A peculiar strain of crazy apparently took over the Republicans' fifth congressional district nominating convention on Saturday. The local members of the party of Lincoln passed a secession resolution on a voice vote:
"Be it resolved the Republican Party of Minnesota supports nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and secession as options to enforce state sovereignty."
"I didn't support it," and it's a position "not widely held," GOP state chair Tony Sutton said this morning. He wasn't at the convention, but he portrayed the vote as a statement of frustration at the passage of health care reform and the growth of the federal government.
A few weeks ago, Republicans in the 2nd congressional district tried to pass a similar resolution, but failed after Sutton -- a Lincoln buff -- reminded them of their party's historical founding on the preservation of the Union.
Pentecostal pastor Joel Demos won the GOP endorsement at the CD5 convention to run against incumbent DFLer Keith Ellison in the fall. When asked about the secession vote this morning, Demos kept to his campaign message: "My focus is jobs and turning around the unemployment that has doubled in Hennepin County during Keith Ellison's tenure."
There's no mention of the secession vote on the GOP CD5 Web site today.
We're pretty sure that the volunteers of the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry who died at Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg and the other blood baths of the Civil War are rolling in their graves.