Ok…I am taking a temporary break from my self-imposed exile from political blogging. There is a fish in a barrel that can’t be missed.
Anyone paying attention can find numerous examples of Republicans applying weak and subjective standards to legislative efforts. Can anyone explain the constitutional grounds upon which a government established to protect rights of the minority from the opinions of the majority should establish laws denying marriage rights to a minority, for example?
Anti-marriage arguments made by the so-called family values caucus is one example of why GOPers are bad legislators; they put their personal fears and values ahead of the interests of the public, but there will be people who doubt that is so.
How about this then? Minnesota Republicans are attempting to raid constitutionally appropriated funding for arts and cultural heritage programs and projects in the state. This is a typical budget-balancing strategy from Republicans, by the way. Steal from one budget to cover for another.
The Republican move is also hypocritical. The GOP wants to put marriage amendment on a ballot so Minnesotans can decide once and for all what marriage should be in our state. Well, the Legacy amendment was put on a ballot, too, and one could argue that voters decided once and for all on this issue, too. Right?
But I want to point at something else. Minnesota House Leader Matt Dean, while debating the issue with Rep. Dean Urdahl, is quoted in today’s StarTribune giving an example of how he justifies ransacking the Legacy fund.
From the StarTribune:
Dean also singled out a $45,000 payment of Legacy money that was made last year to science fiction writer Neil Gaiman for a four-hour speaking appearance. Dean said that Gaiman, “who I hate,” was a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”
Need I say more?
Apparently Matt Dean doesn’t like Neil Gaiman and because Matt Dean does not like Neil Gaiman funding a workshop with the writer was a waste of money. So Matt Dean’s personal interests is the standard by which we validate legitimate public funding?
But subjective personal preference is essentially the the GOP justification for almost all legislation they propose and support today. If you don’t share GOP values, you’re out of luck, and the scope of those values is becoming increasingly narrow.
Republicans whine about funding social programs, but have no problem funding tax cuts and business subsidies. Why? Because guys like Lloyd Blankfein isn’t a pencil neck, apparently.
Emotions don’t make for good laws.
The point of government is to coordinate our collective efforts. Until recently, government gave support to programs that would not find support in the private free-market. If only the all mighty dollar speaks, the person who has the most dollars is king and we are dangerously close to that status today.
And let’s just talk a little more about Matt Dean’s comment for a moment. How dismally pathetic can a public official get? Matt Dean has added his stupid comment to the long list of the GOP’s stupid comments. Pencil neck? Really?
That kind of name calling might have worked in a school playground, but Matt Dean is a grown up now…and an elected representative. We should expect more sophisticated rhetoric from our leaders, but…well…Matt Dean is a member of today’s GOP and a good example of why today’s Republicans are bad legislators.
(P.S. Why can’t I edit images in WordPress anymore??)
- “Dayton and GOP leaders spend the day crisscrossing the state, touting their differing budget approaches” and related posts (minnpost.com)
- Minnesota GOP Introduces, Fast-Tracks Ballot Initiative to Ban Same-Sex Marriage (towleroad.com)