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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Valueless Quest for the Values Voter

In my post below, I chastised Kevin Woster for asking candidates how old the earth is. I thought it was a stupid question. I still do.

I had a faint hope in this election that pandering to the radical religious right would not become a factor. Chief among their concerns is how people stand on abortion. But other concerns include gay marriage and a desire to have our Congress packed with true believer Christians.

First there was Woster's post on the age of the earth, an attempt (in my opinion) to get one of the Republican candidates to declare that the earth is 6000 years old, just like the Bible says it is. (The Bible doesn't say that, by the way.) Then there was the News on the Right Side, showing up in my Rapid City Journal, a quasi-news magazine produced by Gordon Howie, encouraging voters to vote for the Christians, like any good Christian would. (Of course, he means like any good literal interpreter would.) And now a phone call to my home from the Rev. James Dobson urging me to seek council from my pastor about how I should cast my vote in the upcoming election.

No doubt about it, they have a machine and they have cranked it up in an effort to empty the church pews and get out the vote on Nov. 2.

I believe that Republicans are foolishly pandering to these voters. They already have them. Few of these voters will vote for Stephanie Herseth Sandlin under any circumstance. Everyone knows she is pro choice, a surefire suicidal position for any Democrat wanting the "values voters" approval at the polls.

The risk in such pandering is that it will alienate voters who are just plum sick of the abortion and gay rights issues. Republicans started this process of pandering back in the Reagan Administration and it followed through George H.W. and George W's administration, with H.W. seemingly being the most repulsed by it while his son was the most enamored with it.

It is my understanding now that Noem has a pro life ad running on the AM talk radio stations. I haven't heard it. But, it occurs to me that if it is so, she is preaching to the confirmed or converted. Her money would be better spent elsewhere hammering Stephanie with her 91% ties to Pelosi. Her pro life stance is well-known. Why bother reinforcing votes you already have? Where's the value?

I believe that few of the undecided voters will be swayed by a candidate's position on abortion. And, those who are swayed, if abortion voting in the state is an example, will be swayed toward Stephanie.

Abortion is a red-hot issue where nobody changes their mind. Noem would have been wise to try to sway those undecideds based upon her economic agenda. That is where she can attract new voters.


caheidelberger said...

Ah, but Michael, you mistakenly presume Noem has an economic agenda.

I wonder if she has read the Bloomberg Businessweek article, "Why Business Doesn't Trust the Tea Party."

Bill Fleming said...

This whole election cycle has been about the far right trying to sweep its social agenda under the rug.

Anti-gay, anti-women, anti-ethnic, anti-science, etc. It's all part of the same package. And yeah, they don't like it that there are no jobs right now. Who does?

Do you really think they hate Nancy Pelosi because of her approach to the economy, Michael? Come on.

If you want to live in an American Theocracy, vote for the far-right Tea Party people who are trying to pretend their platform is all about fixing the economy.

It's a Trojan Horse strategy, Mike, and a whole bunch of people are falling for it.

It has always been my impression that you were one of those GOP types who knew better — who didn't let the crazies pull the wool over your eyes.

But now, I'm really starting to wonder.

Are you for 'em or agin' 'em? Your post here seems to say you want to have it both ways.

Sorry, but I just don't see how that's a realistic option.

Troy Jones said...


I find Obamacare to be a most hateful ruse ever perpetrated on the poor.

I find the financial regulation bill a most dishonest ruse perpetrated on the poor.

I find the stimulus a most aggressive theft from the poor.

All because I believe they impede 8 million Americans from the dignity of having a job and providing for their family.

Together, I and most of those you disparage so condescendingly find it ironic you practice what you claim to condemn.

So, yes, I find Nancy Pelosi's economic policies reprehensible.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, Troy, we've been through this before if I recall.

I seem to remember that you have a somewhat convoluted reason as to why businesses prefer to hire offshore as opposed to bringing those jobs home, why banks won't give entrepreneurs business loans, and why entrepreneurs with capital won't invest them in projects that generate jobs, create badly needed new infrastructure, and fund new R&D, but I can't for the life of me remember how it goes.

Maybe you could humor me and run it down again here?

Thanks, bud.

repete said...

Mike, ultimately are you suggesting it would be better for SHS to bring up the Governmental Control of Wombs issue than Noem?

Michael Sanborn said...

I don't think I'm mistaken at all, Cory.

Bill, right. Just like a whole bunch of people fell for hope and change.

Repete, I don't think it should have been brought up. Certainly Stephanie has more people in the state behind her on the issue than Noem does. So, ultimately, if it was going to be brought up, Stephanie may have had something to gain, while Noem had nothing to gain.

Michael Sanborn said...


I've often said government is at its best when both parties work together. That can't happen with far left Pelosi as speaker. Neither can it happen with a far right Tea Party Gordon Howie type in that position.

People had better start electing more from the middle, or we will be in a never-ending spiral of voters who hate both sides.

Bill Fleming said...

Okay, good, so Mike, are you going to vote for the Moderate (SHS) or the Extremist (NOEM)?

You don't have to answer, it's an academic question.

Duffer said...


It isn't going to happen with John Boehner as Speaker, either.

Bile and venom will be met with bile and venom.

I'd find a conversation about a peaceful way to divide the country more productive than batting this ball back/forth. There is no end to the hate in the fight.

DDC said...

What we need is a Congress and White House that agree on almost nothing and can't get along. Last time we had that, they almost balanced the budget. Hell, they even managed to pass a decent welfare reform bill.

They've gotten along all too well for the last 10 years and look what it's gotten us. Federal spending has doubled, we've got $8 trillion in new debt (Nearly $14 trillion total now), 2 never-ending wars, bank bailouts, UAW bailouts, state bailouts, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailouts, NEA bailout, two failed stimulus measures, unemployment steady at 9.5%...

taco said...

I'm only voting for Christians this year!

After all, if you don't believe in talking snakes, you're crazy!

Michael Sanborn said...

I'll freely admit it is a tough vote for me. I've often said here that I don't believe SHS is a horrible representative. But to suggest that she is a moderate, is a bit of a stretch. Maybe, she is a MINO (Moderate In Name Only).

I may not make the decision until I enter the voting booth. The campaign changes daily, and some of what I see on both sides repulses me.

I am not convinced one is more radical than the other. And I don't believe either of their campaigns, since both are full of distortions.

Bill Fleming said...

Fair enough.

Maybe you'll want to watch this press conference while you're thinking it over, Mike.

Michael Sanborn said...

I watched it. And I predicted it.

Bill Fleming said...


SHS is going to win because she’s the better candidate. Her opponent has proven herself to be reckless, irresponsible, inexperienced, ill-informed, ill-advised and untrustworthy.

South Dakotans don’t care for politicians like that.