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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Senator Bakk Isn't Getting It - It's The Timing

Posted: 12/01/12 14:49, Edited: 04/24/13 15:28

by Dave Mindeman

In various interviews and on Almanac, Majority Leader Tom Bakk has been going out of his way to placate the "overreach" crowd... especially when it comes to same sex marriage.

In City Pages, he put it like this:

"We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute," Bakk said.

Yes, you are. And for very legitimate reasons. We have just been through one of the most thorough discussions on this topic that any state has had. It was long, it was arduous, and in some cases, it was painful. But, in the end, there was a vote and a decision.

When the Republican legislature put this issue before the voters in regards to making this a Constitutional amendment...even though the law was already there....you could call it overreach. Yes, you could call it that. But following up on that overreach with substantive law is the natural order -- not more overreach.

Senator Bakk seems to believe that no progress was made....

"I am pretty reluctant to get into anything that is of a divisive nature," Bakk told the Tribune. "There has been enough political rancor around here."

When will this issue not be divisive in some context?

Wait till next year and you get into election year politics again. Wait 5 years down the road and we will have to start this conversation all over.

This isn't about a government procedure or a budgetary item. We are talking about a policy that affects the lives of a group of individuals. It won't hurt anybody else, but it is important to the people it affects.

Obviously, this issue is not important to Senator Bakk personally. And that is fine as far as it goes. But he holds a position that sets an agenda. He needs to represent all of us.

I have to admit that I have not been much of a fan of Senator Bakk in leadership. I have always considered him a regional advocate-- and a good one for that purpose. The Iron Range is in his blood - it is his passion. But as Majority Leader of the Senate, he has to think in broader terms. He has to represent a wider constituency.

A repeal of DOMA can happen - at the very least, test it for the votes. Doing it now, this session, is important. Any divisivness that is left over can heal quickly as other issues come to the fore.

Waiting is the enemy. And Bakk wants a waiting game.

comments (2) permalink

I Guess I'm A Scrooge About This

Category: Society
Posted: 12/01/12 12:45

by Dave Mindeman

I may be way off base and a complete Scrooge to say this, but I hate Christmas lights.

Hate may be too strong a word, but I have never seen the point. I know a lot of people consider it some kind of tradition. Many think they are "stunningly" beautiful. Why, they even have limousine tours that let people see the most extravagant examples of Christmas light excess.

I often think of Chevy Chase in the movie "Christmas Vacation" and his monument to the biggest array of lights on the block. When he finally gets it to work and puts his sunglasses on to view it, it brings a tear to his eye.....as the power meter dials spin at warp speed.

I have learned to shut up about this pet peeve of mine. People look at me as if I have committed sacrilege to express the idea that this might all be.....well, a "waste"????

Sure, its all kind of pretty. Some of it is cute. Yeah, kids love the lights (although its the presents they really love). But I often wonder how much of the electrical grid could be spared the overload if we just didn't light up the night.

Just to show you that I am not completely off base, I'm perfectly OK with lighting Christmas trees in the home and lights inside...hey, maybe even a string or two by the front door.

But 8 foot Frosty the Snowmen or Santa's sleigh with 8 life size reindeer or a full manger scene with the baby Jesus glowing to near radioactive brightness? Really?

In a world where we argue incessantly about energy policy, gas prices, and aging infrastructure, do Christmas lights (at least the way Americans do it) fit into that discussion in a realistic way?

I know I am spitting into the wind. After all, stores have row upon row of decorations and lights. And after Christmas, people continue to supplement their aresenal for next year by getting those 80% off bargains. It has become the American way.

But as for me, I guess I'll just continue in my Scrooge-like ways.
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