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