SCENE: The Emergency Room at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul. It’s July 5. Mrs. JACKIE SZCZYMCZYK, sits in the waiting room, surrounded by other people waiting for results. She appears distraught. A BYSTANDER, sitting next to SZCZYMCZYK, is holding a hankie on a cut foot.
BYSTANDER (to SZCZYMCZYK): “What are you here for?”
SZCZYMCZYK: My husband – he…he…(sobs)…he choked on a buffalo wing.
SZCZYMCZYK: While he had a lit bottle rocket in his butt.
BYSTANDER: Um…oh. Wow. My.
SZCZYMCZYK: It was all so trivial – such a stupid thing, really – but he fell over and cut his toe on a piece of glass from the bottle he’d broke over his head.
BYSTANDER: Oh, I’m sorry. Well, none of it sounds life-threatening…
SZCZYMCZYK: It wasn’t supposed to be. But it took us an extra half hour to get to the hosital, what with the Stillwater Lift Bridge being out because of the budget shutdown.
BYSTANDER: But – wait. I’m sorry, but I heard that Governor Walker of Wisconsin offered to pay the bill to keep the bridge open.
SZCZYMCZYK: Oh, my Chuck is a teamster. He never woulda had nothing to do with Walker. But why isn’t the bridge open, then?
BYSTANDER: Governor Dayton turned it down. He wanted to make sure the bridge shut down. No matter what.
(DOCTOR MANOJ BALAKRISHNAN enters the scene, along with nurse Excedrine MCCARTHY, RN)
BALAKRISHNAN: Mrs. Szczymczyk?
BALAKRISHNAN: I’m Doctor Balakrishnan. I’m afraid your husband is dead. There was nothing we could do…
SZCZYMCZYK: (Breaks down crying).
BALAKRISHNAN: If only he could have gotten here half an hour earlier, I coulda done sometihng….
(SZCZYMCZYK breaks up in squalls of crying).
PANJAKRISHNAN: There was nothing we could have done. I’m so sorry. That extra half hour was a matter of life and death.
MCCARTHY: “By the way, on behalf of the nurse’s union, I hope you’re happy to pay for a Better Minnesota!”.
MCCARTHY: “Way to stick it to that top two percent, sister!”
Well, OK. I usually play these mock dramedies for yuks. There are usually plenty of yuks in the workings of the DFL mind. But a death in an emergency room isn’t funny.
So why is Mark Dayton – and only Mark Dayton – insisting on virtually guaranteeing it?
Scott Walker offered to keep the bridge open. Stillwater businesses offered to keep the bridge open. Dayton spurned both offers…
…and, for that matter, the Legislative GOP passed a balanced budget that would have taken care of all of this. And Dayton vetoed that – them, actually – for what?
…to protect a tax hike that is utterly meaningless, except as a way to try to dictate what’s on Minnesota’s moral conscience?
We know what his priorities are.