The Deal. The Old Deal, Not A Big Deal.

Mid-Summer                                                               Waxing Honey Flow Moon

Apres deluge.  Drove into St. Paul this morning, a long chunk of the ride behind a pick-up with Louisiana plates.  Felt like the bayou during the tail end of a hurricane.  Driving in Minnesota seems to perplex our citizens when there is a significant amount of precipitation.  Makes the whole driving experience a little like pin ball.

Big political news.  A deal.  Done on the backs of the poor and the K-12 education system.  Brilliant.  A Republican coup for which they need to be held responsible come 2012.  Of course, any election results next year may have a null effect if the world ends in December before the victors can take office.  I’m not counting on the end of the world however.

The Star-Tribune ran an article that said, and I believe it to be true, that the Republican focus has shifted from balanced budgets to smaller government.  Evidence for this in the article was the Republican agreement to a Federal budget that didn’t balance for three decades.  The same tone has sharpened and polarized the budget debate here in Minnesota.  To the extent that this focus remains and clarifies for Republican pols the situation becomes a struggle over the meaning and purpose of government.

It is arguable though, and I would agree with it, that electoral politics are so broken in the United States that our two parties are twiddle dum and twiddle dee.  That is, both parties have become lapdogs for the corporate oligarchy that runs America, bending policy and legislation to suit the flood of money that washes over each election cycle and that gets rinsed in the legislative session that follows.  Finally, the public is hung out to dry.

Still, I find it important to engage party politics because there are so many short term issues effected by the differences between dum and dee.  Read the details of the budget compromise and you’ll see the kind of things I’m talking about.

To engage party politics as a long term political solution, however, will not get us where we need to go.  We need to pick up the banner of economic justice and push equity in every venue we can.