When Timmy Met Margie

Today’s launch of the new Republican "issue ad" blaming
DFLers for Minnesotans being asked to sacrifice manhood and innocence alike
whilst pumping merrily away at the gas station is just the latest chapter in a
textbook Nora Ephron romance. You see, it always starts with the title
characters loathing one another. And you’d be hard pressed to find more
animosity and revulsion than early in the legislative session. Much like Harry
and Sally, our own Tim Pawlenty and the state legislature started off on the
wrong foot, with the DFL-controlled legislature, after maintaining a certain
amount of calm and decorum, offending the state’s top executive by raising the
gas tax a whopping 42 percent.

As any fan of the rom com genre knows, once the ire is
raised, wacky misunderstandings and miscommunications must then ensue. And what
better place for miscommunication and bafflingly wacky hijinx to occur than
over the state’s budget? When the governor first sent over a proposed bill last
Monday, including $125 million in
unspecified budget cuts
, Democrats were quick to point out that they were
completely baffled as to how they could approve a budget with so little detail.
Why, they would sooner watch Rep. Margaret Kelliher and Sen. Tom "Sex Hog"
Saxhaug engage in hot oil
wrestling
on the Capitol Steps before they would sign such a patently
confusing document! Of course, last Friday, these same stalwart legislators
provided Pawlenty with an inscrutable proposal outlining $204 million in cuts –
when there’s a $935 million deficit.

Of course, this tete-a-tete provided an opportunity for Rep.
Tony Sertich to cross the threshold into the next stage of our most improbable
film – the off-putting infatuation, in which our romantic leads find themselves
inexplicably drawn to one another, as Rep. Sertich seemed to be after the DFL
budget offer was rebuffed by the Pawlenty administration. Rep.
Sertich said, with a tinge of longing in his voice
, "If we keep working in
this way of finding places where we agree instead of focusing on the areas we
disagree I think we can build a solution." And as he walked away from the
microphone, he let out a deeply flustered sigh, shaking his head as if to say
to himself, "No! I can’t possibly like THAT."

What’s next remains to be seen, of course. If the formula
holds true, there will be heated late-night budget sessions, replete with
frenzied arguments and impassioned debate. When suddenly, upon reaching a
breaking point, the dams will burst and Rep. Kelliher will find herself wrapped
in the governor’s sinewy, hockey-toned arms, making use of public
infrastructure in ways never approved by
a house ethics committee
whilst the rest of the caucus listens at the door
with self-congratulatory grins plastered upon their reddening faces.

And in that one all-too-brief moment of bliss, when
common ground is found in the sweaty convergence of Republican and DFL, is when
the healthcare access fund will finally be safe, the Central Corridor funding
will be restored, the legislature will come to its senses and realize just how
much it’s truly asking for in a year the state can ill-afford most of it. And,
if we’re truly blessed, Michelle Bachmann will have her own deli scene whilst
lunching with Al Franken.