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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Zellers and Dean And That River In Egypt

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/07/12 19:06

by Dave Mindeman

Republicans in Minnesota are in a constant state of denial.

Zellers and Dean gave a news conference in which they claim they cannot understand how they could have lost on Tuesday. It all escapes them, the voters were either misinformed, duped, lied to, or possibly just stupid.

Here are some of the rejoinders....

?If you?re the owner of a business, look forward to higher taxes,? said Zellers.

You just lost both Houses of the legislature and you are still going back to talking points?

Republican leaders claimed they were outspent.

When you bankrupt your state party with financial malfeasance...yeah, there is a chance you would be outspent.

?We don?t have fat-cat donors,? said Zellers, who announced that he would not be seeking a minority leadership position.

That was pretty much a delusional statement.

Zellers and Dean claimed that the DFL candidates really didn?t campaign on how they?ll govern. ?They had a message of running against us,? said Zellers.

I don't know how many times the Democrats have to say we need a balanced approach before Republicans get the translation. And of course, they were running against you....who were you running against, Mr. Zellers?

So what happened?

?It?s up to a lot of college professors [to explain the election outcome],? Zellers said. ?They have to justify their big salaries.?

Maybe you'd better listen to them, Mr. Zellers....because eventually you will have to figure this out.


Zellers repeatedly said the amendments weren?t ?our message.? The GOP campaign message he said was balancing the budget without raising taxes and in making the Minnesota business climate more competitive.

So, why then, did you put gay marriage and voter ID front and center? No one else put them there. You did...the GOP did.

That news conference was just one more point that proves the GOP was never fit to govern. Politics always trumped policy.

And now we know, there is a price to pay for that.
comments (1) permalink
11/08/12 11:28
I'll have to admit the quote from Zellers, "We dont' have fat cat donors, was pretty stunning and downright hillarious. However, the Republican blame game mirrors all the previous aftermaths of DFL losses in the past. They have more money... they lied... we had better candidates... if only people understood the issues... Blah, blah, blah, blah...

The most important thing for the DFL leadership to refrain from is conflating "overreaching" with laying down on the ground like door mats for the Republicans. Democrats were thrown out in 2010 in part because of a national wave election that had more to do with Healthcare. But just as importantly, they were thrown out in part because they continue to act as human door mats by agreeing to whatever Republicans demand, no matter how destructive and ridiculous.

Overreaching would be to open the Legislative session introducting social issue bills. Actual governing as statesmen would be to assess what is really best for all Minnesotans and fight like heck to pass them. As Doris Kerns Goodwin said this morning, you have to engage the base to ensure good lines of communication for the public support of their initiatives. They didn't get voted in to act like Republicans. If they do that, they will be thrown out again.

They should be concentrating on things such as ending the revenue accounting games, instituting fair revenue systems by shifting tax burdens from property to income, reducing court fees ensuring everyone has the same access to civil dispute resolutions, finding a more permanent revenue stream for transportation and less discriminatory school funding systems.

In addition, they should be insituting some common sense consumer protections to ensure all citizens are not being unfairly exploited and financially drained by by corporate monopolistic schemes. And just as importantly, assessing the needs of true small businesses and manufacturing to ensure we are competitive.

To govern as statesmen, the DFL leadership needs to learn how to fight back effectively by being prepared with the facts when Republicans try to say being competitive is only about taxes and regulations. It is high time the Leaders, with the help from the DFL base, educate the public that different taxes and regulations have different effects on competitiveness. Competitiveness is also having a talented labor pool, means of research and development, a legislative understanding of when public/private partnerships should be formed, etc.

Furthermore, a state's ability to attract and retain business is not all about taxes and regulations, if it were California and New York would have no commerce and Minnesota's economic past would have been as bad as Mississippi's historic realities.

While there is always a law of diminishing returns in cutting or raising any regulations and taxes, for the most part raising income tax for the revenue needs of the state actually spurs economic growth by businesses taking measures to reduce their taxable income, such as hiring workers and reinvesting in business equipment, marketing, advertising, etc., thereby creating more diverse and growing sources of revenue.

Don't let your leaders be door mats.


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