Minnesota certainly is the center of controversy recently, what with the contested Senate race between Senator Al Franken and former Senator Norm Coleman in 2008-09; the decision of former Governor Tim Pawlenty to run for President after having presided over a $5 billion dollar state budget deficit; and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann embracing the Tea Party Movement and suddenly emerging as a serious Presidential candidate for the Republican Party.
But now, Minnesota may be a microcosm of what will happen nationally, as the Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, faced with a Republican state legislative majority in both houses, has become engaged in a battle over the budget, forcing the shutting down of much of the Minnesota state government and many of its functions!
Dayton insists that those citizens with more than $1 million income, three one hundreds of one percent of the population, about 7,700 individuals, pay higher taxes, so that budget cuts on education, health care and other essential programs, be limited.
But the Republican legislature, just as on the national level, refuses to consider ANY tax increases, so Dayton is playing it tough, showing courage and conviction!
In a way, it is a microcosm of President Bill Clinton fighting the Republican Congress in 1995, and winning the struggle over Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Bob Dole, after a shutdown lasting a couple of weeks.
The Minnesota debacle may go on for a long time, but Dayton is becoming a model for President Obama, who needs to stand up to the Republicans over the debt limit crisis.
Since constitutionally, the 14th Amendment, Section 4, allows the government to pay its debts no matter whether or not the Congress formally raises the debt ceiling, Obama should declare he will use that constitutional method and wait for the GOP to bend, as they must, or else we have reached a reality level that we are a plutocracy, where the rich dominate and dictate to the rest of us, and that CANNOT be allowed!
Talking tough at his press conference, and comparing the procrastination of the opposition party to his daughters doing their homework ahead of time, Obama angered the Republicans, who did not appreciate being compared to children, but that is exactly what they are doing–acting childish, and not doing their job, and having the gall to suggest that Obama should not do anything other than deal with the fiscal crisis, while in fact, he has to deal with multitudes of issues all of the time, unlike them, who take many holiday breaks and vacations!
Obama has taken fewer vacations or holiday breaks than George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, both infamous for constant vacations and holiday breaks, sometimes leaving the impression that they were away from their responsibilities more than they were on the job!
Mr. President, use Governor Dayton of Minnesota as a model, and give the Republicans “hell” as Harry Truman used to do, and you will win the battle of public opinion as Bill Clinton did in 1995!