To: House GOP Caucus, Senate GOP Caucus
From: Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Congrats on taking the majority. I’m truly overjoyed.
Now, let’s get real.
Focus: Ever watched someone doing karate? When they do a strike, they focus all their energy, from their waist on down through their hands, into their knuckle. One or two of them. Because that’s how you inflict as much force as possible on your target – focusing the energy.
We’ll come back to that.
Focus Some More: When the Allies landed in Normandy in 1944, it took eight or so weeks of brutal fighting to break through the German defenses.
And when the Allies forced that breakthrough, did they then pause, and redirect to the invasion of Denmark?
No! They focused on driving to Berlin, and destroying any enemy that got in their way!
They focused on the mission at hand!
No. Really Focus: You have the majority in both chambers of the Legislature (if only by a vote in the Senate).
You got it for three reasons:
- The Dems brought us MNSure, and you were able to tie it around their necks
- The economy in greater Minnesota isn’t nearly as spiffy as it is in the Metro
- Just like nationwide – the metro “elites” are utterly disconnected with the experience of Greater Minnesota.
That is why you have the majority. Not to protect marriage. Not to argue about who goes in what bathrooms.
Heathcare. Economy. Elites.
No more. No less.
I Said Focus, MKay?: It was six short years ago that voters last gave you both chambers of the Legislature. Even with a DFL ideologue for a governor, it was a golden opportunity. You were given that majority because:
- Obama overreached – on healthcare
- The economy in Greater Minnesota sucked!
- The DFL had made a hash out of the budget.
What did you – or at least the previous leadership – do?
Well, good work on the budget, to be honest. But that wonky triumph was overshadowed by the national, media-stoked furor over the Gay Marriage issue. The legislature bet a ton of political capital…
…on an issue that had nothing to do with you getting your majority.
If you’re a North Dakota or Montana Republican, with a near-permanent majority and an opposition Democrat party that barely qualifies as a party at all, you can spend political capital on anything you want, and there’ll be no consequences. It might even work (long enough to get struck down by the Supreme Court, anyway).
But not in Minnesota, the purplest of purple states.
Focus Focus Focus Focus Focus!: This is not North Dakota. Perhaps if you hold your majorities long enough to bring a quarter century of unbridled prosperity to Minnesota and we might become so lucky. But we’re nowhere close to that yet.
You were elected by a fickle electorate over…what?
Let’s run the list again:
- The economy in greater MN
- Our idiot elites
You have political capital – a mandate, indeed.
And like the Allies after D-Day, you need to focus that capital on beating the enemy in front of us; MNSure, taxes, regulations, mining-phobia.
And like Bruce Lee, you need to focus that energy straight to the metaphorical knuckle, as narrowly and overwhelmingly as you can to win on the issues we, the voters, sent you there to win!
For The Love Of God, Focus!: I’ve heard talk of legislators discussing floating some legislation:
- Rest Rooms: Don’t be idiots. We already have laws making mischief in bathrooms illegal. And all it’s gonna take is one angry father or grandfather at some Target somewhere to make that issue pretty well self-enforcing. It’s a private property issue, And it’s a distraction. Deal with the restrooms when the majority is rock solid safe.
- Abortion: It’s an important thing. I get it. It’s also not why you were sent to Saint Paul. Not this time. If you win long and big enough, you’ll get your chance. This is not that chance. Do not screw this up.
- Other social issues: Stop. Just stop. Now. Seriously.
GOP legislators: today, you control the agenda in Saint Paul. It gives you a huge opportunity. With the opportunity comes risk; if you take the GOP majority off beam, and bog the party down in a fight that has nothing to do with why you have the majority, fighting a veto you can’t win over an issue that does nothing but focus all of the Big Democrat Money, all their bottomless funding and masses of drooling droogs, over something that the voters that sent you to Saint Paul don’t care about nearly as much as healthcare and the economy, you will deserve to lose again in 2016.
Focus focus focus.
Kill MNSure. Kill regulations. Lower taxes.
No. More than that. Focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus focus.
No. More than that.
Sing along with me: Kill MNSure. Kill regulations. Lower taxes. Kill MNSure. Kill regulations. Lower taxes. Kill MNSure. Kill regulations. Lower taxes.
Win the war we sent you there to win.
Oh – and focus.
No. More than that.