Minnesota Conservatives: When you can't solve problems, create imaginary emergencies
As you know, Minnesota narrowly escaped the list of states that went "all red" in 2010. Even though both the state House and Senate flipped to Republican control, Democrat Mark Dayton won a close election for Governor. Through threat of his veto pen, he's been able to prevent the kind of attacks on the middle class that we've seen in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan -- until now.
Minnesota law doesn't let the state House and Senate pass laws without the Governor's signature, unless they have a super-majority to override his veto -- but they can put a law on the general election ballot. And if it's passed, the Governor has no power to prevent that ballot initiative from becoming law.
So - how are the conservatives using this great power? To address Minnesota's $5 billion budget deficit (nice legacy, Tim Pawlenty)? To push through a jobs bill? To create economic growth?
Nope - to fight against that terrible threat to liberty - gay marriage.
No matter that Minnesota state law already defines marriage as between one man and one woman. And no matter that elevating divisive social issues does nothing to address the enormous budget deficit and struggling economy. Conservatives have figured out a few key things:
1. Governor Dayton is preventing them from using their new majorities to advance their attacks on the middle class, which means they can't chalk up a "win" on any of their issues.
2. The dissatisfied voters who turned out in 2010 to vote them into their majority are not pleased that they are seemingly unwilling or unable to address the problems that affect their everyday lives - jobs and the economy.
3. If they want to stay in power, they are going to have to invent a "crisis" to turn out ultra-conservative voters. What better than an imaginary threat to their way of life?
And - voila! - a ban on gay marriage hits the ballot. So this means, instead of having conversations with voters about how to solve our problems, conservatives are going to be hitting the airwaves and going door to door with a message about fear and divisiveness to pass a law that is already a law.
Why bother with the hard work of solving problems when you can create an imaginary crisis?