Rip it off quickly (
by Steve Timmer
Jan 6, 2013, 8:00 PM

The theory of Band Aids

Two pieces of good advice from Dad that I remember (there is actually quite a lot more) were 1) always change your socks, and 2) rip the Band Aid ® off quickly. The socks advice was the result of spending the winter of ’44 – ’45 in France and Belgium, outside mostly, so it is of limited utility here. But the Band Aid advice is wisdom of near-universal application.

So I give it to the DFL Caucuses in the Minnesota Legislature.

On the heels of the historic — and I don’t toss that term around lightly — defeat of the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment referendum, there seems to be a campaign of dithering afoot to see just how agonizing we can make this.

By all means, DFL legislators — and Governor, apparently — tear that Band Aid off in tiny, tiny increments and see if we can make it a central election issue in 2014. Frank Schubert, the California carpetbagger consultant who continues to need a paycheck, will thank you. He’s had some reverses of late around the country, and he needs you to help keep the issue alive in Minnesota.

Now, I know there are some DFL legislators in Greater Minnesota who are deathly afraid of the gay marriage issue (while most people here in Lesser Minnesota are in general pretty comfortable with the idea). You can be against gay marriage, in which case I won’t think much of you, or you can just be afraid of it for electoral reasons, in which case I will think even less of you. Bigot or coward: take your pick.

Well, that was harsh.

But the nose counters and calculators in the DFL Caucuses ought to be able to figure out how to wring a legislative majority out of each chamber, and then support the vulnerable members who step forward to help.

And one has to wonder what kind of a price legislators would really pay. People are conflicted about  this issue, obviously, But for how many is it the number-one-vote-my-way-or-the-highway issue? Fewer than the ones who voted for the amendment, certainly.

So, my friends, perhaps the thing to do is tear that Band Aid off right away and be done with it. In January even; you aren’t going to get an economic forecast until February. And in spite of saying you want to do the budget first, let’s be honest; you aren’t going to adopt the budget until the last day of the session, anyway.

Give everyone a chance to cool off and see that the world didn’t really end.

Dad was right, believe me.

P.S. I also give Dad’s advice to the DFL Senate Caucus regarding the lawsuit with Michael Brodkorb. This is a blot on the Republican escutcheon right now, but the DFL will own it the longer it takes to resolve.

Update: But, you say, doesn’t bringing up gay marriage open the DFL to the same charge of concentrating on social issues? Well, that charge will be made, by Frank Schubert and his minions, but he doesn’t have much standing to say it, does he? Nor do the rest of the Republicans who championed the amendment. But if it gets done right away, Frank cannot bray the entire session, or the entire two years until the next election, “Gay marriage is coming.” This is a much better issue for Republicans as the prospective bogey man.

And if it passes, it won’t be a state-wide ballot issue in 2014. And opponents to gay marriage will see that the sun continues to rise, right on schedule.

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