Wednesday, August 23, 2006

NonMonkey Can Teach Us a Lot About Wishful Thinking Based on Anecdotal Evidence

A dimwitted boy once walked into an ethnic mercado in South Minneapolis. All the signs inside were written in Spanish. The customers and employees all spoke to each other in Spanish. This whole scene caused the dimwitted boy to earnestly wonder how he wound up in Mexico.

On a wholly unrelated topic, NonMonkey wandered into Wayzata yesterday:

Like George W. Bush, I am unfamiliar with Bracketts Point Road in Wayzata. Unlike the president, I wasn't invited to visit Tuesday.

That's because nobody likes you. So there.

So when I drove up to a traffic barricade that blocked off most of the road hours before the president arrived for a fundraiser, I turned my car around and pulled into the driveway of a home that had a sailboat in the back yard, a family of ducks swimming along the shore and a dog named Max that came to bark at me.

That's when I noticed something I thought I'd never see on Bracketts Point: signs protesting a Republican president

Yeah, because everybody knows that Wayzata went 100% for Bush in 2004.

Oh wait: it only went 54% for Bush.

And NonMonkey's preconceived notions come crashing down around him.

We live in strange times.

Bracketts Point is the heart of the Republican vineyard, a prestigious address in the state's most generous political gift-giving ZIP code (55391, which means Wayzata). The president's visit drummed up a half-million dollars for Republican congressional candidate Michele Bachmann. But a protest against George Bush here? That's like finding a Baptist information table at the Vatican.

...Or not, when you consider that 44% of Wayzatans were brain damaged enough to vote for Kerry.

I rang the doorbell and introduced myself to Betsy Hannaford, whose yard was sporting the protest signs. She said I shouldn't have been surprised. The Bracketts Point natives are growing restless.

You could almost see the steam rising from Bracketts Point's (scans down the page to see how NonMonkey described the neighborhood) "handful" of homes.

Hannaford, 49, describes herself as "a reformed Republican." While her husband, Jule, has contributed to the campaigns of George Bush and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, she, in recent years, has contributed mostly to Democrats, including to Amy Klobuchar's campaign for the U.S. Senate.

She still calls herself a Republican. But she says she is a "reformed" one. And that the president has "reformed" her.

"I'm no longer voting that way," she said, meaning Republican. And she said she isn't the only "reformed" Republican.

"People have issues with Mr. Bush," she said. "I think people are troubled by the war, his energy policies, a host of things. And his position on choice."

"His position on...



Excuse me - I'm laughing too hard to type right now...

[45 minutes later...]

You know, I -

[Laughs hysterically for another half-hour.]

You know what? I'm a "reformed Democrat". Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of us reformed Democrats who are troubled by the Democratic party's supine national defense policies, their tendency to tax the living shit out of the "rich", their belief that "rich" means anyone earning over $45,000 per year, their quasisocialist economic policies, their desire to abrogate the 2nd Amendment, their ongoing assault on the 1st Amendment, their desire to emulate Cuba's health care system, their desire to emulate Cuba, their insistence that Social Security remain a federally mandated Ponzi Scheme, their opposition to school "choice", their constant advocacy for voting rights for felons and dead people, and their position on...


So I'm no longer voting that way.

Er, wait - I never did.


There are only a handful of homes along Bracketts Point, big homes with big lots sweeping down to big water where big boats stand ready. But as far as Hannaford had heard, only two of her neighbors were hoping to see the president.

"I don't know anybody who's going," Hannaford said, nodding toward the end of the leafy peninsula that juts out into Lake Minnetonka between Smith and Browns Bays.

What was the name of the elitist liberal who claimed that she didn't know anybody who voted for Nixon, while everybody else in the country searched for the 12 people that voted for McGovern?

Notice how the word "peninsula" sounds a lot like "insular". Usually NonMonkey picks up on those seemingly all-too-convenient self-serving metaphors.

How did he miss that one?

The protest signs were made by Hannaford's daughter, Mary Connolly, a high school senior. "We Believe in Global Warming" one sign said. "You Should, Too," said the second.

"Believe in" global warming? Like one might believe in, say, angels?

I knew it. The Kyoto Krowd are nothing more than a bunch of lightweights engaging in a sort of nihilistic religion.

The cops wouldn't let Mary put up her polite signs until they could verify that she lived on Bracketts Point. Their heads probably are still spinning. A protest on the point.

Who'da thunk it?

Apparently not NonMonkey. I'll bet his mind (such as it is) would explode if he were to ever find out that there's a Republican in Northeast Minneapolis.

"I don't want to pay $5,000 to have my picture taken so I can have a Christmas card with George Bush's arm around me," said Mary. "And I won't be out there with cookies and lemonade, either. I'm passionate about global warming, and this administration has not recognized it is changing our weather."

And I'm passionate about calling out activists who claim that they're someone who they're not...

Something sure seems to be changing.

Yeah. Nick stopped taking his meds.

The Hannafords received four invitations to attend the $1,000 fundraising event. Two were phone calls from Bachmann, whose campaign in the Sixth District (which does not include Bracketts Point) was the target of the Bush visit. What did you tell Bachmann, I asked Hannaford.

"Nothing," she said. "I didn't talk to her. I never picked up."

So how did she know it was Bachmann if she never picked up the phone? Even assuming she had caller ID, it still could have been a staffer, a recorded message, one of Bachman's stalkers that hacked into her cell phone...

Not picking up your phone. Ouch.

Ouch indeed! This "snub" seems to hit NonMonkey a little too close to home, it seems.

It's not scientific evidence, but maybe the polls are right: Bush and his policies are deep in doo-doo.

Finally, an intelligent observation. Except for the part that shows Bush's numbers rising. Which really is only interesting to you if you use those polls to validate your world view; to comfort yourself that you are a member of the bigger herd because of some deep seated self-confidence deficit.

"My grandparents have been Republicans a long time," Mary Connolly said. "And they look aghast at the idea of going to see the president. We know a lot of people who, at one time, would have attended.

Must be Bush's surprisingly unorthodox position on...


"Now, they're looking around and asking:

" 'Why would I?'"

So that $500,000 Bush raised yesterday came from - where? - those fabulous money trees that must be growing in the western 'burbs?

We'll be watching the precinct reports from Wayzata extra carefully come election night.

UPDATE: Ryan poops on Coleman too, catching some points I missed, and adding fuel to the suspicions that he and I are actually the same person.

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