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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Voting: A Democratic Muscle That Must Be Exercised

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/10/16 11:10

by Dave Mindeman

C'mon Democrats. Elections are about voting. You know that don't you?

Yesterday, in a special election for House District 50B, the Republican won. It was a seat that Ann Lenczewski has held for a long time. It is a district that Obama won by 15%. There was a good Democratic candidate. But the Democrat lost by 130 votes.

What is more disturbing is that Andrew Carlson, the Democrat, got just 2452 votes. Are Democrats lazy? The weather was cold, but not a hindrance. The roads were fine. How hard can it be to just get off the couch and pull the darn lever?

Ann Lenczewski won this district in 2014 by a 2 to 1 margin. She got over 10,000 votes. In 2012, Ann won again by about a 2 to 1 margin, and this time she got nearly 15,000 votes. And yet, when she retires, the Democrats in her district can't even muster 2500?

It really is getting pathetic. Democrats iignore special elections. They act like they don't matter. They seem to think these things magically take care of themselves.

Get your damn act together. I get tired of the petty complaints that Democrats can come up with at meetings and the arguments that happen internally. If all of this is so important to you, then damn it, VOTE!

I have never missed an election in my life. I vote in primaries - even if there is no opponent for my candidate. I vote in school board elections. I take the time to inform myself about referendum. I vote because I love to. I vote because I take pride in it. I vote because this is a democracy.

I dread seeing a special election get scheduled. It doesn't matter when it is, the Republicans will have a base of support that will come out and Democrats just won't.

Republicans were not complacent about this seat. They had doorknocking and lit pieces....they even had outside groups invest in an election that had barely 5,000 votes in it total. But they won. They added one more legislative vote for the 2016 session. They have a bigger majority.

And all because Democrats just sat and watched.

We get angry about the voter suppression that Republicans have been pushing in the states in recent years. But when it comes to voting, Democrats have a bigger problem - inaction.

Voting is a right and a privilege. But it is of absolutely no value unless it is exercised. It is like a muscle that withers away if not used. We can and must do better than this, especially now...in this year.

C'mon. Just do it. Vote!
comments (1) permalink

Republicans Seem To Have Forgotten What America Means

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/18/15 14:50

by Dave Mindeman

Amidst all the Syrian refugee talk coming from the Republicans, we seem to be missing a very important fact.

These refugees are not just going to walk into the US tomorrow. There is a year long process of information checking that goes on whenever someone seeks asylum. And if they have no information to check, as our GOP friends keep pointing out, then they do not enter the US.

Former Congresswoman Jane Harmon, who spent years on intelligence committees, spoke on MSNBC and mentioned that since 9/11 we have taken in 700,000 asylum seekers in the US and of those, only 3 had any connection to terrorist activity - and that connection was money laundering, for which they were deported. No terrorist acts can be traced to these asylum seekers.

This country has spent enormous resources to keep us safe. There is no way we can be perfect, but for Republicans to panic over the remote possibility that refugees could be terrorists in disguise is completely out of proportion.

In addition, this fallacy that we can protect the homeland by sending in more American troops into the Middle East is ludicrous. All we would be doing, in such an instance, is providing ISIL and terrorist elements a focal point for their destructive intentions. Yes, maybe we could take back territory that the Iraqi army was unwilling to defend, but the idea that terrorism would be snuffed out by such actions is pure fantasy.

It is discouraging that Republicans have chosen to use fear as a political tool. They have done it before, but never in such a harmful, blatant way. This nation needs to reject this equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is foolish, it is harmful, and undignified.

This country is never going to cower in fear. So many men and women have fought and died to keep the shackles of fear far removed from our way of life. And if Republican fear baiting wants us to let terrorists change that equation, then we have to reject it...fully and completely.

The idea that we can run and hide from this fight is just wrong. And I believe we won't. The Syrian people are asking the world for help. If the US truly is the world leader, then we need to be leading the world in that help.

That is who we are. That is who we must be. Danger or no danger, we must show the world what leadership really means.
comments (6) permalink

Senate Republican Squatters

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/13/15 12:56

by Dave Mindeman

When you have to manufacture a political issue you are losing.

That seems to be the state of the Minnesota Senate Republicans. Looking for relevancy, it looks like they are going to be "squatters" in the State Office Building. Refusing to move to the new Senate offices.

I wasn't a big fan of how the new Senate Office building was pushed through the legislature. Bakk's methods of legislation are not transparent and often self-serving, but it happened. It's done. Kind of like the citizens pollution control board is gone or the Auditor's office has been weakened. They happened as well, but we deal with it. Senate Republicans are not dealing with it, they are intentionally trying to gum up the works. All for trying to make a political point.

I think we have more important things to deal with.

It is interesting to note that while Sen. Hann whines about office space, his Republican House comrades will have to deal with a Capitol building with no plumbing. The GOP Senators will have two office, while GOP House compatriots are using Port-O-Poddies.

I guess that has a certain element of karma to it.

Sen. Hann may have gotten some political mileage out of the Senate office building in the beginning, but wringing more out of it looks a little desperate. I would suggest that they stop the posturing and get down to the business of a transportation bill. The MnDOT bill is increasing as we speak.

As for those vacant offices, I bet there are more than a few House members who would like to call dibs.
comments (0) permalink
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