If ever was a question whether Arne Carlson was an egotistical elitist liberal, this post should put that question to rest. The post also provides a fun-filled trip through Arne’s fantasyland:

In any type of struggle involving a Governor versus the Legislature, a Governor will almost always prevail. First of all, a Governor is the sole leader of a vast statewide management system; can move with speed and flexibility; and has the ability to instantly communicate to the media and the public. Secondly, he has the full muscle of the veto.

Governor Dayton’s letter suggests that he fully understands the powers of his office and is prepared to use them.

Technically, Arne’s right in that Gov. Dayton is the “sole leader of a vast statewide management system.” Certainly, Gov. Dayton has veto authority. These things don’t necessarily mean, however, that he’ll win many fights.

Vetoing bills because he’s insisting that Minnesota has to spend money it doesn’t have on things that are operated on a 1970s business model is stupid.

For instance, Gov. Dayton isn’t interested in real health care reform that lowers costs. Instead, Gov. Dayton signed an EO enrolling us in Early MA, a plan that Democrats are now admitting don’t address runaway costs:

“The real issue that was not addressed, Laura, that you’ve raised now, and I think appropriately, is the cost, the cost to both the government and to your listeners. We need to take steps now to get the costs of health care under control. That was not dealt with really in an aggressive way in this legislation. I think it now needs to be,” Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) told Laura Ingraham.

I’m betting that Minnesota’s taxpayers won’t side with Gov. Dayton when they discover that he’s enrolled them in a program that drives health care costs up.

Institutional authority doesn’t help when it’s used to support unpopular policies. On issue after issue, Gov. Dayton is positioned opposite the will of the people. Institutional authority won’t help him win those fights.

The specific situation as it pertains to Republicans and their control of both houses has additional burdens including:

1—They are locked into their own campaign rhetoric which railed against any form of “revenue enhancement” and this includes debt.

2—The expectations held out by their leaders during the campaign, Emmer, Pawlenty, Sutton, to the effect that either there are no deficits or that they will be easy to manage.

3—The increasing pressure from Tea Party supporters demonizing “revenue enhancement” and all the tools normally employed by political systems to resolve conflict such as compromise, negotiating, or even meeting with the other side. In Minnesota, this pressure increases as Michelle Bachman’s presidential campaign gains strength.

First, Tom Emmer didn’t hint that deficits would be “easy to manage.” What he did say is that deficit disappeared if we decided to spend only the money that was projected to come in.

Carlson is proving himself to be a traditional politician. His first instinct appears to be to raise taxes rather than question current spending levels. Why isn’t Carlson questioning spending? Why is he, like fellow progressive Gov. Dayton, locked into the status quo stupidity of the DFL?

Doing something solely because that’s what you’ve alway done is foolishness. Doing something because it’s the smartest way to do something is what Republicans, especially the TEA Party, is about.

It’s worth highlighting that Gov. Carlson apparently hasn’t listened to Main Street Minnesotans. That’s a trait most elitists share. They think that they know best and they’re going to do whatever they want regardless of the will of the people.

That’s the attitude that got the DFL booted from their Senate and House majorities in the state legislature. Also contributing to the DFL getting booted into minority status was the TEA Party’s ideas and energy.

Gov. Carlson apparently hasn’t noticed that. Neither has Gov. Dayton or the DFL legislature. They think that their media allies and Gov. Dayton’s megaphone will pull them through. That’s what will get them in trouble.

All these forces are designed to push legislative Republicans away from a negotiated settlement and more towards a stalemate that would close government. There can be no doubt that the Republican Party will be split between those willing to govern and the new far right which will not compromise.

Will Republicans get everything they want? Obviously not. Does that mean they’ll cave on raising taxes when people are already struggling? There isn’t a snowball’s prayer in hell that they’ll cave into that stupidity.

Outside of those addicted to govenment support, Minnesotans don’t support raising taxes. The sooner the DFL gets that out of the way, the sooner we can get down to finalizing the budget. If Gov. Dayton wants to veto the GOP legislature’s balanced budget because it doesn’t spend enough, he’s got the institutional authority to do that.

Republicans should welcome the opportunity to argue that their budget funds priorities important to Minnesota’s taxpayers and businesses without raising taxes. They should highlight the fact that the DFL has essentially spent this session sitting on the sidelines criticizing the GOP without proposing solutions or reforms.

Finally, the GOP should highlight the reforms they’ve proposed and passed that would make government less expensive without underfunding Minnesota’s priorities.

If Gov. Dayton wants to defend his vetoing important reforms because his special interest allies rejected reform and supported status quo stupidity, that’s his business.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL should be forewarned, however, that there’s a steep political price to pay for that decision in November, 2012. That’s something all the institutional authority in the world can’t prevent.

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6 Responses to “Arne Carlson’s Fantasyland”

  • Rex Newman says:

    I think Carlson’s points about the balance of power are well taken, especially when the press can be counted on to misreport the situation. It is indeed the Republican Legislative leadership that’s got to make their case.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Fortunately, this won’t be difficult because Gov. Dayton’s budget is MIA.

    1) Gov. Dayton’s message still sucks.
    2) Amy Koch & Kurt Zellers’ messaging has been quite good.
    3) We’ve been good at using social media in getting the truth out to the people.
    4) The press will still be peddling a crappy message.

  • Rex Newman says:

    The crappy message will nonetheless be focused on the GOP budget that exists, since (by intent) there will never be a DFL alternative budget to criticize. Our message has to be “we tried that, didn’t work.” Example: K-12 integration funding is being cut! Gasp! You’re OK with continuing the achievement gap? Response: we’ve spent $xx billion the past yy years. Didn’t work and no surprise since we set no goals. We’re paying for results now. We’ll in fact be pleased to pay more for more results should they happen.

  • Gary Gross says:

    It’s important that conservatives stay focused on positive alternatives. That’s the only way we can contrast ourselves from the DFL. Turning Minnesota from blue to red is possible. It’ll just take time to accomplish. The more frequently we enunciate our mainstreet principles, then contrast them with the DFL’s history of failure, the more we’ll win people over.

    It’s important that we understand that changing the state will be as much about generational change as anything. Still, last November’s elections prove Minnesotans are willing to listen. Yes, they made a mistake with Dayton but they got things right with their legislative picks.

  • eric z says:

    Some people loved the veto and powers of the Governor when Pawlenty held the office, and now have second thoughts.

    Not disingenuousness, second thoughts. The winds blow one way, the thoughts bend with it.

    The wind blows another way, the thoughts bend yet again. Flexible thinking, I suppose.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, There’s no second thoughts here. Gov. Dayton’s veto authority will have to be used defending the policies that the public just rejected.

    We’ll just keep reminding the people what they rejected & why they were right in rejecting the DFL’s & Dayton’s crap.

    If he wants to tell people that Minnesota’s job creators aren’t taxed enough, that’s his option. We The People’s option is delayed but more powerful. It’s called the 2012 election.

    After redistricting, Republicans will have a stronger majority in the legislature.

    I love playing long games. Welcome to the revolution.

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