Christie, Dayton, and GOP Politics

Governor Mark Dayton

Governor Mark Dayton (Photo credit: EasyStand)

The Minnesota Republican Party plans to run against Governor Mark Dayton with a focus on problems rolling out MNsure, Minnesota‘s ACA health care exchange.

Perhaps that’s understandable.  It isn’t much, but it is all they’ve got.

Consider, first of all, that MNsure has provided health care to thousands of Minnesotans who previously did not have health insurance.  It will be difficult for even the most cynical conservative to make that bad news, although there’s no doubt they’ll try.  Also consider the many more Minnesotans who are getting better health care coverage at lower costs.  Bad news there, too, right?

English: Minnesota Governor Dayton addresses t...

Minnesota Governor Dayton addresses the Capitol media during negotiations with the Republican leadership in the State Legislature to reach a budget agreement

The GOP could try running against Dayton on his record overall, but almost certainly thought better of it.  Fast.

Minnesota is in nearly every measure better today than it was when he took office following Republican Tim Pawlenty.  The state economy is stronger and the state’s budget is stronger.  The state has also paid back billions of dollars Dayton’s predecessor borrowed from schools to keep the budget balanced.  All in all, Dayton has been a far superior manager of the state’s business than his Republican predecessor.

English: Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie

By all means, let’s replace competent Dayton because of glitches in the roll out of the state’s new health care exchange website!  Absurd.  Dayton has been managing the situation quite well, truthfully and directly.

Let’s make a comparison and look at another governor, the darling of the Republican Party, New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

Chris Christie is in hot water over a costly — and perhaps dangerous — political stunt of retribution.  The GOP doesn’t uniformly relieve Christie of responsibility, but they more or less do and they certainly try to downplay what he could have known or done in light of his “rogue” staff.

Let’s pretend we’re naive and play GOP make believe.  Let’s start with the premise the Christie knew nothing of the Bridgegate scandal as it was unfolding.

Any sentient being living in the New York area knew what was happening.  Even Christie knew about it, publicly joking that it was no big deal.  And now we’re supposed to believe he is shocked and hurt by betrayal?  Come on…who is less competent, a man who apparently cannot identify a problem an address it or one who sees a problem, takes responsibility for it, and acts?

If it is true, it is bad enough that Chris Christie didn’t know about the manufactured bridge crisis.  It’s worse that he didn’t recognize a problem and fix it.

On the other hand, Mark Dayton showed genuine leadership by pursuing a problem in measured steps and supporting the people correcting it.

Chris Christie telling a school teacher that teachers are failing and he is tired of "you people" as an aide looks on and smiles.

Chris Christie telling a school teacher that teachers are failing and he is tired of “you people” as an aide looks on and smiles.  (That might be Christie’s wife, Mary Pat.)

Who do you want for a leader?

The GOP is nothing today but a party of whiners and obstructionists.  Prove otherwise.  Demonstrate any single positive proposal or legislation on the conservative side of American politics that has had…well, any impact.  Hell, if it were not for a conservative and political Supreme Court, the conservative agenda would have made no changes — other than standing in the way of the people’s business — in the last ten years.  Point to one.

When the only play the GOP has is making an issue of a leader like Mark Dayton resolving problems enacting legislation that the party doesn’t like, it says all you need to know about what options the GOP can bring to the table.  They have none.

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