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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Dave Newquist over at the Northern Valley Beacon let me have it pretty hard for saying I thought Kristi Noem was a superior thinker to Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Read it here.

While I'll stand by my statement that I think Noem is the superior thinker, I guess I have to clarify that I think she thinks better than Stephanie, not that she's in a league with any of the world's great thinkers. David cleverly uses Noam Chomsky as an example of how stupid I am for suggesting that Kristi Noem could think better than Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Dave is quick to cite Herseth Sandlin's lovely academic resume, which includes a scholarship to Georgetown and that she trotted off to accomplish – well – accomplishments, whatever those are. I suppose he means that she successfully completed law school and was the executive director of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation and clerked for two judges. She was also the youngest woman elected to the House. All very impressive indeed, but mightn't much of her career might be attributed to her famous and influential parents and grandparents? Hmmmm. Very impressive indeed.

By way of comparison (just for the sake of making the argument that paper trained politicians, are not always the best thinkers) I offer up Larry Pressler, who, you will recall graduated from the University of South Dakota, Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Harvard Law School. After becoming a lawyer, he served in the Vietnam War in the Army and later became the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the United States Senate. He served in the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer and was elected to the House from 1975-79 and was in the Senate from 79 to 97, where he chaired the commerce committee from 96 to 97. He was most recently named to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad by none other than President Barack Obama.

By David's measure, the highly-educated former Senator from South Dakota must be a superior thinker...


larry kurtz said...

Your absence in discussions where Bob Ellis appears is intriguing, Mike.

Michael Sanborn said...

No intrigue, Larry. Bob Ellis makes my ass tired; he frightens the children; and I'm simply sick of him. He's not worth the effort of another keystroke.

Bob Newland said...

Both Noem and Sandlin oppose allowing sick, disabled and dying people the relief from pain and nausea afforded by cannabis.

Therefore I can't imagine why anyone except Bob Ellis and Pat Powers would vote for either one.

To me, for an elected official to oppose a family physician in regard to a proven remedy is analogous to denying that Earth orbits the sun. To vote for such a person is analogous to intentionally dropping an anvil on your foot, and on the feet of all around you.

larry kurtz said...

Glad if you liked my post at the Beacon, Mike.

Pat has moved his eyeballs farther and farther away from our argument because we made a dent, Bob. Be proud of that.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, superior thinker...except for that time he (Pressler) walked into the coat closet trying to leave the room.


DDC said...

You cannot be considered a "thinker" unless you have thick paper embossed with a logo saying that you are.

Mr. Newquist's use of phrases like "Snooki Scofflaw" and "Noem nee Arnold was a Show Queen" are evidence that he is a vastly superior thinker and blogger than you are, Mr. Sanborn. He even managed to toss in an obscure mathematics reference in his post (I'm sure a former English/Journalism professor wouldn't have missed a typo like "Nome", so it must have been intentional.).

I was disappointed that he failed to find a spot to toss in a random "NOem". That is how you show just how much you are thinking.

I see that he did manage to lie about Noem's position on federal spending and amount that Noem benefited from farm subsidies, so I guess we can excuse the "NOem" omission. He does get an "A" for staying on topic and talking about the issues that matter most to South Dakotans, speeding tickets and farm subsidies.

He also managed to throw out some disinformation in his closing thoughts. He seems to be implying that Noem's license would be suspended if she lived in Nevada. The problem is that Noem would currently have 2 points on her license if she lived in Nevada and Nevada doesn't suspend your license until you have 12 points in a 12 month period.

But hey, when speeding tickets is the only thing you've got, you need to run with it.

Be careful, Sanborn, Mr. Newquist is clearly out of your league.

David Newquist said...

I wasn't coming down hard on you as much as on Noem, about whom you and I have opposite perceptions. Actually, I have been looking for a way to relieve myself of that Chomsky pun, and, thank you, Michael, you were it.

Larry Pressler has puzzled me. His credentials are impressive, but I have the impression that he lost total interest in politics. I am impressed with people who have thick chunks of vellum declaring them smart because I've seen what it takes. I, too, wondered what made him go into the closet.

And, Bob, I appreciate the relief from pain and nausea caused by asinine commenters. I think I'm getting the munchies.

Michael Sanborn said...

Everyone goes through the wrong door now and then, it was his staying in there that made the incident so tear-jerkingly funny. Is jerkingly a word?