This morning on At Issue, Ember Reichgott-Junge said something off-the-charts stupid in terms of understanding the Constitution. She was asked about Gov. Dayton exercising his line-item veto on the legislature’s budget. Reichgott-Junge said that it’s a political issue and that she thought the court would refuse to accept the Republicans’ lawsuit. Sarah Janacek disagreed with ERG, saying that this also has a constitutional aspect to this lawsuit, which is obviously true. Later in the segment, Ms. Reichgott-Junge said that a judge could just order the legislature and the governor to sit down and work out their differences.
That’s just kicking the can down the road. Neither side will budge an inch until public opinion starts going against them. If I had to bet, I’d bet that Gov. Dayton would lose this PR fight. It’s one thing to play hardball to get some tax cuts passed. It’s quite the other thing to shut down an entire branch of government for the next 4 years. That’s what Gov. Dayton’s line-item veto did.
First, this is a fight Gov. Dayton shouldn’t have picked. It shows him to be a petulant, little man. Next, this is a PR fight that Gov. Dayton won’t win because he’s acting like a spoiled brat who didn’t get his way.
Since announcing that he wasn’t seeking re-election, Gov. Dayton has picked fight after fight, sometimes against Republicans, sometimes against Democrats. (Think about his fights with Tom Bakk about commissioner pay raises and Sen. Bakk’s agreeing to a bipartisan budget agreement with Speaker Daudt.) Since that announcement, he’s been an ornery cuss, getting grumpier and more unreasonable by the week.
It’s time Gov. Dayton stopped acting like a total jerk. It’s time, too, for Gov. Dayton’s apologists to stop apologizing for his inexcusable actions. He’s done things the past 2-3 years that’ve made nonpartisans scratch their heads.