News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Thursday, July 24, 2014

When politics is a game designed by imbeciles to be played by idiots*




The Republican National Committee is sending out robocalls that connect Senate primary candidate Rick Weiland with Harry Reid.  Bloggers havetaken up the issue of why the national committee is coming to the aid of the a Republican candidate.

The robocall is an example of the supreme duplicity that has become a major definer of the GOP brand of politics.  When Weiland first announced his candidacy, the GOP minions reveled and chortled over the fact that Harry Reid would not support Weiland’s candidacy and preferred others. They launched a vigorous campaign with the theme that Weiland was doomed to failure from the outset. 

 Now the RNC is claiming that Weiland is merely a Harry Reid surrogate.  The factual conflict between Reid and Weiland is conveniently ignored and the mendacity is the basis for the latest propaganda tactic.

Why would the RNC push this claim at this juncture in the campaign?  Because it has worked for them in the past.  A major claim made by the GOP against Tom Daschle in 2004 was that he was tied so closely to the Beltway power elite that he no longer represented South Dakota.  The same tactic was used against Stephanie Herseth Sandlin when the GOP claimed she was subservient to Nancy Pelosi, although as a Blue Dog Democrat, Herseth Sandlin voted against some significant legislation that Pelosi promoted.  Of course, the GOP portrayed Pelosi as the Witch of the East from the West Coast to make the claimed relationship look more ominous.

The entire GOP agenda is to retain what power it has and gain more.  It no longer even attempts to take coherent stands on issues.  Its strategy is to demonize and assassinate character, and its level of mendacity in attacking individuals from Obama to candidate Weiland  Its entire political activity in the primary campaign for  Senate is to malign, ridicule and try to tarnish Rick Weiland as doomed to failure.   

That is the primary objective of the GOP.  If it can’t get its way, it obstructs the legislative processes and holds government in a state of dysfunction.  On neither the state or federal level, has the GOP  advanced legislation that solves problems or builds the state of the union.  It has refused to address the aging and failing infrastructure, care of veterans, a crooked financial system,  the real problems in health care, or the issues of immigration.  Rather, it has chosen to obstruct rather than to work out legislation.  While the Tea Party faction holds the GOP hostage and hides behind its insistence to reduce taxes and the size of government, its constant outpouring of defamation and mendacious accusations defines the real motives driving the movement.  The GOP adopts its hostage-holding tactics in its obstruction of government functions with the idea that voters will vote Republican in the hopes of getting something done in government.  

In South Dakota, the Tea Party driven agenda has had a particularly devastating effect on education.  It has reached the point where superintendents are testifying before legislative committees that the pay scale makes it impossible to hire people to fill the teaching staffs with qualified people.  However, the superintendents gloss over the attitudes and treatment of teachers in the state, something that comes up in any conversation with teachers about the status of teaching in South Dakota.

Democrats share some of the blame in the attempted pillorying of Rick Weiland.  They read South Dakota War College and get so incensed at the petty mendacity and character assassination that they let the GOP and that scurrilous wretch Powers set the discussion agenda, rather than mount their own advancement of the facts and the issues.

Another reason that the GOP douses Weiland with its disrespect and abuse is that they do have reason to fear him.  The press keeps insisting that Rounds is a sure winner, unless the scandals of his office become issues.  But as a former Daschle staff member, Weiland knows politics.  He knows South Dakota. His strategy has been to avoid engaging in the specious and malevolent sniping on the social media and legacy press and to take his message directly to the people.  His record of work is as a capable and effective administrator as a FEMA and AARP executive and he has an unblemished record for honesty, integrity, and forthrightness.  In those aspects, he is superior to the other candidates who vied for the candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Rick Weiland has run a meticulous and honest campaign.  He has personally visited every town in South Dakota and is now conducting a second round of visits.  He has met with small groups of people in his meetings and town halls and the size of those groups is growing as his name and his message gets known.  But most importantly, there are now people in every town in the state who have met Rick Weiland personally and have had the opportunity to meet and talk with him.  That is a set of personal relationships that no other candidate for any office has made, and that is a powerful reason for the GOP to fear Weiland, and a reason to conduct its campaign of defamation with false and petty accusations. 

Many Democrats insist that Weiland has to “take the gloves off” and go after Mike Rounds' record.  But that would involve Weiland in the petty exchanges and put him on the level with the GOPers such as Powers and his retard chorus at the SDWC.  Rounds is in office because leading candidates for the GOP nomination for governor took themselves out of the race because of a pissing duel and the people chose Rounds over them.

Weiland is a populist and presents a platform that is quit liberal.  But every element in his platform confronts facts and offers solutions to problems.  He takes issue with many GOP stances, and that includes the record of scandals and mistakes made during Rounds’ terms as governor.   Except for the stance against the Affordable Care Act, the GOP has addressed no issues and proposed no solutions that involve a careful delineation of facts.  As stated before, its entire program is character assassination and mendacity.

Rick Weiland has laid out a clear platform.  He has met with people in every town in the state and explained and answered questions about his platform.  Thoughtful voters in every town in the state know Rick and his platform.  And that is something to fear among those whose campaigns consist of paid advertisements that defame and misinform. 

As for going after Mike Rounds on a personal basis, that is something that is best accomplished by the Democratic Party and Democrats throughout the state by making  a factual examination, not superficial accusations, about Rounds performance as governor and the way the GOP is conducting itself in the legislature and in the public media. 

But that is a tall order.  Up to now, the Democrats have let Powers and his cronies, which is most of the GOP, keep them stuck in the level of petty malignity that passes for political discourse.  They need to come to a better understanding of what Rick Weiland is doing and get themselves informed and campaign on the level of facts and issues.  When the people have to confront such things and the way they are affecting their lives,  they may vote more intelligently.  The Democrats have let the GOP dominate the state by letting the Republicans set the agenda.  The Democrats’ job is to repudiate that agenda, point out its meanness and dishonesty, and forcefully show why their agenda is more in the interests of the people and good, effective government.  They have to show that they are superior more trustworthy than those who can merely defame.  


*A line I appropriated from the play "Mr. Roberts" which describes war in those terms.

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