There is no reason to take Governor Pawlenty's "Sam's Club Republican" quip seriously. It is nothing more than a meaningless marketing slogan. Does it imply that he is on the side of the working class? In what way?
Tim Pawlenty has waged an unending war on the middle class by shifting the burden of taxation to the regressive property tax. He has washed his hands of any state responsibility for the health of our most vulnerable citizens by his unallotment of the GAMC program and attacks on working-class MinnesotaCare clients as receiving "welfare healthcare."
By any objective measure, life has gotten much worse in Minnesota over the seven years he has been in office.
In short, Pawlenty is a politician without any substance, an empty suit if there ever was one. His only commitment is to not raise taxes on his rich friends, no matter what the cost to the state.
Does he want to do to the nation what he has done to Minnesota? Let's work to ensure he never gets the chance.
Head like a hole
So one of the strategies Pawlenty could use to become the next president is to "become a household name"? As repulsive as that idea is to me, here is a free idea for him anyway.
Every time a Minnesotan hits a pothole while driving (and this is inevitable), perhaps we can train everyone to call them "paw-holes." During our governor's terms, state and city roads have deteriorated precipitously and are filled with hundreds of thousands of Tim paw-holes.
Just think of how many Minnesotans will think of him on a daily basis! I don't know about voters in other states, but it sure would work well here.
Party of stupidity
The most alarming thing about the potential presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin was the presidency of George W. Bush. Even though the nation had been subjected to eight years of arguably the most ignorant and incompetent president in U.S. history, the same Republican base that enthusiastically imposed the Bush candidacy on the country twice was apparently gleefully prepared to do the same with Palin.
Fortunately for all concerned, Palin apparently has forgone her own presidential ambitions in favor of a book deal or reality TV show or whatever other commercial venture may be in the offing.
With the early casualties of the candidacies of Palin and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the spotlight has been placed on Governors Romney and Pawlenty.
It would seem that the paramount question on the minds of the American electorate in 2012 is likely to be: Can the Republican Party and its candidates be trusted to do what's best for the country after previously demonstrating so convincingly that they cannot?
Pawlenty acolytes will say that he is a "new" kind of Republican, but his actions as governor have shown time and time again that he follows the same old Republican line. In lean times he has consistently taken draconian measures to cut funding for programs and initiatives that most affect those who are least able to cope, and all in the name of "no new taxes" for those who are most able to contribute.
So is Pawlenty "just what the doctor ordered" for "shell-shocked Republicans"? Well, if duping the public into believing that the party of the aristocracy cares one whit about the plight of average citizens, then Pawlenty is certainly as capable of delivering the message as any of his rivals. Hopefully, by 2012, the darkness that descended over our country for eight long years will remain fresh in the minds of voters.
Remember the RNC
While Matt Snyders's cover story on Sheriff Fletcher highlighted some of Fletcher's egregious behavior, I believe it downplayed how he terrified those in the activist community who call themselves anarchists ("Fletcher's Gang," 7/8/09). During the convergence space raid, his deputies held about 75 people at gunpoint and in handcuffs for hours. For two weeks after the RNC, nearly a dozen people were visited by the Ramsey County cops "just to talk." As an activist lawyer providing legal support, I took six of those calls. While the activists asserted their rights, they still felt unnerved and preyed upon. A private individual behaving the way Fletcher and his employees did could be charged with harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, and assault. The RNC 8 are still dealing with the legal fallout of Ramsey County's need to justify its sheriff's over-the-top response. The voters of Ramsey County need to remember the jackbooted thuggery brought to them by Sheriff Fletcher and remove him from office.
Carla J. Magnuson