Monday, January 30, 2012

MN GOP Playing Politics With Appointments: the Two Parties Are Not "Just the Same"

We hear it all the time. I even hear it from my closest friends, people who I genuinely like and respect constantly say: "Oh they all do it" or "There is no difference between the two" or "They're just alike". Sometimes I think my friends say it just to get a rise out of me because they know nothing exasperates me more than this misinformed cop out.

No matter how many times I point out powerful, irrefutable examples of instances where Republicans have put personal, party, class and or special interests ahead of the country's interest, their response is always the same. Like the mindless drones from a B grade horror flick they continue to chant the mantra: "They all do it" as if a variation of the aspirational Nike commercial "Just do it".

No, actually Virgina , they are not just alike. Like a family court judge once told me the world is not black and white but a series of shades of grey. Well if this is true (which in the case of that family law matter was not, I was right and she was wrong) then the Republican Party is a very very very dark shade of grey and the Democrats are are very very very light shade of grey.

Case in point, this week the Minnesota Senate is going to refuse to approve Governor Dayton's choice to head the Public Utilities Commission, former State Senator Ellen Anderson. The capitol gossip is that the Republicans are in essence "firing" a highly qualified, intelligent and quintessential good person as "payback" for the DFL refusing to reappoint Governor Pawlenty's Lt. Governor, Carol Molnau to a second term as head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Now the uninformed would ignorantly throw up their hands and say: "You see, they all do it!"

There are just two small differences between the two actions: it was a huge and unprecedented conflict of interest for a Lieutenant Governor to also serve as commissioner of one of the state's largest and most critical departments, one in which she was wholly unqualified to run and which was done merely as a cost savings matter and number two, and this is a big one:


It would have been professional malfeasance and dereliction of duty to reappoint such a buffoon and shame on Governor Good N Plenty for even nominating her for a second term.

So Virgina, if you cannot see nuances in this world, if both of the above actions seem equal to you, then Virgina my dear there is a Santa Claus.

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