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Minnesota mean at heart of government shutdown

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posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 11:45 AM

There once was a time when Minnesota held an exalted position in American politics. It was known as a model of good government, the kind of place that sent poets to the Senate and produced politicians with nicknames like “The Happy Warrior.”

Today, that’s hard to imagine.

For the second time in six years, the state’s leaders failed Friday to agree on a budget in time to avert a government shutdown, marking Minnesota as one of just five states where government has ground to a halt in the last decade—and the only one where it’s happened twice.

When my grandparents first immigrated here from Europe after the failure of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 they of course found a home and settled down but made their first vacation in this country to the state of Minnesota. Visiting the state from Minneapolis to the Iron Range, one thing my grandfather still speaks of today about the state was the exception personalities of its inhabitants. Had it not been for the horrible winters the state experiences they would have lived there. So this was something I have heard about a few times throughout my life. Anyways moving on...

I liked the contribution provided by earlier politicians in the state from the 1970s and 80s, they shed an all new light on the subject.

“What’s changed is that the two political parties are driven by their extremes more than they should be,” said Al Quie, a Republican governor in the 1970s and 1980s. “I’ve come to believe in the power of something that’s invisible, the relationship people have with each other…I know the two Republican leaders. You couldn’t find two better ones for [Democratic Gov. Mark] Dayton to work with. It’s the climate.”

May I get an Amen?

“Our state used to be much, much, more unique,” said former Rep. Bill Luther, a moderate Democrat who served in the state House in the 1970s, the state Senate in the 1980s and the U.S. House from 1995 to 2003. “We were held out by so many people as being a leader in so many areas. Over time, what has happened is we’ve become more nationalized like other states. If you’re from a state that mirrors the national trends, you wouldn’t notice.”

This is something I have long suspected of being a leading contributor to political polarization and the elimination of elections being focused on the issues pertaining more to the district than any national political agenda. That is not the case today however. Politicians cannot be more independent because they must fit the national party agenda, this also allows for the people to drift apart politically as the citizens ignore the individuality of a candidate and instead view him/her based upon the party. Not only does that harm the people, elections, and the government but it harms the unique cultural/political identity of the local region.

“The culture of the Republican Party went from Eisenhower-type moderation of the ‘50s to very far right by the ‘90s,” said Carlson, a Republican who served from 1991 to 1999. “My administration was kind of an aberration, a temporary stop, on the longer journey.”

What he stated was a trend I have been working hard to fully grasp, from what I have been able to put together it began all the way back in the 1930s and gradually changed and grew over time. The Conservative Coalition was formed between Republicans and Democrats in the 1930s to oppose the New Deal, Roosevelt however was a powerful enough force to hold the Democratic coalition together. Under Truman it fractured a little bit with the Dixiecrats breaking away in 1948 Presidential election. Eisenhower then began inroads into the South during his two elections. Come 1960 the grassroots movement against the Eastern Establishment GOP began with the National Review Republicans of the period.

These Republicans rallied around Barry Goldwater's political aspirations in 1964. Seeing as how Goldwater was not a strong enough candidate the movement at the Presidential level collapsed. But in 1968 Richard Nixon took a new approach by administering the beginning of the Southern Strategy where he would bring Southern whites into the GOP by feeding off the racial tensions of the region. Nixon crumbled however due to Watergate and Ford was not a well liked Republican among Southern stock because he represented the traditional Republican Northerner.

With the rise of television as a major political tool the Conservatives tried again to win in 1976 against Ford in the primary but lost. As Carter's term became known as the days of malaisse America was looking for something and someone new, Ronald Reagan brought that in 1980 beating George H.W. Bush for the nomination then Carter for the election. With Reagan came the Neoconservatives, the Moral Majority, and the Southern Conservatives to power in the Reagan coalition.

It was not until 1994 was the Reagan Revolution solidified with the GOP taking control over the South and the Culture War being placed front-and-center in our national dialogue. With people arguing over abortion, guns, gay marriage, and religion we became polarized and seen ourselves almost as two different types of Americans. That is where the real problems arose. The Tea Party beginning in 2009 was only another extension of the grassroots activity of American Conservatism of the past half century.

As more popular uprisings occur the more our national political debate becomes polarized until we reach a point where the majority of people and politicians declare 'enough is enough' with the partisan politics. Perhaps we are reaching that time now, one can hope.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 12:16 PM
I'm from Minnesota, and let me tell you we have a bunch of really p#ssed off citizens right now.

While the Democrats have compromised on a number of issues, including cuts to social programs, the Republicans refuse to budge one inch. The straw breaking the camel's back is the proposed tax hike on the richest 2% income earners. Weird, because the majority of Republican voters are okay with a tax hike for the top 2%, but the representatives say not no, but hell no!

So, just like children on a playground our leaders have gathered their marbles together and stormed off refusing to play nice with each other.

In the meantime all of us are left to endure the blowback from this little childish game.

Your article, as well as your recollections are true. This state has changed dramatically these last few years and let me tell you it is quite discouraging to watch.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 12:38 PM
Well done Mis.

As an independant conservative, I would loose my mind to have another 'Goldwater" run!

I did like Reagan BUT

(put on tin foil hat)

I really do think his Alzheimers was "helped" along. Back in the eighties, my stepfather had his own small business selling inexpensive (but damn well rebuilt
) auto parts. My mother worked at a bank as a teller. We werent rich by a long stretch but we were legit middle class.

That end of that time period seemed to be a "last hurrah" for the country. We had BARELY survived Carter. Reagans admin seems to have shifted at 2nd election onward. Bush1 started to REALLY run it into the ground with the BS.

Who knows. Reagan could have actually done REX84 with malice and forethought.

Your right though. Something DID change. It used to be just normal bickering of R's and D's and a final compromise. No more. Now we have socialist democrats and weak kneed pseudopublicans.

Both are too corrupt to work for us.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by Misoir

And as the parties harden along extreme left and right lines, the American people are starting to go independant. The parties will be on the ropes before to long. They just don't know it yet.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 02:07 PM

Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by Misoir

And as the parties harden along extreme left and right lines, the American people are starting to go independant. The parties will be on the ropes before to long. They just don't know it yet.

I pray you are correct about the two parties. That would be a happy day for the majority.

Why is it that when I engage an intelligent, sensible person in an everyday situation we can always find a middle-ground compromise?

Yet, in today's political environment there seems to be a real "my way or the highway" attitude? And this is our best and brightest representing us? Pfffttt!

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 02:36 PM
Have to imagine that there is a "third rail" here that goes beyond the Demon-ocratic and Reptila-publican party structure. And that is the monster known as "the Government". Like the Feds, the state governments work under limited system of power, that which the constitution gives them. But what about the beaurocratic Tyrranosaurus Rex the government themselves become? How much do we need? What do we actually want the government to do for us, and not "in our name"? Here is what I'm getting at, I'll just toss these out and wait for the backlash. Do we need a "National Endowment for the Arts"? Why do we have a FEDERAL Dept of Education? Why do the state governments not fufill one of they're primary duties, of which I'm alluding to, is the idea that we elect state representatives to help keep our FEDERAL represetatives in check? Why do we accept "politicians" who go with the premise that the people need to "serve" a political party? Why is it the people who are in political parties, are generally elected officials who end up making all the election rules? Why do we have a FEDERAL EPA? Why do we keep doing the same thing over again, and again, and expect a different result? Why vote when the BEST we can hope for is that we MIGHT get the best government MONEY can buy? If the government shuts down, how does that "hurt" and elected official? Answer, it doesn't because now they have even less work to do, and that's just fine with them, because they come back with that never-childish reply, "it's the other guys fault!"

edit on 3-7-2011 by CosmosKid because: Spelling & Content

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 04:45 PM
reply to post by Hessling

We all base our decisions upon our experiences.

And the experiences are starting to leave a sour taste.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 11:07 PM

Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by Misoir

And as the parties harden along extreme left and right lines, the American people are starting to go independant. The parties will be on the ropes before to long. They just don't know it yet.

The parties are beginning to harden also because of the departure of moderates from the party primaries to become Independents. Of course it was either the parties becoming extreme which drove out the moderates or the moderates left which allowed the extremists to control the party. My suspicion is that it was extremists who became more well known thanks to our headline driven media which then made moderates feel disenfranchised with their party and leave which actually allowed for the extremists to take them over.

How do we fix the parties so as the bring them back to the middle? We allow independent voters to vote in party primaries, on all levels of government. This way the moderates which left their party will be able to vote in it and thus move the party back to the middle. That is just one solution.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by Misoir

This political stand-off by the few is affecting the many citizens of Minnesota. If they were being responsible to the voters they would stay until a budget is decided. No going home until. As public officials they should NOT be allowed to let the state shut down. That is failing to do your job. But WE as "the boss" can't just go and fire them. Ugh.

I live in Minnesota and see the damage this could do. Maybe just minor inconveniences at first, but people will get more angry. So far, I have seen a friends sister get the pink slip from her job at the state lottery. No convenience stores are allowed to sell or give pay-outs on lottery tickets. (Yeah, suspend a big state money-maker) I am not allowed to renew my driver registration as the website is shut down due. I have heard that the DMV will not be open. Have not confirmed this. A popular Minneapolis bar had to shut it's doors because they couldn't renew their liquor license. Traffic reporters can't show live traffic feeds because the MDOT cameras were shut off. No new fishing licenses on Fourth of July the state of 10,000 lakes! The Zoo was closed but they opened it today on somebodies dollar. It has officially gotten ridiculous.
edit on 3-7-2011 by Ghost of America because: fat fingers

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 04:48 AM
I've got what might be a dumb question.....
it was brought up when NY State started closing down some of their state parks to cut the budget....

the state parks does bring in some revenue, anyone know if they bring in more than they cost??? since some were kind of inferring that in NY they were earning money, and's kind of dumb to close down the little bit that actually produces a profit!!!

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