From the desk of South Dakota Democratic Party vice-chairman Joe Lowe, I receive this latest call for the morally clueless Kristi Noem to denounce her party’s unqualified Presidential nominee:
During the string of candidate debates between Kristi Noem and Paula Hawks, Representative Noem said she would be voting for Donald Trump. We believe she is just voting the party line even though her candidate is deeply flawed.
Mr. Trump’s comments show that his presidency would like that of a third-world dictator. He said he would lock up his opponent. He wants to sue the women who are accusing him of groping and sexual assault. He wants to require Muslims in the United States to register in a database. He said that he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email. He said that our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in. He said that Mexican immigrants are bringing in drugs and crime and are rapists.
The worst Trump comment that should alarm every American is his refusal to accept the election results unless he wins.
We really question Representative Noem’s reasons for standing behind this man. His values do not represent the values our country was founded on. Apparently Kristi has just become part of the establishment and will just vote the party line [SDDP Vice-Chairman Joe Lowe, statement, 2016.10.22].
Lowe’s statement follows up on a Tuesday statement from SDDP exec Suzanne Jones Pranger on Noem’s indefensible defense of Trump:
The State Party congratulates Representative Paula Hawks on another great debate. Once again, Paula showed she is the right choice in this race on the issues important to all South Dakotans, and will make an excellent Representative for South Dakota in Congress.
I also wanted to commend Paula for the courage she showed by sharing her story as a victim of sexual assault. Paula’s story joins the chorus of many other survivors of sexual assault who say that Donald Trump – someone who has been accused by a growing number of women of sexual assault and was caught on video bragging about actions that amount to sexual assault – is unfit to be president.”
Rep. Noem’s defense of her support of Donald Trump with debunked right-wing conspiracy theories was incredibly insensitive and shows just how out-of-touch she is from the South Dakota values of respect for others and upholding the dignity of the survivors of horrible crimes like sexual assault. Once again Kristi Noem is putting party loyalty above South Dakota values [SDDP exec Suzanne Jones Pranger, statement, 2016.10.19].
Hawks has clearly and vigorously attacked Noem’s moral bankruptcy in sticking with a sexual predator for President. Can that moral stance win Hawks votes in red South Dakota?
I know of no rigorous public Presidential polling in South Dakota since Washington Post/Survey Monkey found Trump leading Clinton 51–37 in early September. I want to speculate that, unless South Dakotans are more contrarian than I expect, Trump’s disqualifying comments in the several weeks since that poll can only have eroded his support. Yet Clinton must not see seven points shifting from the Trump column here: instead of investing in South Dakota, she’s dispatching former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler to work on his fellow Mormons in Utah.
Nonetheless, given that Noem has fifteen times more money than Hawks (and an even bigger gap between Senate candidate Jay Williams and incumbent Senator John Thune), I suggest that Hawks has everything to gain and nothing to lose by hammering away at whatever disgust with Trump may be bubbling among South Dakota voters. The Republicans clinging to Trump must be reminded of the moral horror behind their misguided party loyalty. The Democrats wanting a fight must be shown a fighter who gives Trumpism no quarter. And the decent folks in the middle must be reminded that of their two choices for U.S. House, only one, Paula Hawks, shares their simple decency in recognizing that Donald Trump is absolutely unqualified for the Presidency of the United States.