A while back, a communications strategist for the Minnesota House Republicans took umbrage with my assertion that the 2012 GOP-controlled Legislature had a historically low approval rating of 17% in part because Republican legislators were:
“Wasting all their time on constitutional amendments to limit Minnesotans’ freedoms to marry and vote.”
He took exception with my use of the word “all.” To his credit, the Umbrage Taker was wielding supportive data, which earned him extra credit in my book. I have no reason to dispute the data, and found them interesting, so I am happy to share them to hereby clear the record:
Wry Was Wrong
In light of this evidence, the Republican Wry reader asked for a correction. I will oblige. Using “all” in that sentence was incorrect. I apologize for my mistake.
While the “all” part of the statement was incorrect, I maintain that the overall spirit of the statement was correct.
While legislators weren’t wasting “all” of their time on these two issues, they certainly were wasting too much of their time. The non-partisan League of Women Voters has shown that Minnesota basically has no voter fraud problem to fix. At the same time, nine states have shown us that marriage equality poses no threat to citizens. Spending any legislative time on solutions in search of problems is wasteful.
Finally, though the supplied data shows that the GOP legislators’ measures didn’t waste much of THEIR time on these issues, it is worth noting that they wasted plenty of OUR time. The Legislature passed the policymaking buck to 2.9 million Minnesota voters, which meant that we had to spend exorbitant numbers of hours and dollars on these issues.
We didn’t much like it. Those issues hurt Republicans with the swing voters they needed to win over. According to a November 2012 Public Policy Polling survey, only 34% of self-identified moderates were with the Republicans on gay marriage, and only 38% voted were with them on voter restrictions.
But again, it is true that Republicans didn’t spend “all” of their legislative time on those two amendments, so I apologize.
(I never was very good at apologies.)
Note: This blog was also featured by Politics in Minnesota’s Best of the Blogs.