From a T-shirt sold by a local entrepreneur

From a T-shirt sold by a local entrepreneur

O bliss! O rapture! The RNC is coming to town. The traffic headaches, the commandeered parking ramps. The cops newly outfitted with tasers. I think I’ll pass, thanks.

But the Republican National Committee is at least providing the locals with a source of mordant amusement, as shown by who and what is getting blogger and media credentials to cover their shindig. The Minnesota Independent (formerly the Minnesota Monitor) applied for credentials and was turned down; the same thing happened to MNBlue. Because, you know, reality has a well-known liberal bias, as Stephen Colbert says.

So who is getting media credentials? Oh, guys like Michael Brodkorb, the alleged "independent" dude who is a paid Republican activist. And the right-wing blogger collective known as Look True North, of which Ed Morrisey (formerly of Captain’s Quarters, now of Michelle Malkin) is a member. Charming individuals, all. Many of them also have local radio shows, as part of the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

But the person who the nation really must see associated with the Republican Brand is a Saint Paul fellow named Tom "Swiftee" Swift. Swiftee’s blog, Pair o’ Dice, was in remission for many months, and it was believed that either he’d gone in for anger-management therapy or he’d finally had that fatal brain embolism that the temper of his writing seemed to presage. But no, he is not only still very much with us, he’s going to be liveblogging the doings at the Xcel Center.

To understand what a big deal this is, one has to know a little bit about Swiftee’s history. Put on your gas masks.

For instance, here we have Swiftee being caught at one of his favorite pastimes, the fine internet art of ‘name-stealing’, or pretending to be somebody you don’t like and trying to cause trouble while doing so. As the proprietor of the blog that caught him at it said:

Swiftee, you have the ability to post whatever you want about me. You’ve already targeted me at work. I’ve gotten disciplined for it. You have no idea what the quality of my work is – and it’s not really your business. You are not my supervisor.

So at this point, you are banned from Dump Bachmann for two weeks. This has nothing to do with banning your opinion. It’s banning you because you harrass other commenters and me.

Gee, sounds like Swiftee’s the sort of right-wing trollie that hunts you down and lies about you to your boss. (And, apparently, to other people as well.) Whatta guy! Yet as Mark Gisleson pointed out, Swiftee’s bad behavior doesn’t stop pretty much every local right-wing blogger from linking to him, if not outright teaming up with him.

Of course, it could be that they love him so much because he’s so loyal to the cause and the Stainless Banner. It’s telling to see what happens when he swings into action to defend his political allies — as he did last fall when his good buddy Andy Aplikowski, the proprietor of the Residual Forces blog (and also a credentialed RNC media attendee) tried to back away from some of his wilder statements in an interview for Minnesota Monitor. As you’ve probably guessed, Aplikowski isn’t himself the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. As Jeff Fecke, the person who interviewed Aplikowski, said upon making available the full interview transcript: "I’m not sure what the GOP gains by one of its district chairs willfully misleading a reporter, and would frankly question whether Andy is just backing quickly off of some of the statements he made. But the transcript is up, if anyone wants to see it." Then again, since trolling and dirty tricks are a staple of the modern Republican Party, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

You can just imagine how lovely the first week of September is going to be around here, can’t you?