(SCENE: Mitch BERG is sitting in a book store coffee shop with Adriana TROMP and Jamal BECKETT, two College Republican activists visiting from Wyoming and Texas, respectively. The three are drinking coffee and engrossed in a conversation).
BECKETT: I find that hard to believe.
TROMP: Yeah, me too. You expect us to believe that all arguments with liberals follow the same exact template?
BERG: Of course not. It’s arguments with 95% of liberals – I’m being generous – in one-party liberal cesspools like the Twin Cities, New York and Chicago. They’re people who come from “progressive” families, come up through an educational system run by “progressive” academics and union workers, attend a college or university run by “progressives” where conservative dissent is actively squelched, and in many cases go on to work in institutions like government, academia or the non-profit sector where only “progressive” thought is ever heard.
So, basically, arguments with that 95% of liberals go like this: Stage 1: The pat premise. When that is contested, we move to Stage 2, the Single Round of Factoids. These factoids are almost always taken from the current round of Democrat chanting points, and are pretty much inevitably debunked with countervailing fact. Which leads us to Stage 3: Frustrated deflection. Desperate for anything to try to retain the supremacy to which they believe they are entitled, they’ll toss any rhetorical crap they can out there to deflect from the actual argument. When called on it, they move to Stage 4: The Ad Hominem. At which point the argument is over.
BECKETT: It seems like a stretchy premise…
(BERG sees Avery LIBRELLE walking into the coffee shop. He squelches his urge to look away and avoid LIBRELLE’s eye, but instead waves and beckons LIBRELLE to the table).
BERG: OK, watch this. I’ll signal you the stages with my fingers. OK? (Waves at LIBRELLE, who has arrived at the table) Avery Librelle! Hi! How ya doing! This is Adriana Tromp and Jamal Beckett. They’re college kids.
LIBRELLE: Ah! May the spirit of Wellstone be with you this season. And (looks at BECKETT) happy Kwanzaa to you!
BECKETT: Um, we’re Methodists…
BERG: Hey, the DFL is sure setting Minnesota up to botch things in the next year.
LIBRELLE: We have a billion dollar surplus, thanks to the DFL in the Legislature and governor’s office!
(BERG holds up one finger)
LIBRELLE: Yes. The DFL is #1.
BERG: In the sense my elementary school teacher used, yes. But that “surplus” is a $200 million increase in an $800 million surplus that the GOP racked up, on top of erasing a $6 Billion deficit, without raising taxes. And the DFL hiked taxes $2 Billion to get that extra $200 million. That’s not really a huge return on the investment.
LIBRELLE: Pfft. Numbers are numbers.
(BERG holds up two fingers)
LIBRELLE: Yes. Peace.
BERG: But the worst of the DFL’s job, business and revenue-killing taxes, like the B2B and Warehouse taxes, haven’t even kicked in yet! This is going to turn another epic deficit!
LIBRELLE: Oh, yeah? What were you doing when Tim Pawlenty ran up a six billion dollar deficit? Huh?
(BERG holds up three fingers. BECKETT nods, TROMP smiles in recognition). Er, Avery? The DFL controlled the legislature completely in 2009 and 2010. The legislature passes the budget. Pawlenty fought as hard as he could, but he couldn’t completely resist a two-chamber press of tax-and-spend DFLers. The DFL passed that deficit, and spent the past four years trying to fob the blame onto Republicans.
(Berg’s pinky finger twitches)
LIBRELLE: You are ugly and stupid.
BERG, TROMP and BECKETT: Four! (They trade high-fives).
LIBRELLE: You conservatives are sure weird. (Ambles away, dribbling latte).
TROMP: Is that a man or a woman?
BECKETT: I can’t tell.
BERG: Oh, that? Well, it’s like this…