Shutdownapacalypse: Lessons Learned

The budget deal’s not done yet; it remains to see if the July 14 compromise will get through the special session that, we are told, is upcoming.

But I’ll suggest that we can learn the following lessons so far:

You Can Never “Compromise” With The DFL: Remember three days ago?  When the leftybloggers and the media (pardon the redundancy) were on demanding “compromise?”  How “Governor Dayton has already compromised, so the MNGOP needs to”, even though the GOP caucus had already gone four billion hard dollars above their original hard goal, and Dayton’s “compromise” was a couple billion in vapor money that exists, in government terms, only on paper.   Still – “compromise” was the word.  “Everyone needs to grow up and learn to compromise” was the chanting point for weeks.

And now that Dayton accepted the deal, what are the leftyblogbuildup saying?

“It’s teh GOP’s budjet!”

In dealing with the DFL, you have to remember that they will do their best to use everything you say or do against you in the court of public opinion.  It is a fact that while they own the governor’s office, we have to compromise some.

That just means we have to extend our control of the House and Senate to be able to override his vetoes next election – which is a tough goal, but doable, especially given the demographic collapse of the state’s DFL strongholds – and, most importantly, winning the Governorship and the state offices back in 2014.  The DFL only compromises for two reasons; when they can turn it against the GOP, or when they have no other choice short of being crushed.

The goal?  Give them no choice other than being crushed.  We’ll work on that at the polls.

This Is Not Your Father’s MNGOP:  The GOP of 20 years ago would have caved in weeks ago, to avoid being called nasty names.  The GOP of 20 years ago didn’t have the stomach for a serious fight, and even if they did, they were largely a “moderate” party, not a conservative one.

Someone tell Arne Carlson; that GOP is dead and gone, forever and ever, and I’ll whiz on its grave.

This year, the GOP majority was new; there were more Republican freshmen in the Senate than there had been GOP senators in the previous session.  And they stood against the usual array of obstacles – the Strib, WCCO, the unions, the bureaucracy, all of Alita Messinger’s and the Rockefeller family’s millions in smear money – and, unlike the GOP of 1990, hung on.

The unspoken hope; that the GOP will take the experience to heart in the next session; knowing that all of the unions’ screeching and all of “Alliance For A Better Minnesota’s” smearing and all of Mark Dayton’s phumphering and all of the Star-Tribune’s dutiful, slanted stenography aren’t going to hurt them.  Next time, when they need to get tough with the DFL minority, they’ll have been through the worst the DFL has to offer, and they’ll stick to their guns.

Our Education System Needs Work: I was listening to “Davis and Emmer” this morning, on the lesser talk station.  They had just finished an interview with MNGOP Deputy Chair Michael Brodkorb, in which Michael explained that the “$35 Billion” budget is really just one among many budgets – the “General Fund” – that the state runs, which total $60 Billion every two years among them.

Davis started sounding frustrated; after Michael got off the air, he said (paraphrasing closely) “it all sounds like gobbledygook”.

Now, something can sound like “gobbledygook” for one of two reasons:

  1. The reasoning, facts, logic and English usage are indecipherably bad: Think most leftyblogs.
  2. You just don’t understand what the speaker is saying:  The person telling you the “gobbledigook” is explaining things adequately, but you have no basis in knowledge to understand it. (Think most leftyblogs when you try to explain basic concepts like “economic liberty” and “humor” and “sex”).

…or some combination of the two.

When it comes to state budgets, I’ve always been pretty much #2; until recently, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.   I’m like one of those people who looks at the daily Dow Jones results, and thinks that’s the barometer of the economy, even though it just represents one measure of it.

Likewise with the state budget.  The General Fund – the one where Dayton asked for $38 Billion, the GOP started at $30, and that will be right around $34 when all is said and done for the next two years – is just one of several budgets totalling about $60 billion every two years.

I know this – but it’s a recent thing.  You have to want to learn this stuff to learn it.  And most people don’t.

And who’s fault is that?  Beyond our own, anyway?  Our education system, and our media (which can’t be bothered to explain it), and yes, Bob Davis and Tom Emmer, who go on the air without knowing it – and, for that matter, me, who has done the same until recently.

Perfect Is Still And Always The Enemy Of Good Enough:  I actually heard a Republican on the Davis and Emmer show calling in to say “we got beat”.  The fact is, until we have a veto-proof majority, or better yet control the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature, politics is going to be a matter of compromise.   Our legislators did the best they could, and it could have been – and for most of the past forty years, has been – much worse.   The lesson?  We need complete control – and there is a large, well-funded, powerful bunch of interests who will be doing their best to prevent that, so we’ve got our work cut out for us (which will make it all the more fun to achieve!).

There is a current in Twin Cities conservatism that if you don’t get everything you want, right away, it’s the same as “losing”.   There is a certain talk show host at a lesser talk station, a good friend of mine, whose line this seems to be.

By that logic, the reform of Minnesota’s handgun carry laws wasn’t a victory; it was seven defeats (and, finally, a win).    But that’s a ludicrous way to look at it; it’s the end result that matters, not the fact that the struggle took some time.

It’s not that we can waste a lot of time, or grow complacent, or put the hard work that goes along with changing our smug, entitled government machine off for another time; far from it.  But you have to take a longer view, and learn some patience, as well; we made a good start.   We’ll get further next year; the DFL’s minions may not know they got beat, but their leadership sure does.

The DFL is spinning like mad – and not very effectively.  Let’s not do their work for them.


Is it the victory we wanted?  Nope.  Is it better than the alternative, had we not won last November?  Hell yeah.

Don’t panic, people.  This is a marathon, not a wind sprint.

10 thoughts on “Shutdownapacalypse: Lessons Learned

  1. The mistake Brodkorb made (and Matt Dean minutes before him) was this sudden talking of “All Funds” instead of “General Fund” we’ve been talking about all along. It smelled like a coverup, perhaps not wanting to acknowledge that GF is perhaps now $35 or $36 B with new Dayton money. Waiting to see final bill, final $.

  2. Um, little quibble here. You Can Ever “Compromise” With The DFL?
    I suppose in some context this would be a valid statement. Unless the negative was being avoided.

    But then, This Is Not Your Father’s MNGOP
    Thank God and the Internet. Minnesota’s no longer a one party state.

  3. We won a battle, now we have to win the war. I think what we learned is what many of us thought all along, THE GOVERNOR HAS NO CLOTHES!

    And Arne Carlson is a loathsome individual.

  4. I’d love to say that the GOP should have refused this deal. Unfortunately, you are correct. They needed to make a deal, and then (again) make their case in ’12. Gaining even larger majorities can go a long way.

  5. Hey, Scott, did you hear the interview MPR did with Arne after Dayton accepted the deal? Arne went ballistic, said it was something he’d never have done and essentially went on a rant worthy of Olberman. Even the MPR interviewer seemed shocked by the vehemance and was trying to calm Arne down and not make him seem like a deranged moonbat but Arne refused to be molified. He’s gone full DFL.

  6. Last time, the public employee unions would have lost their insurance if the shut-down went more than a pay-period (two weeks), so it didn’t. This time, the Governor worked a back-room deal to keep their insurance in effect for six months. He bought off one problem, allowing him to keep the shut-down going hoping to pressure the GOP to cave.

    It might have worked, but for an idiotic mistake that threatened to pit Joe Sixpack’s envious desire to tax the rich against his ability to buy that very sixpack of (one of the) most popular beers in America. Hey, beer beats envy every time – shut-down over.

    The GOP needs to take better notes because you can bet your bottom dollar the DFL is going to do it again and next time, you can be damned sure they’ll cash the beer man’s check.

  7. That could be one of the “lessons learned”: does a beer brand really need to be “certified” to sell in Minnesota? I mean, it seems like a purely bureaucratic exercise to me.

  8. And more generally: how many things have we witnessed to be fouled by the hand of state government during this shutdown.

    Someone should make a list of things that state government shouldn’t be doing while the state government isn’t doing them. You know, things that make you think “why is the state even involved in that?”.

  9. Troy, excellent point. Top of my list: the State Bison Herd.

    I know what you’re thinking: Bison Herd? We have a State Bison Herd?


    How much is THAT costing me?

    Yes, we have a State Bison Herd. It’s in Blue Mounds State Park, in Luverne, near South Dakota. I only know this because one of the claims in the lawsuit was we had to keep state workers to feed that herd.

    What kind of lame-a** DFL union buffalo needs a state worker tagging along to feed him? Bison lived here for thousands of years before AFSCME came along, let ’em loose to roam the prairie! Better still, give the bison back to the Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I bet they could think of a way to handle the “can’t afford to feed the buffalo” problem.

  10. I’m almost positive the Tenth Amendment reserved bison to the states and the people.

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