“Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman…Damned Glad to Meet You”

Some of the new pledges were probably still in diapers when I last posted here at the Delta House of blogs and I apologize for neglecting my fraternal duties…I’d like to tell you that I’ve been busy exploring the vegetable aisle with Mrs. Wormer, but the sad truth is that I’ve just been busy.  Really, really, really busy.

Recently, though, it come to my attention that a few things have slipped in my absence. I’m not naming names or casting blame…really, I realize that it was me who went walkabout and didn’t even leave a note… but let’s just say that some of our standards seem to have sagged a bit.

For example…

1. The gay marriage amendment thing.  Really, Republicans, really?  We’re facing a bazillion dollar deficit that – as my colleague Mr. Loveland noted – you’ve done almost nothing to close and now is your idea of a good time is to put on the 2012 ballot a constitutional amendment about gay marriage?

Let’s remember that we do have other things to worry about and let’s also take a good look at the calendar to remind ourselves that it’s 2011, not 2004.  And, let’s remember that this was going to be the “jobs, jobs, jobs” legislature.  How many jobs can the Minnesota legislature claim?

….<crickets, crickets, crickets>….

And, oh yeah, apparently a majority of us think this is not a particularly important or controversial issue:

Lest we think this is an aberration, these numbers track with AP’s, CNN’s and ABC’s results.

I said it via Twitter and I’ll say it now: the proponents of this amendment will come to regret putting this measure on the ballot.  They have misjudged the high water mark of their wedge issue.

2. The Pawlenty candidacy. Again, I bow to Mr. Loveland for a substantive indictment of Mr. Pawlenty’s flaws, but are we really going to let this hayseed, mullet-wearer from South St. Paul portray his eight years of failed governorship as a positive, as his principal justification of his candidacy? I can understand the national media not being conversant on the Pawlenty era, but those of us who lived under his regime know better.  We have an obligation to bear witness.

3. The Bachmann candidacy.  The rest of the country must wonder what’s in our water. So do I.  Michelle Bachmann running for president makes a Pawlenty candidacy look reasonable.  Hell, it makes the witch from Delaware’s candidacy look reasonable.

So…in the spirit of the kind of fraternity we are, here’s my call to arms and – implicit therein – my promise that I’m going to be hanging around the bar a lot more in the months to come:

- Austin

10 Responses

  1. I wondered how long it’d take for you to pop. Welcome back, Mr. Chairman.

    I nearly drove my car into an SUV bumper this morning, enraged by the question for Midmorning listeners: “If you had 10 minutes with the governor and the legislative leaders, what would you say to them?” I couldn’t call in to answer the question; all you would have heard was a long “beeeeeeeeeeep” to cover the litany of expletives.

  2. Every time I see charts like the one you post here, I marvel at how much gay rights attitudes have changed over the last 15 years. Amazing.

    These anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments have been passing all over the country, but I wonder if Minnesota in 2012 is the time and the place where that trend might be reversed. The tipping point. If not now, it will be in the next few years, as older generations pass on.

    The gay marriage amendment is designed to bring the light voting religious right to the polls in 2012, not to protect marriage. It’s about cynical politics, not principles.

    But beware my Republican amigos, the other political effect of the cynical gambit will be to turn more tolerant young voters away from the Republican party.

    So, time will tell whether this is a good political move for 2012. But it is increasingly obvious that it is a very bad political move for 2020 and beyond.

  3. I think gay marriage has already jumped the shark and Minnesota will be pointed to as the state that confirmed what Focus on the Family recently said (albeit as a fundraising/organizing tactic):

    We’re winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage? We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

  4. I blame it on reality shows…

  5. I blame it on the “rapture effect”–despite the predictions that the earth would end because of gay marriage, it simply has not happened–and now no one believes the doomsayers. It is Chicken Little all over again, or the little boy who cried “wolf!”.

    Hell, Arnold is a greater threat to the institution of marriage….

  6. Amos 5:24

  7. Hey Professor. Thanks for the reminder that Loveland has earned the Franchise tag and all the glory that goes with it. A broken leg, a dead arm and he’s still strapping on the chest protector (pardon the too clever analogy) and providing thoughtful conjecture and perceptive insight on the consistent basis us old-timers have come to expect to expect from the Crowd. But you Professor are the signature. Good to hear from you and trusting all that “business” that kept you away was of the favorable variety.

  8. The other reason MN could be the homophobes’ Waterloo in 2012 is that Minneapolis has now been named the nation’s Gayest City, as the Daily Show pointed out in a very informative segment yesterday. Excerpt:

    Reporter: “The difference between (Minneapolis and San Francisco) could not be more stark. Old gay:”

    San Francisco guy: “You see leather, you see boas, you see naked people…”

    Reporter: “New gay:”

    Minneapolis guy: ‘Last night, we had our classical Chinese reading group.”

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