Tuesday, October 9, 2007

From One of Our National Correspondents?

One of the most prominent Conservative New Hampshire Political Bloggers at a site called GreenMountainPolitics (click here), posted a piece today entitled, "What The Republican Party Can Learn From Tim Pawlenty"

Here are a few of the best excerpted portions from this piece.

This post is about Governor Pawlenty.

And his terrific "Road-Map Out Of The GOP Message Wilderness" stump speech (our words not his) that he delivered in Fairlee, Vermont last night to New Hampshire and Vermont GOP activists.

But then the Governor moved into the actual meat of his speech. And he stopped sounding like "a lot of politicians".

He began by talking about the massive economic, cultural and technological changes currently sweeping across the globe. He told the audience that "massive change" is both "a little bit scary" and "exciting" at the same time.

Then he told the audience that Americans in general, and the Republican Party in particular, needs to "hold on to what makes us great" while at the same time being flexible enough to "take advantage of new opportunities".

"So what's something that makes us great?" Governor Pawlenty asked the Republican crowd. "We are the Party of fiscal discipline!" he answered himself.

The Governor then proceeded to sort out his 55 vetoes as Governor of Minnesota, including his vetoes of most of Minnesota's major omnibus bills.

Heads started bobbing up and down in the room.

"But the Republican Party needs to have a broader vision than just being accountants for the Democrats," Governor Pawlenty explained.

Our heart fluttered. More than a little bit. (emphasis mine)

The good Governor then launched into a 20 minute discussion on education reform, health care reform and energy reform.

Our favorite quote, on the need for energy reform, "70% of our oil comes from foreign sources and it hooks us to people and places that we shouldn't be hooked to. It is a national security imperative that we move our country away from oil. The public is way ahead of the politicians on this issue."

By God! A Republican who is clearly unwilling to cede the energy issue to the Democrats? Incredible!

And the Republican Party should watch the good Governor closely and learn a thing or two about updating (creating?) their broader message for 2008. And beyond. (emphasis mine)

We're just saying.
Well. . . Hmmmmmm. . . How should we read this Northeasterner's post?

First of all, he is right. We've written about this from the beginning. It is refreshing to have a leader like governor Pawlenty unwilling to cede any issue to the Democrats in this country. Conservatives have answers to health care, education and the environment just like we have answers on taxes, the economy, defense and crime. And on each and everyone of these issues, Governor Pawlenty is leading the way.

Second of all. . . well. . . he is right. Our party should really watch Governor Pawlenty in 2008 and beyond to learn a thing about updating and creating our message.

It is almost as though our new friends at GreenMountainPolitics believe the GOP has become the "Party of Pawlenty."

Pass it on.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Muddy waters

Right on cue, no sooner had the Minnesota Poll revealed that a majority of Minnesotans opposed raising the gas tax than liberals stated that the reason for the lack of support is that taxpayers are simply too dumb to support the liberal position. Whenever polls show a lack of support for their policies, liberals reflexively reason that people don’t agree with them simply because they’re stupid.

The following except appeared in an article by Pat Doyle in the Sunday Star Tribune:
Some who have followed the issue over the years were surprised that more people didn’t support a gas tax hike in the aftermath of the disaster.

“I would have thought the bridge collapsing might have been a pretty good indicator that something needed to happen, but it’s still muddy waters,” said Lee Munnich, who specializes in transportation policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

He said politicians supporting a hike have not made a persuasive case that routine but critical maintenance needs more money and the federal government won’t provide enough of it.
While I shall pass over Munnich’s unfortunate reference to “muddy waters” subsequent to the bridge collapse, he needs to refer back to the poll results. There is absolutely nothing “muddy” about these numbers. Contrary to what the Democrats believed, taxpayers aren’t willing to write the tax-and-spenders a blank check because a bridge collapsed. DFLers believed that they had the perfect issue to force a tax increase and were salivating at what they believed was slam-dunk opportunity.

If the poll results had been reversed, Democrats would be trumpeting the results as proof that Minnesotans are firmly behind a gas tax increase. They would be scampering about demanding action in light of what would be described as overwhelming support for the tax hike. However, since the poll results are not in line with liberal plans, they are “muddy” and “surprising.”

The other obvious and more important point in the article is how it exposes the liberal belief that people don’t agree with them simply because the explanation was inadequate. In other words, were taxpayers more fully informed, they would obviously support raising taxes. It’s not a matter of genuine philosophical differences; it’s that a more “persuasive case” must be made. (Leftists “making a more persuasive case” is the type of ominous euphemism that one can easily imagine the Gestapo employing.)

The best line of the article was quoting Robert O’Byrne of rural Rochester who stated, “I think for every dollar you pay in taxes you get back about ten cents in value.”

This wisdom is contrasted with a statement that will certainly be a contender for the Stupidest Logic of the Week Award in which 82-year old poll respondent Ralph Belin stated that he favors a gas tax increase because, “I don’t think people in our state are that bad off, they can afford a nickel a gallon.” Brilliant. Just brilliant. To liberals, the only qualification for whether a tax is advisable is if taxpayers can “afford” it.

How about this logic: I don’t believe Ralph is so bad off he can’t afford to send me $100. Ralph, if you’re reading this – and unfortunately you’re not – I’m waiting for the check, because you can “afford” it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Star Tribune: Pawlenty Has Highest Approval Ratings In Four Years

"Gov. Tim Pawlenty appears to have weathered some of the most tumultuous events of his tenure, with 59 percent of Minnesota adults approving of the job he is doing as governor, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows. It is his highest approval rating in the poll since February 2003, shortly after he took office.

Despite frequent combat with the DFL-dominated Legislature, the recent horror of a bridge collapse on his watch and questions about the state's response to flooding in southeastern Minnesota, Republican Pawlenty's strong approval rating cut across gender, regional and age lines." Source: Star Tribune, October 3, 2007

Click here for complete story.