Dayton makes civility a viable option

Gov. Mark Dayton is getting national attention for the way he handled what normally would have been a routine signing of an executive order authorizing Minnesota’s enrollment in a federal health care plan. He opened the press conference to the public and when protesters arrived he let them stay. Not only that, he let some of them speak at the governor’s podium. And in the end, while few minds were changed, anger abated.

I am in favor of this method. Not all events will allow this approach, but anything that gets the argument elevated to actual debate instead of dueling sound bites is appreciated these days. I doubt that Dayton and the DFL’s debates with the GOP-controlled legislature will be easy, but let’s hope they stay this civil. They may.

Increasingly I am of the mind that, for all Dayton’s failings as a politician, he might yet be the right man for the unpleasant, unpopular work yet to come. I don’t expect everyone to agree with him, but here’s a guy who’s not interested in how things look on TV or his next job. He’s going to dig in.


  1. We appreciate your Dayton like approach also Aaron, allowing a civil debate of varying opinions on your website.

    That said, Dayton has a long way to go to become a leader. Raised rich with a silver spoon, there’s no way he can relate to a Ranger’s way of life.

    He’s had numerous runs at leadership roles and failed in every one. He got the current position because a minority, 43% of the people, got a warm fuzzy feeling thinking of Daytons department stores when they voted. Better people like Anderson-Kelliher didn’t stand a chance.

  2. I like the fact that Dayton has asked the people of our state to help each other. That is what we should do. The fact that he thinks we can balance our budget on the backs of businesses and successful business people, is idiotic. We can’t chase jobs out of our state, we need to attract them.

  3. I don’t think that’s what he’s pushing. I think that fits the narrative you push at the end of every, single, one of my posts. I’m not going to keep repeating myself.

  4. That is absolutely what Dayton ran on. Balancing budget by raising taxes on wealthy and businesses. Read any article in the Star trib all last fall.

  5. OK, I get that, but the proper argument is what is the fair, productive tax rate for businesses and high earners in a modern democracy? At some point I would like to know if protecting their historically low tax rates is worth raising local property taxes or running the government like a hardware store going out of business. I think we disagree about on this. I get that sense, anyway.

  6. What I really would like to know is why “Anonymous” never states who they are. It always makes me think less of their arguments because I feel that if they were confident, they wouldn’t hide behind anonymity. Unless it’s secretly you fighting with yourself Aaron 😉 Seriously though, it’s juvenile and disappointing.

  7. Oh man, maybe this is like Fight Club. You were worried I’d gone crazy.

  8. My new rule in elections is “vote for the person who has no interest in running for higher office.” Pawlenty made some horribly selfish decisions, and Dayton seems like a step in the right direction. Out here in California, Jerry Brown has already made a handful of very unpopular decisions in his first week to balance the budget. He’ll get voted out in a landslide after his first term, but he’s doing what needs to be done and it’s very refreshing.

  9. We don’t have a taxation problem, we have a major spending problem. I’m more concerned about jobs than taxes on the Range but to ignore the fact that we over spent the budget by 4 trillion in the last 4 years is crazy. That’ll catch up to us….. It always does. K Edwards

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