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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

We Need An Intervention

Category: 2018
Posted: 04/11/18 11:53

by Dave Mindeman

I have not been posting lately because it seems like the minute I get done writing something, the news cycle has passed it all by.

Today, Trump is threatening Syria. Paul Ryan decides not to run again. Zuckerberg is testifying to the House. Still getting the aftermath of the FBI raid on Cohen's office. Jim Comey's book comes out next week. And baseball in the snow.

How do you keep up with that?

Donald Trump has given America a case of the frenzies. We do not have time to respond to anything. The infringements keep going and keep getting worse.

If we ever needed an election to hear the voice of the American people, that time is now. Trump has ruined health care; ruined the EPA; ruined any respect for the press; is on the verge of ruining the economy; and has taken politics into the toilet.

And yet he is still standing. Republicans are not only not doing anything but they are turning tail and running away. Remember when John McCain ran on a platform of "Country First"? It would always be our country before politics. Well, that certainly went out the window with Trump - when he says America First, he really means Trump First.

We are headed for a Constitutional crisis. Trump is going to force all of us to do something. He will not leave - no matter what the Mueller investigation says - and the Republican Party is too cowardly to stand up to it.

Republicans always told us that once they got full control of government that things would certainly be different. Well they are - they are a disaster.

This November, Democrats, Independents, like minded Republicans - all need to vote. To raise a voice that says, this is not who we are.

Whatever kind of experiment this has been - it has been an abject failure. The country needs an intervention - this election must serve that purpose.
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Trash The Party If You Must - But Remember the Goal

Category: 2018
Posted: 03/27/18 12:03, Edited: 03/27/18 12:07

by Dave Mindeman

I am seriously trying to figure out what some people in this party process actually want. It is difficult to interpret. Some want to trash everything about the Democratic Party. Trash the DCCC. Trash the caucus process. Trash the endorsement process. Trash leadership. Trash the State Party. Trash the conventions. Trash how we even discuss things on the internet. What exactly do you want? Do you want to change the party? Well, then you have a funny way of going about it. Because blowing things up doesn't make anything change. It just blows things up.

I personally have been with the Democratic Party for decades. I have seen a lot of stupid things and I have seen some inspiring things. Those of you who trash the endorsement process would never have heard of Paul Wellstone. Those of you who think the endorsement process is sacrosanct would not have Mark Dayton as governor. Trashing the party gave us Donald Trump. Trashing the party will continue giving us Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, and Tom Emmer.

Where were all these complainers when Steve Sarvi was running for Congress? Where were you for Teresa Daly, Coleen Rowley, Shelley Madore, and Mike Obermueller? Where were you? If you don't have a history with this party and only want to trash it, what are you accomplishing?

I have had many disagreements with the party. My wife and I have constantly come up against obstacles for needed change. But we don't just give up. We don't just take our toys and go home when those disagreements happen. We need to ultimately just win elections to fix any of this. Internal arguments are fine, but keep your eyes on the goal. To oust Republicans. You are entitled to complain about what you do not like - but if you are a member of an organization, you still have basic principles to uphold and continue.

We had a rough cycle in 2018. But the Republicans had help. Help from foreign money. Foreign media. NRA money dumps. And a whole lot of manipulation of our core values. The Russians wanted us to turn on each other and they succeeded.

And that continues today. The Republican model of divide and conquer is alive and well. Yet, we still have an opportunity to come back. The GOP has once again overplayed their hand. We have a motivated youth movement. And we have President who is incompetent. Let's get back to basics. We are the party of the working class. We are the party of the poor and impoverished. We are the party of minority rights. The party of reproductive rights. The party of sensible gun laws. Act like it. Unite behind those ideals.

Complaining about the Democratic Party is a time tested right. But my test for your sincerity is this - will you still be working for the party if your candidate does not win?
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Harassment - Buried Facts and No Action

Category: 2018
Posted: 03/10/18 16:00

by Dave Mindeman

The House report on harassment policy after the Cornish cases, finally came out and only a small portion was made public. Once again, the House internalizes its dirty laundry and expects the public to be satisfied.

Remember when Erin Maye Quade, Lindsey Port, and Jamie Becker Finn called for an outside task force to study this situation? Well, maybe you don't because like everything else in Kurt Daudt's House, it got tabled, indefinitely, forever.

We need an outside group with some authority. The Cornish look see was assigned by Daudt, released to Daudt, and locked up by Daudt.

At least the general findings were released....

1) Some elected representatives don't appreciate or choose to disregard the power imbalance between them and staff, lobbyists and others who work in and around the Capitol.

2) No Legislature-wide policy or formal agreements on sexual harassment exist. Instead, the House, Senate and the Legislative Coordinating Commission each have separate policies.

3) When witnesses or potential interviewees in investigations are lobbyists, non-legislative state employees, or other third parties, the House has no power to compel them to take part in an investigation.

4) The House has not sufficiently publicized policies for third parties, including members of the public and lobbyists to make reports of discrimination or harassment.

5) A perception that House members will not be disciplined for violations of the House Policy may chill reports regarding members.

All of that is troubling, but with number two, it is obvious that the MN House does not take any of this seriously. And with number 5, why would there be any incentive to change it?

When these problems first surfaced, there was this sense that finally something would move on this. That the House would have to do something. But because the House continues to block public access to what it knows and keeps internalizing and hiding every bad actor - this subject gets buried with impunity.

We need some sunlight on everything the legislature does. How can we possibly evaluate policy when we are only allowed to see what Kurt Daudt wants us to see?

Change this; change the House; throw the bums out.
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