-
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Recent Posts

Q&A with Sen. Tom Cotton
Q&A with Sen. Ron Wyden
Q&A with Rep. Louie Gohmert
Q&A with Rep. Ted Lieu
Q&A with Sen. Tim Scott

Categories

Adam Kinzinger
Adam Weigold
Affordable Care Act
Agenda 21
Ajit Pai
Al DeKruif
ALEC
Al-Qaeda
American Enterprise Institute
American Legislative Exchange Council
America's Future Foundation
Amy Koch
Andrea Kieffer
Andrea Mitchell
Androids
Ann Coulter
Apple
Arlen Specter
Arne Carlson
Atlas Shrugged
Bad Legislators
Bad Republicans
Barack Obama
Barbara Banian
Bashar al-Assad
Ben Ginsberg
Ben Golnik
Ben Wiener
Benghazi
Beth Cobert
Bill Jungbauer
Bill Paxon
Bill Pulkrabek
Bitcoin
Bloopers
Bob Barr
Bob Corker
Bob Davis
Bob Gunther
Bobby Joe Champion
Book Reviews
Branden Petersen
Brandon Petersen
Brandon Sawalich
Brian Johnson
Bron Scherer
Brookings Institution
Budget Control Act
Carla Nelson
Cass Sunstein
Cato Institute
Caucuses
CCHF
Chamber of Commerce
Charles Chaput
Charlie Rangel
China
Chip Cravaack
Chris McDaniel
Christine O'Donnell
Christopher Painter
Civil Forfeiture
Claire Robling
Climate Change
Common Cause
CREW
Cybersecurity
Cynthia Lummis
Dan Hall
Dan Severson
Dave Brat
Dave Senjem
David Fitzsimmons
David Sturrock
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Diane Johnson
Diane Rehm
Dick Armey
Donald Trump
DrudgeReport
Ed Morrissey
Education
Edward True
edX
Elijah Cummings
Erick Erickson
Erika Harold
Evie Axdahl
FBI
FCC
FEC
Federal Budget
Federal Communications Commission
Francesca Chambers
FreedomWorks
Gambling
Gay Marriage
General Electric
Geoff Michel
Global Warming
Good Legislators
Greg Davids
Growth & Opportunity
Growth and Opportunity Report
Haley Barbour
Harry Reid
Henry Barbour
Heritage Foundation
Hilda Solis
House Amendment 111
Iowa Caucus
Iowa Republican Party
Iran
IRS
ISIS
Jabhat al-Nusra
Jake Duesenberg
Janet Beihoffer
Jason Chaffetz
Jason Lewis
Jeff Bingaman
Jeff Flake
Jeff Johnson
Jeff Sessions
Jeh Johnson
Jim Abeler
Jim Oberstar
Jim Taylor
Joe Scarborough
John Blatnik
John Boehner
John Chafee
John Cornyn
John Gilmore
John Howe
John King
John Kline
John Kriesel
John McCain
John Nolte
John Yoo
Jonathan Merritt
Josh McKoon
Julianne Ortman
Julie Rosen
Justin Amash
Katrina Pierson
Keith Downey
Keith Ellison
Kelly Fenton
Keystone XL
King Banaian
KTLK
Kurt Bills
Kurt Daudt
Kurt Zellers
Labor Department
Laura Ingraham
Lee Goodman
Liberal Republicans
LightSquared
Linda Killian
LookTrueNorth
Loretta Lynch
Lost Generation
Louie Gohmert
Marco Rubio
Margaret Cavanagh
Marianne Stebbins
Mark Buesgens
Mark Dayton
Mark Foley
Mark Kennedy
Mark Meadows
Martin O'Malley
Marty Seifert
Mary Franson
Maryland
Matt Dean
Matthew Feeney
Media Bias
Mercatus Center
Michael Brodkorb
Michael Cummins
Michael Gerson
Michael Kubesh
Michael Mukasey
Michele Bachmann
Mike Benson
Mike O'Rielly
Mike Osskopp
Mike Parry
Mike Pompeo
Mike Sommers
Minimum Wage
Minnesota Budget
Minnesota Conservatives
Minnesota Legislature
Minnesota Republican Party
Minnesota Tea Party Alliance
Mitch Berg
Mitch McConnell
Mitch Pangerl
Mitt Romney
MNGOP
Modern States Education Alliance
MOOCs
Morrie Lanning
Nancy Pelosi
NARAL
National Security
Neal Peterson
Net Neutrality
New York Times
Newsbusters
Newt Gingrich
NFL
Norm Coleman
Norm Ornstein
NSA
ObamaCare
OccupyDC
Office of Fossil Energy
OPM
Orrin Hatch
Ottawa
Pat Anderson
Pat Buchanan
Pat Garofalo
Pat Shortridge
Paul Demko
Paul Gosar
Paul Koering
Paul Krugman
Paul Teller
Pete Hegseth
Pete Nelson
Pete Sessions
Peter King
Phil Krinkie
Pine City
Pine County
Pine County Republicans
Politics in Minnesota
President 2012
Privacy
Q&A
Racino
Rand Paul
Raul Labrador
Ravi Zacharias
Reason Magazine
Redistricting
Reince Priebus
Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Renee Ellmers
Republican Liberty Caucus
Republican National Convention
Republican Party of Minnesota
Republican Study Committee
Rich Murray
Rick Nolan
Rick Perry
Rick Santorum
Rick Weible
Right to Work
RNC
Rod Hamilton
Rodney Davis
Roger Crawford
Ron Carey
Ron DeSantis
Ron Erhardt
Ron Latz
Ron Paul
Ron Wyden
Rory Koch
RSC
Rudy in the Media
Ryan Winkler
Ryan-Murray
Scott Dibble
Scott Honour
Sean Duffy
SEIU
Sharon Angle
Simply Right
Simpson-Bowles
Socialists
Solar Power
Solyndra
Stadium
Star Tribune
State of the GOP
Steny Hoyer
Steve Gottwalt
Steve Hensley
Steve Jobs
Steve Largent
Steve Perkins
Steve Scalise
Steve Smith
Steven Chu
Stingrays
Sue Jeffers
Syria
Tad Jude
TARP
Tarryl Clark
Tax Foundation
Taxes
Taxpayers' League of Minnesota
Tea Party
Ted Cruz
Ted Lieu
Ted Lovdahl
Terry McCall
Thad Cochran
Thomas Mann
Thomas Massie
Thomas Miller
Thomas Sowell
Tim Cook
Tim Faust
Tim Griffin
Tim Huelskamp
Tim Kelly
Tim Pawlenty
Tim Scott
Title II
Tobacco Taxes
Todd McIntyre
Tom Clougherty
Tom Coburn
Tom Cotton
Tom DeLay
Tom Emmer
Tom Graves
Tom Harkin
Tom McClintock
Tony Sutton
Trans-Alaskan Pipeline
Twila Brase
Unemployment
Unions
Vin Weber
Virginia Foxx
Walter Mondale
Warren Buffett
Wilfare
Will Hurd
William McBridge
Xi Jinping
Yvonne Prettner Solon
Zygi Wilf
powered by

Rudy Takala's Columns

Rep. Mark Buesgens Slams a Nail on the Head in Letter to His Constituents (4.20.11)

Rep. Mark Buesgens wrote a fantastic letter to his constituents that talked about the caucus system in the legislature and our modern party system. In part, he wrote the following:
 
On big issues, a legislative caucus more often than not uses the powerful tool of peer pressure over intellectual debate to force its will on members. Through guilt or obligation, it often gets them to vote in ways that the individual’s reason tells them they should not. Words like “team” and “family” are paramount to words such as “principles” and “values.” This is a very dangerous tool to put into the hands of a few select folks who brandish the title “leadership.”
 
If you have a subscription to Politics in  Minnesota, you can read the whole thing online by clicking here. Otherwise, the letter read in entirety as follows.
_________________________________________
 
Friends and Neighbors: 
 
This update is going to be a bit different. I hope you can indulge me as I get something that has been festering for a while off my chest. Thanks and have a blessed Easter or Passover season. 
 
Disillusioned With the Legislative Caucus System
 
It is no secret that over the past few years I have become more and more disillusioned with the legislative caucus system as it exists in St. Paul. (This is the process where Democrats meet in one room and Republicans in another to discuss upcoming legislation.) Out of sincere respect to my colleagues and constituents I feel obligated to share my three primary concerns. While my experiences are derived from participation in the GOP caucus, discussions with trusted friends from the party opposite convinces me that, while the names change, the processes remain the same. 
 
1) Loss of individuality of a legislator (caucus member): 
 
While I am not learned in the dialogue surrounding the primary purpose for the change to party affiliation as initiated in Minnesota in the late 1960’s, early 70’s, it is clear to me that it has morphed into a tool primarily used to subjugate the will of the individual legislator to a small group of people termed “caucus leadership” using the consent (implied or actual) of the group. 
 
On big issues, a legislative caucus more often than not uses the powerful tool of peer pressure over intellectual debate to force its will on members. Through guilt or obligation, it often gets them to vote in ways that the individual’s reason tells them they should not. Words like “team” and “family” are paramount to words such as “principles” and “values.” This is a very dangerous tool to put into the hands of a few select folks who brandish the title “leadership.” 
 
In his farewell speech in 1796, President George Washington had the following to say about political parties. My experience tells me that it is even more relevant to caucuses of elected officials: “They [political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests. ” 
 
2) Unhealthy divisiveness that corrupts the collective conscience of society: 
 
President Washington went on to say the following: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” 
 
In my nine years of being in the majority party, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the phrase, “We have to stick together or the other side will be in control.” Believe it or not, there have been many occasions when I wanted the other side to be in control. It might be heresy for me to say this, but the GOP does not have an absolute monopoly on every good idea, nor does the DFL have an absolute monopoly on all the bad ideas. In fact, some really bad ideas from my perspective, have originated with Republicans. Ideas such as cigarette taxes, national ID cards and the latest education funding shifts have their roots in my party. However, current adherence to the caucus system means “we” must win and “they” must lose. If “they” have a good idea, “we” must take it for our own. 
 
The people of this state (and this nation) decry the partisanship that goes on in politics these days. They are vocally expressing their displeasure. Many times this past summer and fall I heard from newly engaged people that they didn’t want to hear whether I was a republican or a democrat, they simply wanted to know what I stood for and how I would work to espouse those values. The caucus system exacerbates, not alleviates, partisanism. 
 
3) Deference to polls and popularity often usurps fidelity to principles: 
 
Both logic and experience convinces me that the paramount goal of those in leadership, either elected members or hired staff, is to work to ensure a majority after the next election. I do not say this in a negative way. By itself, this is a good thing, however, it is my opinion that the path taken to get there ultimately determines success or failure. 
 
Today a caucus looks to the latest survey and/or opinion poll to guide its direction. Armed with a collection of statistics, charts and graphs, leadership develops policies and strategies that cater to the perceived will of the majority in an effort to show that we are receptive to their bidding. The strongly held belief is that this is a “tried-and-true” method of ensuring a majority. And if the latest survey clashes with principles on a given issue, either the issue is buried or a caucus uses spurious logic to make the issue somehow fit espoused values. 
 
Governing in this manner has created what our founders feared most; a system where mobocracy (rule by the most vocal mob of people) is the norm. Statesmanship has become passé! Intellect, logic and reason no longer matter. Honest dialogue, cooperation and synergy is no longer possible. Maintenance of power is the over-riding concern. Can the problems inherent with the caucus system be fixed? I do not know the answer. However, I do know that I will act and vote in ways that are true to my nature as I promised those that voted for me. I will not automatically support a bill simply because it is carried by a member of one party, nor oppose it if it is carried by a member of the other party. Less spending, less government and greater liberty will be my benchmarks when analyzing any and all legislation. If that means that I don’t get a leadership title within my caucus, then so be it.
 
As always, please stay in touch. 
 
Mark Buesgens
State Representative, 35B
Room 381, State Office Building
(651) 296-5185

1 Comment to Rep. Mark Buesgens Slams a Nail on the Head in Letter to His Constituents (4.20.11):

Comments RSS
Anonymous on Sunday, June 08, 2014 4:32 PM
I was very pleased to seek out this web-site.I wished to thanks in your time for this wonderful read!! I undoubtedly enjoying each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint