Promise Breakers

November 21, 2009 by barbara

barbara writes

(My "little brother," at the state capitol.)


You know how something just smacks you upside the head and sends you over the brink? My brink plunge du jour was precipitated by an article in this morning’s Star Tribune.

Seems there is a 65-year-old Minneapolis man named Frederick Becton who is living in poverty, owing at least in part to his severe, debilitating medical problems. He’s been receiving a small monthly sum from the State to help meet his special nutritional requirements. Last month, he was notified by the State that his funding is history and that he needs to figure out some other way to keep from dying.

*Frankly, I’m not crazy about that language, but it will help Bible literalists get my drift.


Meet Minnesota’s ultra-conservative, religious-right governor, Timothy Pawlenty. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He makes occasional cameo appearances in Minnesota as a side-line to his full-time national and international job of pursuing his presidential aspirations.

In a little Minnesota moment this summer, while the state legislature struggled to sort its way through a fiscal toxic waste site (aka, the budget), Pawlenty arguably* exceeded his authority by deciding to unilaterally “unallot” $2.7 billion in funding to what compassionate people consider essential programs.

*There is a pending lawsuit initiated by the Minnesota House that challenges Pawlenty’s apparent disregard for law by slashing funding without legislative consent. Read more, please.

Pawlenty's promise busters included de-funding programs in education (leaving all children behind) and in programs that serve pretty much everyone else who is vulnerable: the elderly, the poor, those with disabilities, and people with physical and mental health challenges. And this is a major two-fer, because not only does it smack down the vulnerable, it also means job loss for people who work with them, many of whom have been grossly underpaid all along the way.

People, there is a mythology perpetuated by the radical right that the left is rageful. This implies that the rage, if such there be, is simply the nature of progressives. That there is no cause for anger.

How’s this for cause? It appears that virtually everything Tim Pawlenty has done over the past several years has been calculated to advance his own personal political ambition. His ambition is rooted in pandering to the radical right, personally and legislatively. That is his base. The well-being of centrist and left of center Minnesotans is incidental.


Something there is about Pawlenty’s slash and burn march to the steps of the White House at the expense of vulnerable citizens that pisses barbara off. And believe me, I had to take a number far down the queue behind those whose fury burns brighter than mine.

Whether or not you are a Minnesotan, pay attention to this guy. He is being positioned as the ghost of Christmas yet to come. And if that doesn’t give you the yips, I don’t know what will.

Posted in


Anonymous (not verified) | November 23, 2009 - 2:10pm

Pawlenty has no morals.

Best though, are his tactics. Failing on the national level. I believe he is seen as the dog who will do whatever the party asks, and more. (use your imagination) So he is not respected. He will never carry MN. The 3rd party guaranteed his electiion; without it he would be gone.

So, he can't carry his own state, has no respect, and continually changes his position based upon party whim. In the mean time he is fucking with us. He does suck. So, can the legislature get together and head thump him and get some things fixed? Doubtful. I guess now is when I should chant yes we can. Can we? This is what is needed.


Anonymous (not verified) | November 25, 2009 - 10:08pm

Pawlenty's decision is going to pale next to what's on the horizon. Just wait until your hip or knee replacement is denied under ObamaCare because you're on the wrong side of 60.