Republicans, Noisy Harleys, and Dinosaurs…
It’s silly season (the legislative session) at the Minnesota state capital. The democrats AKA the adults in the room are (thankfully) in the majority, and the governor is a democrat too. That means if you’re one of the minority republicans and you want to accomplish anything, you compromise and work with the democrats and they listen to your ideas and incorporate some of them into the laws they pass. Sort of like keeping the standard mufflers on your motorcycle so you don’t tick off the neighbors and have them ban your loud motorcycle from the neighborhood.
Before the Minnesota house today is House File 5, a bill to set up a Minnesota Health insurance Marketplace. Basically it’s a federal compliance bill, required when the feds change their law and the states have to change theirs to avoid conflict with the new federal law. Such federal compliance bills used to be routine, uncontroversial, and passed quickly and unanimously.
But like the old guy on the Harley he can barely hold up, revving the engine to make sure we can all hear it thanks to it’s barely muffled exhaust, the republican representatives are loudly exhausting their bile just to remind everyone that they’re still around… I hear tell they’ll be offering a mere couple hundred amendments to the aforementioned federal compliance bill today and tonight. and after all the loud histrionics and theatrics from the republicans, they’ll all vote against the bill and it’ll pass anyway.
As a party, the republicans are tied to pretty much the same failed marketing strategy as Harley. Harley’s stock in trade is some tired old motorcycles badly in need of a 21st century redesign. Thus no surprise that Harleys are slow, unreliable, overheat, and none too durable. Case in point- while watching the republican’s noisy theatrics on Pioneer Public TV, I’m doing an overdue valve clearance check on a 2007 BMW F800S with 52,000 miles on the odometer. At that mileage a Harley is overdue for at least a valve job if not a full-on engine rebuild, but the BMW’s modern overhead cam engine’s valves are still within new specs and needed no adjustment. Heck, startin’ to wonder why I bother to check ‘em! I did replace the spark plugs, old ones were still within specs but I had the new ones handy so may as well put ‘em to work. No wonder Harley is losing sales and laying off workers, while BMW and the other purveyors of 21st century motorcycles are recovering quite nicely from the depression.
The paranoia is similar too… While I fuel up on E30 at the blender pump, the Harley riders have ridden out of their way to find a station with ethanol free gas and paid a half buck a gallon extra for that 100% dead dinosaur swill. In similar display of paranoia, Representative Swedinski (R-Crazytown) introduced an amendment that would prohibit the Insurance Exchange from releasing information they’re not even collecting on gun ownership. Works just as well as the overpriced dead dinosaur swill, which still pings in the Harley’s ancient engine while the BMW with it’s 12 to 1 compression smoothly delivers 60 MPG on the cheaper 89 octane regular.
Harley and the republicans share a similar dying demographic too, with the average age of a Harley rider rising around 10 months every year. That means that neither Harley nor the republicans will joins the dinosaurs in extinction immediately, though their numbers will decrease and decibel level will probably increase. Probably was similar with the T-Rex, who the scientists who have researched their “straight pipe” vocal tracks assure us could be heard for miles. No doubt the dinosaurs protested loudly as climate change did them in, and barring some sudden evolution in Harley’s motorcycles or the republican’s platform, they have a similar date with extinction.
My sympathies to all the democratic legislators, staffers, and press who have to endure the republican’s political death throes, fortunately legislative TV coverage will end at 6 p.m. and save me from their noisy nonsense for the night.