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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sam Hurst's Second Worst Nightmare: Stephanie

Bill Fleming suggests reading Sam Hurst's piece on Herseth Sandlin here. As is usually the case, Sam's piece is extremely well-written – while not being terribly convincing. It is well worth the read.

His premise is two-fold:

1. Herseth Sandlin's recent gains in polls are not due to Republicans buying her campaign that she is a rootin' tootin' gun-totin' South Dakota conservative, but rather that Democrats have only recently come to the horrible conclusion that she is the Devil (conservative) with a Blue Dress On" but she is the "least worst" choice for the House. (She's bad, but can't possibly be as bad as a Republican.)

2. Effective bipartisan government ended very shortly after the ratification of the Constitution. "The Founding gentlemen abhorred "faction" (which we now call parisanship). They imagined that there might be space for dialogue, for dissent, for negotiation, for new ways of solving old problems. In the space created by good will and shared values, citizens might be transcendent. Reason and practicality could win out. You could actually win me over. And I, you. The fantasy didn't last long."

As is often the case with Sam's far-left, far out logic, he's wrong on both counts.

The reason for Stephanie's recent rise in the polls has to be the effectiveness of her campaign, which is tied directly to convincing conservatives (Republicans) that she's a rootin' tootin' gun-totin' fiscal conservative, who just happens to be a Democrat.

Democrats, unless they are just completely stupid, already know that Stephanie will vote their way when Pelosi demands it, and with Republicans when Pelosi doesn't need her vote to advance her far left crackpot liberal agenda. Stephanie would not be in the House of Representatives if she had not in the past been able to convince South Dakota Republicans that she's a blue dog who has their back. Do the math.

And, as for a lack of bipartisan success, there are many examples of successful bipartisan legislation:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 could not have passed without the help of Sen. Everett Dirkson, a moderate Republican from Illinois.

The school lunch program in the United States could not have happened without staunch liberal George McGovern (D) of South Dakota and staunch conservative Robert Dole (R) of Kansas.

Conservative Republican Ronald Reagan enjoyed a bipartisan effort, particularly with Tip O'Neil (D) Massachusetts, in creating the policies that brought an end to the Cold War.

The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts happened during the Nixon administration when a Democratically-controlled Congress was able to work with the conservative Nixon administration to do the right thing for America.

What Sam almost always misses is that he and the far-left loopy liberals are not always 100 percent right on 100 percent of the issues. Those of us who believe that good government almost always is the result of compromise, understand that the extremes of either side rarely pave the best path for America.

The choice facing South Dakota voters is simple. Kristi Noem is a conservative. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is a liberal. Choose.

What's Sam's worst nightmare? Kristi Noem.


larry kurtz said...

Sam's calculus is flawless. The mystery may be in the fact that there is no mystery.


Bill Fleming said...

Mike, I think you're probably kidding yourself. From listening to her so far, it sounds like Kristi will vote with John Boehner 100% of the time.

You Repubs would perhaps have been a lot better off if you had nominated Chris Nelson. I think a lot of Dems would have actually been willing to vote for him.

Michael Sanborn said...

I wouldn't suggest you're wrong, Bill. Nelson may have been a better candidate, or a better representative.

But, everyone on the R side seems to think Kristi can win. Nelson could not have beaten Stephanie.

And, I'm not kidding myself. I think it will be a close race. And, I've said here before I don't think Stephanie is the worst thing to happen in South Dakota.

But, we both know this one is too close to call right now.

Tom Lawrence said...

Everett Dirksen was from Illinois, not Wisconsin.
The froggy-voiced senator, famed for his quote "A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money," was a moderate Republican, back when such dinosaurs roamed the planet and held power in DC.
Dirksen's son-in-law was Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn., the GOP co-chair of the Watergate committee who famously said: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Baker was also a moderate Republican. He served as chief of staff for Ronald Reagan after leaving the Senate.
Dirksen made a lot of money and grabbed the spotlight for a series of spoken-voice records he did. He liked the attention and appeared on TV Shows and, I think, in a movie.

Duffer said...

I recall watching a local reporter interviewing people at Rushmore Mall after Bill Clinton's first election. When he asked an older (retired) couple what they thought, they responded that while they were life-long Republicans - the country had spoken and they would support the new President and his agenda for the better of the country.

Boy, are those days gone - along with the likes of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Everett Dirksen and other statesmen we'll never see the likes of again.

Now it's all about bitching, name-calling, and paying back the lobbyists that made you a millionaire nouveau. They ALL seem to retire very wealthy.

Michael - I'm new around this forum, and I'm curious about your vision for our country. Economics, social issues, church/state relationship, your world-view.

It's your forum - if I'm going to hang around - and listen, I'd like to know the basis of your convictions.

Thomas Paine said...

SHS is NO liberal. She's a corporatist representing the interests of the agricultural-industrial complex and banksters-insurance industrial complex. She's for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy - "small businesses" like Koch Industries, Coors, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Bechtel, etc.

Thad Wasson said...

SHS will lose because she doesn't know who she is. The deep end of the big government pool looked inviting in 2008, but she can't muster the courage to swim to that side.

So she plays it safe, where she can touch. Right next to Noem.

With her base doused of their energy and the state Republicans not willing to risk more Democrat power in 2011 and beyond, SHS goes down.

DDC said...

"Thomas Paine",

Someone got their nightly dose of MSNBC, eh?

DDC said...

Nelson's problem was that he's boring. Tremendous public servant, but not a great candidate. I hate to say it, but he would have gotten his clock cleaned by SHS (like Michael said). I have the utmost respect for Chris, but it's the truth.

Noem is an exciting candidate. She's great one-on-one, and can win over a crowd if she's allowed to.

I hate to compare her to Palin, but she's running into the same problems. She's got people telling her what she should say and not say and she starting to second-guess herself when it matters. She needs to just be herself.

Her campaign manager might tank her.

Bill Fleming said...

DDC, sort of. She's quick out of the blocks but has no staying power. Pretty much a one trick pony. That's my take anyway. But you could be right, maybe it's just bad handlers.

DDC said...


I was incredibly impressed with her when I met her. Much more so than when I met Nelson or Curd. Nelson is the definition of a public servant, but the only reason he had to offer to vote for him was the fact that he had won statewide elections.

Nelson was too boring and couldn't give me a reason to vote for him and Curd was a sponsor of the smoking in bars ban. I just couldn't bring myself to support someone that didn't believe in basic property rights.

I honestly think Noem's getting way to much "advice" right now. She's a lot sharper than she's coming across.

Bill Fleming said...

Interesting, DDC. I have an extremely progressive friend who says pretty much the same thing. (As in, she's no Sarah Palin.) But he's not going to vote for her. He's going with BT Marking for "symbolic" reasons.

Michael Sanborn said...

You're absolutely correct. My error. Dirkson was indeed from Illinois and not Wisconsin. I knew that, but muddled him in my mind with Proxmire, a Democrat, who was famous for the Golden Fleece Award.

larry kurtz said...

Mike, Derek, how does smaller government really help your lot? Don't pay federal income tax if you don't want to.

DDC said...


I am much better at deciding what is good for me and my family than the government is.

More government intrusion makes it harder for me to make a living. More government makes the things I buy much more expensive. More government means that I could go to jail for not doing what they think I should do.

The only way to avoid paying federal income taxes is to not have any income. That's not exactly an option.

My question for you is, why do you need the government to tell you what to do and how to live your life? To tell you what kind of health insurance to buy? Why do you need the government to tell you what substances you can put into your body, how to save your money for retirement, how much salt to consume, who you can marry and where you can smoke?

Are you not smart enough to make those decisions for yourself?

Do you like that the government takes your money and uses it to kill people overseas? Do you like that your president uses drones to target and assassinate people, including American citizens?

Do you like that the government takes your tax dollars and subsidizes and encourages the use of chemicals so farmers can grow more and more corn so we can burn it and till up and destroy our prairie at the same time?

Do you like that the government takes your money to subsidize oil companies?

DDC said...

Do those things "improve your lot"?

Its not the governments job to improve my lot. It's job is to keep others from injuring me and allowing me the opportunity to improve my own lot.

larry kurtz said...

Government is me, Derek. Paying taxes is a good problem to have and I pay property taxes in your chemical toilet, funding the Marty Jackleys that obfuscate land rape your stupid state.

It is the only way to ensure that industry doesn't keep doing this by allowing forcing offenders to pay more. Cap and trade would help make earth scorching unprofitable.

larry kurtz said...

Btw Derek. If memory serves, north of Wessington Springs on a stretch of county tar, there is an abandoned humble office with Somebody Cecil, attorney at law. Anyone you know?

DDC said...

Wrong Larry, cap & trade would make earth scorching more expensive in the US. Therefore, relatively clean US businesses will shut their doors and manufacturing will move to India and China and Mexico. They don't give a crap about the planet in those places.

How are you going to stop them from polluting? Send in the Army and Air Force to blow up their factories? Nuke them off the face of the earth?

Cap and trade won't do a thing other than handicap our economy (which I know is just fine by you, but let's not pretend it's going to make the earth a better place to live).

Since you are the government, I hope you're having fun killing people overseas, conducting your drug war, keeping gays from enjoying equal rights and land-raping. Keep up the good work in controlling people's lives and throwing them in jail for growing plants and not buying what you want them to buy. You're doing a great job keeping the Natives and blacks as a permanent underclass in this country as well.


DDC said...


Never heard of them. I don't have any relatives from that area that I know of. Chuck Cecil is originally from Wessington Springs, but I don't have any known relation to him either.

I might have to drive by there next time I'm through Wessington Springs.

DDC said...

I'll also say that I have no problem with paying taxes when those taxes are used for legitimate purposes.

There are legitimate purposes for federal, state and local governments.

larry kurtz said...

Yikes Derek, pretty broad brush. This thread is about Sam Hurst's calculus...same deal.

DDC said...


You're the one that said "Government is me". Those are all things that our government is doing right now. If government is you, then you're doing those things.

larry kurtz said...

Hey, NPR reported a heretofore unknown expeditionary force on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan! As ip just posted at Pat's: I'll take the rule of law over holy war any day.


Bill Dithmer said...

I don’t agree with Sam on everything, nobody is that perfect but for the most part he got it right.
Does it bother anyone else here that the way we are being forced to pick our lone house member has become more of a circus then a real election? Substance seems to have more to do with bullshit then issues. Facts are things that the candidates don’t think the voter is entitled to and those facts should be guarded at all cost. It is a dead heat right now as far as I'm concerned and I don’t see anyone really winning in South Dakota. How did we get to this point of selecting who will represent us in this most important post.
Lets see the Repubs say that SHS isn't really from SD but is an outsider without any ties to the state.
The Dems say that KN has been here to long without any real world experience.
The Repubs say that SHS got all her higher education in a big institution in another state.
The Dems say that KN doesn’t have a higher education from anywhere.
The Repubs say that SHS cant be trusted because she supports Nancy P.
The Dems say that KN will only vote the way the republican leadership tells her to.
The Repubs don’t like the man SHS is married to.
The Dems don’t like all the speeding tickets that KN has or the bench warrants for her arrest.
The Repubs don’t like SHSs voting record because she didn’t vote the way they thought she would but instead voted the way they would have if given the chance.
The Dems just don’t think KN has much of a record except for the speeding tickets.
Well that about covers the campaign up to this point. I have listened to two debates and the only one that has answered a straight question has been old man "whats his name" it really doesn’t matter does it. We have come to that point in time that I think we should find a new way to pick our next representative in DC.

Bill Dithmer said...

Ok this is the way I see this race being decided. Invite all three candidates to Pierre for a contest that would be put on SDPTV. The contest would be something like American Idol sense that’s something most of the people relate to. It would be held at the Capitol building with a live audience and three judges. A Methodist minister, a Catholic priest, and an Indian spiritualist. The three contestants would also be voted on by the tv audience by phone.
The candidates would be voted on in three categories.
1. contestant audience communication.
2. how flexible each person was when dealing with someone that didn’t believe the same way as they do.
3. and selling themselves and their ideas to the public.
And it should be a pole dance competition.
Oh ya I know it wouldn’t be fare, the old guy wouldn’t look good in a thong. But lets face it he's going to loose anyway.
I don’t know if it will work or not but it makes as much sense as what we are doing now.
The Blindman