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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Bachmann's Pal John Kline Has To Go

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 03/13/07 18:59

By Christopher Truscott

There's no shortage of names being tossed about as potential challengers to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. There's a good reason for that, too, as the prom-queenesque former state senator is woefully unqualified for service in Congress.

U.S. Rep. John Kline, however, has somehow managed to escape the label of vulnerable incumbent. There's simply no good reason for that.

When the chips are down, Kline, a self-proclaimed champion of "common-sense Minnesota values," stands with Bachmann each and every time. He's not on the side of Minnesotans. He's carrying water for those who seek to block progress because doing the right thing is either inconvenient or too hard.

On sending more troops into someone else's civil war: Kline stands with Bachmann.

On blindly supporting the failed policies of President George W. Bush: Kline stands with Bachmann.

On raising the federal minimum wage: which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for a decade, Kline stands with Bachmann.

On expanding federal funding for potentially life-saving stem cell research: Kline stands with Bachmann.

On responsible budgeting: Kline stands with Bachmann.

On implementing more of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations: Kline stands with Bachmann.

On reducing interest rates on student loans: Kline stands with Bachmann.

This isn't the record of a Main Street conservative. On black-and-white, right-and-wrong issues, Kline has decided time and time again that supporting his extremist patrons and an out-of-touch White House is more important than standing up for his constituents.

Kline has got to go.

While the congressman doesn't defend "common-sense Minnesota values," the people he represents possess them. The 2nd Congressional District isn't a bastion of hard-right radicalism. It's a pragmatic, middle-of-the-road suburban-rural region where residents want leaders who do the right thing.

Voters can't be blamed for buying the congressman's self promotion. After all, he's effectively used his incumbency and financial advantage to snuff out any opposition, even going to extraordinary lengths to decimate Coleen Rowley's still-born candidacy last summer.

But this doesn't mean he deserves another term in the House of Representatives. It means it's time someone stands up to him because we're good people and shouldn't let a bully win.

It won't be easy, but the most important victories rarely are. It'll take a strong candidate to overcome Kline, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility. Two years ago few would have imagined Tim Walz's upset victory over Gil Gutknecht. Today we're proud of Rep. Walz's service.

The choices facing our leaders are as important as any this side of World War II. We need a representative who stands with us. Kline has made clear that he'll support Bachmann and Bush, no matter what. Isn't it about time we pick sides, too?

More on defeating John Kline

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