When I first read Sen. Neal Tapio’s challenge to Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, I thought I could be reading an expression of outrage from a candidate standing up to fascism:
Former South Dakota Trump Campaign Director Neal Tapio, calls on South Dakota Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs to clarify her own stance on Muslim immigration and refugee resettlement, and to reveal whether she agrees or disagrees with the policies of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, more specifically, dealing with Kobach’s concept commonly known as a “National Muslim Registry” [Neal Tapio, press release, via Dakota War College, 2017.12.13].
But this is Neal Tapio, South Dakota’s self-professed biggest Trump supporter in history, actually trying to horn in on Krebs’s anti-immigrant Trump-spirations and prove that he deserves Kobach’s anti-immigrant endorsement more than Krebs.
In a sane world, Tapio’s challenge would be bait. In Trumpworld, Krebs takes that bait:
In a phone call Wednesday evening, Krebs said she supported Kobach’s proposal to set up a registry for people from areas where terror threats are detected.
“It’s not based on religion, it’s based on migrants that are believed to pose a threat,” Krebs said.
She said she had been clear about her stances on immigration and continued to support Trump’s efforts to build a border wall and temporarily institute a travel ban for eight countries [Dana Ferguson, “Tapio Calls on Krebs to Weigh in on Federal Muslim Registry,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.12.13].
Good grief. Krebs here sounds like a woman I met while campaigning door-to-door in 2016. The woman asked me what I thought of banning Muslims from the U.S. I said that such a ban would violate the First Amendment. “Oh, I don’t mean Muslims,” she said. “I mean Syrians.”
Under NSEERS, certain “foreign citizens and nationals” in the US had to come into immigration offices for fingerprinting, photos, and interviews — and then had to check in again at designated intervals.
But this “special registration” system was selective. It only applied to people on non-immigrant visas (including tourism and work visas). It only applied to men over the age of 16. And it only applied to people from a list of countries the Bush administration considered “havens for terrorists.”
There were 25 countries on the “special registration” list. Twenty-four were majority-Muslim countries. The 25th was North Korea [Dara Lind, “Donald Trump’s Proposed ‘Muslim Registry’, Explained,” Vox, 2016.11.16].
NSEERS never caught a single terrorist. If Krebs and Tapio really support a registry of people who pose a threat, they’d better make us white American men check in for fingerprints and mugshots every week.
While Krebs and Tapio spiral into the Nuremberg laws, Dusty Johnson qualifies as the Republican voice of reason by being only half-fascist:
The former public utilities commissioner and chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he supported Trump’s travel ban and opposed a proposal to establish a federal Muslim registry [Ferguson, 2017.12.13].
I don’t know if I should root for Dusty’s voice of quasi-sanity to prevail in the GOP primary or if I should cheer on Krebs and Tapio as they race to Roy Moore’s bottom and produce an arch-Trumpist GOP nominee whom Tim Bjorkman will all the more easily beat with a campaign focused on solving real problems for South Dakotans.
Update 09:45 CST: Krebs-resenting, Dusty Johnson-sponsored Republican blog Dakota War College declares the Krebs/Tapio/Trump registry a “stupendously awful idea” and “a step towards rounding identified people up” akin to the forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2.