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John Early, Published March 03 2009

North Dakota Republican chairman seems caught in a time warp

North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth’s column in the Feb. 22 Sunday Forum deserves a response, especially in light of President Barack Obama’s address to Congress. Emineth toes a party line by criticizing the stimulus plan, President Obama and basically all things Democratic.

I wonder if Emineth were caught in some kind of bizarre political time warp, wherein the years 2000-2008 have disappeared from history. He first criticizes the stimulus bill and in so doing appears to distort how it was passed and how it will be spent. Disgusted by the bill, he asks, “Have you had enough?” But that question was already asked and answered, namely in the 2006 and 2008 national elections. Voters all over the country asked themselves if they’d had enough of Bush/ Republican governance, and they answered with a resounding “Yes, we have,” and voted Emineth’s party out of power.

Those election results are part of history, but Emineth seems to have forgotten them and behaves as if the first month of the new administration is all that matters.

He contends that one thing about being in the majority: There is nowhere to hide when things go awry. No kidding. Just ask John McCain or all those Republican candidates who wanted us to forget the actual record of recent Republican governance. What happened to those who stood on that record? They lost.

Emineth states that “I’m tired of complaining, whining, and stamping my feet.” I don’t doubt it for a second, for that posture seems to be the only one Republicans have left. They don’t offer anything positive or a clear plan, other than the tired mantra of tax cuts.

Voters are tired of the whining and complaining. If you’ve got a good idea beside tax cuts to help get us out of this mess, what is it? And here’s another historical observation: How’d those Bush tax cuts, in place for so many years during 2000-2008, do in keeping us above water?

Emineth says that North Dakota’s congressional delegation does not “represent the prevailing voice in North Dakota.” Again he ignores history. How many times have Sen. Byron Dorgan and Rep. Earl Pomeroy and Sen. Kent Conrad been elected? Many, many times. What are you saying, that North Dakota voters can’t hear their own voices?

How about this doozy? “Out here in the heartland, Republicans and conservatives of every stripe know what it means to put this year’s profits away for another year.” Talk about being out of touch and ignoring history! To suggest that Obama is wastefully spending some sort of profit that the Bush years bequeathed to the nation is absurd. People all over the country are losing their jobs and their retirements because of Bush administration policies, and a huge debt was run up during the Bush years.

He ends with “It’s about time we give our kids and grandkids a chance to live out the same dream” (the one shared by his father and grandfather). It certainly is time for that, but who exactly was in charge when this awful recession began? Not Obama and not Democrats. Emineth believes that the only time period that’s important is that which has transpired since last month, completely ignoring his own party’s responsibility for our economic woes.

The response to the president’s address has been very positive, even among Republican voters. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Republican response was a negative buzz-kill in comparison. More whining and stamping of feet. Aren’t you guys worn out by now? Why don’t you get on board and help a little instead?

Hey, no doubt there’s some money in that crazy stimulus bill to construct one of those flux capacitor time-travel gizmos used in the “Back To The Future” movies. Maybe Emineth and like thinkers in his party can grab some of that horribly wasteful cash and build one, then travel back in time to relive the years they, not voters, seem to have forgotten.