Tiny Tim’s First Little Step

Tim Pawlenty speaking, Dec 29, 2007

Tim Pawlenty

Anyone with any grasp of facts and figures really should hold on tight before watching Tim Pawlenty‘s video announcing his formation of a presidential exploratory committee. 

If Tim is sincere, he simply does not get it. 

But no one so directly involved with politics can be sincere about such things and thus so naive…or can they be?

Tim’s generation of conservatives are hypocritical and ungrateful to the core.  Conservatives today propose cuts to services that benefit aging Americans, for example, the harder working, forward-thinking Americans who built a robust economy and enacted policies that gave people like Pawlenty a good education and a lift up in this country.  Can you respect that sort of political ethic?

Look at Pawlenty’s little YouTube jeremiad.  It turns facts upside down and asks us to disregard the truth about where our country is today and how it got there. 

He laces his alter-reality with images of the ruin that conservative principles have brought to this country.   Never mind that Tim is a conservative Republican, one who advocates the very policies and values that have dismantled the social and economic security of our country.   He points out the damage, blames it on other people, and asks for the chance to do it all over again.

Only the desperate-to-be-deceived still think conservatives and Wall Street are blameless in the debacle that nearly ruined our national economy two short years ago.   Only blind conservative ideologues think a country with a dying middle class offers more for our security and freedom. 

Selfishness — a misguided turn against noble selflessness and public service — is at the root of conservativism, and sadly that turn is taking a sharper and deeper cynical tone.  There simply is a pig-headed ignorance about facts that conservatives embrace too easily, and among the biggest pig heads of them all is Tim Pawlenty.

Speaking of pigs…Tim mentions the demise of the meat packing industry in South St. Paul, his former home town and a city that he disses by telling the world that the city has lost its spirit and soul.  Good PR there, Tim.  But maybe Tim isn’t so clear about where he comes from anyway. 

Unless Tim is trying to reclaim his blue collar roots, he’s Tim From Eagan.  Eagan is a more prosperous and — I suppose we can presume — still a city with spirit and soul. 

Tim tells us that he has travelled to nearly every state in the union, too.  (He neglects to tell us that he did much of this travelling while elected as Minnesota‘s governor, but no bother…it is all over now.)  So who’s to say what place Tim recalls when he remembers his youth today?  One of the dying businesses shown in his video as he’s talking about his former hometown has a palm tree growing in the background.

I grew up in South St. Paul, sadly a little too close to Tim and his era.  I don’t know what spirit and soul our city lost.  The meat packing plants started closing in the 70s as the industry decentralized and moved out of our cities and into rural America.  (The plants that remained closed while Pawlenty was governor, by the way.  Where was his cool and hip-sounding JOBZ when we needed it?) 

People struggled, no doubt, but they hung on and we had a pretty good life in South St. Paul.  Great schools, great neighborhoods, and plenty of opportunity.  The decades of our youth were not all that  bad.  Unlike Tim, I choose to respect that, and like many others who have left South St. Paul, I don’t only go back only if it is politically prudent to do so.

In so many ways Tim Pawlenty shows what is wrong with conservatives today.  He has no respect for his roots, whether working class or middle class; he doesn’t understand how the power of community and progressive government helped him.  He is ignorant of civic values.  He lacks creativity…

In short, Tim Pawlenty is the perfect Republican.

Tim’s video is loaded with the same tired partisan rhetoric.  Anti-government this, pro-Reagan that…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…there is nothing there.  No new ideas, no fresh solutions.  But then why would we expect anything more than rhetorical soundbites?  Tim is running for a Republican nomination, after all, and he is doing so for today’s hyper-conservative Republican Party.

Take a startling example.  Tim makes the claim that anti-government principles will create jobs and opportunity.  He says “In the last eight years, that’s just what I did here in Minnesota.” 

Well, ok, Tim…run on that.  Run on your last 8 years.  I’m looking around and paying attention.  There do not seem to be a lot of jobs and opportunity rising from the wreckage you left behind.  In fact, you did more to suck the spirit and soul out of our state than you did to build working solutions.  I’m sorry, but I don’t see much here to brag about. 

Bragging about ruining government shouldn’t be the foundation of a presidential campaign anyway, should it?

Governments invest public interest and efforts into public goods.  It is that simple.  Rich and poor alike benefit from a well-functioning society and the advantages that strong public goods provide.  There is no time — and little point, I’m afraid — in lecturing about the merits and purpose of public goods, but when a beneficial service or facility (e.g., clean air and working highways) cannot be turned profitable, the private sector has no interest in providing those services and facilities.  We choose, therefore, to provide those valuable assets to us all as a whole through our collective public investment.  Conservatives don’t get it.  They don’t want to get it.  They want someone else to pay for everything.  They want only what’s theirs. 

As much as Tim tries to portray himself as a straight shooter, he’s much like most hypocritical conservatives.  He has had it both ways.

Oh, by the way.  That reminds me…I watched Tim’s video on the StarTribune website.  Some fun irony here.  Homophobe Tim’s video follows an advertisement for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus Spring concert!  Perhaps a little justice exists out there…but not enough.

In the end, we have to stop electing these myopic little people to office.  We need Can Do people, people who respect all Americans and the government that serves them.  In the last 30 years we have gone too far in the wrong direction and electing people like Tim Pawlenty will not change that course.


3 thoughts on “Tiny Tim’s First Little Step

  1. Pingback: Conservative Values One Penny at a Time « A Little Tour in Yellow

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  3. Pingback: Tim Pawlenty is a Knob « A Little Tour in Yellow

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