state convention, the DFL voted to not allow absentee balloting at their 2016 presidential straw poll because they worried aloud that there’d be voter fraud. That isn’t speculation. That’s captured on film forever.
Ellison can bluster all he’d like but the reality is that, if he wants to be intellectually honest, he’d have to condemn the delegates he’s addressing for limiting the franchise.
Those delegates worried about voter fraud. Here’s what Chuck Repke said at the DFL State Convention:
I agree with the person who made the amendment. You’re setting yourself up for absolute insanity at the caucus level. The potential exists for someone from the Citizens United type to pack our caucuses with bought and paid for ballots. Absolutely guarantee the destruction of the precinct caucus process. There is no way to protect against that, folks, because we allow anyone to attend the caucus. We would therefore also have to let any absentee ballot to attend our precinct caucuses, regardless of which Koch Brother paid for it.
Chuck Repke admitted that the current absentee ballot system is vulnerable to voter fraud. While he didn’t admit that requiring photo ID would fix absentee ballot voter fraud, that’s the only change that will prevent absentee ballot voter fraud.
Rep. Ellison is a disgrace. First, he says outright that Republicans want to steal from the poor, who have nothing, to give to the rich, the people that have everything. Next, he suggests, unwittingly, that the DFL admitted the current election system is corruptible because it doesn’t use Photo ID.
The reality is that Rep. Ellison would make a first rate carnival huckster.