Monday, February 18, 2013

Hairs on the back of my neck

Intuition. Foreboding.  The sense that you are being watched.  The hairs on the back of your neck, raising in response to an unknown threat.  All different ways of describing a situation where your sub-conscious mind is processing information that your conscious mind is not aware of.  It's a survival mechanism in humans that has been honed over tens of thousands of years.  It was fully in play today reading the headlines.

Misdirection is the key to a good ambush.  Such as-

Mitch Berg points out the absurdity of the new gun control ban bill from Rep Hausmann that would ban one of the most popular deer hunting rifles in Minnesota, among dozens of others.  The reaction from the right?  We focus on the worst parts of the proposed gun control push in order to demonstrate how radical the idea is.  After letting us concentrate on the absurd, they can yank it out in a show of 'compromise', leaving the rest of the gun control push in place.  The media and the voters lose interest.

Andy Apilkowski reviews the controversial rules change in the Minnesota House, where amendments must now be filed 24 hours prior to being allowed on the floor.  Because a large number of GOP Reps are justifiably angry, the media actually covers this issue, activists excoriate the change as rank hypocrisy, and even low information voters are aware of the issue.  In a gesture of peace, the House DFL keep the rules in place but relax enforcement of them this session, allowing the DFL to appear magnanimous.  Next session, they enforce the rules as written, and complaints by the GOP are dismissed with the simple phrase 'these rules were passed last year, so why are the Republicans only complaining now?'

Bill Glahn reminds us that the DFL ran on a platform of 'The GOP screwed our children!!!' otherwise known as the school shift.  Despite the facts of the matter that both parties were responsible and the governor favored a larger shift, the GOP seems to have been tarred with this particular feather.  Even the GOP push to repay the school funding shift completely was not enough to persuade the media that the GOP was not the driving force behind this issue.  But the DFL, having the teacher's union under its thumb (or vice versa?) can trot out testimony of teachers, educators and friendly management to say that low and behold, the school shift isn't the problem!  We just need more money upfront, so we can bank the shift repayment later.  Clever thinking, really, because in case the GOP takes the House back, the education lobby can simply remind the public that they still want that shift money repayed.

Gary Gross points out that the sales tax extension that is the linchpin of the governor's budget deal will have a devastating impact on lower income Minnesotans.  An extra $200 million will flow from those in need of car repairs over the budget cycle, which will disproportionally impact lower income working class Minnesotans.  The Governor has presented his budget as the best case he sees, bemoaning the lack of better options to raise taxes, and DFL leaders in the legislature have pointedly refused to sign on to the budget.  Thus, the GOP and media outlets with integrity will spend weeks focused on the regressive portions of the governor's budget, and completely forget to ask why we need to raise taxes in the first place.  In the end, if the ruckus is too loud, the DFL legislature will simply take out the worst tax hikes from the budget and pass the rest.  Low income voters will remember only that they didn't get the shaft everyone was warning about.

Minnpost, the left of center news source, headlines today that 'Tax experts, economists say Dayton's business sales tax is a bad idea'.  Not even trying to spin this, Minnpost interviews economists who talk about how damaging the business to business sales tax will be, how regressive, and how likely it is to cause businesses to leave Minnesota.  When a left of center news site runs a headline about how terrible a portion of the budget will be, you really know it is dead on arrival.  So while all the focus of the governor's budget is drawn to this one area of the budget proposal, low information voters will breath a sigh of relief when this one provision doesn't make the final budget. 

There is only so much in the conservative activist excitement bank.  You can get our people out once, twice, maybe three times in droves during a session, and after that fatigue as well as lack of vacation time come in to play.  I can't say with complete confidence, but it sure looks like the DFL is ramping up the outrage on issues they really don't intend to make a full court press for-gun bans, tax hikes on the poor, tax hikes on businesses, ect.  They are getting us to waste our ammo on targets that don't matter, so we will be low on ammo when the real battle starts. 


FJBill said...

So if these issues are not the real battle, what do you think could be on the horizon that the Dems are planning, and counting on us being tapped out, when the time comes?

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