Over the past couple of days, I’ve been listing a few reasons conservatives should take some limited encouragement from the outcome of the stadium vote. The “Tea Party” freshman class largely did the job they were sent to Saint Paul to do.
But there’s an (heh heh) elephant in the room. Every Republican in MInnesota knows it.
While Republicans coming off of epic Tea Party-driven victories elsewhere in the country are fighting the battles that come from being ahead of the bad guys – Walker apparently beating back the recall, Republicans in Indiana, dispensing with the past-his-shelf-date Dick Lugar and the ones in Utah perhaps on the edge of doing the same with Hatch, thinking about taking the House and the Senate, making some serious headway against the Democrat/Union machine in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania – the sorts of things you can do when you’re focused on expanding on the gains like we got in 2010.
But here in Minnesota?
I remember in the early days of this blog describing Minnesota Republicans as “battered spouses” – people who are used to being dominated, controlled and abused, but think if they just give a little moreˆ, work a little harder to be a better partner, maybe it’ll all be OK.
I, like all Minnesota conservatives, had hoped that that had changed. But this session was a trip back to the future.
I’m not going to say that the GOP leadership in the House and Senate spent tthe session pining for the approval of Lori Sturdevant, or blithely hoping that iif they just gave enough, the DFL would come along and act like responsiblee adults,, or believing that acting in good faith with the Governor Dayton would cause him to act as anything but an office temp for Alita Messinnger and Elliot Seid…
…but if I try to answer the question “if they were doing all of that, how would they have acted any differently?”, I don’t have much of an answer.
The DFL is calling the past session a “Do-nothing” legislature. And it’s a sad fact that the best we can say about it is that it really wasn’t; as I noted yesterday, they weren’t.
But they dropped the ball on “Right to Work” and “LIFO” – as if giving in to the unions’ threats would keep the unions from working tirelessly against them?
And they bobbled the tax bill, letting the governor veto it twice while caving in on the stadium, giving the Governor a trifecta of cheap victories almost, it seems to the outside viewer, without having to break a sweat.
I’ve heard a few conservatives – angry business people – say they may not support the GOP this cycle, hoping to “teach the party a lesson”. I think that’s a huge mistake – this state can not deal with two years of absolute DFL hegemony. And I think most businesspeople know that.
But I think the takeaways from this past few weeks are::
- The Tea Party class of freshmen – obstreporous and savvy, with no real desire to win the Lori Sturdevant/Keri Miller “Good Bipartisan Schnook” seal of approval – are what we need more of. They are genuine conservatives, and provide a genuine alternative to the DFL. Collegiality with the DFL comes in well behind doing what they were sent to Saint Paul to do.
- The leadership has to change. If it doesn’t, there is no reason to give the GOP any credibility as conservatives if they can’t work like they have a majority – which, after this session, we will have to work like hell to hold.
Just as the MNGOP administrative operation needs to overhaul its financial opperation, the GOP caucus in both chambers needs to change its approach, and act like a majority caucus.