Oh, silly naive me. When I last wrote about Minnesota's government shutdown, I attributed it entirely to a failure of the legislature to authorize tax increases. While tax increases were certainly part of the reason for the shutdown, they weren't the only reason. As Rachel Maddow, explains, there was much, much more on the table.
Yes, in addition to refusing to agree to tax increases, Republicans put abortion, stem cell research, and voter ID on the table. In budget negotiations.
Talks may have also broken down because an earlier GOP offer asked Dayton to accept controversial policy positions the Republicans pushed for this year, including photo ID requirements at the polls and abortion restrictions. An offer sheet provided to the Star Tribune said the policy adoptions were in exchange for "new revenue in a compromise offer."
That deal also would have required tuition caps to be put in place at the University of Minnesota and MnSCU as well as a 15 percent reduction in the number of state workers by 2015. Tendered Wednesday night, the offer would have required a special session Thursday.
Gosh, I can see the thugs at the bargaining table now. "Ban abortion, stem cell research, require photo ID to vote and we'll agree to a tax increase. NOT." Because you know they wouldn't. This is not how they roll. They would have gotten their big government policy demands and then still never agreed to a tax increase.
Their behavior tells all anyone needs to know about these people. MinnPost.com reports:
Republican behavior while Dayton was speaking late Thursday night was boorish in an unprecedented way. Members of the House and Senate caucuses hooted and jeered when Dayton, who was holding a news conference, said things that offended them.
Longtime Capitol reporters said they'd never heard a governor receive the sort of disrespectful treatment Dayton received.
That behavior goes to either the zealotry or the inexperience of many Republican legislators, who apparently haven't yet learned basic lessons of political civility.
Republican leaders wouldn't comment on the surprising outbursts of their members, saying they weren't in the room at the time.
This is the New Republican Party. Civility is not in their vocabulary, nor is compromise. They've more or less skipped the letter "c" in their alphabet vocabulary, and moved right on to "d" -- damned idiots.