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Hapless Republican fights Lakeville's Alice Mann on immigration, regrets it

Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville) is a doctor, a Brazilian immigrant, and not to be fucked with lightly.

Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville) is a doctor, a Brazilian immigrant, and not to be fucked with lightly. MN House television

That thing where you quote someone hypothetically, then come through with a twist at the end by saying "said no one, ever," is a fun joke construction, and should maybe be used more often.

That said, you don't expect someone to pull it off on the floor of a state legislature, let alone to stick the landing and get laughs.

Folks? Meet Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville), if you haven't already. Mann is a doctor, Brazil-born immigrant, progressive, mother of three sons, first-term legislator, and, as of Friday, accomplished dunk-on-your-enemies joke teller.

The setup here is that the Minnesota House was passing a bill to allow everyone trying to drive legally in this state to obtain a driver's license. Broadly unnecessary Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) doesn't care for immigrants, which makes sense, as he's proven he also doesn't know much about them. (Or other people/places/things.)

As the bill received a final floor hearing in the House, Drazkowski challenged Mann directly, attempting to pin some damaging claims of future woes on the freshman legislator. In response, the family practice physician tried her hand at surgery, cutting Drazkowski down to size with a funny, smart, compassionate response.

If "Draz," as some know (and don't love) him, was initially concerned about the number of undocumented people in this state, we're willing to bet by the end of Mann's opening lines he wished he could get safe passage to another territory. Maybe Iowa, or one of the Dakotas -- really, anywhere he wasn't  going to get owned like this in public, and on a recording that will remain available for the rest of his days in the legislature and life.

Mann's opening lines are the shot, the sharp and slightly bitter elixir that will get you a little woozy. The speech that follows is the smooth, sustaining chaser. We suggest you enjoy both equally.

When she's done, a suddenly less-bullish Drazkowski replies that Mann was a "legal immigrant," and that he himself had "married a legal immigrant."

Picture her somewhere, cringing.

For the record, the bill -- authored by House Majority Leader/attorney/white person Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-St. Louis Park -- passed 74-52. Its proponents have repeatedly explained how giving licenses to undocumented/immigration-status-in-the-works Minnesotans would allow them to 1) obtain insurance and 2) not drive under the immediate and intense dread of facing a deportation hearing whenever they get pulled over.

House Dems have also included the idea in a larger transportation bill, though the Republican-controlled Senate hasn't given it much thought. They should, though we would advise against saying some dumb shit about it within earshot of Alice Mann. She's already developing a reputation as quick to fire back, and will, we suspect, not be trifled with lightly from now on.

"Pick fights with people who are funnier and smarter than you and have access to a microphone in a public forum," said no one, ever.