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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Not the Time to Play Nice with the DFL

The Minnesota DFL has tipped their hand that they do not intend to play nice and look for common ground with Republicans by their selection of uber-liberal Senator Larry Pogemiller as Senate Majority Leader. They obviously have no intention of taking a "moderate" stance as they had called on Republicans to do in the past. Pogemiller is a hard-core liberal and non-compromising negotiator and the Governor and GOP leadership have got to be just as hard-nosed to protect the citizens and businesses of the state from the coming onslaught of liberal lunacy.

As conservatives we need to lean on Governor Pawlenty real hard and remind him (as well as the DFL and the media) that his re-election is just as much a mandate from the people for him to check the DFL from running roughshod over the the taxpayers as putting the DFL in control of the House and Senate was a mandate for change. In our checks and balances system of government the Governor's veto pen possesses equal clout to legislation that comes out of the House and Senate. The Governor has an obligation to remember who put him in office and do his duty to protect their interests.

Although it would be difficult to blame Governor Pawlenty for the election debacle last Tuesday, he should by now realize (as President Bush should) that his past attempts at trying to play nice with liberals did absoflippinlutely nothing for him and and at best did nothing to help the cause of keeping conservatives in power. The governor and his veto pen still controls one-third of the state government and he should take a hard line in exercising that power.

There are, however, disturbing signs that the Governor may go wobbly on us. In today's Star and Sickle there is an article that suggests the Gov may be considering compromise (or outright capitulation) on key issues such as a state wide smoking ban, additional taxes imbeded in transportation funding, and condoning new taxes and/or expanding the scope of existing taxes. If Governor Pawlenty caves to this kind of "find common ground" thinking he will destroy the legacy of the first two years of his term and end up as the enabler of letting liberals undo all of the significant progress that was made.

Pawlenty needs to come out before the session begins and draw a bold line in the sand with a bulldozer. He should take the posture that Ronald Reagan did when faced with a liberal congress hell bent on raising taxes in 1985 when in a speech he assumed the persona of Dirty Harry (not to be confused with "Dingy Harry" Reid, the mousy, Mr. Peepers-esq new majority leader of the US Senate) and said "I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers: Go ahead, make my day." as he reached into his suit coat like Dirty Harry going for the trusty .44 magnum and pulled out his veto pen and clicked it on.

While the Governor is the final defense against DFL assault and battery of the citizens, he cannot effectively do it all by himself. If there are any tax increases or bad social policy decisions that come out of the legislature it is critical that the DFL gets full credit for them. The Republican minority needs to help the Governor out and fight tooth-and-nail against liberal nonsense and very vocally offer alternatives (e.g. budget cuts) to tax increases and other bad things. It the DFL gets their agenda through it had better be via an exclusive DFL override of a veto. We as voters can help by putting our elected officials on notice that going along with the DFL on important issues or supporting a veto override will severely hamper their chances for re-election.

Elections have consequences. Since the conservative base didn't get out to protect the thin majority in the House and at least maintain the GOP numbers in the Senate there are going to be some things that are out of the control of the GOP. For example, supporters of the Protection of Marriage amendment are going to have to accept the fact that it isn't going to happen for at least two more years until the good guys are returned to power as the measure will never see the outside of a committee room. About all the GOP can do is to remind the voters vocally and regularly who is responsible for it. The Governor can do nothing about this and we cannot hold him responsible for it. We can and should, however, hold him responsible for decisions that reach his desk for processing by either his approval pen or his veto pen.

If the elected GOP office holders manage to show some solidarity and backbone a lot of the potential damage of a DFL controlled legislature can be avoided. It will involve enduring some nasty things being said in the Pravda Press and the Star and Sickle as the liberal media will no doubt whine about the GOP causing gridlock. The GOP needs to develop a thick skin for this as capitulating to the libs will not get them any credit from the media anyway. Those of us in the electorate need to support and defend our guys in our blogs and with letters to the editor and calls to talk radio.

We may lose a few battles along the way due to the numbers on the other side, but if we conservatives in the electorate stick together on a course of uncompromising conservative principles and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions (or inaction) we can inflict a significant amount of political casualties on the other side to make any liberal victories insignificant and very costly in terms of future election results.

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