During last week's debate Sharon Sund put herself to Brian Barnes' left on a number of points, formally, though Sund and Barnes have each subtly embraced conventional wisdom--'it shall decided based on character/identity'--and have thus given permission to all that they may view the choice as an integrity contest. ('Who flatters more pleasingly?')
DFL activists are taking it the same way: It doesn't matter one way or the other who gets the endorsement ideologically. The issues upon which Sund and Barnes differ aren't all that beneficial to either, and they aren't related to courageous or imaginative political thinking.
When Barnes was asked for his central economic proposal, he answered calling for lots more spending on education. Whether in itself a good or bad idea, Barnes' proposal would not appear a prudent primary step in addressing the government's long term balance-sheet problem. Since Barnes' statement is so obviously flattering to a key DFL constituency, it will be viewed by the non-liberal, mainstream public as pusillanimous.
It's March 2012, we're heading into a congressional campaign in Minnesota's CD3--and neither mainstream DFL candidate has formulated any credible bigthink proposal for addressing the long term budgetary challenge. Odd; no?