Minnesota's political Tweepsters are scratching their heads this afternoon, following Senator Mike Parry's tweet:
Just got done weeding the garden. Wish I had a gardener like Dayton that was an essential service!
Thumbs down: To Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, for his bomb-throwing commentary saying Gov. Mark Dayton should resign because he intentionally wants to hurt state workers and doesn’t care about them.
Not only are the comments detrimental to creating an atmosphere where Republicans and Democrats can work together in respect, they shed an unpleasant light on the Waseca area as people wonder if Mr. Parry is representing the sentiment of average Wasecans. . . .
Excited to have a few mins to share thoughts with fellow tweeters. By the way, my lawn looks a hell of a lot better than the Mansion.
Bluestem wonders what's more remarkable: for Mike to be able to see the governor's lawn from Waseca, on Highway 14, deep in the heart of Minnesota's First Congressional District (not unlike Sarah Palin's ability to see Russia from her house in Alaska).
Or for Parry to brag that his lawn looks better than the lawn he imagines he sees on St. Paul's Summit Avenue. Three facts underscore how remarkable his lack of couth really is.
First, there's that little matter of the gardener. Bluestem checked, and there's no gardener deemed an "essential service" in the list of "essential" staff published by Politics in Minnesota.
Contacted via email about the gardener's employment status during the shutdown, a source in the Governor's Office wrote that "Gardener is laid off, not working and not getting paid." Perhaps that might explain why the lawn looks the way it does.
Second, it's surprising for Parry to be mocking a state worker's job, just a week after he shed those crocodile tears for those public employees laid off in the shutdown. After all Parry told the Free Press a week ago that Governor Dayton should resign because:
“Let me tell you, the governor has no feelings,” Parry said. “If he did, he would not put 22,000 people out of work on July 1. He has no feelings. ...
Today's Mankato Free Press points out:
As far as who wants to “hurt state workers” we suspect Parry would find it hard to defend the proposal he supports that cuts 15 percent of the state work force versus Dayton’s proposed cut of only 6 percent.
But that' not all to this story. Why did Parry tweet about a gardener, and bring a non-political person's performance into the mix? This is especially peculiar since the gardener doesn't appear on the list of essential services staff released by the governor's office.
To answer that question, Bluestem needs to take readers back to May 18, when Minnpost's James Nord reported in No visible progress Tuesday on state budget solution:
“There is great concern for the gardener at the Governor’s Mansion,” Parry said. “That one took us by surprise — we hadn’t heard that before.”
Thus, Parry jokes today about the gardener, someone whose position he dissed back in May, and who is laid off now. And then he goes further, and disses the lack of lawn care. Whatever one says about Parry, he's a guy who wants things his way--both ways.
And, unlike the groundskeeper or Governor Dayton, Parry is drawing a salary and per diem during the shutdown, after earlier whining about how his salary is too low. Parry isn't out mingling with his constituents while tweeting his complaints--nope, he's at home, doing a little weeding on the public dime.
This is the man who would have Minnesotans think the governor has no feelings. Bluestem is not about to say Mike Parry has no feelings, only our fervent that he might develop that self-control that Ben Franklin and other Founding Fathers so favored, and so cease sharing his feelings about the shutdown and the Governor with us via twitter and the press.
Let him instead take a suggestion the Rochester Post Bulletin made in Will serious lawmakers please step up?:
For example, we'd politely ask Sen. Mike Parry, a Republican from Waseca, to go to some remote cabin in northern Minnesota, turn off his phone and spend the next several weeks fishing, water skiing or counting trees. Any pastime he prefers would be more useful. . .
Really, Mike, there's no need to bare your emotional soul to Minnesota any longer. We get the picture--now find some trees to count.