Press "Enter" to skip to content

Bob Ellis Quits Blogging; 99.999% of South Dakotans Don’t Notice

Another blog bit the dust this week. Long-time radical right-wing shouter Bob Ellis posted his last post on American Clarion this week.

You may not have noticed, because, despite all the attention Ellis says his website got him (links by Limbaugh, USA Today, BBC; interviews with NPR, Newsweek, NBC, BBC… really?), Ellis appears never to have entered into South Dakota’s mainstream consciousness. I chose not to include his American Clarion RSS feed or the Dakota Voice feed that preceded it in my South Dakota Blogosphere ticker in my blog sidebar because Ellis usually strayed from actual South Dakota news to focus on recycled rants from the national arch-right third-tier media. Ellis’s most recent content reflects that bias toward far-flung rhetoric with no connection to South Dakota. Prior to his farewell, Ellis’s six most recent posts pop up in his National feed…and tellingly, five of those articles drew zero comments, while the sixth drew one. His South Dakota feed shows only five posts between March 24 and May 10, and one deals with a presentation on “How to Speak Communist” and another is about World War II history. Ellis put up a lot of videos of legislative crackerbarrels but not much analysis. Ellis offers nothing about nonmeandered waters, nothing about our gubernatorial candidates, and nothing that doesn’t fit his paradigm of guns, patriotism, and the evils of liberalism. If you wanted to keep up with South Dakota politics, you didn’t read American Clarion.

Ellis uses the word whore four times in his article to blast the fellow conservatives whom he feels have sold out their professed values. Yet right next to that blistering critique is Ellis’s sidebar filled with clickbait ads with busty women promising better results than Viagra in stiffening one’s willie, plus a Biblical cure for body fat.

American Clarion, screen cap, 2017.06.04.
American Clarion, screen cap, 2017.06.04.

Whoring? Takes one to know one, Bob.

Ellis been offering the same tired recitations of extremist right-wing fantasies for over a decade. The critique I offered of his exertions in 2007 remains valid—he and fellow conservative warriors against the evil Left (like Steve Sibson, long lost in anti-Heidelberger obsession) are missing the real corporate fascist threat to their professed religious values:

Bob and Sibby aren’t completely wrong. There is a vast secular, globalist threat to Christianity and family values, perpetrated by amoral agents devoted only to increasing their own power. it’s called global corporate capitalism. Corporations have no God, no morality. Corporations care by design and duty for nothing but increased profits. They don’t care what god you worship or what country you live in: they just want your money, your labor, and your loyalty/slavery [CA Heidelberger, “Bob Ellis and Steve Sibson: Deluded Tools of the Plutocracy,” Madville Times, 2007.12.28].

Ellis makes no mention of his conservative competitor Pat Powers (we should say ally, but Ellis would surely lump Powers in with the whoring RINOs he sees corrupting his party and country). Powers says less about Ellis than I do, dismissing him as “bitter,” sarcastically calling Ellis’s swansong as a “gracious exit,” but chickening out of a complete analysis, response, or fare-the-well.

Ellis heads out the door by redirecting his few lingering readers to the same sort of narrow, echo-chamber bloggings that will leave his readers uninformed and detached from the practical politics of South Dakota:

I’d encourage you–one of that remnant of people who is still dedicated to what is right–to stay informed (as I will be) by patronizing good sources of information that won’t whore out their values, that won’t water down the truth to curry favor with feckless betrayers of what we believe in, that will tell the truth even when it costs them. Here in South Dakota, a continuing source is the Right Side; I wish there were more, but the Right has become so corrupted here that most of the good people have beaten into silence or seduced into joining the dark side.  Nationally, you can find the straight stuff at places like RedState and Resurgent.  Don’t waste your time on “Right” wing propaganda sites (that use to be reliable) like Breitbart, Drudge and Fox News. And now that Rush Limbaugh can no longer be relied on to stand for conservatism, Steve Deace is my go-to guy on a daily basis (and in addition to hard-hitting conservatism, Deace brings to the table what Rush Limbaugh never did: the life-transforming Truth of a Biblical worldview) [Bob Ellis, “The Final American Clarion Article,” American Clarion, 2017.06.01].

The only South Dakota blog Ellis finds worth mentioning is Gordon Howie’s Right Side. I like Gordon. I’ve sat down and done blog videos with Gordon. I’ve had fun interacting with Gordon, whose legislative experience seems to help him keep at least one toe in the world of practical South Dakota politics. But for the most part, Gordon’s blogging is a fluffier-puffier revival tent version of Bob’s, dwelling on generic anti-Left hollerings that reinforce prejudices rather than informing readers about what’s happening in South Dakota. (That, and he fell for Annette Bosworth. Gordon, Gordon, Gordon….) That lack of South Dakota-specific information is why Right Side won’t be popping into my sidebar feeds… and why, like most of the soon-to-be deleted content on the now-defunct American Clarion, most posts on Right Side go without comment. If you want a blog to last, you have to write something worth talking about. That’s why Bob Ellis is gone and why almost no South Dakotans will notice.


  1. Nick Nemec 2017-06-04 10:18

    Clint Eastwood has left us?

  2. mike from iowa 2017-06-04 10:48

    Sibby and like minded Kristalibanners have done more to promote Satan that Dana Carvey’s Church Lady.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-04 14:54

    Nick, stories like those are Enquirer-level attention grabbers… and I think anyone who would advertise Enquirer material is hanging a “Fake News” flag on his front blog step.

    Mike, I won’t speak to Satan, since i buy into no supernatural forces, but I will agree that Ellis, Sibson, and their ilk do more harm and little good. There’s wasn’t much to learn from Ellis’s posts.

  4. Donald Pay 2017-06-04 16:58

    I didn’t wander over there often. No matter how cuckoo I find most of what they write, I take in a few conservative blogs now and then. I have a lot of respect for most of the conservatives I worked with in SD. (I never considered PP a conservative, by the way. He’s always been very quick to sell out to power). What I like about conservatives in South Dakota is they expect to win, so they never give up. Liberals and Democrats, I found, were so used to losing that they expect to lose, and they throw in the towel too quickly. When we worked together on some issues, we didn’t let our differences on other issues get in the way of winning against the corrupt power structure.

  5. grudznick 2017-06-04 20:29

    Even I, grudznick, did not notice. Mr. Ellis is a Howite of immense proportions, and insaner than most. Let us now hope Mr. Howie pays his bills and quits blogging into the internet as well.

  6. White People Challenging Racism - Rapid City 2017-06-05 07:28

    Now if we can just shut down the white supremacist loincloth The Stampede, which tends to pop up in gas stations south of Rapid. I noticed their last issue was March 27, though, so maybe he did crawl back under his rock. If you don’t know what I’m talking about:

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-05 07:46

    Indeed, Rudy “Butch” Stanko appears not to have published any new issues of his racist screed since March. Perhaps publicity helped scare away his last lingering sponsors and willing distribution points. Or perhaps Stanko and Ellis are both victims of Trump: with a real racist boob elevated to the White House, simple news reports from the White House sate the appetites of those who crave such boorish statements, and the anti-establisment thrill of reading things like American Clarion and the Stampede is gone.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-05 15:32

    Donald, I appreciate your openness to taking in alternative views. It is useful to know what those who disagree with us are thinking. We can better refute them… and occasionally discover that they are right.

    But I wonder: did Bob Ellis ever work on an issue and win? In leaving the blogosphere, hasn’t he declared defeat to the opportunists like Pat Powers and Dan Lederman?

  9. grudznick 2017-06-05 17:46

    This can only mean more readers for Mr. H. There can be only so many words read on the internets by so many eyes on any given day, and those words and eyes will not be on Mr. Ellis’ insaner blog but upon other blogs. There is a chance at least some of those eyes might be here reading Mr. H’s words. Certainly, it means no less bloggers here, unless Mr. Ellis had a portal from his place over here that directed legions of his followers this way.

    I suspect Mr. Ellis always knew he was marginal at best and grew tired of speechifying to an empty room.

  10. Donald Pay 2017-06-06 11:06

    Well, I never worked with Ellis, but we allied with a number of conservative ranchers on ETSI and other water-related issues. Some of them stayed at our house in Pierre when they had meetings or hearings to attend, which caused Deb and I to be subpoenaed for depositions in the states’ lawsuit against the railroads for causing the demise of ETSI. So, we all went through the same B.S. together.

    Of course, United Family Farmers was probably the greatest organization ever in South Dakota, and it included very liberal and very conservative members working together to stop the Oahe Irrigation Project. The UFF model is something that inspired a lot of political and community organizing in SD.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-06-06 15:40

    I think those conservative ranchers you worked with on ETSI were a different breed from the Bob Ellis/family-values-style conservatives. Ranchers are trying to get practical work done. Bob Ellis and his audience are fighting the kind of cultural jihad that ranchers don’t have time for.

  12. grudznick 2017-08-06 17:47

    Good news. I have received word that Mr. Howie is sending me a check.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.