As I noted a while ago, I have been tempted for quite some time to write a long, long series of posts trying to explain the basic logical fallacies to leftybloggers. I do this – or would do it, if I ever get the project underway – to improve the quality of the alt-media debate in Minnesota.
A good one to work first might be “correlation doesn’t equal causation”.
Because in the case of the four GOP voters who split from the majority to vote against the GOP’s first budget bill, it’s safe to say that correlation doesn’t equal much of anything.
Dave Mindeman at mnpACT thought he was on to something the other day:
Rep. King “Landslide” Banaian gave me a bit of a surprise the other day. I saw his vote on the House authorized $1 billion cut legislative package and surprisingly, the conservative, former SCSU Scholars blogger, voted NO….voting with the Democrats.
Well, no. Remember – correlation doesn’t logically lead to causation. He voted – it is safe to say, although I’ve not interviewed King about it – against one of the proposed cuts. King would gargle Drano before he voted “with the DFL”.
Banaian works at St. Cloud State as an economics professor and represents St. Cloud and the surrounding area. The kicker here is that he won his legislative race by a 10 vote margin. Which means that, unlike Senator Newman and his selective constituent recognition, Mr. Banaian is probably wise to consider all comers.
It’s good that Mindeman has discovered this tenet of democracy. Many DFLers, especially in the Metro, never need to learn any of this stuff.
Except I had assumed that Banaian was one of those true believer, first principle guys. He generally talks of government spending with utter disdain and one would think that this particular bill would certainly meet those first principle ideals.
Well, you know what they say happens when you assume…
After all, it hits that unnecessary Local Government Aid and outrageously out of control Higher Ed spending… as well as all of the Commission offices in the executive branch. Would have assumed that to be a no-brainer for Banaian.
I’m not sure – I haven’t interviewed King, or Kriesel, or the other two Republicans who voted against the bill on its first pass. Of course, either has Mindeman. But I’m going to suspect that those were not the reason.
Yet, that pesky RED button went up. Explanation?
Well, Doug Grow at Minnpost, looked into this and found this quote:
And, as we discussed the other day, Grow was as wrong as Mindeman.
The Republican proposal calls for the continuation of cuts made to state colleges by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Legislature to bring the budget in balance last year. Those amount to $184 million for public colleges, including Banaian’s employer, St. Cloud State.
“We’ve taken a couple of pretty serious hits already,” Banaian told an Associated Press reporter in explaining his opposition to the bill. “To do this on extending an agreement by a previous Legislature and a previous governor didn’t seem like the right vote for St. Cloud at this time.”
So those particular cuts were OK last year, but (ahem) not so good this year? Would that be 10 votes worth of caution, Rep. Banaian?
Well, maybe – but both Mindeman and Grow strip out some key context; SCSU took some serious cuts; a lot of King’s voters think it’s time for the U to take its lumps.
All that red meat rhetoric with “first principle” shouts of storming the castle seem to fade when looking toward a new election cycle.
One wonders if Mindeman has read HF2.
Once that passes, I suspect all this “King voted with the Dems” nonsense will be forgotten.
Certainly by Mindeman.