Politicians give people the compromises voters say they want

There’s some real bare-knuckle politics playing out at the Capitol today designed to pit Minnesotans against each other. That’s the way politics works and say what you want about all the participants, but they’re pretty skilled at it.

As the final bills pass, there’s a fair amount of compromise going on; that’s what voters say they want from politicians. So people who are in the country illegally won’t be able to get driver’s licenses — a Republican win. And people who block Interstate 94 to protest won’t face heightened charges — a DFL win.

There’ll be an increase in education funding — DFL win — and there’ll be tax cuts — GOP victory.

See? Easy when everyone gives a little. Ain’t democracy grand?

MPR News reporter Tim Pugmire writes that the governor succeeded in keeping out of a budget bill a GOP initiative to keep the Twin Cities from enacting a requirement for a higher minimum wage and an allowance for sick time.

That’ll be in a separate bill, one that Gov. Dayton has threatened to veto.

But, as mentioned, Republicans are good at this game. So they’ve loaded the bill with some DFL-favored legislation — a law to combat wage theft by employers, an extension of a parental leave benefit for state workers.

If Dayton vetoes the bill, state workers and little people getting ripped off by their employers get stiffed.

“It is unconscionable that Republican legislators would pit the earned financial security of hardworking state employees and retirees against the rights of local officials to make the decisions for which they were elected by their citizens,” the governor said in a statement last night.

Perhaps. But this is what voters say they want in a divided government: Compromise.

It’s a word that sounds great in a philosophical discussion of politics.

But in real life, compromise is the art of hurting someone in the middle of the night to get what you want.

From the archive: When legislators don’t know what they’re doing (NewsCut)