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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Put Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage On The Fast Track

Posted: 11/09/12 15:55, Edited: 04/24/13 15:28

by Dave Mindeman

I hate to disagree with Senate leadership right off the bat but I think Senator Bakk is making a mistake by not putting the repeal of the Minnesota DOMA law on the immediate agenda.

The amendment fight was a hard one. People in the VOTE NO campaign invested a lot....time, money, their heart and soul.

The vote on the amendment had MORE votes than in the Presidential election....Yes - MORE votes. That is unheard of... unprecedented. After all that blood, sweat and tears, the DFL Senate is telling them, you are back to square one.

Here are my reasons for putting same-sex marriage up for a legislative vote...

1) The VOTE NO campaign deserves their day. I am not sure that the DFL would be sitting on majorities right now without the ground swell of support against the amendment and the enormous participation in the campaign. Granted, some districts that supported the amendment also sent Democratic legislators and they will have to make tough decisions, but an up or down vote is deserved.

2) I can't imagine that the majority of the electorate doesn't assume there will be a vote on this. To sit on an illegal status quo will be a surprise to many who did not understand the full ramifications of what that vote meant.

3) Democrats need to solidify a constituency with the youth vote. They came out in force. To disappoint them now might turn all of this into a bad memory. If its politics as usual, cynicism may rule the day again.

4) The timing is now...as soon as possible. If same-sex marriage is legalized, people will have two years to see that it is not something diabolical and that it will not have negative effects on traditional culture.

DFLers are a cautious bunch. Sometimes I believe they think too much. But this is good policy. Fair policy. It needs to happen.
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A Crossroads For Bachmann

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 11/09/12 13:56

by Dave Mindeman

People like Michele Bachmann are not very quick to take hints or learn new things....so it is doubtful that she will delve very deep into any information from her election "victory" on Tuesday. But there are some signs that she had better consider changing or this will be her final term in Congress.

Bachmann won by about 4,000 votes. A 1.21% margin. Most candidates would take that as a message from the voters. I doubt Bachmann will, but the rest of us can learn from it.

Bachmann's district went to Romney by a 56 per cent margin. That was expected as the District itself is probably the most conservative in the state. But Bachmann underperformed so badly that it is obvious the electorate is dissatisfied with her performance.

Was it her presidential run? District neglect? Outrageous statements?

During the end of the campaign, Bachmann began to insert the phrase "independent voice" into her commercials and rhetoric. Obviously she sensed that her hard right talking points were not resonating as well as they used to.

Rhetoric is one thing, actions are another. Bachmann goes back to Congress with a damaged brand. The Tea Party label is beginning to be a drag as well. This will be an interesting term for Bachmann.

The politician in Bachmann is savvy. She could remake herself and leave the flame throwing rhetoric behind. Her status in the current GOP isn't all that good and I doubt the GOP House caucus is going to help her "heal the wounds". So she will have to decide on her own.

Will she work for her district and do the job a representative is supposed to do or will she continue to seek the limelight and push herself into national policy debates? If she does the former, she can probably continue to represent the 6th District as long as she wants to. If she does the latter (which is probably her preference), her Congressional tenure will soon end.

Bachmann at the crossroads.

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