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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Partisan GOP Anonoblogger Winger posts his analysis on Tinklenberg vs Wetterling


Democrats in Minnesota believe that they have a decent shot at capturing the congressional seat currently held by Congressman Mark Kennedy (R), who is running for U.S. Senate. Although the district broke 57-42 for Bush over Kerry in 2004, Democrats believe that the showing by their candidate, Patty Wetterling (D), in 2004, could help them capture the seat this year. Wetterling kept Kennedy to a 54-46 victory in 2004. In the view of the Democrats, an open seat may be easier for a Democrat to win rather than unseating an incumbent (which is the conventional wisdom). Democrats now must decide between Patty Wetterling, a Democrat with high name ID and respect (well, at least before she ran for Congress in '04) or former Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), who is a socially conservative (pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-guns) Democrat. Wetterling is more liked by the base because of her more liberal views, but it is generally perceived that she can't get a majority of the vote in this strongly conservative (and strongly pro-life) congressional district. On the other hand, Tinklenberg is not as well-liked by the Democratic base because of his more conservative views on social issues, but is a more viable candidate in the general election because of those views. However, if nominated, Tinklenberg may lose the support of some of the Democratic base and possibly lose big in the general election like Janet Robert, a socially conservative Democrat, who got 35% of the vote in 2002. However, the excitement of the Democratic base in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District over Wetterling's second campaign for the House may be just enough to win her the nomination while the establishment Democrats in Washington prefer the more viable Tinklenberg.

Elwyn Tinklenberg is now saying he does not support criminalizing abortion, and that he supports civil unions. When he announced his candidacy, he talked about his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The FMA would ban civil unions at the federal level. Reporters have neglected to get Tinklenberg on record on this issue. He's written an oped which he posts at his website about the anti-gay protests at the funeral of Andrew Kemple.

The words "God hates" have been used to license terrible and costly events in the course of human affairs. We are witnessing evidence of this in many parts of the world even today. But the damage rarely starts with an overt or frontal attack. It begins with the quieter forms of discrimination: the labeling, the denigrating, the isolation and disgust. This is where hate grows and reprisals start.

We are having a debate in Minnesota about the definition of marriage. Part of that debate is being driven by a deep and sincere concern for the traditional understanding of marriage and family, but part of that debate is also being driven by a cynical political calculus. I, like many Minnesotans, support a definition of marriage that includes one man and one woman. But while that may be how we ultimately define marriage, it can not be used as a surrogate for how we define human, or citizen, nor can it be used to narrow America's bedrock commitment to "equal justice under law."

As painful as the images from the funeral in Anoka were, I hope they stay with the rest of us for awhile, especially as long as we're having this debate about marriage.

Because sometimes, unfortunately, it's only when we're forced to confront social ugliness in full blossom that we begin to take seriously its less obvious, but equally destructive roots and where they may have entangled our own lives.

I've emailed Elwyn Tinklenberg to ask for clarification on this issue.