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Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Primaries are Here - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
08.011.2018

The Primaries are Here

I guess I’ll vote in the primaries on Tuesday.

It is not something that I normally do, but there is a lot on the line this time, both nationally and here at home.

We have the Governor’s race to think of, the Senate, a new member of congress for my district. I voted for Martin Sabo, and I voted for Keith Ellison, and now there is choice…whatever choice we make we will likely be locking it in for a generation; Attorney General, Hennepin County Sheriff…this is a big deal.

I am not exactly a “dyed in the wool,” though for the most part I do vote DFL, straight down the party line. I do vote for Republicans from time to time; have on the right side of the isle for President, Senate, and Governor too, on the rare occasion when I just could not tolerate the candidate my Democratic Party has put up.

Idealistically I am about as far left as left can go, but anyone who has read my political commentary can tell you that I do not think politics and idealism mix well.

Politics is about pragmatism, it is about holding the line against bad policy, while incrementally advancing the good. Only occasionally is politics about making a stand for something come “hell or high water,” and that is because political choices are being made long after the crises which prompt us to get up and make stand have faded away, and the choices that end up getting made are always about building consensus, deal making, and compromise.

If we brought back the good old days of earmarking bills, and pork barrel spending, we would have a much more functioning government…of course that is why the leadership in congress did away with it, too many rank and file members were in the habit of cutting deals across the isle, talking to one another, funding each other’s projects.

I think its okay to vote for Richard Painter over Tina Smith, for the DFL nomination for Senate even though he spent his whole life as a Republican, worked in the Bush white house and before he took up the fight against the current President, he and I would probably not have agreed on much.

But he has divorced himself from the Republican party, he has promised to caucus with the Democrats if nominated, but he has not promised to toe the party line. I think there is some risk in that, but I also think it is okay, because he is one of T-Rumps staunchest opponents and his the rhetorical chops to take the fight to him.

Tina Smith…I don’t know, I see her commercials and they are telling me nothing about her, nothing at all, just a Minnesota nice lady with a Minnesota nice smile. I think she thinks she can just walk away with the NOD, not showing up in public forums to engage her rivals. She is taking the seat she was appointed to for granted, and that is never cool.

Keith Ellison has my vote for Attorney General.

Lori Swanson’s people are all coming out against her, telling us that she is corrupt. There is no way she can sit in the Governor’s Chair, its going to have to Walz, I will miss Mark Dayton when he is gone, I hope the next person who holds that office has the same grit as him.

Ihlan Omar, its your turn.