….Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.
- Stephen King
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
- Mahatma Gandhi
If you want to see a live demonstration of what Republicans want to do to this country, one need look no further than my native state of Minnesota. In the North Star State, a $5 billion gap in the budget has led to an impasse between Republican legislators and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton. In an argument that should sound familiar by now, Dayton is asking for the wealthy to share the sacrifices in the form of higher taxes…and Republicans are having none of it. Saying that they refuse to saddle Minnesotans with mountains of debt for generations to come, Republicans have put themselves in the position of appearing to protect the prerogatives of the richest 0.3% of Minnesotans. Instead, Republicans would delay $700 million in payments to Minnesota school…on top of the $1 billion the state already owes the state’s schools. So, let me see if I have the optics of this correct: Republicans protect the interests of oligarchs…while schools go wanting for textbooks, supplies, and teacher salaries. That may be overly simplistic, but you can bet that virtually every Democrat running in 2012 in Minnesota will be playing that card…as well they should.
Voters in Minnesota aren’t unjustified in venting their wrath upon politicians, but they’d be disingenuous if they didn’t accept the lion’s share of the blame. Republicans told voters what they would do, and voters elected them and created a Republican majority in the statehouse. Then- quelle surprise- Republicans went about doing what they said they’d do. Go figure….
Though I hail from Minnesota, I no longer follow politics there closely enough to have a feel for the issues and who may be right or wrong. I do recognize that there are valid points on both sides, but what I fail to understand is why Republicans are so willing to follow a strategy virtually guaranteed to be used against them, and probably to great effect, next year. With an election a bit more than a year off, Minnesota Republicans seem comfortable with the idea of being painted as the party willing to protect the interests of the top 0.3% of Minnesota earners at the expense of the middle class. Minnesota Republicans will be tarred as the party of the oligarchy, willing to eschew any semblance of shared sacrifice in order to ensure that the rich don’t have to pay higher taxes.
To those of you who still believe that Republicans represent and care for the interests of the American middle class…well, welcome to the Hell of your own creation. Nice going….