South Dakota’s Congressional delegation has no courage to stand up to the country’s worst political snake, but at least one of candidates seeking to join our D.C. delegation has the courage to kill a real snake… with an axe!
Dusty to the rescue! Last night a rattlesnake threatened students at a youth camp. Dusty handled the problem with courage and a dull axe! pic.twitter.com/paOJjkg08U
— Dusty for Congress (@DustyforSD) July 27, 2017
Dusty Johnson is out leading Teenage Republicans Camp at Rimrock Camp in the Black Hills. This video from his Congressional campaign Twitter account shows him whacking a rattlesnake and then displaying the truncated creature to campers who sound alternately terrified, delighted, and, in one case, hungry.
Johnson grasps the political metaphor:
“When I ask voters what they’re looking for in somebody running for Congress, they always say they want somebody who’s going to fight for them,” Johnson said. “And I don’t know that there are literal rattlesnakes in Washington, D.C., but metaphorically there are hundreds” [Seth Tupper, “Second Rattlesnake Killed in South Dakota’s US House Race,” Rapid City Journal, 2017.07.27].
Because the Republican Party has turned our politics into tawdry reality TV, let’s see who wins the snake-killing primary:
- Video: Johnson’s video is clearly superior, showing the actual moment of conflict, man versus beast, and his triumphant hoisting of the still-warm and oozing corpse. Krebs offers a cold, derattled critter and rather subdued post-game commentary.
- Setting: Krebs was the lone woman on the prairie, defending herself in the absence of her husband. Johnson was the manly man rushing headlong the defend frightened children. Advantage Johnson.
- Verifiability: In an info-nihilist era when anyone can shout “Fake News!” to avoid actually evaluating evidence or (heavens forfend!) surrendering one’s prejudices, verifiability may not matter. But consider: Johnson’s video doesn’t appear to show the snake moving, so some camp prankster could have planted a dead snake to create an uproar. However, Johnson has witnesses with cameras and blood on the axe in his hands. Krebs has a body but no witnesses, no ballistics, nothing that proves beyond her word that she killed her snake. Johnson and Krebs both could be faking news, but Johnson’s presentation has more affirming evidence.
- Weapon: With a crowd of children who could have been hit by a ricochet, Johnson put others’ safety above his own and reached for the axe, a weapon that put him within literal striking distance of his deadly foe. It’s harder to recover one’s posture and retreat from a swing and a miss than from a shoot and a miss. However, in a Republican world where there ain’t nothin’ hotter than a woman handling a phallic symbol, Johnson’s ax-ploit undermines the GOP-NRA narrative that guns will solve all of our problems.
On those criteria, Johnson beats Krebs in the snakepit 3 to 1.