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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

MN House Targets Protest

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 02/22/17 16:21

by Dave Mindeman

The Minnesota House Republican protest bill is wrong in so many ways.

To single out protesters in a public safety context is ridiculous. Personally, I don't condone blocking freeways. It is dangerous and shouldn't happen. But I understand the need to get people to pay attention.

But the real thing is this. Any blocking of the freeway for any reason is already illegal. It already has consequences. Years ago, truckers were protesting increased fees and did convoys that slowed interstate traffic to a crawl. The police charged people. They made arrests. It was difficult to break this up, but nobody said it was NOT a public safety issue.

And, we did not suddenly bring forth legislative bills to specifically ban such a practice.

So why are we doing it here? As well as a few other states?

It is because Black Lives Matter was involved. It is just another discriminatory action by Republican majorities. And that is wrong.

There should be no law that targets suppression of protest - and believe me, that is what is happening here, because the debate on this bill specifically targets protesters with penalties that are unsustainable - and probably would never hold up on appeal.

Rep. Pat Garofalo and Rep. Kathy Lohmer are the main proponents. Here is Garofalo's reasoning....

Garofalo repeatedly said he was concerned about ambulances not being able to reach hospitals, in addition to the risk to both protesters and drivers on the high-speed routes. Garofalo did add, "I would be open to conversation to making sure this is focused on corridors of commerce, freeways and freeway ramps."

We already have laws that give consequences for impeded emergency vehicles and flow of commerce. Protests are only one of many potential possibilities. But when you single out protesters and increase the penalties BECAUSE OF THEIR RECENT ACTIONS, you are treading on free speech grounds.

This is wrong - and the MN House Republicans should be ashamed.
comments (0) permalink

I Pledge Full Support To The Next DNC Chair

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 02/21/17 17:23

by Dave Mindeman

Ladies and gentleman...I do not care who comes out of the meeting this weekend as DNC chair. Doesn't matter. Just want somebody coming out of there, fired up and ready to go.

I don't want to hear about factions or divisions or purity or even principle. I want somebody that will work hard for the entire party and focus on the other party and not have to deal with internal strife.

Democrats got cheated in the last election. And for some of it, we only have ourselves to blame. The consequences have been severe, but maybe the lesson learned here is that, yes, we are the majority party, but we have let the Republicans manipulate the vote, manipulate the mechanics, and then manipulate us away from what is important.

NO MORE OF THAT.

Whoever emerges from the DNC meeting as the Party Chair has my 100% full support. They don't have to ask for it. They have it. We have to make the next two years our hardest effort...ever. I don't want to hear about an enthusiasm gap anymore. I don't want to hear about our candidates not being good enough. I don't want to hear about this issue being more important than that issue.

It is about taking back the reigns of power. Getting Republicans out of the driver's seat and back to what they are good at...whining in the minority.

Pledge to yourself, that you will fight for candidates and beliefs but when the final election showdown comes, that you will support Democrats, and only Democrats. That is the only way we can take back our government. It is the only way we can have meaningful debates about our own differences.

This next election is a fight like no other. It is now not only about our Party, it is about saving our country from one party, one person rule.

Pledge to be ready. Pledge to get on board. And good luck to the next DNC Chairperson - we are with you.
comments (2) permalink

Where Were You?

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 02/21/17 12:46

by Dave Mindeman

As Trump's new immigration policies sweep the nation, I can appreciate the anger and distress that has shown itself in demonstrations and public meetings.

But my question is this....Where were you?

This sense of urgency was not found prior to November 8th. This anger at Trump's ideas didn't seem to be manifesting itself. Where were you?

Was it a sense of complacency? Was it ideological purity? Was it just plain laziness? I don't know. During the last days of the campaign, my worry level kept increasing.

It is not like he didn't tell us what he was going to do. It's not like he hid any of it. We saw the bigotry and racism. We knew it was there. Yet, somehow, the sense of urgency never came.

Granted...I and a lot of others still never believed that he could actually be President. I'm still convinced that he didn't think so himself. But a person that said the things he did and the extreme ideas he espoused should have made us angry enough to at least vote...at least vote to defeat him directly.

But that did not happen.

I am encouraged by the flurry of activity that has happened since. Maybe it took something like this to awaken the collective progressive mind. But we are playing from a defensive position...and a weak one at that.

Heading toward 2018, we need to pocket our differences on the left. We need to stop thinking in terms of dominant "wings" of the Democratic Party.

This is an all hands on deck moment.

We let this happen and we sure as hell better get together to fix it.
comments (2) permalink

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