I put myself through this whole process to force myself to publicly articulate my reasons for voting. This leaves me with:
It has become clear that
If you can’t run a campaign, you can’t run a country. McCain lacks the temperament and judgment to be a chief executive. See the endorsement of Reagan’s Head of Arms Control, Ken Adelman.
At its worst, this feels like the unctuous vs. the obnoxious.
I voted for Coleman for Mayor of Saint Paul because he is a hardworking, highly intelligent, extraordinarily effective politician. The liberal StarTrbune endorsed him for similiar reasons for Senate. His very opportunism suggests his course: a repudiation of the Bush legacy and an embrace of centrism. A chastened but vigorous Republican minority in the Senate might serve as a useful counterweight to any excesses in an otherwise one party government. But Coleman has ultimately carried too much water for Bush. Why not let the Democrats have their team so they can be held responsible for their results?
The Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, enthusiastically.
This is precisely the kind of public good that the government is supposed to further: clean water and land and a robust cultural legacy. This is precisely what Oliver Wendell Holmes meant when he said, “Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society.”
The quality of the opposition to the amendment says much about the moral and intellectual quality of the Right these days.
“They know this thing is a scam,” [Representative Tom Hackbarth] said, referring to the arts and culture component of the proposal that would capture about 20 percent of the total funding.
My dictionary defines a “scam” as a “dishonest scheme” or “con.” Yet the arts are explicitly included in the language of the Amendment. So where’s the con? The alliance in the bill is explicit and not all that unnatural. Habitat, lakes and rivers, and the arts are a part of what might be called the spiritual infrastructure of the state.
A Conservation Legacy Report, requested by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and released in May . . . quotes Pawlenty: "Our beautiful lakes, streams, prairies and forest help define who we are as a state. They bring great pride and enjoyment to our people. We need to take proper care of them for future generations." Pawlenty was also instrumental in making sure the Guthrie got its funding.
Rod Grams resorts to what might called Argument by the Insertion of Vaguely Perjorative Adjectives:
"We feel this is a tremendous abuse of the constitution, for it creates basically a slush fund for a lot of special interest groups to have their money to spend on pet projects,” said former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, chairman of the No Constitutional Tax Increase Campaign.
• How does a slush fund differ from a fund? (There are both oversight and limits in the Amendment.)
• How do special interest groups differ from groups? “Pet projects”—as opposed to “projects they don’t much like?” (While any grant-making body can abuse its power, groups are required to explain how they serve the greater good.)
Read Gram’s statement with a more supportable mix of adjectives:
We feel this creates a flexible, but limited fund for a lot of groups to have money to spend on broadly worthy but often politically vulnerable projects.