From the Lefthand Corner: Big Trump and little Trump - Panderers both
Both President Trump and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have shown us, much too vividly, how candidates for political office can pander their way to election.
In Echoland, we've been "blessed," or some of us would say "afflicted," with two years of a president who will say anything to get and stay elected. He is already spending big bucks of other people's money in an effort to turn the likely two more years into six.
We in Minnesota had eight years of a governor with a penchant for pandering - Mr. Pawlenty - who is now threatening us with another four years.
Trump promised the moon - and the sun and the stars - to get elected; to make our rich richer and our overspending military costlier. The president's mantra has been one of hollow bragging that he single-handedly will make America great again.
Along that path, Trump promised a giant wall from Atlantic to Pacific that would block out all of our neighbors to the south and that Mexico would pay for. That would somehow stop the flow of immigrants and drugs. It ain't happening.
Early on, Trump promised that he would also single-handedly clean out the swamp in Washington, D.C. Instead, he has created chaos, as he does wherever he goes.
Trump is a master at telling any grouping whatever they want to hear at the time. He does so, lacking even a rudimentary understanding of the subject he is extolling, and with little preparation or commitment to making good on his grandiose "promises."
When we contend that Big Trump will say anything to stay elected, that includes outright lying, which for him is an almost everyday occurrence.
Pawlenty is not a chronic liar like Trump. He has played it a little straighter with the facts.
However, Pawlenty was way ahead of his competitors in playing the unfortunately nonpartisan game of promising all kinds of new programs and improvements in government, then pretending he could do so at lessened cost.
Pawlenty's successful phony mantra for the eight years of his earlier reign was: No new taxes. He may not have outright lied, but he certainly strained the truth to keep his mantra alive through two terms.
Obfuscation and misleading were part and parcel of the Pawlenty pandering to keep in office. He claimed he didn't impose an increased tax on us. He just labeled his tax increases as fees. Pawlenty's effort to perpetuate his claim of lessening cost of government led to some rather elaborate manipulation and misleading of the voters.
He was really good at robbing Peter to pay Paul; at changing payment and due dates, thus cutting secondary education budgets drastically. We all, and especially our kids and grandkids, still are and will be paying the price.
Pawlenty was also great at "kicking the can down the road," stalling on road and bridge construction and maintenance, which led to some disastrous consequences.
Pawlenty wasn't exactly a pillar of honesty either. As I recall, didn't he take about $5,000 a month from a trumped-up contributor corporation to pay himself while running for governor, and part of that time still drew money from his former law office, all while running for the governor office virtually full time? And, didn't he get into some campaign finance violation problems and fines early on?
If you like what you've gotten from our pandering president and Pawlenty, so be it.
If not, vote better in August and November.