All these posts throughout my little “Barnstorming” series had me curious where I’d been (and how much I’d written): twenty-seven cities, thirty-plus archives, and almost 22,000 miles on my Ford Focus later. [Update: Happy 2019! I’ve added a few cities and a couple blog posts. Oh, and the car is about 500 miles shy of 70,000 that I’ve put on since May 2017. Enjoy!]
Two of the biggest symbols in my dissertation are Paul Wellstone’s green bus and Russ Feingold’s painted garage. But they tapped into a deeper tradition of symbols and rhetoric in Midwestern liberalism, and I needed to go to southern Illinois to trace that backwards.
Abortion, tensions with Native Americans, anti-labor sentiments, and rurality…and northern Wisconsin stayed in the Democratic column from 1969 until 2011. Why? I headed to Stevens Point, in part, to fill in my dissertation with two striking figures in Wisconsin political history, Dave Obey and Lee Dreyfus, known for different reasons: longevity and disruption, respectively.
Recapping my three trips (from November 2017 to August 2018) to Fargo and Moorhead, I’m committing one of the sins that I swore I wouldn’t commit during the fits and starts of this Barnstorming series — lumping interstate city clusters together. I held off for Duluth-Superior, in part because of the wide disparity in political experience between the Twin Ports (and in part because I wrote nothing for Duluth…yet). But we turn to sugar beet country, and time and tide…
We talk a lot in today’s day and age about the rural-urban divides that plague American politics. But where do those divides come from? Can we pinpoint their genesis?
What was, in February, an issue among Minnesota DFLers and progressives has suddenly become emblematic of the debate happening nationwide; this time, it centers on the legacy of Paul Wellstone and the Wellstone Action Foundation. MinnPost, MPR, and national outlets made news in mid-February with reports that Wellstone’s two sons, Mark and David, had been voted off the governing board of the progressive action organization which, according to its past mission statements, worked at “advancing progressive social change and economic justice.”…
Yesterday Minnesota Golden Gophers football went live with a new website revealing their new uniform colors and branding for the 2018 season, promising to embrace the past while creating a new future of Gopher football. Their embrace of the past, however, is lukewarm at best, hilariously misguided at worst.
Travel to Des Moines, meet a politician you’re writing a dissertation about, visit the mecca of modern Midwestern marketing. It was a good two weeks.
I was supposed to take a trip to Bismarck this summer after my journey through Grand Forks into Canada, but travel and driving fatigue led me to skip it in favor of a week in River Falls. My punishment was leaving for Bismarck at 3:15am on January 2.
Amid calls from dozens of Democratic lawmakers in Washington for Minnesota Senator Al Franken (DFL) to resign in the wake of allegations of sexual assault and harassment, the Minnesota DFL must tread lightly in the upcoming months as it faces the potential for contesting three statewide elections in 2018 if Franken resigns. In addition to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s re-election bid and the wide-open DFL gubernatorial race, a special election for Franken’s seat (again, this is all predicated on him resigning)…