Quist And Hagedorn

My e-mail has been on fire recently in the wake of comments made in Dec. 7 (wonder what took so long for the buzz to build) by Allen Quist at the Wabasha County Republicans Christmas party.

Quist, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nod to run against two-term Democratic incumbent Tim Walz and represent Minnesota’s First U.S. Congressional District, has made no secret of his distaste for Walz’s politics, as well as those of President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Quist has also sought to become an articulate voice on what he sees as the folly of the Democrats’ health care reform. In Wednesday’s Daily Globe, Quist noted his finding of a "marriage penalty" in the bills had been noted in The Wall Street Journal, and Quist – to his credit – has been working to demonstrate his views on health care reform with data, and not just hyper-partisan rhetoric.

Quist, however, took that type of political propoganda to a poor level at the aforementioned Christmas party. He has been quoted as saying the following:

"“Our country is being destroyed. Every generation has had to fight the fight for freedom. … Terrorism? Yes. That’s not the big battle. The big battle is in D.C. with the radicals. They aren’t liberals. They are radicals. Obama, Pelosi, Walz: They’re not liberals, they’re radicals. They are destroying our country."

In railing against the health care reform bill, Quist also reportedly said: “This is the most insidious, evil piece of legislation I have ever seen in my life. … Every one of us has to be totally committed to killing this travesty. … I have to kill this bill."

So – to recap. The D.C. "radicals" are more dangerous, and their defeat is more important than defeating terrorism? And the health care reform bill is not merely poor legislation – it’s "insiduous" and "evil"?

I’m interested to see if Quist’s Republican challengers distance themselves from this type of rhetoric, or condemn it. Attacking Democrats on legitimate political grounds for what can be perceived as poor policy is one thing; hailing their defeat as a more important battle than defeating those who have attacked our country and killed our citizens is another entirely. I will also be eager to see if Quist attempts to retreat from – or tries to clarify – these earlier remarks.


Also on the Republican congressional candidate front, I got an e-mail from Jim Hagedorn this week that announced the first of what he called "white papers" that will discuss issues he believes are important to southwest Minnesotans. The following is its text:

“The Islamist terrorists are committed to the literal destruction of the United States and our way of life,” said Hagedorn. “Under the U.S. Constitution, defending our country is the primary function of the federal government, and I believe that defeating Islamic terrorism is the most critical mission confronting our leaders.” “Yet, sadly, given the way President Obama and liberals like Tim Walz are mismanaging the terrorism issue, defeating al Qaeda may be contingent upon reclaiming political power from the liberal Democrats,” said Hagedorn.

Hagedorn highlighted Rep. Tim Walz’s support for President Obama’s closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison; Walz’s suggestion that al Qaeda terrorists be housed in Rochester’s Federal Medical Center; Walz’s opposition to anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism measures used to monitor and intercept enemy communications in Islamic-dominated nations; and Walz’s support for the Obama administration’s policy of “Mirandizing” captured terrorists, as proof of the Congressman’s complete lack of appreciation, understanding, and weakness on the continuing terrorism threat to America.

Hagedorn pledged support for bold counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism actions to apply maximum force upon Islamic terrorists and execute every feasible method to protect American life, liberty, and freedom.

“For Americans, this is not a war of religious ideology, but it is for radical Islamists,” Hagedorn said. “To defeat Islamic terrorism our government must have the laws and courage to treat terrorists like terrorists. Islamic fighters are agents of fear, misery, and suffering. Their immediate goal is to kill Americans, strike fear in American hearts and minds, and destroy the American economy and culture, and ultimately our Nation.”

“Unfortunately, Washington, D.C. continues to let us down,” said Hagedorn. “More than 8 years after the 9-11 attacks, our country’s visa and immigration systems remain in disarray, America’s ports are insufficiently monitored, and our physical borders are routinely penetrated,” he said.

“Additionally, Federal bureaucrat incompetence and a culture of political correctness are getting Americans killed. Proof of this is found in the Ft. Hood murders. Major Hasan should have been removed from his post, but bureaucratic bungling and worries over political correctness contributed to devastating loss of life.”

“By handling terrorist activity as ‘a law enforcement matter,’ rather than ‘an act of war,’ the Obama administration projects weakness and signals an unwillingness to target and destroy the enemy or implement measures to adequately protect the United States,” Hagedorn charged. “Providing Islamic terrorists with American Constitutional rights and the protections afforded American citizens is irresponsible and reckless.” “Terrorists should be given last rites, not Miranda Rights,” Hagedorn said.

“On terrorism and the other key issues, Tim Walz listens only to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the fringe left, and ignores the moderate-to-conservative people of southern Minnesota,” Hagedorn charged. “Tim Walz may have served in the National Guard for 24 years, but obviously that experience has not resulted in informed and intelligent votes on the House floor…and he does not get a pass on those votes because of his service,” said Hagedorn.