Perhaps the best analogy of what is going on in the on-again off-again special session debate can be found in a telling scene from the beloved Minnesota movie, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fargo.Ã¢â‚¬Â No, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the part with the woodchipper.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the scene where car salesman Jerry Lundegaard and an irate customer face each other over the unexpected inclusion of the cost of a sealant in the price of the car. After some give and take, a seemingly distraught Jerry goes to his boss. In reality, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a ploy. He spends some time talking about the Gophers before returning to the table.
Jerry Lundegaard: “Well, we’ve never done this before. But seeing as it’s special circumstances and all, he says I can knock a hundred dollars off that Trucoat.”
The customer is irate and hurls accusations about how untrustworthy Lundegaard is. But ultimately, the car buyer can’t bring himself to walk away from the deal.
Now, consider the events this week.
Rep. Alice Hausman, chairwoman of the House Capital Investment Finance Division, was part of a group of state representatives who toured the flood-damaged areas on Wednesday.
She came back to say this:
“We heard from a woman who had lost her home and her business tell us
that having our committee visit today gave her hope that her town can
rebuild and thrive. Now we need to take her story and
all of those we heard today back to St. Paul and get this special
session done, so these hardworking people won’t lose hope in the hard
weeks and months ahead.”
Gov. Tim Pawlenty also visited southeastern Minnesota on Wednesday. He was asked afterward if he had detected any anger from average citizens about inaction in St. Paul.
This is what he had to say:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand the details of all this stuff but they want and need help. The people that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve met with for the most part have been wonderful. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re tired. They want some hope and they want some help and we can and should give that to them. But Minnesotans are strong and good people. They understand there is a process but they have expectations about needing and wanting help and we should give that to them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Why haven’t more average Minnesotans become angry? What will it take to get Pawlenty and House and Senate DFL leaders to walk out the door with an agreement on a special session?
Every time they seem close to shaking hands, one of them throws in the extra cost of the Trucoat.