Posted: 11/16/16 00:28, Edited: 11/16/16 00:30
by Dave Mindeman
There is an enormous amount of talk regarding the Democratic Party's inability to meet the needs of rural America. To talk to the white working class.
I say that this is only partly true.
Maybe the Democratic Party has failed to articulate what they have done for rural America, but they are the only Party that has actually helped.
Let's take Minnesota for example.
Here the Democrats had to push broadband service in rural areas over the obstruction of the MN GOP. The Democrats fought to fund and maintain the funding of Local Government Aid, which often gave rural communities a chance to meet local budgets without raising property taxes too high.
And in regards to health care. While it is true that individual premiums spiked via the ACA, we seem to have forgotten that many rural farmers have been able to access Minnesota Care due to the asset changes brought about with the MNSure law.
And while the MN GOP House did help rural Minnesota in regards to nursing home costs and staffing - their past (and probably future) budgets always target Health and Human Services for draconian cuts. HHS is a rural staple in regards to rural health services; rural communities need more, not less in health benefits.
And then there is infrastructure. Rural communities rely on state bonding to fund their water projects, their community centers, their outsized road and bridge problems, and their emergency service projects. Democrats have always been as generous as possible in bonding projects that meet those needs. Republicans only fund a minimum of these essential projects. Making the argument that it costs too much per capita - or that bonding must be used only for a state wide interest.
Democrats do...while Republicans take credit.
These past elections have seen the GOP in both Houses pretend that they and they alone watch out for the needs of rural Minnesota. But they end up spending way more on attack ads, then funding actual services that meet rural needs.
Democrats have had issues with greater Minnesota - but it is not about what they have done for them. No, the problem is with telling the real story. They assume that their deeds are self evident. But when drowned out by targeted message rhetoric, the story gets changed.
Republicans will control both Houses of the legislature in 2017. Kurt Daudt has already shown us that he talks a lot about individual premiums issues but has done nothing in the way of acting on the problem.
I suspect that more of the same will be happening in January.