Posted: 05/14/10 15:04, Edited: 05/14/10 15:08
by Dave Mindeman
MPR's midday was doing its radio show from the Capitol today, trying to get an idea of how this budget end game will all play out. As Gary Eichten interviewed the various legislators, I was struck by this bit of candor from outgoing Minority Leader Marty Seifert...
"Compromise is a dirty word around here. In fact it was used against me in my campaign for Governor. But in the end, we still have to get things done."
Compromise isn't just a dirty word at the legislature, it has been completely redefined.
Compromise: When Democrats do what Governor Pawlenty tells them to do.
Notice that Republicans never enter into the definition because they have lost the ability to even grasp the concept.
It's kind of like Tom Emmer's campaign for Governor. Republicans don't have to move anywhere -- the Independents are simply going to come to them.
The era of Pawlenty is going to be defined in this rigid way. He governs with a tight fisted veto pen. Suggestions from the other party are simply dead on arrival. Obstruction is the order of the day.
A lot of people wonder how this current budget situation will end. Well, I would guess that it will end with the draconian cuts that Pawlenty wants, with a language allowance for the Democrats. We will, once again, kick the can down the road. Shuffle the hard choices onto to the next set of legislative victims.
We really need to consider something important. Do we really want our state to be run in this manner? It is blatantly obvious that Tom Emmer will be a carbon copy of Governor Pawlenty. He will furthur strangle the resources of government. We can't help the poor, the sick, the aged.... because Emmer will tell us, we just can't afford it.
We will have some pretty clear choices this November. Emmer will conclude right from the start, that this state has no resources to do the things that have elevated Minnesota to once proud greatness. We will have to settle. Settle for less. Settle for below average. Settle for incomplete dreams.
It is time that we reject that notion once and for all. Minnesota is not some economic wannabe.... we have been, still can be, and still will be, an economic engine that can generate that quality of life we have been accustomed to. We need to bring back the idea of investing in ourselves and our communities -- to expand and utilize our vast potential.
Maybe, in the end, we shouldn't compromise. At least we should never compromise if the end result is mediocrity.
Minnesota needs a change in philosophy. We need to think in terms of WE CAN DO IT - WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS -- it's time to leave the Pawlenty era in the dust.