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Jason Lewis, Trump's 'Mini-Me,' hopes to Make Minnesota Mean Again

While Republicans expect to get crushed in the cities and suburbs, they believe they can do the same in the increasingly conservative countryside.

While Republicans expect to get crushed in the cities and suburbs, they believe they can do the same in the increasingly conservative countryside. Getty

He's predicted race wars, likened gay marriage to rape, and longed for the days he could call women “sluts” again. He's labeled those on government aid “parasites,” and painted creepers as victims, noting, “I detest sexual harassment law.”

This is the resume of Jason Lewis. He wants to be your new U.S. senator.

When we last left our hero, the former congressman was unceremoniously dumped after one term representing the St. Paul suburbs and beyond. Karma had arrived at his door. Lewis was ousted convincingly by a lesbian mother of four, Angie Craig.

Now he's on a new mission, as Politico so aptly headlined a story: “Trump and his Minnesota mini-me set out to flip state red.”

The idea is that Minnesota is changing. While Republicans expect to get crushed in the cities and suburbs, they believe they can do the same in the increasingly conservative countryside. So Trump has dispatched two of his top strategists to help Lewis topple DFL Sen. Tina Smith.

At first glance, he wouldn't seem to offer much to rural Minnesota. He spent his lone term swaddled in the arms of corporate interests, voting for monster tax cuts for the wealthy and trying to strip people of health care coverage. He even made the 20 most purchasable congressmen list.

So he'll follow the Trump playbook of diversionary enemies, bagging on immigrants and conjuring a country under siege, with grand flourishes of foreboding.

"Indeed, the so-called resistance, led by our own Ilhan Omar, with Tina Smith marching in lockstep, seem unaware of our founders' genius in the Constitution," Lewis said in in his video announcement. "Instead, they want to debate whether we ought to even keep it."

You won't find much originality. But as Trump has proved, not much is required. They'll be talk of “socialism” and “radicals,” as in: “Radical political movements are attacking our way of life.” Lewis will man the Senate barricades as “the last firewall for freedom.”

He will cast himself as rural Minnesota's brave defender, though his record of courage leaves something to be desired. When a small band of peaceful, middle-aged protesters once appeared outside his Woodbury home, objecting to his quest to slice their health coverage, Lewis acted as if he'd been surrounded by a Panzer division.

“Violent political threats are serious and starting to spin dangerously out of control,” he wrote for Fox News.

Vague bombast and scare tactics wouldn't seem to offer much to voters, rural or otherwise. And it appears to be losing its luster in Minnesota, where Trump's support has fallen 18 percent since his inauguration. At best, Lewis would resume the role he played in the House, serving as a dutiful social worker to the country's biggest corporations.

But we're also in an era of logic-optional elections. All he has to do is convince enough people that their woes are caused by the brown neighbor down the street, or a diminutive congresswoman from Minneapolis, and we'll get what we deserve.