The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stephanie Speaks!

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin made a stop in Rapid City to talk to the Rapid City Chamber's Young Professionals Group.

She began with remarks about the health care issues facing Congress and touched on the House-passed pay as you go legislation.

She said she does not support the Obama plan's public option, but does not rule out the possibility that a public option bi-partisan alternative might be found. She expressed frustration with her own party's left wing and the Republican Party's right wing for allowing the public option debate to polarize the larger problems associated with health care reform.

I was unable to speak with Rep. Herseth Sandlin (I wasn't denied an interview, I had to leave before she was able to grant one).

As a conservative, I remain relatively and cautiously impressed with Rep. Herseth Sandlin. She can hardly be blamed for not accepting an invitation to a barbecue, where she is the intended main course, so all you town hall meeting organizers, might as well get used to it.

What is puzzling to me is that she has not been more vocal on the issues. I'm conservative and what I heard her telling the Young Professionals was pretty conservative fare.

If Mr. Howie's followers could be counted upon to shut up and listen to her, they might be impressed with what she has to say. Unfortunately, that ain't gonna happen because she's a Democrat and it really won't matter what she says, Howie's followers will find a reason to drown her words with high-volume bumper sticker quips.

I hope Herseth Sandlin finds a reasonable way to meet the public out here in West River, where she's been a scarce as a happy 401K investor. We need to know her thoughts. We need to have her know ours.


caheidelberger said...

"has not been more vocal on the issues"—an honest question from a disappointed Democrat (who believes the public option is essential to solving the larger problems): Doesn't leadership include being vocal about the issues? Shouldn't a Congressperson be leading the public dialogue and helping educate voters?

Michael Sanborn said...

I think you have part of it right. A Congressperson needs to be vocal on the issues, and I think Rep. Herseth Sandlin is missing the mark on this point.

In the House, our representatives are there to represent us. So as much as they need to lead public dialogue and help educate voters, they also need to LISTEN to voters and REPRESENT them in Washington.

The disappointment with Rep. Herseth Sandlin is that while she may be representing most of the voters, how will we know that when she's not making efforts to engage us?

Douglas said...

Herseth-Sandlin rattles like an empty wagon. She burns up interview time perhaps even better than did Bill Janklow.

All our South Dakota representatives have failed to actually inform us of the fundamental problem with health care and that is that corporate insurance companies have been placed between patients and doctors and the only real purpose they serve is to siphon off about 30% of the premiums for overhead and profit as they deny their clients the services they promised.

Herseth refers to insurance companies as "stake holders". Time to drive a stake through their iron cold hearts. They serve no useful purpose and are parasites willing to share their ill-gotten gains with the political hacks who allow them to continue their insurance scams.

Tim Johnson is now blathering on and on on SDPB Radio. He would not be alive if he were dependent on the crappy insurance system he supports and which contributes to him. Obviously he will not discuss that aspect.

One would think he might have a bit more empathy for the rest of us based on his own experience.

Steve Sibson said...


I find it amusing that you call yourself a conservative while you tell true conservatives to shut up and listen to a politician pretending to be a conservative.

I sat down on July 2 and listened to Herseth Sandlin and Senator Johnson in Mitchell during their staged health care forum. The only person shouting was Ron Weizcorek, a LaRouche Democrat. He also gave me a Obama is a Nazi handout. So if you think the only reason why people shout at Herseth Sandlin is because she is a Democrat, you are wrong. I was only allowed to turn in a written statement at the rally, and I have yet to get an answer for the problems Medicare and Medicare are creating by shifting the costs of those they are covering to the fees private insurance companies have to pay. Herseth Sandlin is the one that needs to shut up and listen to her constituents and then use her mouth in DC to tell her colleagues what South Dakotans think.

And if you don't understand that the real battle in this health care issue is between government control and liberty, then again, you should stop calling yourself a conservative. Herseth Sandlin's "us moderates" are superior to the extremists BS are the real problem makers in American. They just keep raising the heat a little at a time, but we still end up in hot water eventually.

Michael Sanborn said...


You are not paying attention. I have expressed time and again my frustration with Herseth Sandlin's unwillingness to express her views and to genuinely seek input from her constituents.

I have said I was "relatively and cautiously" impressed with her. That doesn't mean I intend to vote to return her to office.

I do think that if what she told the Young Professionals is the truth, she has nothing to fear from town hall meetings, unless said meetings are politically motivated and coordinated only as a means to grab a few video clips of angry placard-carrying citizens shouting her down so that nobody can actually hear what she has to say.

As it stands now, she chooses to not be barbecued for positions she has not taken. Give her the opportunity to speak her peace, then if she votes differently, (and I suspect she might), conservatives, like me, will have good reason (and good ammunition) to see to it that she is voted out of office.

The problem I see with guys like you and Howie is that you appear to be unwilling to take yes for an answer. You hate her if she votes with you and you hate her if she votes against you. Where's the percentage for anyone in that scenario?

Michael Sanborn said...

And another thing, Steve...

"Conservatives" like you are doing the Republican Party, liberty and the cause of keeping government out of our lives, no favors.

The continuing mantra that conservatives can only be conservatives by your definition is what has caused an exodus from the Republican Party. If you don't believe me, check out who is in charge now and ask yourself how that happened?

The Republican Party, under the Bush Administration did more to adversely affect my liberty than ANY prior Democrat. And, if you don't believe that, pack a cigarette lighter in your carry-on baggage and try to fly somewhere.

Steve Sibson said...

"The Republican Party, under the Bush Administration did more to adversely affect my liberty than ANY prior Democrat."

Even FDR?

And you picked on the wrong guy to stick up for Bush and the GOP. The Progressives have taken over both parties.

And now I am beginning to understand why you jumped on a blog with Fleming and Newland. You seem to be into anarchy. And that is just as extreme as totalitarian types.

Michael Sanborn said...


Anarchy may be what it takes, I suppose, but I hope not.

And, for the record...I asked Bill and Bob to join Decorum Forum and look after things during a particularly busy time in the money-making side of my business. They agreed and have done such an excellent job that I now consider the blog equally theirs.

So, they jumped on with me. And you'll note that for the most part we have adult dialogue here without the need for placards and anger and fear.

I also notice that you have 15 items posted on the front of your site, upon which you've generated 8 comments total, and three of them were yours.

I happen to believe that nothing can be accomplished in America if Americans are divided and that anything can be accomplished if we are united.

We can't become united until we start talking to one another. And that is the purpose of this blog – to have people of divergent views actually talk to one another!

I suspect the solution to America's problems may reside somewhere else. But, I like it's getting real comfy with all my friends with differing views.

Ain't America grand, Sibby? Ain't it just grand?