The Borrowed Majority
“I want to be the minority. I don’t need your authority. Down with the [borrowed] majority. ’Cause I want to be the minority.” – Billie Joe Armstrong
The year is 2008. The economy is crumbling. The wars are going… ok at best. The Democrats have been pissed off for years. And now, with the government deciding they needed to do something about the economy (TARP), the Republicans are turning against them as well. Going into the election, we all knew how it would turn out (excluding the delusional). America was so angry that “change” was guaranteed and the Republicans would lose the White House, whether any of these problems were their fault or not.
Flash forward: The year is 2011. The Republicans have taken the majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives, as well as the Senate. On a much smaller scale, the same situation may be building here in Minnesota as that which happened nationally in 2008. The voters of Minnesota have given the GOP the majority in both houses on the promise that the budget would be balanced with cuts, rather than tax increases. To this point, the party has held true to this cause. But there’s more.
Personally, I had some concerns with the party going into the 2010 election. While I was confident that they would try to fix the budget without raising taxes, I was uneasy that the Republicans would not stick to fiscal issues. Originally, these concerns stemmed from our choices for the party’s nomination in the gubernatorial race, Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert, both quite socially conservative. I was assured by certain members of the media and Republican candidates that the 2010 election was about economic issues such as the budget and that we should vote based on that.
Well, the party thought it wise to take on some social issues (marriage, voter ID, etc.). They’re presenting them in the form of constitutional amendments, the only way they can pass them because the Governor would certainly use the veto. With constitutional amendments, only the legislature needs to pass them; then, they simply go right on to the ballot to be voted on by the public in the general election.
And so I give you the “borrowed majority”. With issues like these on the ballot, left-wingers and libertarians will be flocking to the polls to cast their “no” votes. Frankly, I’ll be right there with them. The problem is, there will be many socially liberal people voting that might not have done so otherwise. With their “no” votes will come votes for the DFL legislative candidates.
This means that, come 2013, we could possibly have a DFL majority in the House and Senate to go along with our very own Governor Dayton. Imagine the things they could do! Light rail trains following every major highway! Tax increases for all! Increased welfare programs! Less local government control! More world schools! More money for the arts and the environment! Cap and trade! Ethanol subsidies! …and on and on.
We get this, all because the Republican majority could not stick to the budget. We simply gave them a two-year lease on control of the legislature. So in 2013, remember to ask yourself, was it worth it? Was getting a marriage definition and voter ID added to the constitution worth all of this? Well?