We see now the clearest indication of the no-respect, pull-no-punches brand of politicking Dan Lederman plans to bring to the South Dakota Republican Party. Lederman has scheduled a Republican “Freedom Rally” featuring Breitbartian shouter David Horowitz for Saturday, April 29, at the Sioux Falls Ramkota, the same time and place as the South Dakota Democratic Party’s McGovern Day Dinner. Lederman’s pal and SDGOP spin blogger Pat Powers portrays the Horowitz event as counter-programming to the Democratic event, which features Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison as dinner speaker. The Powers counter-programming post features a graphic of Freedom Rally flyer looming over a smaller McGovern Day invitation with a boxing glove and a starry pow! graphic symbolizing the pugilistic nature of the SDGOP event.
I’ll not spend too much time on the Horowitz/Ellison conflict, other than to note that Horowitz has the gall to label Steve Bannon a “civil rights hero” (not true, absolutely Newspeakingly false, especially on education).
I would rather focus on the seeming incivility of Lederman’s counter-programming. I don’t know the full history, but I get the impression that the Republican and Democratic parties generally leave each other alone at their party functions. They don’t crash each other’s party meetings and fundraising events. They choose separate venues for their conventions. To schedule a political event targeting not just the opposing party but the opposing party’s guest of honor at the same time and in the same building seems… unnecessarily provocative.
Now I’ll put my big-boy pants on and say, fine, free country. Dan Lederman wants to spend his party’s money to make a scene at his opponents’ fundraising event? That’s up to him and his party’s donors.
But the Lederman event seems to open the door for Democrats and other activists to respond in kind. Who’s to say now that when Republicans hold their next Lincoln Day Dinners, or their Reagan lunches, or other party events where they invite speakers and donors and public officials and candidates, the Democratic Party or Indivisible 605 or anyone else displeased with Dan Lederman or the local GOP or their speakers can’t muscle in and make some noise in the same building where Lederman and friends are trying to meet? Does Lederman really want anti-Trump picketers camping out at every GOP luncheon?
For the record, I’m still planning to attend the Brown County Lincoln Day Dinner, since candidates can make some news at such events. I’ll attend politely and quietly, as I have at prior Republican events, unobtrusively but critically documenting what I see and hear (we already know what I’ll smell—rubber chicken!). I go to Republican events to learn and report, not to antagonize on the spot. We can only hope Chairman Lederman is not seeking to provoke antagonism at McGovern Day in Sioux Falls.