Innocence Lost

Since taking office in 2003, Tim Pawlenty has done an
admirable job of holding to his conservative values and staving off those in the legislature who would pluck that last bastion of political innocence. From saying no
to an omnibus higher education bill last May to drawing the line at the
appointment of a state poet laureate, our fearless leader has never allowed the
fumbling advances of the DFL to arouse his executive passions and cajole him
into doing something rash, something he’d regret in the harsh light of the
Minnesota morning, possibly even something that would fund bridges, highways and transit. His steadfastness in the face of judgment clouding sex
pots like Sen.
Tom "The Sex Hog" Saxhaug
has served us well, sparing us from what would’ve been a near
certain call
for a state mime
.

Yesterday however, our pure and chaste governor’s defenses
were finally ground down, the sultry cajoling of the assembled legislators
laying our stalwart executive gently down as his few remaining objections were
overridden in both the Minnesota House and Senate. Afterwards, Governor
Pawlenty sat stunned and ashamed, calling the events of the day "Ridiculous in
scope and magnitude," and fretting over whether the legislature would call like
it said it would, or if Eagan
would lose all respect for him
. Sen. Saxhaug was oblivious to the
governor’s concern, joining the rest of the DFL in hailing the transportation
bill’s passage as a great victory for the people of Minnesota, making somewhat
dubious connections to recent disasters and feverishly penning his "I never
thought it would happen to me, but…" letter to Penthouse Forum.

Of course, what truly stands a chance of being lost as the
governor attempts to find ways to cope, perhaps even standing in solidarity
with other wronged public
figures
, isn’t the fact that Minnesotans will be coping with the first hike
in the gas tax in 20 years, or that Hennepin county residents may start to
wonder just what they did to deserve the legislative application of the shocker as a quarter cent sales tax
increase devoted to transit projects gets piled on top of last summer’s referendum-free
sales tax increase aimed at funding the Twins’ newly Santana-free stadium. It’s
the dictatorial ball-peen hammer to the huevos given to the six House
Republicans who crossed the aisle and voted to override the governor’s veto
that will likely get lost in the shuffle.

You see, neither party enjoys when its members step out of
line – especially when such antics result in a 91-41 legislative gang-bang that
leaves the governor of our fair state wondering why he was subjected to such
treatment when it’s patently obvious he hired Carol Molnau
for just such an occasion. In this case, the Republicans who claim to have
voted their conscience are being threatened with, according to Rep. Ron
Erhardt, "loss of media privileges, staff members, and research resources." Maybe
if we’re lucky, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert will be caught planting
dead hookers and a small meth lab in Rep. Erhardt’s office. Regardless of the outcome, it’s good to know
that even though Michelle Bachmann has left the building, there’s still some
bat shit crazy left in the air.