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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Bachmann's Run Possible Because of Pro-Choice Democratic Women

Category: Women's Issues
Posted: 06/29/11 01:47, Edited: 06/29/11 01:48

by Dave Mindeman

In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton for President. Her viability as a serious Presidential candidate was a breath of fresh air and a culmination of the women's movement in this country.

When a young and ambitious Barack Obama entered the scene, I had mixed feelings. My first reaction was please, not now..... patience, your time is coming.

Well, as we know now, Obama's time wasn't about to wait and although I was disappointed, it was still exciting to support a break through candidate like Obama.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I think Hillary would have actually made a better President in the ways that Progressives have been disappointed with Obama policies. She would have used her considerable political skills to move health care in the right way...with that public option. She would be less apt to compromise with Republican on the important issues and I also believe she would have been bolder in fixing the economy.

But that is idle speculation and water under the bridge. What did happen is that Hillary Clinton ended any discomfort that may have remained about a woman as Commander in Chief.

That way was paved by pro-choice women. Women who fought the fight for equality and equal opportunity. A fight that became a core constituency of the Democratic Party.

The irony of a Michele Bachmann candidacy should be evident to all. She would not have supported the women of the 1970's and 1980's that made her candidacy for President even possible. Bachmann would have been in the Phyllis Schlafly belief system which insisted on women staying in the home and out of the workplace. On women being seen and not heard in the public forum. That is the roots of Republican women in politics.

Yet, here Bachmann is -- getting all the advantages of a new assumption that women can now have an equal chance at the Oval Office.

It is hard to think that Pat Schroeder, Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, and others....endured the obstacles and painful dismissal in their candidacies, only to have people like Michele Bachmann reap the fruits of their labors.

But that is how it works. The door is opened and who passes through it doesn't really matter and is not up to any particular preference.

The important thing is that the door is wide open.

comments (2) permalink

"Win To Govern?" -- How About Actually Doing It!

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 06/28/11 02:02

by Dave Mindeman

Tom Emmer feels the need to offer his legislative cohorts his sage advice.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

One of the things we talked about was elections. Ridge talked from experience about how too many people who run for public office -- regardless of party persuasion -- run simply to win. They do not have a plan for governing once they are elected.

His advice: "Run to win, but win to govern."

Well, gee, that sounds great. Run to win, but win to govern. Except the current crop of Republican legislators aren't governing.

Ideologic stubborness is not governing. Just staking out a position and sitting there is not governing.

The GOP only has one consideration in any campaign and that is to simply win. Win at whatever the cost. Serve up the platitudes. Pander to the powers that be. Promise the impossible. Anything to win.

But governing isn't just about winning. Governing is about making things work. Making government work....and putting people back to work.

What is happening right now is nothing close to working.

When this new majority took office, it was about jobs...at least that is what they told us. They always talk about less government and less spending -- but that was supposed to be secondary to jobs. Putting people back to work.

Yet, what are we seeing right now. A sea of pink slips. A government that is about to shut down and a whole lot of employees not getting a paycheck.

Tom Emmer still thinks that what he is saying here is relevant. He even stretches the campaign, which he lost, into new rationalizations.

Excluding the cities Minneapolis and St. Paul, I -- as the Republican candidate -- actually won the state by approximately 6 percentage points.

Here's the thing Tom -- Minneapolis and St. Paul still count. The most populous geographic area in the state matters. There are people there who matter as much as those people in the red counties.

Republicans have to start realizing that they do not have some monopoly on what works or what matters. The richest 2% of this state are important but they do not own state government. They don't dictate the workings of this state.

Everybody matters here and everybody deserves a voice. And state government needs to work to keep this state running.

And Emmer repeats the mantra....

Contrary to their campaign message, Republicans in the Legislature passed the largest spending increase in the history of our state.

I don't care how many times the GOP tells us that they passed the largest state budget in history....all I see are GAMC recipients out in the cold. Nursing homes worried about their residents. Children and vulnerable adults without health care. Roads and bridges still not fixed. Transit left with incompleted projects. And school boards trying to find bridge loans to cover the IOU's that continue into the foreseeable future.

It would be one thing if Governor Dayton wanted a budget without cuts. If he was spending on items deemed unnecessary. But he hasn't done that. He has already added another $1.8 billion in cuts. All he is asking is that we try to maintain a government that protects the vulnerable. That maintains at least a minimum investment in our core education and transportation needs.

After June 30th, this government shuts down. The state of Minnesota will have to pay for that shutdown...yes, it will cost us money. And we will see the largest single mass layoff we have ever had. The Republicans that promised us jobs will singlehandedly put Minnesota out of work.

Public employees are people too. The GOP doesn't care, but the rest of us should. If you "win to govern", then it is time Republicans start doing exactly that -- Govern!
comments (1) permalink

John Wayne...John Wayne Gacy...Just Bachmann Semantics

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 06/27/11 16:52

by Dave Mindeman

Well, if there was any thoughts that Michele Bachmann would clean up the loose rhetoric and hire a serious fact checker for the campaign, I would say those thoughts have flown the coop.

When you make your official campaign announcement and make a big deal about doing it in the place you grew up, one would expect that the facts about your birthplace would be pretty important.

Well, Michele has managed to get the Washington Times to correct her assertion about where John Wayne was born and at the same time allow John Wayne Gacy (who actually did live in Waterloo) to get mentioned in the same breath.


None of this will make any difference to the Bachmann true believers. In fact, they are probably so used to her historical and geographical gaffes...(as an aside, isn't it a little frightening that her kids were home schooled?), that they find it all a little endearing.

But on the national stage where the national press has endless resources to fact check everything, Bachmann's little asides will always be noticed.

Of course, this will always give her the opportunity to use the press as her enemy du jour, but the excuses will get old with independents and moderates. You can only play the victim card so long before its reality becomes suspect.

But, all in all, Bachmann's roll out will be considered successful for a variety of reasons. She has built up a core constituency and she makes great copy for the national press.

Looks like that "Iowa" girl will do well.
comments (0) permalink


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