MOORHEAD, Minn. — While it's always dangerous to count out the possibility of Gov. MyPillow, it appears the star of Trump-loving sedition enthusiast Mike Lindell is a little less bright among Minnesota Republicans these days. Posting wacked-out online videos and getting sued for defamation comes with a price.
Fortunately for the Minnesota GOP, it possesses a deep bench of wackiness.
Meet Dr. Scott Jensen, for example.
The former state senator from the Twin Cities suburb of Chaska is going to run for governor in 2022 — his intentions were leaked last week — and luckily for Republicans his beliefs fit perfectly into the party.
Tim Walz (Democrat) 66% Scott Jensen (Republican) 24% Other 10%
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Tim Walz (Democrat)
Scott Jensen (Republican)
That is to say, Jensen made a national name for himself by being a COVID conspiracy theorist. He even captured the Holy Grail of conservative media — he appeared on Fox News with Laura Ingraham!
Jensen believes the 530,000 American deaths caused by COVID-19 weren't all caused by COVID. Instead, he said, states were artificially inflating virus death tolls to make the pandemic seem worse than it was.
It's all about hospitals profiting off the pandemic and the government controlling the masses, in Jensen's view.
It's tinfoil hat stuff, which now serves as the foundation of the GOP base. COVID is a hoax, the election was stolen from Trump and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz communicates with Antifa socialist BLM aliens through the metal in the eyeglass frames.
OK, the last one is made up. But it fits Jensen's modus operandi, which is to spin wild tales about the pandemic and then couch his zaniness as "just asking questions."
Jensen was, for example, a proponent of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure despite there being no supporting evidence. Strange stance for an M.D. to take. Maybe he's into eye of newt and toe of frog, too. Or Lysol, like another Republican politician of some notoriety.
That's right, Jensen is a doctor. That seems important, especially since Jensen was investigated by the state board of medical practice for spreading misinformation about the death toll and providing "reckless advice" by comparing COVID-19 with the flu, according to the Star Tribune.
This isn't some random pillow salesman playing Dr. Feelgood, this is an actual medical doctor.
Yet, and here's another really odd thing for an M.D., Jensen also hangs out with anti-vaxxers, the fringe crowd that doesn't believe in vaccinating their children against things like measles and chickenpox based on disinformation about safety. So on one hand Jensen believed hydroxychloroquine was a cure for COVID, while on the other he thinks scientifically proven vaccines are sketchy.
This the modern GOP, a party opposed to science and medicine while supportive of conspiracy theories. It ignores facts while pushing misinformation.
Jensen's play is to attack Walz's COVID response, a strange angle since polls consistently show a solid majority of Minnesotans pleased with how the governor's handled things.
To be fair, it might be all Jensen has. When your political brand is the tinfoil hat perched on your head, your options are limited.
Gov. Tinfoil Hat. The Minnesota GOP sure knows how to pick 'em.
Readers can reach Forum News Service columnist Mike McFeely at (701) 451-5655