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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gun Owners Flier

There has been some distraction in the Congressional race because of a brochure sent to targeted voters in South Dakota by Kristi Noem targeting Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's record on Second Amendment issues.

My friend, Bill Fleming, brought the brochure to my attention.

Here are my thoughts:

1. The brochure is wrong. Dead wrong. It lists Herseth Sandlin's Gun Owners of America grade as D. It's a B-. You can see that for yourself here. They have not rated Noem.

2. It implies (by omission) that Herseth Sandlin is not the NRA's endorsee for the South Dakota race. The NRA has a long-standing policy of endorsing any incumbent with an A rating. Stephanie has an A rating from the NRA. So does Noem.

Do I think the mistakes were intentionally published to mislead the public? Yes, I do. And, I am disappointed in Noem's campaign staff for resorting to the kind of misleading crap that the Democrats have been doing for years. (COMMENT HERE HAS BEEN DELETED, WITH MY APOLOGY BECAUSE IT WAS UNINTENTIONALLY OFFENSIVE.)

Do I think Noem was aware that the brochure contained patently wrong information that was intentionally published to mislead? No. But, that's not an excuse. (An excuse is a thin wisp of a reason, wrapped in a lie). I expect my congressperson to surround him/herself with competent, honest people. Clearly, that did not happen here.

Do I think Noem has once again shot herself in the foot with this brochure? Probably. But, probably not enough to turn the election. The race is neck and neck, as I have repeatedly said it would be. This mistake does not help her. Prior to this, all Herseth Sandlin had to talk about against Noem was her bloody driving record. Now, Noem has handed Herseth Sandlin the club she'll use to her.

Will voters make their decision on this very close race based upon the circumstances surrounding this one brochure alone? Probably not. But it was a bonehead thing for the Noem campaign to do.

This will be a very tight race. I believe Noem was on the right track hanging Nancy Pelosi and her hideous record around Stephanie's neck in the manner that Obama tied Bush around McCain's. The fact of the matter is that Noem and Herseth Sandlin agree on most issues surrounding the Second Amendment. I can't think of any issue upon which they disagree. She should have ignored it, or at the very least pointed out her own record without mention of Stephanie's.

It seems like Josh Shields has taken a lesson from Democratic pit viper Steve Jarding. That's just too bad. A brochure like this one sent out under my photo and including my name would have resulted in some folks being dismissed...for even suggesting it. And, that hasn't happened, which is also disappointing.

As I said when Noem became the candidate, the race was hers to lose. She just got sacked on second down. She has time. But, Republicans had better hope she doesn't have to bring on the punting team.


Douglas said...

With all those self-directed questions, it reads like it was written by Dusty Johnson who filled his blather with them and third person references to himself on the SDPB "debate" forum.

Michael Sanborn said...

Noted, Douglas. Thanks for the comment.

caheidelberger said...

If Josh Shields is taking lessons from the Jarding playbook, he's not learning well. Jarding at least knows how to win some races. Noem should never have hired the guy who helped R. Blake Curd lose the Tea party vote and place third in the primary.


Bill Fleming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DDC said...

I kinda rolled my eyes when I got this in the mail. I thought the exact same thing as you did, Michael. There was absolutely no reason to go with something like this. I would have sent out something pointing out her NRA "A" rating and her work on the Firearms Freedom Act and not done the comparison thing.

I will mention that Herseth Sandlin did get a D from GOA in 2009 & again in April 2010, but she has a B- as a candidate in their most recent release. I have no idea why the rating changed (or why they even had her as a D in the first place), since there has been zero gun legislation since April (and only a couple of amendments to bills that affected guns in the last two years, both pro-gun and passed).

I think Shields is taking the Pelosi thing a little too far. I'm all for pointing out that a vote for Herseth Sandlin is a vote for Pelosi as Speaker, but not every issue needs to be about Pelosi.

Simply highlighting her own stellar record on gun legislation would have been enough. For anyone that see guns as that big of an issue, the fact that Herseth Sandlin is a Democrat (combined with Noem's record) would be reason enough to not vote for her. They wouldn't need a shady comparison chart to get them to do it.

I swear this word verification system has humor built into it.

Wayne Gilbert said...

An issue on which I part company with many of my fellow liberal Democrats is the second amendment. I'm a believer in an individual right to bear arms. Having established my credentials, let me say that this whole thing is truly a non-issue that SD Republicans tend to drag out from time to time. It is political bottom feeding. Its effectiveness may be limited by the illiteracy of its target market.

John Smith said...

Noem's driving history and her complete disregard for the judicial system coupled with the misleading campaign brochure clearly proves she is not competent to serve in Congress. her campaign manager is out of his league. and i truly believe the sdgop is way out of touch with reality.

Wayne Gilbert said...

My mail today included a flyer from Daugaard touting NRA endorsement--when you think about it, this is actually scary.

Bill Fleming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Sanborn said...

You so frequently take offense when none was intended. I've taken some hearty ribbing from you in the past without such a response. It was a joke, brother. I don't really think that and retract the comment now. It will be gone by the time you read this.

Bill Fleming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.