The failure of the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act early Friday needs to be viewed as failure of bad policy rather than as a partisan issue. It is not possible to craft effective legislation without the consultation of a large number of people. Those conversations with the public-health officials and members of both parties allow the identification of unintended consequences that can create huge problems. The desire to craft complicated legislation quickly and without input is a huge mistake. Sen. John McCain was right in saying that the parties need to stop this partisan nonsense and get on with the job of serving their country — something they appear to have forgotten.
Shannon Bros, Eagan
• • •
By 51 to 49 votes, the Senate rejected a “skinny” or pared-down repeal of former President Barack Obama’s health care reform package, so “Obamacare” stays for now. However, there are 25 Democratic caucus members (including two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats) who will be up for re-election. Meanwhile, there are only two incumbent Republicans running in 2018 considered to be in contested races right now. And, of course, Republican John McCain made the deciding vote and has brain cancer. If he cannot finish his term and has to resign in the next two years, Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey would probably appoint a Republican who would support a repeal or partial repeal. Therefore, this will not be the end of Republican attempts in the near future to end part or all of Obamacare.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
Scaramucci’s swearing, and the president’s team of, uh, rivals
So much about the Trump era is focused on returning America to what it once was. One thing that nearly all of us long for is a time when White House profanity was not a way of casual talking (“Vulgar war for West Wing,” July 28). President Donald Trump himself laces every speech with words that would have received a mouthful of soap in my childhood.
Of course, now our president has been left behind by his communications director, who regularly uses the F-word and a handful of profanity that would be banned from locker rooms. And what is worse is that the White House staff only refers to this language as colorful. “Colorful” describes Minnesota maples in October. Vulgar is the word that should be used. It’s disgusting.
Michael Emerson, Golden Valley
• • •
Exposing a president to multiple dueling opinions — great! It gives him or her a basis for deciding after hearing a range of viewpoints. Surrounding yourself with chaos — not so great. How do infighting and rude phone calls to reporters serve the American people? Does the president hear a range of opinions or just the tirades of militant rivals? Abraham Lincoln benefited from his team of rivals because there was no chaos within the Cabinet even as a war raged outside.
If significant bills were passed, or important regulations promulgated, then I might think that chaos as a management style works for some. But without important accomplishments, I can only surmise that chaos isn’t a successful management strategy.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
As super PAC arrives, who will ultimately have Paulsen’s ear?
“Super PAC sets up shop” (July 28) is a chilling precursor to the 2018 election. According to the article, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) will be working to encourage U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen to “take tough votes on issues like health care.” It reports that “when Iowa Rep. David Young announced he would vote against the replacement House bill, CLF closed its office in his district.”
So despite the shiny young people working for CLF, where does this leave Paulsen’s constituents, who may have diametrically opposite views? Will Paulsen hold in-person town hall meetings in order to discover the wishes of those he represents, or will he vote with the CLF and all the money it promises for his votes?
Arthur and Jane Price, Coon Rapids
• • •
When it comes to “bad news, good news,” it’s hard to find good news in the article regarding the arrival of a super PAC in the Third Congressional District. The only good news I see is that we are already a quarter of the way through the run-up to the midterm election. The bad news is out-of-state special interests continue pouring in dark money to support Paulsen. We could ask who is donating the money and what strings are attached, but … .
What we do know, according to Paulsen’s Federal Election Commission filings, is that he raised $1,061,000 in the first half of 2017. A review of his filings shows that: 23 percent of donations came from only 166 individuals living in the district, 16 percent from individuals living out of the district or state, and 60 percent from out-of-state PACs. As the 2018 campaigning kicks into high gear, the disparity between individual constituent contributions and out-of-state special interests will increase significantly. Dark money will exceed reason. And this is the problem with Congress.
Paulsen’s tenure has been during an eight-year period when Congress has had its lowest approval rating (10 to 20 percent) since Gallup polling began in 1974, and it’s no surprise why. Money from out-of-state special interests has bought our representative. This explains why Paulsen refuses to meet his rank-and-file constituents in free and open public forums or to vote for legislation, like common-sense health care reform, supported by a majority of the Third District. There is no big money in it. The opportunity in 2018 to vote for change can’t come soon enough.
John D. Albers, Minnetonka
Minnesota’s schools should reject this affront to truth
The Minnesota Department of Education has made national headlines by bullying students and parents into denying biology (“Transgender toolkit wins approval for schools,” July 20). Under this rashly adopted “toolkit,” any student can be compelled to lie about males and females.
This policy is not based on objective truth, is in disregard of current Minnesota law, and races ahead of the judicial and legislative process to impose a harmful social experiment on children. Rather than creating high academic achievers, the MDE is more concerned about creating mass confusion.
Parents and school boards should be very concerned about a policy that strips away constitutionally protected rights to privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Minnesota students deserve better. Thankfully, school boards do not have to adopt this policy. School boards across the state can stop the bullying by rejecting the toolkit.
Leslie Lynn, St. Paul
And now the flaws in our judicial selection process are apparent
The Minnesota Supreme Court has granted Gov. Mark Dayton’s request for an expedited veto ruling appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 28. The issue is basically whether the governor is allowed to tell the Legislature how to do its business.
This is exactly why we need to have an independently elected judiciary, meaning one elected directly by the people rather than being appointed to a first term before standing for re-election.
If we want a truly independent judiciary in appearance as well as in fact, then we should not have a judiciary making decisions in fights between the governor and the Legislature when in fact that judiciary has been appointed by a governor.
Such a practice leaves a certain taint in the air, because now the people are being governed by people who have not been elected by the people and for the people. That is not democracy at its finest.
Kevin Kolosky, Minneapolis