Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Through the Dark-Colored Lenses of Mark Dayton

Bookmark and Share

"Death," "dead end," "decline" and "grim future" were but a few of the words and phrases Minnesota's governor used to frame the problems of his state and country

markdayton10.jpgThe subject of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's speech at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Wednesday afternoon was on the challenges and opportunities facing the Gopher State.

However, while the DFL governor did highlight a few success stories taking place in the Gopher State, the majority of his 25-minute talk was peppered with pessimism and examples of governmental policy gone awry - particularly on the economic front.

Dayton's doom and gloom rhetoric was meant, of course, for a larger purpose, and that was to gather support for the state (and government generally) to back his policy agenda.

That agenda was outlined at the end of his speech in three main points: higher taxes for the wealthy, greater investing in education, and increasing investments in infrastructure.

But before the governor outlined this agenda moving forward, he referenced historical examples of fallen empires and made dire predictions about the potential demise of the United States.

All the while, Dayton connected the past to the present to the future with a string of dire, pessimistic words and phrases.

Here is a sampling:

Rough ride
Difficult
Decline
Challenging era
Fiscal irresponsibility
Recessionary
Great squandering
Gimmicks
Draconian cuts
Drastic
Death
Peril
Loss of revenue
Downward spiral
Further in arrears
The hole we've dug
Adversity
Can't escape
Diminished
Regressivity
Hitting people between the eyes
Upset
Don't have any control
Out of reach
Unsustainability
Institutions will collapse
Mismatch
Burden
Hitting your head against a stone wall
Falling behind
Terrible and tragic oversight
Looking at a grim future
Dead end

On the state of politics, Dayton summed up that history proves "No good deed goes unpunished, no misdeed goes unrewarded."

And on policy, should his proposed budget reforms not be enacted: "In my view, this unwillingness to pay taxes - and seen as a threat to our freedom and our liberty and our way of life - to me is going to be the death of this country if it's not corrected."

While Dayton received a warm reception at the University despite the pervasive negative tone of his speech, it is clear the governor does not subscribe to the Ronald Reagan school of public speaking.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Does Anyone Care About Minnesota? (Polling the 2012 Presidential Race)
Next post: Withdrawn Anti-Obama Kansas Ballot Challenge Continues Major Party Ballot Access Streak

2 Comments


  • Eric,

    I came across your blog post while researching the Governor's HHH School of Public Affairs Lecture to Policy Fellows on September 12, 2012. Do you know if the Lecture exists in written form?

    I linked to your post in one of my own published a bit earlier tonight.

    http://conservativeminnesotans.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-unbearable-lightness-of-gov-mark.html

    Regards,

    John Gilmore

  • Where can I listen to Dayton's speech?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting