Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party Deadline

We all have deadlines to meet. Sometimes they inspire us to perform better, but at the very least they force us to get the job done. Now here it is Monday morning and I haven’t completed my column yet. So I am going to stick my neck out and make two wild guesses: The second American Revolution has not yet begun, and we still only have one senator representing us in Washington.

For the past several weeks I have heard about protests planned throughout the country that were scheduled to be held Wednesday, April 15th. Now unless you are part of the growing number of people in this country who do not pay taxes April 15th is a big day for you. Some people consider this day to be the biggest gambling day of the year as they hope the I.R.S. doesn’t pull their return for a closer examination. (The previous sentence doesn’t apply to me or anyone I know – I’ve just heard about other people – like in the movies or something).

These scheduled protests were supposed to mimic or at least symbolize the famous protest party of 1773 when about 200 American Colonists dressed up like Native Americans (no specific tribe was noted) illegally boarded ships and unloaded a bunch of tea directly into the Boston Harbor. Thus the American Revolution was born. Forgive the brief history lesson, but The Boston Tea Party was held to protest the duty (tax) on tea that was imposed on the American Colonists by English Parliament. The Colonists were upset about “taxation without representation.”

We have a similar representation problem here in Minnesota because the Coleman/Franken circus is still in town with two of these rings held almost daily in the press and the courts. This has turned into such a joke. Once again we have somehow allowed ourselves to become the subject of ridicule. Long gone are the days when Minnesota and its citizens were held up as an example of virtue.

In 1973 Time Magazine featured then Governor Wendell Anderson on the cover with the caption “The Good Life In Minnesota.” The August 13th edition had as its cover a photograph of The Governor holding up a fish (Northern, or Muskie? I don’t know). Sharing the moment with the Governor is a pipe-smoking man seated by a gas-guzzling, carbon-belching outboard motor (probably the same type used by Somali Pirates today). Neither the Governor nor his first-mate was wearing a life-jacket or a helmet. This of course was before we had lost our minds.

Now as I think about this – we may actually be able to profit from the past. When Walter Mondale vacated his senate seat at the end of 1976 to become Vice-President under President Jimmy Carter (Oh those were good years), Wendy Anderson resigned the governor’s office and appointed himself senator to fill Mondale’s seat. Then Rudy Perpich (who had been Lieutenant Governor) became Governor. You can still feel the breeze from the revolving door that spun wildly back then.

Let’s play this scenario out right here and see where we get. If Governor Tim Pawlenty would exercise some executive privilege and appoint himself senator we would then have two senators representing Minnesota, then we could tell Al and Norm to pack their carpet bags and hit the road. Then we would have the first female governor in our history as Carol Molnau would step up from her Lt. Governor’s desk and then maybe, just maybe everyone would be happy.

But Governor Pawlenty better hurry as the filing deadline for the 2014 senatorial election is looming in the background.

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