True Confession: I Miss The GOP-Controlled Legislature

When it comes to the 2014 legislative elections, I have divided loyalties.

One the one hand, the current DFL-controlled Legislature has delivered a lot of very good things for ordinary Minnesotans.  Compared to the previous GOP-controlled Legislature, the DFL-controlled Legislature has delivered a healthier economy, budget surpluses, more tax fairness, marriage equality, job-creating infrastructure improvement projects, paid back schools, all-day kindergarten, early education scholarships and a long overdue increase in the minimum wage, among other things.

In the most recently concluded session, they even had the earliest adjournment in thirty years, a mark of impressive democratic efficiency. I look at that record and conclude that the DFL Legislature and Governor deserve to be rehired in the upcoming elections.

clown_carOn the other hand, as a blogger interested in the absurd side of politics, I’m pulled mightily in the opposite direction.  Because when it comes to generating a steady stream of blog-worthy absurdity, nothing beats the modern Tea Party-backed Republican Party.  After all, the last time the Republicans controlled the Minnesota Legislature they:

  • No Separation Between Church and Hate.  Found a way to make even the daily ecumenical prayer controversial and divisive;
  • Dehumanizing KidsWarned that supplying food stamps to Minnesota’s most vulnerable children is just as inadvisable as feeding wild animals; and

I get tears of joy just thinking about it. I was never in need of blog topics in those days.  Minnesota’s last GOP-controlled Legislature gave us the golden age of political comedy, and I will forever be grateful to them for that.   Memories, misty water-colored memories.

While a historically low 17% of Minnesotans approved of the GOP-controlled Legislature that was drummed out of office in 2012, Wry Wing Politics has sorely missed having the likes Mary Fransen, Steve Drazkowski,  Mark Buesgens, Tom Emmer, Curt Bills, Kurt Zellers, Dave Thompson, Amy Koch and others in positions of authority, where they had more opportunities to say and do ridiculous things.

The topic-hungry blogger in me pines for the hot mess of a Legislature that Teapublicans  built.  But deep down the responsible citizen in me knows that I need to vote to bring back the DFL’s brand of colorless competence.  Sigh.

– Loveland

Note:  This post was featured as a “best of the best” in MinnPost’s Blog Cabin.

5 Reasons the DFL Will Hold Their Ground in 2014

Yesterday, I made the case for why the DFL may lose ground in 2014.   For my DFL friends who are now out on the ledge staring into the inky abyss, here are five reasons to not jump.  Yet.

DFL Has A Broader Base.  Minnesota is a fairly solid blue state these days.  According a recent Public Policy Polling survey, there are significantly more Minnesotans who say they are Democrats (38%) than Republicans (27%).  That’s a big reason why the polls show that DFL state legislators have a significantly better, though not good, approval rating (36% approve) than Republican state legislators (23% approve).  It also probably explains why the DFL starts the campaign season ahead in generic head-to-head races, with a generic DFL candidate preferred by a six point margin (47% for the generic DFLer and 41% for the generic Republican).   Again,  the DFL’s seasonal voters have to be energized get off the proverbial couch to vote in a non-presidential year, but an average DFL legislative candidates does start the race with a significantly broader base than their Republican opponents.  That’s a big deal. Continue reading

“Democrat Party:” The GOP’s Childish Name Game

We all remember those times on the playground when kids’ names would be twisted into teasing word play.  Private parts and mental health were common themes, as I recall.  Woe be unto the unfortunate child born with a name like “Seymour Butz.”

During childhood, the motives behind the name-oriented word play varied from benign to bullying.  But whatever the motive, it was rarely welcomed by the recipient, and was, above all else, childish.

So surely adults have left all that infantile behavior behind, right?

Well, take a look at recent blog posts on leading Minnesota conservative blog aggregator “True North:” Continue reading

A Thank You Note for Minnesota Republicans

Dear Minnesota Republicans:

We just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for the gift of your marriage ban amendment.  Such a thoughtful idea!

We must admit, we didn’t appreciate your gift to its fullest when we first unwrapped it last spring.  To be candid, we thought it was kinda ugly.  We wanted to throw it away.  But we couldn’t.

As it turns out, though, it was one of the most beautiful gifts we’ve ever received. Continue reading

How In the World Did Minnesota GOPers Screw Up Their Golden Opportunity?

I have a prediction, though not a particularly prescient one.  Minnesota Republicans will say they lost the election because of bad candidates.  Mitt Romney, Kurt Bills, and the Tea Party-supported freshmen legislators were all just bad candidates, they will say.

“Victory has a thousand fathers, and defeat is an orphan,” as John F. Kennedy observed, and in the coming days a lot of Republican candidates will be orphaned.

But for their own good, Republican leaders need to objectively ponder this question:  Bad candidates, or bad policies? Continue reading