consultants are sandburs

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Republicans won a history-making victory," declared the Anoka County Watchdog, a blog published by [Taxpayer League Chairman] Harold Hamilton, a conservative Fridley businessman. Republican legislators, he said, had stood firm during the shutdown, even though "they were harassed and pressured by the legions of special interests who feed at the government trough" and had "turned back a liberal governor's agenda."

The Strib item by MIKE KASZUBA and BAIRD HELGESON from July 28, 2011, from which the headline was taken, remains online describing the GOP induced government shutdown as a kind of tax-resister victory - one for the ages, to go down into the book of books, along with reverent images of Grover Norquist, and his Golden Pledge for acolytes who will swear to never raise taxes, no matter what the need (or the stupidities of hewing to the promise - no matter what).

The summer-2011 compromise was that the majority in the legislature would not then insist on pestering the world by pressing their oppressive anti-liberty theo-social impositions upon the general population if the Governor caved in on the numbers the GOP demagogued. Dayton was forced, he protested, to abandon his own tax creed, "tax the rich," that gained him the State House in the generally Republican dominated 2010 election, with Dayton giving that up while Speaker Zellers puffed take-it-to-the-trenches for a big-time 2012 voter vindication; Strib reporting -

"I'm not going to give up on this," Gov. Mark Dayton said of the tax increase proposal he campaigned on but was forced to withdraw. "I'm going to come back, if not next year, the year following," he said. "I'll advocate for it, campaign for it, press for it for as long as I'm drawing breath."

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, says he is ready to start doorknocking now on what he considers the bottom line of the budget deal.

"We didn't raise taxes," he said flatly. "There are far more people who get the joke now. It's not about taxing rich people, it's about taxing small-business owners. ... That's not where a vast majority of Minnesotans are."

The deal stripped the choice-hating social strait-jacketing from the Republican government-halting mischief, but all the fiscal mischief was accepted by the Governor, saying his acceptance was a hair short of being blackmailed but that what was forced on him was unwise policy with a most narrow and narrow-minded objective, or collective set of governing goals. Strib writers, clearly were crystal balling then that the postponed ultimate conflict resolution was an issue on track for going to the citizens, ultimately; the report stating at the start -

The budget deal that ended the state government shutdown is also single-handedly reigniting what will be at least a 16-month, rough-and-tumble rematch in the bitter partisan battle over taxing and spending.

Far from providing a clear win, the deal seems only to have sharpened determination for victory in the 2012 elections, when Minnesota voters will be called on to tip the balance either to the DFL governor, or to the GOP-led Legislature.


But the real battles will come over the size and scope of government -- a debate Democrats and Republicans have waged for years and which now has taken on the dimensions of a moral crusade.

"I am not going to persuade them, and they are not going to persuade me," Dayton said. "I tried my utmost for six months to convince them, and they had a united stone wall."

While there were plenty of political handicappers saying the Republicans won this round -- Anderson said they "got a good deal" -- there were others, even Republicans, who acknowledged that Dayton may have scored major points.

"I think Dayton gets an important victory because he looks pragmatic," said Dan Hofrenning, a political science professor at St. Olaf College.

"He looks as if he was the one who solved this. It makes him, I think, look a little bit more like an executive."

Dayton said he saw the landscape change in the two weeks after the shutdown began. Republicans, he said, would have held out forever, regardless of the consequences to the state.

"It was becoming a test of political egos as well as ideology," Dayton said. "That was becoming destructive for Minnesota. ... Someone had to take the initiative to break that stalemate. I did so. I consider that my responsibility."

It went to citizens. Citizens elected new DFL majorities in both state houses, vindicating Dayton's claimed responsible pragmatism in compromising with ideologues.

The voters did choose.

Add to that the current psychological denial being keened by some in the GOP saying their Draconian squeeze of sound government really is okay with the folks, and would have won in November 2012, by itself, but the social strait-jacketing that they and Dayton removed from the table to settle the summer-2011 impasse-shutdown was theirs to run on also, as too close to the hearts of some in the GOP tent - the faction having hearts without minds - and the no-tax Republicans, after choosing to energize [i.e., throw red meat on the floor for the ravening part of their pack, their "base"] turnout via their Constitution tampering propositions, then blamed defeat on blowback from that very energizing tactic, not even willing to consider they were advancing an unpopular and faulty fiscal message as a contributing factor for defeat; with some even not fully and publicly acknowledging defeat, preferring to see voter mood through faulty glasses admitting only a tiny sliver of light; i.e.,

Fast-forward to recent 2012 post election Harold Hamilton opining, days ago:

Watchdogs, a day of historic proportions was experienced Tuesday night as the nemesis of Anoka County taxpayers, Commissioner Dan Erhart, was defeated.

In the interest of full disclosure, Harold Hamilton readily and happily acknowledges his role in helping Erhart's transition to involuntary retirement. Said Hamilton, "It was pretty damn sweet!"

The day Watchdogs have been waiting for these last 7 and a half years was realized.

Dan Erhart is done. Toast. Finished. Done. Over.

In a many respects, this is Anoka County's Berlin Wall moment. It's the moment when the old guard came crashing down in spectacular fashion, ushering in a completely new and more transparent way conducting county business.

While it took some time, the county board has completely transitioned to a taxpayer-centered model that will serve citizens well for at least the next two years.

There are now 5 bona fide, authentic conservatives on the county board, giving the good guys a 5-2 edge.

In many respects, this campaign was a major battle between the forces of Good and Evil for control of the county board.

Somebody needs to tell Harold to reconfigure his priorities instead of getting giddy over Dan Erhart's losing an election in an exceptionally disproportionate and unrepresentative County, and to face the fact that Moses was bringing three tablets down from the mountain, with the third one, bearing the Norquist pledge, having been broken by Moses along the way because he realized how indelibly stupid it was as something for his people in the wilderness to embrace, with Moses leaving the silly thing behind and then only destroying the other two tablets after seeing his people had turned to Baal in his absence, up mountain.

Bottom line, Karl Rove was given a big slush fund which he fully spent, while ALEC raged, and it was not enough to propagandize the stupid tax pledge - Taxpayer League child-like duncery and indulgences - into anything resembling a legitimate political idea.

Moreover, I believe if pressed Harold Hamilton actually might admit, given time, that his passions over "Good and Evil for control of the county board" might be colored by a tiny bit of overstatement. Maybe.

1 comment:

Wes Volkenant said...

Just a tad over the top, Eric, just a tad.