Like CNN & Fox News covering a landmark healthcare ruling, I may have jumped the gun on a political verdict I put down earlier this week. In my article on Pleasantville extra and mutant Reaganite Paul Ryan’s bid for the vice presidency, I claimed that Wisconsin had leaped far into the ascendency of the race for craziest f**king state in the union. To the fine people of Minnesota, I sincerely apologize. I should never for a moment doubted your lunacy. And, if you are a Minnesotan or Wisconsinite, I hope you don’t take this as a denunciation of your fair state. Far from it, in fact. I just got back from two days in Minneapolis-St. Paul and it is one of my absolute favorite places to go in America. I’m a Midwestern boy who somehow found himself on the East Coast and is currently plotting an elaborate escape plan back. That being said, it doesn’t mean that the places you love can’t be completely unhinged.
Minnesota’s political lunacy isn’t exactly a new development. Put simply, the state doesn’t make any damn sense. In the last half of the 20th century, the state was a breeding ground for failed Democratic presidential ambition. The unfortunately named Hubert H. Humphrey unsuccessfully ran for the office three times in ’52, ’60 & finally in ’68 after serving as VP under Lyndon Johnson. Beside Hummphrey in that ’68 election was fellow Minnesotan Gene McCarthy who gained notoriety as the first Democratic candidate to come out against the war in Vietnam. Although he would lose the nomination to Triple H, that wouldn’t stop him from unsuccessfully running for president 5 times in his political career. The last worst hope for a Minnesotan president came in the form of Walter Mondale, who could neither find the beef nor many electoral votes in 1984. Mondale would have been completely skunked had it not been for his carrying his home state. As a matter of fact, Minnesota owns the honorable distinction of being the only state conscionable enough to vote against Ronald Reagan in both presidential elections, which is what makes their recent behavior so unnerving.
In the past 15 years, Minnesota has elected a egomaniacal, balding conspiracy theorist as their governor and put SNL’s Stuart Smalley in the U.S. Senate. They have been so disjointed that they have unleashed virulent homophobe, islamophobe & amateur clown Michelle Bachmann on the House of Representatives while simultaneously being the first state to elect an openly Muslim politician, the 6th district’s Keith Ellison, to represent them on Capitol Hill. Minnesota is alarmingly bi-polar and there is a potential for a major psychotic break brewing in the state’s 1st district.
His name is Allen Quist and he is utterly psychotic. Last night, Quist defeated his equally deranged Republican challenger Mike Parry in a primary to win the nomination for this November’s congressional race with incumbent Democrat Tim Walz. To say that Quist is crazy is to insult crazy people. This man is the Mr. Miyagi of crazy. Think I’m overreacting? This is the man who gave Michelle Bachmann her start in the early nineties and taught her everything her lazy face knows. Allen Quist is the Splinter of crackpot neo-conseravatism in the Midwest. To give you just a sampling of his wisdom, Quist once said in a now notorious 1994 interview that he believed that men have a “genetic predisposition” to be the heads of their households1. On the plus side, he is acknowledging that people’s traits are guided by genetic composition and not, say, the tears of Christ
This is not to say that Mr. Quist is on good standing with science…or anything that happened during or after The Enlightenment, for that matter. The man has the same respect for the scientific method that an IRA member would have for the House of Lords. He is on record as saying that, not only did dinosaurs co-exist with humans for thousands of years, but they were around as recently as the 11th century in Southeast Asia. His rationale for such a statement, as put forth in a series of online curriculum supplements designed to turn the human brain into a catatonic lump of goo, is that since there is a carving of something that looks like a Stegosaurus in an ancient temple in Cambodia, that they had to have existed at the same time. You know, because Cambodians are apparently incapable of abstract thought and can only draw things they have actually seen before. Using the same logic, it seems that the Ancient Egyptians lived amongst advanced hybrid creatures with the bodies of people and the heads of dogs and birds. It would also stand to reason that the Ancient Greeks lived amongst a race of goatmen and that the Mayans were at mercy of crazy serpent people. Oh, and it might be good to mention at this point that Quist believes that the Book of Job scientifically proves the existence of dragons. Now you might be thinking, if you are a truly giving soul, that maybe he was just referring to large lizards like Komodo Dragons and the like. This is how the Book of Job describes the creature:
By his sneezings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
Out of his nostril goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.
His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth2.
So, the man believes in fire-breathing dragons…and wants to make them a part of the Minnesota state science curriculum. Actually, to be fair, Quist claims that the fire breathing it is figurative and that the beast described in Job is a “picture perfect depiction of SuperCroc”3, which is the nickname of a recently discovered fossil skeleton found in the Sahara Desert and believed to be a ginormous ancestor of modern day crocodiles. It’s good to know that he’s stolen Doc Brown’s DeLorean and travelled back three or four thousand years to talk to the guy who first transcribed the word of God into the Book of Job, but it doesn’t change the fact there’s no science in comparing a bible chapter to a pile of fossilized dinosaur bones.
Naturally, Quist passes with flying colors when it comes to the anti-abortion and anti-gay portions of the socially conservative triumvirate. He is aggressively anti-abortion to the point that when his then six and a half months pregnant wife was killed in a car accident, Quist insisted that there be an open casket funeral with the stillborn child placed in his wife’s arms. And don’t get him started on the gays. Oh lord, will he go on and on about how our public schools are trying to brainwash kids into being accepting and tolerant of the homosexual and the ways in which the gays are slowly infiltrating our communities with the intention of spreading their blasphemous ways amongst god fearing straight folk. He once compared a gay counseling clinic at a local Minnesota university with the Ku Klux Klan and demanded that it become state law that all engaged couples undergo an AIDS test so that the gays didn’t spread the disease among the hetero population.
However, the most bizarre thing I’ve come across in looking at Quist’s past is that he once did some investigative reportage in a Mankato, MN adult bookstore to, in his words, “check out whether it included a serious public health risk.”4 He then proceeded to head back to Minnesota House of Representatives and regale them with tales of the depravity he witnessed, including, “booths for ‘anonymous, multi-partner sodomy’ and ‘body fluids’ on the floor.”5 I don’t really know what Mr. Quist expected to find in an adult bookstore that would have necessitated reconnaissance. It was the early 1990s and Al Gore hadn’t given the masses the internet yet, so the ‘bating booth business was still in full swing. I would’ve been shocked if I went into a shady adult bookstore back then and didn’t find dudes having sodomy-filled orgies in unhygienic back rooms. But apparently, Quist found this all so reprehensible that he insisted on rambling on about it in the Minnesota House ad nauseum, which was not out of the norm for him. A senate leader suggested in a 1994 interview with the St. Petersburg Times that Quist was obsessed with sex, noting that he had spent over 30 hours during a single session of congress on the topic.
In the end, Quist has managed to do one thing that even President Obama is yet to accomplish: he has united some Republicans & Democrats. Former Minnesota governor and lifelong Republican Arne Carlson, whom Quist unsuccessfully ran against in the 1994 gubernatorial race, is supporting the incumbent Democratic representative from Minnesota’s 1st district, Tim Walz in this November’s election. When asked about his experience running against Quist in ’94, all Carlson could say is that he had “a very bizarre record,” opining that what was bizarre back then seems to be commonplace within the Republican party today. If we’re lucky, the only thing that will be commonplace about this November’s election is the sound of Allen Quist giving an early evening concession speech.
1Quote courtesy of City Pages & Twin Cities Reader: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2012/07/allen_quist_under_renewed_fire_for_men_are_genetically_predisposed_to_lead_family_remark.php
2Job 41: 18-21 Taken from the 21st Century King James Bible.
Categories: US Politics