Tim Pawlenty and the Skewed Priorities of Republicans

Do I even have to say anything? There is a movement to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. It would involve tearing down the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (previously deemed outdated for the Twins and requiring a new stadium for them, now deemed far too outdated for the Vikings) and erecting a new beast of a thing in its place. This new stadium would, according to consultants, cost $870 million if the construction were to begin next year. And a new group, called Save the Vikes, is building a grassroots movement to push the state senate and representatives and Governor Pawlenty into footing the bill for the stadium, lest the Vikings go the way of the Lakers.

Pawlenty, on his weekly radio show, said that the matter is how to pay for it. He is refusing to increase taxes in effort, and said that diverting existing taxes would be “dicey.” That kind of language tells me that he hasn’t completely discounted this possibility. Ziggy Wilf, owner of the Vikings (whose net worth has never been divulged, though he bought the team for $600 million) seems completely opposed to paying the cost of the new stadium and expects the state to do it.

What I’m seeing here is a case of skewed priorities. If Pawlenty chooses to have the state pay for the stadium it’s just like high school, when the music classes and arts suffer in a money crunch but the sports continue to soar. We know that Pawlenty is adamantly opposed to the health care reform bill, suggesting at one point that he may take advantage of the 10th amendment, state sovereignty, to keep Minnesota from participating in the entirety of the reform bill. So, why pick sports of the health of the nation. This sort of thing isn’t rare, either, on the Right. In fact, both sides pull the same sort of thing, but when the conservatives do it, it’s more focused on saving profits at the expense of the people.

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