Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Making Republicans better -- Is this all we got?

Posted by Craig Westover | 9:36 AM |  

I think we’re reaching here. From the Republican Party:

Flip-Flop of the Week: Volume 1, Issue 31

Mike Hatch Flip-Flops On Arne Carlson’s Record Supporting The University of Minnesota

1994 Campaign: Hatch Attacked Arne Carlson For Ignoring Problems At The University of Minnesota. “[Hatch] was critical of Carlson for endorsing a $ 759 million state plan to help Northwest Airlines and equally critical that Carlson has not gotten involved in investigations of financial and research scandals surrounding the University of Minnesota Medical School. ‘If the governor can use budgetary and personal persuasion to get involved in a private company like Northwest Airlines, the governor certainly can do the same at the university,’ said Hatch.” (Robert Whereatt, “Ex-DFL Party Chair Mike Hatch Says He Will Run For Governor,” Star Tribune, November 15, 1993)

2006 Campaign: Hatch Lavished Praise On Arne Carlson For Bleeding “Maroon And Gold.” “Governor Carlson also used high quality education to bootstrap himself up to climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Governor Carlson proudly wore the maroon and gold as governor and he still bleeds maroon and gold today.”
(Mike Hatch Acceptance Speech At 2006 DFL Convention, Minnesota Public Radio Website, Accessed June 13, 2006)

I look at this Hatch flip-flop issued by the Republican party, and I see Hatch consistency. In 1994 (math tells me that’s over a dozen years ago) Hatch criticized Arne Carlson specifically for one instance of not using his office to support the University of Minnesota. In 2006 he praised Carlson for the generally many things he did do for the University of Minnesota, which he did. In both cases, Hatch is making it quite clear that he is a big supporter of the University of Minnesota. One can justifiably infer that as governor Hatch would pump more money into the University.

Instead of trying to create a pseudo-flip-flop, the Republican party would be better served by demanding of Hatch what criteria he would use in advocating funding for higher education. Is it carte blanche? Or does he have a specific vision of how higher education fits in the state funding scheme? If he has no criteria, or won’t articulate any, then by all means portray him as an irresponsible spender. But at least make the attempt to get at his position.

In turn, the Republicans should outline their concept of funding for higher education, regardless of the Hatch position. Just what is it? I don’t know. My guess -- Republicans are in favor of spending money on higher education, but just not as much as the Democrats are or would.

Why not use Hatch “flip-flops” to position Republican strengths instead of simply implying Hatch is spawn of Satan? Consider this yet another cry from the wilderness.