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Friday, April 04, 2003

Too Stupid to Win

Check out Mike Krause's column in Lavender.

I'd encourage folks to send letters to the editor. Clearly this just tells me why I do not want to vote democrat - and it shows how the Democrats aren't "getting it" in a way that will allow them to be successful in future elections.

A month ago, Krause's column was pretty hard hitting - not this type of drivel. It talked about how gays could effectly reduce discretionary tax income going to the state - and pointed out how gays contribute to the state with tax dollars, so should quit getting the short end of the stick in terms of benefits. So here's my point by point response to Krause's column......

Paul's Heavenly Plan
By Michael Krause

It seems certain that when Paul Wellstone died, he went to heaven. And when he arrived there, I imagine him being greeted by Eleanor Roosevelt, William O. Douglas, Martin Luther King, and other great American liberal thinkers. They would have admired our late senator's tenacity and principles in fighting for human and civil rights, social justice, poor children, and the environment.

From the vantage point of heaven, it is possible to see into the future. Once he had settled in, Paul looked out across the larger picture of American political history, and into the future of the struggle for a more just and caring society.

From his new vantage point, with a little help from Eleanor, he could see that it would be necessary to lose some battles in order to win the war. So, it may have been Paul's guiding hand that allowed the last election to result in the resounding defeat of the progressive agenda and the Democratic Party, perhaps even by his shaping his own ill-fated memorial service.

EY: Just more politicizing God - and haven't I heard so much moralizing from Dems about Republicans using this "God is on our side" argument shamelessly. What's sauce for the goose.....

Krause:

You see, only by losing the 2002 election battle would people in Minnesota and across the country be able to see the true Republican agenda.

At the federal level, there is no longer a politically divided government with more than one party in charge, no blurring of the lines between political parties that are forced into messy compromises out of necessity.

The American public, which has expressed its desire for balance and divided government in the past, finally is able to get a clear and unvarnished picture of the Republican vision for our society.

In Minnesota, a Republican governor, an overwhelming Republican majority in the House, and only a slim DFL edge in the Minnesota Senate have created a similar situation. Republicans largely are setting the agenda and the tone for a different kind of social contract between residents of the state and their government.

So, what is that vision we are seeing played out in halls of the State Capitol and the National Capitol?

Almost immediately, in Minnesota, it became an attack on the rights of GLBT people, who were portrayed by some Republicans in the most vulgar of stereotypes. The threat to civil-rights protection appears to have subsided for now. But it is likely to be back, targeting transvestites and transsexuals, who are the most vulnerable among our community, and raising scary images of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people preying on children in schools.

EY: And excuse me, the house speaker and Governor have been scuttling away from Lindner every time he opens his mouth. Lindner is widely seen as a marginal character in the Republican party -- and a constant embarrassment. Sure the Republican Party of Minnesota can be legitimately chastised for endorsing Lindner, in the same way they were chastised for endorsing Renee LaVoi (and the party eventually backed off the LaVoi endorsement). Sviggum could be asked to use his discretion to remove Lindner from the tourism committee - just because the this position is inappropriate for someone who tends to give a poor image to the state. Other than that, it's the responsibility of Lindner's constituents to remove him from office.

Krause continues:

It is the same tactic being used to attack the right of women to safe and legal abortion, focusing on a rare but necessary medical procedure, inflaming public sentiment against it, and using it as a wedge to chip away at the constitutional right of women to control their own bodies and medical decisions.

EY: And I'm sorry - on this issue, the pro-choice forces have failed to make the case to the American people - for example, I don't see people asking the question about whether partial birth abortion bans ban the procedure in cases where the fetus is dead. A straight ban on that procedure would ban the procedure in the case of both a live and dead fetus - unless the law explicitly deals with that - and this is just another example about why we don't want legislators micromanaging medical decisions.

Krause continues:

Arlon Lindner's trial balloon that would have allowed overt discrimination against us didn't fly. However, Republican leaders in St. Paul never are likely to support our full rights to the benefits of legally sanctioned relationships, even when state employees have bargained for those benefits freely in their collective-bargaining agreements.

EY: And the unions quickly asked the legislature to pass legislation ratifying the contract without those negotiated domestic partner benefits.

Krause continues:

More broadly, we are beginning to see that the Republican agenda includes an attack on the urban centers where many of us live, slashing state funding that has supported basic city services, even undercutting operating support for the new light-rail system and transit generally.

The Republican vision of Minnesota has fewer loans for students and much higher tuition at our public universities. This vision has less access to medical care for working but poor families, as well as a meaner society for people who are out of work, down on their luck, and in need of food, clothing, and shelter.

The Republican vision has fewer public libraries, and less public support for arts and culture. This vision has fewer opportunities to enjoy state parks and campgrounds, and less funding overall for environmental programs.

At the national level, we have seen a Republican president's rush to war, against the majority of public opinion among our usual allies, and inflaming anti-American hatred in the Moslem world. We have seen unprecedented attacks on the civil liberties of all Americans in the name of domestic security.

EY: Then why does Krause fail to mention Pawlenty's nomination of Stanek to public safety - considering Stanek's record of police brutality and using racial epithets to refer to African Americans. Trent Lott and Arlon Lindner have made offensive remarks. Stanek has a history of beating people up - which is worse?

Krause continues:

And with job losses mounting every day, Republicans continue to push for tax cuts that mostly will benefit the wealthy and will push the nation further into debt by trillions of dollars.

These are dark days, but there is hope that Minnesotans and other Americans will recognize the vision of society being promoted by Republicans in St. Paul and Washington D.C., and will reject it.

Don't forget, only about 10,000 votes statewide gave Republicans their legislative victories in Minnesota. So, Paul Wellstone, who couldn't bear to see people suffer or experience injustice, may yet see the kinder and more just society that he fought for while on this earth.

EY: Well Paul Wellstone voted for DOMA and that continues to be part of his legacy. The unions and our DFL "friends" like Senator Hottinger and Rest are introducing legislation that undermines the negotiated contract. Speaker Sviggum introduced an identical bill in the house. So please explain to me how the DFLers are so much better than those evil republicans here?

This type of stuff might play well to Democrats, but does nothing to reach beyond the Democratic base.

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