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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tough road coming for MN GOP

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/24/2006

There has been a lot floating around the blogs in Minnesota about the number of legislators retiring.

First the skinny. The House will have at least 17 open seats. 11 formerly belonging to Republicans and six Democrats. Considering there was only a 2 vote (1 seat) lead for the GOP this is not good news. Plenty of resources will have to be used by the GOP just to defend their open seats. Though, with as many seats as they usually concede anyway perhaps this won't be so bad (typically there are about 20 races where the GOP loses by 40%-50% and so they use none of their resources so they lose big so they use no resources...you get the idea, chicken and the egg, but the point is they don't use their resources there).

The Senate is losing 8 members, six Democrats and 2 Republicans. Somehow I doubt these 6 DFL races will be contested much.

The good news is that there are 25 fewer incumbents!

The bad news is the issue-challenged GOP will use this to bolster their platform of threats. 'Uh oh, better vote for any Republican or else the state will go to hell.' They are right on one thing: the state in the hands of the DFL will be a horrid state. Anti-business in so many ways, anti-person responsibility, anti-small government. But then look at what the GOP is offering as an alternative. Anti-democracy (stadium), anti-business (how permanent are the tax cuts this year?), anti-small government (the budget grew how much above inflation? the government grew at all).

2006 is shaping up to be a platform ruled by fear. From which party? Both. Not much new there. The difference is that it will be the main theme for both parties.

So, what to do, what to do. Stay home. Let the bases decide the election this year. Why? Because the base for the Democrats and their candidates seem far out of touch with the mainstream and the base for the Republicans have been ignored by their incumbents and are lining up saying, "Thank you, sir, can I have another." They each get what they deserve and the state will not get what it deserves out of this election either way.

If there is a candidate locally that you are excited about go support them. Vote for them. The bigger races are loaded with disingenuous people who really do not deserve much support. For me it is people whose platforms I do not support pitted against people I have met personally and do not support the person. Yuck. Pure negativity. More about the other guys being bad and less of why they are good. (Sorry, KvM, you are the example I'm picking on right now because there is not a decently organized similar site even worth reading on the other side of the aisle.) As of this moment on Kennedy v Machine, for example, their last 10 posts have 6 stories about Amy Klobuchar, 1 about Mark Kennedy, 1 about Democrats and 1 about Lloyd Bentsen's passing. In the meantime there is an icon that they display (as do quite a few others around the Minnesota Republican blogs) that says:
Sick of Porktacular Republican Spending? Tired of nothing getting done on the border? Plan on sitting on your hands in Nov. 2006? I have 2 words that may make you think twice. Speaker Pelosi.
The entire election strategy in general is going to be both parties saying, "we are bad but they are worse."

Which brings us to whose responsibility is the November outcome? It is the fault/responsibility of the partisans in the two parties, not the voters of the general election. The partisans forwarded on people that made them feel good about their partisanship. Not their platforms or their principles, but their partisanships. "This candidate is good because they are a better [insert party membership]." Leaving the general voting public with a choice between garbage and sewer sludge means you cannot blame the general voting public for making a bad choice. Considering there has been and likely will be very little said by the campaigns and parties about themselves and more they will say about their opposition it will be hard not to believe the choices are anything but that bad.

Why is it a tougher road for the GOP? Because they are the ones in power. Statewide they have the Executive and the House. What have they done this year that is considered an accomplishment? Well, their base should not allow them to hoist any fiscally positive claims. There is little fiscally speaking that is positive this session for the GOP to claim. They have, well, the Twins stadium which actually was an afront on small government by usurping the ability to have a referrendum in Hennepin County. What can they run on? Very little.

The other side of the aisle likely does not have much of their own plans on fixing problems so they have little to say about themselves as well. They are great at pointing out the problems (whether real or not) but very light on the details to fix those problems.

So if the [insert party name] win, well, we are screwed one way or another.


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