Dayton winning the compromise argument

The choppy, awkward first couple minutes shows why I’ve always wondered what’s up with Gov. Mark Dayton. The strong last minute shows why I respect him and ended up voting for him.

Dayton is not a compelling public speaker. Perhaps his policy positions put him in line with a brand of Anderson/Perpich progressivism that is out of fashion these days. But the governor is sincere and determined. Setting his policy positions aside, and those of the Republican legislature, Dayton’s interpretation of the word “compromise” here is the most reasonable.

Another way to look at this: Most seem to think that the public is pretty much outraged with everyone in office right now. Who do you think cares less about getting re-elected or what people think about them on Twitter? Admittedly the Republicans are better at saying they don’t care about those things, but is that the same?

I’d bet that, for a time anyway, the governor’s position ends up being the one that has enduring support. He might blink first. He might blink a million times. In fact, he just did. But maybe this isn’t a no-blink contest after all.


  1. Dayton has his awkward and choppy moments, but he also has strong ones. The related GameFair video at the end reminded me of one of them: when he asked hunters, “How many of you have ever used Cop Killer bullets?”

  2. Dayton has been reduced to a tearful, gibbering idiot, afraid to call a special session to reopen state government to allow our taxes to once again re-flow from his house to the people who paid them in the first place.

    It’s painful to watch him. There’s not an iota of courage in his DNA.

    It’s clear to see why he ranked himself as THE worst senator of all time…and cut and run, closed his office for God’s sake when he was senator…afraid of the goofy, f’ing Muslims.

    And you continue to follow this guy?

    He wouldn’t have lasted a day growing up on the Range…

  3. @Susan – I am still amazed at how his imperfections leave him the capacity to surprise. LIke I said, I read him as being sincere. @Ranger47 – Why so mean? The special session question is related to having negotiations completed to save wasted time with bills that won’t be signed. Pawlenty, virile specimen of manhood he was, did the same thing. As for the rest, I’d rather deal with a guy who can own up to his mistakes than one who can’t.

  4. Wow is our state in trouble. Why set your sights so low Aaron? – “I’d rather deal with a guy who can own up…?”. What’s he owned up to? Why not demand leadership vs. “having to deal” with someone?

    Sounds like Wisconsin politicians -cut and run verses represent the people, do their job..lead.

  5. Our state is in trouble, but probably not for reasons we could agree about here. My word choice is couched in a desire to be polite and understated. I think we all want leadership. The issue is that there are some fairly deep-seeded disagreements about how to get there.

  6. As I drove to and from the range, the only signs I saw were for the governor to sign the GOP $43 billion budget bills and billboards proclaiming the governor to be a fool. The stories of hardship so far have had a difficult time winning me over, such as a woman who lost her $260/week daycare subsidy so she had to buy generic food to make sure her family could eat or the family with a state worker on furlough who had to cancel their summer vacation. These are disappointments, but not hardships in any sense of the word. The only place the GOP loses the middle is when their social agenda creeps into the mix, but when the media tries to play stories such as these to me as hardships, I end up back on the side of the conservatives because it tells me our government spending has become far to wasteful and has gone far beyond a safety net.

  7. Hope you’ll pardon the long excerpt, but this sounds to me like hardship:

    “To be honest, I’m very scared. The situation doesn’t look as though it will be resolved very soon, and we have only enough savings for a couple of months.

    “I just completed treatment for late stage cancer. My cancer has a good chance of returning, and in six months, I’ll have no health insurance other than Cobra, which is $1300 per month. Pretty hard to pay when your income is zero.

    “I have a wonderful husband, but our Plan C is to divorce if things get really bad. My chances at state or federal health care are much better if I’m single. I can’t believe that it’s come to this.

    “Now, not only the weight of cancer recurrence is hanging over my head, but also the chance of permanently losing my job if the Senate and House have their way with spending cuts to state government.

    “I and so many of my co-workers are hard-working, dedicated people. I miss them, I miss my supervisor, and I miss my job.” โ€” Laid off Pollution Control Agency employee


  8. I think a lot of us already know people who’ve lost their jobs. I’m not sure why state employees should be utterly immune from this possibility. Both Brainerd and the Strib featured a story on a woman whose hardship is that she’s losing $43K in annual childcare subsidy. The average worker in Crow Wing County makes around $33K.

  9. @CJH

    While I agree that is a hardship, I also have to agree with David. Here’s the two sides to that coin. Had that person in the story worked in the private sector and the company went out of business, that person would be facing the same prospect, with no hope of returning to work since the company would no longer exist (unlike the government which will reopen at some point giving the possibility of the job returning).

    The other side of that coin is that is the type of person that our modern society has intended for the government to help out. But here we are telling them that they “make too much” and are going to force them to get divorced in order to provide for their family because of situation (cancer at I assume an early age) that was not a choice. When you compare that to the woman with 8 kids getting $40,000+/year for child care based on her choice to have 8 kids (sorry, 1 might be forgivable, you don’t make the same mistake 8 times) – you can see how it is hard to let government run these welfare systems. It is so unfair.

    What makes it worse is how we don’t give the bureaucracy a chance to work. Shouldn’t a county case worker be able to see the unfairness of this imbalance and give some money to the person with cancer and tell the mom with the 8 kids that her 14 year-old can watch a few of the other kids and she can survive on $1000/month in child care subsidies?

    Thanks CJH, you have further proved the point of the inefficiency and unfairness of government. Wow does it need to be fixed.

  10. There’s a lot going on in this conversation now and I can only address some of it, but I am going to chime in with Eric’s comment about the $43K child care figure cited by David. I don’t know how many kids are involved in that figure; presumably quite a few. My mom has been a daycare provider for many years so I have an idea what it costs. I think we should not neglect the notion that there is a social benefit to seeing that kids, however many and whoever their parents are, are raised safely and provided some element of pre-K education. $43K is no small number, indeed does cost more than the income averages, but I like the idea of eight people getting educated and paying taxes in the future. Hell, maybe they’ll generate jobs in the private sector! They’re as likely to do that as millionaires, because economic growth is an attitude as much as it is an economic prescription. When people have value and feel it, they are encouraged to push themselves to contribute to society. It’s not quite that simple, of course, and there is social value in stable, two-parent households, but still there is an element of social cost and benefit that I feel is missing for the debate as it’s been framed here.

    Oh, and Eric – Government by I-35 billboards is tyranny. Would you set gambling law by that stupid casino turtle? Down with the turtle (tyranny)! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Aaron –

    The article cited is here in the Star Tribune

    The issue I think David and I take with the amount of the subsidy and the accompanying story is first the age range of the kids. The story says she has 8 kids, the 6 youngest for which she gets subsidies are ranged 14 to 3. So even if we assume the youngest 5 are 1 year apart, that means they are 3,4,5,6,7 and 14. This would mean at least 3 of the 6 are already in regular K-12 during the school year. So does she really need $3600 every month to get pre-school for 3 kids? I send my kid to one of the most expensive ones in Rochester and at 3 years old it would be $210/week if I sent her every day. If I had more than one child there, I would get a discount for multiple children.

    There is also the issue of being a single mom. If dad is still alive, then she should receive some kind of child support as well. If dad is deceased, than mom would receive social security for the children. If dad is deceased, people with 8 children should also be prepared with some type of life insurance or other plan. It is a heavy responsibility, and a parent needs to take it seriously (as you obviously know and do).

    Another example was a twitter discussion I has where a woman asked me how she was expected to get her autistic grandson ready for school this fall without the government’s help. As I said, She would have to do it the same way as I do with my autistic step-son, through hard work and doing the best you can.

    I guess the feeling I get in my discussions with some people is that asking for more revenue would be OK, but it has to come with a plan on how to better manage the money. Throwing more money at something doesn’t always fix it. Look at how many lottery winners end up bankrupt within 5 years. The government needs some new lessons in how to better manage the money, then I think people would be more willing to say we can help out more.

    I understand it can never be perfect, but it just seems there are too many stories of waste to ignore. You ask a few county case workers what they see every day, and even they get disgusted.

    And Aaron – you ignored the road signs, the road signs! ๐Ÿ™‚

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