My Number Five Wish for the 2006 Elections
This post is part of a series listing my ten wishes for the upcoming election. Each day I will post one wish starting with number 10 and working my way up to the wish I desire most. Because we should think globally and act locally, you’ll notice a Minnesota slant to my wishes. If you’re a progressive or a liberal or a left-wing nut job from another state, I hope your wishes come true too. And now, without further delay, here’s today’s wish…
5. Amy Klobuchar defeats Mark Kennedy, United States Senate, Minnesota
Republicans try to argue that Minnesota is swing state. We have a Republican governor (who won when two more liberal candidates cancelled each other out) a Republican U.S. Senator (who won when our beloved Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash two weeks before the election). Four out of eight of our Congressional districts are led by Republicans (thanks to some DeLay style gerrymandering). If our state has two Republican Senators in Washington, it will be quite difficult to argue that we are a progressive state - that we haven't given ourselves over to conservative value at least half the time. I might just throw in the towel.
But there is ample reason to think that Klobuchar will win. She has the lead right now, and, if my recent trip to Cottonwood, Minnesota, is any indication, she is playing well out state. Kennedy will be very strong in the first ring suburbs where folks have given themselves over to evangelical Christianity and no new taxes (not necessarily in that order). Everywhere else, Klobuchar looks to take the majority.
Were Kennedy to win, we would have two Senators falling all over themselves to read the Republican party talking points first. Our other Senator Norm Coleman is obsessed with criticizing the United Nations and Kofi Anan, even as significant Minnesota transportation, education, health care and public safety issues beg for leadership. He clearly has designs on higher offices. Even though just a few years ago he was a Democrat – all the sudden all of his views changed and now he’s the standard bearer for the administration. Not a moderate Republican - a dyed in the wool, what's our view on this again? puppet for Bush.
Kennedy is no different. He cares more about his party than he does about Minnesota. His campaign is devoted more to mud than it is to the serious discussion of issues. Thank Goodness that, so far, a vicious smear campaign against Amy Klobuchar has not put a significant dent in her lead. For several years, Klobuchar has been a strong county attorney in the largest county. She is senatorial in every way, and will represent us well. She talks specifically and sensibly about Iraq and not generally about terror. She talks about tax justice and health care. She talks about prescription drugs and Medicare. She will be a strong voice for new priorities in Washington.