Another "nonpartisan" "progressive" think tank forms. Strib fawns. Bear shits in woods. Again.
The cynical buzz about Minnesota 2020, the new progressive think tank launched last week by founder Matt Entenza, was that it is merely a launching pad for his political comeback.
No. The cynical buzz was that it's yet another cog in the machine the far left is constructing to control debate by monopolizing it, while simultaneously creating another outlet with a gloss of legitimacy to publish bullshit-laden Official Reports that support their unsupportable positions.
The Strib throwing itself rapturously at the latest lefty flavor of the month reminds me a lot of how babes tend to throw themselves at me after one of my stirring Iron Maiden karaoke performances.
But I digress. Let the hagiography continue!
But there's not much that's "mere" about Minnesota 2020, other than the low profile it gives to its founder and board chair. A visitor to www.mn2020.org has to search a bit to find Entenza's name and face.
It took me 15 seconds to find Entenza's name. To be fair, it only took 3 seconds to find the word "non-partisan." I'm not all that interested in his face, so I didn't look for that.
Come to think of it, with the proliferation of all these "non-partisan" "progressive" "think tanks," I am almost certain the day is coming soon when the Democratorian Party will sell itself as a "non-partisan" organization.
What's more evident is that the new organization is well launched, well staffed and positioned to become a regular source of analysis and ideas for state policymakers, particularly those with a liberal bent.
When you look up the term "a fortiori" in the Strib editorial stylebook, it gives that sentence.
It's a welcome complement to Growth & Justice, another progressive Minnesota think tank that focuses more on economic matters, and an ideological bookend to the conservative Center of the American Experiment.
I can't even begin to go into all the things wrong with that sentence.
A Minnesota 2020 trademark will be an emphasis on nonmetro Minnesota, particularly those agriculture-dependent counties where economic growth has lagged and population has declined in recent decades. Entenza, who represented a St. Paul district in the Legislature, grew up in Worthington. That background lets him see clearly what may escape urban dwellers' awareness -- that this state is an economically interdependent system.
OK, I get it now. Growth -n- Justice comes up with ways to confiscate wealth, and MN202 finds the folks to redistribute it to. I'd say it was a vote-buying scheme, but both of those organizations are "non-partisan" so we can dispense with that theory.
"Rural Minnesota is the seed corn for the Twin Cities," he said last week. "If we let rural Minnesota go, we're next. It'll be Chicago or New York or California gobbling us up."
That's why the first formal report to come out of Minnesota 2020 is about the economic plight of small towns, and the potential for state assistance targeted at small businesses to help.
What did I write just a few grafs back...?
The first-week web page also featured news of a Winona program that helps outstate families with severely disabled children keep those children at home.
Minnesota 2020's staff includes several former journalists, whose work will be showcased on a web page that ambitiously promises a new feature each weekday.
And whose output will be indistinguishable from their former employer.
As for Entenza, the former state House DFL minority leader who left the attorney general's race last summer after an intraparty storm of his own making, he's back to practicing law. He's underwriting and shepherding Minnesota 2020's start, but says it will solicit many sponsors.
FUN ANAGRAM GAME: What other words can you make from "sponsors"?
OH!! OH!!! I've got one:
"I have no plans to run for anything," he said. But if he builds a successful source of something that's always in short supply in politics -- new ideas -- his party someday might ask him to change those plans.
Yes, the supply of "think tanks" is indeed short. Almost critically so.