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Sutton Plays for the Unconstitutional Theocratic Vote

I saw Billie Sutton’s new video ad pop up and thought, “Hot dog! Sutton’s trotting out Republicans to support his bid! This’ll be great!”

Then it turned out to be pandering to Republican theocrats:

At 0:22, a female voice says, “Billie Sutton: a Christian!”

Let me remind you all of two facts:

  1. Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States forbids any religious test as a qualification for any public office. To cite being a Christian as a reason to elect anyone violates the spirit of the Constitution.
  2. Declaring a person “Christian” offers no reliable measure of whether that person will govern intelligently or behave morally. Ask Richard Nixon or Scott Westerhuis.

To be clear—because I know many Republicans prefer to think they can make words mean anything they want rather than what they actually mean—I am not deriding Christianity as a religion or worldview. I am not saying we cannot trust Christians with public office. I am saying that applying religious tests to political candidates is bad. I am saying that campaigning on one’s religion erodes public discourse and understanding of the proper separation of church and state.

82 Comments

  1. Robin Friday 2018-09-26 20:36

    And makes lots of people like me (if there are lots of people like me) very uncomfortable. I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t like it either.

  2. Kurt Evans 2018-09-26 20:48

    “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
    —John Jay (Founding Father, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, President of the Second Continental Congress, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)

    The religious test forbidden in Article VI is a test by the government, not a test by the voter. Those are two completely different things.

  3. Ben Birks 2018-09-26 20:52

    This ad is about the values that Billie will bring to Pierre, values that are sorely lacking in today’s political environment. It’s silly to try separate a person from his/her beliefs & immediately cry foul at even the slightest reference to religion.

  4. T 2018-09-26 20:59

    I’m with Ben
    ANyone can use the term loosely to describe themselves
    I didn’t see the fish painted on his horse so I’m not worried

  5. John W 2018-09-26 21:00

    The problem I have with Kurt’s argument is that it gives the same credibility and authority to the Federalist Papers as it does the US Constitution. The federalist papers were written to persuade the ratification of the Constitution by the states, not to act as ancillary authority for it’s interpretation. And we should note that Jay never used his position or opinion on the Supreme Court in judicial reasoning in support of his essay. The supreme court has used the Federalist Papers as a source of interpretation for judicial reasoning in Constitutional questions but I’d like to see the dictum in any case where it has been used as “collateral authority” to supersede the plain meaning of the language used in the Constitution. There is orginalism and then there is plain meaning.

  6. Ben Birks 2018-09-26 21:03

    “Human passions unbridled by morality and religion…would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.”
    – John Adams

  7. Kurt Evans 2018-09-26 21:32

    “To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
    —George Washington

    “It is impossible to govern the world without God. It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly implore His protection and favor.”
    —George Washington

    “I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States, and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them.”
    —George Washington

    “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.”
    —George Washington

  8. Kurt Evans 2018-09-26 21:33

    John W. writes:

    The problem I have with Kurt’s argument is that it gives the same credibility and authority to the Federalist Papers as it does the US Constitution.

    (??) All I’ve indicated above regarding The Federalist Papers is that John Jay cowrote them.

  9. Kurt Evans 2018-09-26 21:54

    I’ve just learned that the second quote I’d attributed to George Washington in my comment above is disputed. It’s appeared in various forms through the years, with the earliest known version dating to more than 35 years after Washington’s death. I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t know this, and I wouldn’t have included that particular quote if I had. I apologize for my error.

  10. jerry 2018-09-26 22:38

    We are seeing the hypocrisy of theocratic leaders on display with Kavanaugh. To them now, groping is just fine and dandy, they embarrass themselves and all of us or they should be embarrassed. I guess this is the new promiscuous messaging for our teens, go forth and grope each other, it’s all good man. Parents are given the green light to buy the beer that fuels it.

    ““The same religious leaders who told me as a teenager that premarital sex was a grave sin that would ruin my life forever have declared that no one can fault a 17-year-old boy for a little attempted rape,” Christian author Rachel Held Evans tweeted on Sept. 19.” Looks like not all agree with Franky Graham and his ilk.

  11. Jason 2018-09-26 22:52

    Jerry,

    You have proof Kavanaugh did it?

    You must have missed this.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly met with two men this week who think that they assaulted Christie Blasey Ford in 1982, not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    Politico congressional reporter Burgess Everett reported the summary from the Judiciary Committee, which stated: “Committee staff have a second interview with a man who believes he, not Judge Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in the summer of 1982 that is the basis of her allegation. He described his recollection of their interaction in some detail.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/36377/judiciary-talking-man-who-thinks-he-forced-ryan-saavedra

    This is going to cost Democrats votes.

  12. leslie 2018-09-26 23:01

    “DailyWire.com has a tendency to share stories that are taken out of context or not verified.”[12] Experts have described the articles as inaccurate and misleading.[14][15][16] wiki

  13. Jason 2018-09-26 23:07

    Leslie,

    Feel free to look at the “Politico” reporters tweets that were given as evidence.

    I take it you have a reading comprehension problem or you think the “Politico” is a Republican news source?

    Either way, I think you have some education issues to take care of.

  14. jerry 2018-09-26 23:10

    More from the pretend theocratic candidates, this time a Family Value representative from Ohio. They cannot help themselves, even missing votes just to swim in the gutter of strip club owners.

    “WASHINGTON — A man who owns strip clubs in Cleveland has flown Republican Senate nominee Jim Renacci to more than a dozen campaign events since July, including one Tuesday after the congressman from the Akron area skipped two roll-call votes to campaign in Ohio.

    Renacci said he paid a total of about $2,500 between January and June for the trips provided by Don Ksiezyk, who owns the Peek-A-Boos and the Bug-A-Boos clubs in Cleveland, according to campaign-finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Renacci, a four-term congressman from Wadsworth, is challenging U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in November.” http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180926/senate-candidate-jim-renacci-uses-strip-club-owners-private-plane-to-campaign-in-ohio

  15. Debbie 2018-09-26 23:15

    It still irks me that Sutton voted for SB 110 that allowed politicians decide what doctors tell patients. A part of me doesn’t want to vote for governor due to that already, and then he continues on.

    Also- Kavanaugh is so exhausting at this point that almost everyone in the middle is going to start ignoring it. Let the hearing play out tomorrow- no point in debating about it today.

  16. jerry 2018-09-26 23:15

    Little Russian, I am not the accuser. Need to let the FBI investigate all of this. There are just way to many women who have made claims, all of them highly educated from religious schools. How about that? Paytroll check coming in on Friday, correct? Working for Putin has been a pretty good gig for ya, no?

  17. Jason 2018-09-26 23:23

    I didn’t say you were the accuser Jerry. I asked if you have proof he did it since you implied he was guilty.

    Way to many?

    Julie Swetnick, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of participating in a gang-rape ring during his high school years, sued her former employer for sexual misconduct claims using a law firm run by the lawyer representing one of the other women accusing Kavanaugh.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/36375/kavanaugh-accuser-sued-former-employer-used-law-ryan-saavedra

    The ex-boyfriend of Julie Swetnick, the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of participating in a “gang rape” ring in the early 1980s, filed a restraining order against her in 2001 for issuing multiple threats against him after their four-year relationship came to a halt.

    According to Politico, a Miami-Dade County court docket shows “a petition for injunction against Swetnick was filed March 1, 2001, by her former boyfriend, Richard Vinneccy.” The case was dismissed 13 days later “not long after an affidavit of non-ability to advance fees was filed.”

    Vinneccy, a 63-year-old registered Democrat, claims that Swetnick threatened him multiple times after they broke up, persisting even after he married his current wife, with whom he had a child.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/36374/kavanaugh-accusers-ex-boyfriend-filed-restraining-paul-bois

    The ads in October are going to hurt every Democrat including Billy and Cory.

  18. jerry 2018-09-26 23:47

    Little Russian, at least 4 women, from very prestigious backgrounds, have come forward to accuse your boy. Why not let the FBI should investigate all matters relating? They even have “Investigation” in their name, so there ya go.

  19. Jason 2018-09-26 23:56

    The FBI investigated him at least 6 times.

    They don’t even know the exact year. Are you saying most women older than 16 years can’t remember the year they were raped?

    So If a woman comes out and says Cory raped them when he was in high school, would you feel that the police would have to investigate it to absolve him from the accusation?

  20. Jason 2018-09-26 23:59

    Why hasn’t Cory posted about this Jerry?

    Have you even thought about that?

    Cory knows this is going to backfire on the Democrats and it will hurt him in his race.

  21. jerry 2018-09-27 00:00

    Little Russian, not really. Now there are new allegations from at least 4 accusers and counting. Let the FBI investigate these. Or are you telling us they did investigate these at least 4 accusers? Grandpa Gasley did seem to know something, but how?

  22. jerry 2018-09-27 00:03

    Little Russian, and if a man came out and said you raped him while you were in Moscow U, how about that?

  23. jerry 2018-09-27 00:04

    I would say to investigate you both.

  24. Jason 2018-09-27 00:06

    Of course you didn’t think about it Jerry.

    Are you going to answer my question about the accusation of Cory raping someone?

  25. Jason 2018-09-27 00:12

    So you would say that if someone came out and accused Cory of rape on 10/31/18, then Cory should withdraw from his race until the police could conduct an investigation?

  26. jerry 2018-09-27 00:18

    I say that the man who accused you should be allowed to have the satisfaction of an investigation…No matter what date it happened or even if there was not a date, but some kind of hook up.

  27. jerry 2018-09-27 00:22

    As you would know the details of this, and seem okay with it, maybe you could collude with the fellow, to get the investigation moving forward. I don’t know how they do these investigation in Russia, but if you lived here, we still have Marty Jackley to go after you. just sayin..

  28. Jason 2018-09-27 00:22

    I will take the answer to my question as a no from you Jerry.

    It doesn’t surprise me.

  29. jerry 2018-09-27 00:25

    That no seems to be the same answer your gentleman accuser gave you Little Russian. It doesn’t surprise me.

  30. Jason 2018-09-27 00:28

    Jerry,

    I’m not running for office. Your last few posts have made you look real dumb.

  31. jerry 2018-09-27 00:31

    Little Russian, you seem to be running from something like “NO” and what it means.

  32. Debbo 2018-09-27 00:42

    I’m pretty quick to pull the pandering trigger, but i think that was really minor. Just a mention of his religion, more like background. It wasn’t someone saying they’d vote for Sutton because of his religion. I didn’t really see it as any differently than saying he’s married, or a rancher.
    Mention of his religion was more of an aside in a parade of Republicans voting for a Democrat, the clear point of emphasis for the ad.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 06:19

    Ben, how about we take it from a marketing perspective: how does deeming a candidate a “Christian” distinguish the candidate from anyone else on the ballot or from anyone else currently in government? If you are saying that certain values are “sorely lacking” in Pierre, and if everyone in Pierre is a Christian (quick: name one legislator or executive branch official who is not Christian), then saying a candidate is a Christian doesn’t reliably indicate any new, reforming values.

  34. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 06:24

    Debbo, in 30-second messages, every word matters. A candidate doesn’t say anything that isn’t meant to convey a distinguishing, votable message. This ad spotlights “Christian” as the first item in the final summary of reasons to vote for Sutton:

    “A Christian, a rancher and a rodeo man, a different kind of leader.”

    Now I could argue that while the last two items distinguish Sutton from his challengers, neither is any more proof that he will support effective policies than his professed religion. But whatever the marketing merits of his ranching and rodeo heritage, neither of those items is specified in the Constitution as something that must not be made into a qualification for office. Mentioning religion is constitutionally different from mentioning occupation and heritage.

  35. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 06:31

    Kurt, if the state cannot impose a religious qualification, should candidates encourage people to impose one with their votes? If the Founding Fathers felt religion should not prohibit an individual from serving the public, shouldn’t we follow that wisdom ourselves?

  36. jimmy james 2018-09-27 06:50

    Cory may not care for the ad but Noem will really hate it. Republicans in races like this will inevitably attempt to demonize their opponent as pro-tax and anti-Christian. Fair or not.

  37. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 07:07

    Jimmy, I acknowledge the pragmatic counter-programming at work. It is sad that Democrats have to remind Republicans that many Democrats are Christian, too, that we aren’t religious enemies.

    Perhaps I should run an ad for my District 3 Senate campaign: “Better to vote for an honest atheist than a fake Christian”? Or how about, “Heidelberger—an atheist, but more Christian than Donald Trump!”?

  38. Jenny 2018-09-27 07:51

    Oh come on, Billy just wants South Dakota pubs to know that he’s a good Christian too.
    Tisnt anything wrong with that now is there?

  39. Ben 2018-09-27 08:09

    We’re talking about one word in a 30-second ad when we should be talking about Republican mismanagement of government.

  40. South DaCola 2018-09-27 09:59

    “I am saying that applying religious tests to political candidates is bad.”

    AMEN! :)

    I think for the first time in my voting history I will leave the Governor’s blank on the ballot blank. All this pandering for the Republican vote makes me ill. Not to long ago Michelle Lavallee said at a Democratic Forum “There really isn’t a difference between (SD) Republicans and Democrats.” Well, Michelle, this is the reason the Dems haven’t graced the Governor’s seat for almost 50 years. Why vote for a Democrat that acts like a Republican when you can just vote for a Republican? That is the main problem with the Democratic Party ‘Elite’ in the state, they haven’t found a way to separate themselves from their challengers. Good Old Fashioned Democratic Party values are good, you just need to show voters they are good. Worker Rights, Social Programs, Civil Rights, Open Government, Green Energy, Pro-Ag, these are all fantastic legs in the stool. You don’t need to pander to Christian Anti-Choicers to win, you just need to show your true colors. Blue NOT Red.

  41. Porter Lansing 2018-09-27 11:16

    The door is now open to this line of questioning. What sect of Christianity is Billie Sutton? Is he a born again, evangelical, prosthelytizing in your space Protestant? A main stream Protestant? A Catholic? LDS? Other? Apparently it means a lot to many voters, so Billie’s campaign should be specific. Catholics don’t talk about it. Born Agains talk too much about it. Mainstreams are the majority and they mostly listen and tolerate everybody.
    FYI … In Colorado campaign ads, neither political party, unaffiliateds or independents mention religion, ever. But, this is a Blue state and that may be the difference.

  42. jerry 2018-09-27 12:21

    Rounds and Jackley have both declared very publicly, their Catholic religion and how it has played into their ways of governing (still puzzled on that). I think that Billie is probably just a little bit ahead of NOem in declaring how sainted they are. Now, let’s move on to healthcare, where the real rubber meets the road. Clearly without showing the road map on how to make South Dakota great again by the simple adding of Medicaid Expansion, all the religious affiliation in the world will not be worth a bucket of spit. Time to move past this genuflecting and talking in tongues, time for action to protect our citizens, all of us.

  43. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 12:21

    You’re right, Ben! That’s another reason Billie shouldn’t have used that word.

  44. T 2018-09-27 12:36

    I’m an atheist and I don’t have a problem with people self proclaiming to be a Christian what I have a problem with is bring your Bible to school day and anything else bestowed upon me that mixes governments and education with religion. He didn’t say follow me in my Bible To Pierre, that I’d have a problem with he just self proclaimed and I get that mixing it in an ad ruffle some feathers but it’s not that big is invasion as it would like some of these self proclaimed Christians mixing it with our government and education. the problem is freedom of religion is all religion how many kids were allowed to bring the Quran in the public schools on bring your Bible to school day
    Unfortunately in our area you have to be a Christian to show you’re a good person otherwise you’re a heathen

  45. o 2018-09-27 13:10

    Debbie, I hear you, but ca new allow “perfect” to be the enemy of the “good?” So many sat our or protest voted because Sec. Clinton was not perfect, and look what we got. As much has I hate to involve it – are you forced to vote the lesser of two evils – but VOTE none the less?!

  46. mike from iowa 2018-09-27 13:11

    Drumpf got sworn in as Putin’s Poodle with his hand on 2-count them- two bibles. One was yooge and the other less than bigly, but neither stopped him from lying his arse off or worshiping false idols (himself and the almighty greenback).

  47. OldSarg 2018-09-27 13:44

    Sutton had no choice but to identify as a Christian. It allows him to separate himself from he radical democrat party who made it an issue to announce they reject God. A human has to be nuts to think that even a daisy, by happenstance, became a daisy.

    They say water is the beginning of all life forms and if you ponder something as simple as water and what allows those molecules to bond together, ultimately to become a pond, then algae, a crustacean, a fish, a plant, a mouse, a horse you can just imagine the great work it took to make a whole human. This is my basis of why it is so terrible to kill an unborn child. All that majestic work to build that young person, who one day may become a fellow citizen, having their life destroyed. . . All because it was an inconvenience.

  48. o 2018-09-27 13:59

    OldSarge, I like the discussion of the potential of life. Certainly I could be a sophist and argue that your child could grow up to be Hitler, but I instead embrace your ideal of seeing the best in all possibilities: I like you, am an optimist. How about we also agree to apply that optimism to ALL of our fellow immigrants and international neighbors? To all of our poor and downtrodden?

    Can we also agree that Christians do not have a corner on the market of this optimism? I accept science and physics and know that there are answers to question we do not yet understand – but I am not willing to give the final credit for all that to “God” just yet. Just as God once got credit for everything — until our science found the language to understand it. I don’t want to pre-determine an end to scientific reason and discovery under the guise of faith. That never really works out well for humanity.

  49. bearcreekbat 2018-09-27 14:15

    OS, here and in more than one comment you have stated as a fact that the democratic party “made it an issue to announce they reject God” or you have used similar language, even suggesting as a fact that this rejection is part of the party’s official platform.

    If that were true, as an atheist, I would find the democratic party much more attractive, yet I cannot find any source to confirm the accuracy of such a statement. However, it does not seem to be anywhere on the party’s published platform and I can’t seem to find any credible assertion by leaders of the party that this is the case. On the contrary, much to my disappointment, most Democrats in general seem to be religious. Indeed, it is true that most in that party seem to have the most ethical, honest and caring ideas for the people they seek to govern, often justifying those viewpoints based on the teaching of Jesus, and I admit that I share most of the expressed values despite my personal lack of religious belief.

    Can you direct us to the source of your statement that the democratic party has rejected the idea of God or religion? Otherwise, without a credible source, which you likely can cite, such a statement appears to be untrue and misleading based on current publicly available information. We atheists deserve to hear the truth.

  50. jerry 2018-09-27 14:16

    No one rejects God any better than theocracy, they are professionals only in it for the money.

  51. o 2018-09-27 14:21

    OldSarge, I have also called you out for your repeated claim that Democrats have made it an issue to reject God. In fact, I have before also provided the link to the national party platform and asked you to point which plans did this. You did not.

    I now ask that you stop bearing false witness against you neighbor.

  52. Debbo 2018-09-27 14:24

    Cory said, “This ad spotlights “Christian” as the first item in the final summary of reasons to vote for Sutton.”

    To me it just didn’t stand out. As a voter that wouldn’t have done much to attract my attention or feel noteworthy.

    O, when you said “Debbie”, did you mean me, Debbo? And if so, do you have my comment confused with South Dacola’s? He’s the one who said he wasn’t going to vote in the governors race.

  53. jerry 2018-09-27 14:37

    The Russian is on the paytroll so he must do some kind of monkeyshines to collect his pay tomorrow. Trolling is the only work he can find, so he has to come up with something.

  54. jerry 2018-09-27 14:39

    By not voting, Southdacola is saying he supports NOem with his fake purity. I used to think he had something to say, but now, it is suspect.

  55. Debbo 2018-09-27 14:39

    About SDDP being GOP-Lite:

    The SDDP was most successful when Democrats were liberal Democrats. George McGovern, Dick Kneip. I completely agree with South Dacola on this, though if I were still an SD resident this would be the Last Time I’d EVER accept a candidate for any office who did not support Full Equal Rights for Women! NO EXCEPTIONS! NO COMPROMISES!

    Damn right I’m shouting! What in hell makes you think it’s okay to treat women as second class citizens!?! Yes. That is exactly what the SDDP is doing. Who in hell do you think you are that you should decide that it’s okay to force women wait WAIT for full, autonomous citizenship!?! How many M I L L E N N I A do you think is an acceptable length of time for us to wait!?!

    How about we start limiting rights of white males in SD, just a temporary compromise?

    Of course I’m enraged!! Does the SDDP want to really activate women in SD like we are across the nation? Does the SDDP want to unleash what is proving to be a powerful force? Then get behind them 100%!! Make it clear that you are absolutely in our corner, no exceptions.

    Instead, you’ve got a lukewarm nothingburger. What does the SDDP stand for? Expedience. Pandering for votes. Tossing half the electorate off to the side.

    That’s incredibly stupid politics. Barely even reaches GOP-Lite.

  56. OldSarg 2018-09-27 14:48

    o I have no issue with immigrants, who come here legally, contribute and become a part of our community through learning and adopting the American culture. As far as your views on bringing in the poor and downtrodden I fully agree so long as they contribute as opposed to becoming a burden on our society just as I object to anyone taking advantage of the work of the majority.

    Science, physics, literature and nature can be and are wonderful things and yes there are atheist who have, and had, great minds but there are far more great minds who believe in God and brought us the wonders of today and to those I will listen “The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God.”~Michael Faraday. Now, I don’t see this as an election of who believes in a higher power and who does not. You can believe as you wish. I will not drag you into church or deny you an opportunity because you do not believe as I do. I also feel no other person has the right to limit or constrict my own beliefs or those of others. Honestly, my passion for argument is simply because I see people working to take my independence of thought, movement being while is is all being taken away a small step at a time, whether through healthcare, taxes, myriad of laws and social attacks. I have worked within the government that so many place ill-placed faith as if “Big Brother” cares whether you live or die. They do not. If I am only going to be a number to them then I wish to be my own number by myself within my own life and it is a life I have loved and only feel others should have that same opportunity including Americans yet born. I also understand I do not have all the answers and I wouldn’t be so brazen as to think I had the mental capacity to decide there was no God. I’m just me. peace

  57. o 2018-09-27 14:50

    Debbo, I have to admit, looking back, I clearly have attributed to you comments that are not yours. I apologize for that. Given the error-ridden comment I made, I hereby swear off using a phone for blog reading and posting in the future.

  58. OldSarg 2018-09-27 15:00

    o we should all swear off using our phones. . .

  59. mike from iowa 2018-09-27 15:05

    As per usual, OldSourdock is missing important context in his stories from right wing MOON Unit operators at Wash. Times.

    The United States of America was not founded to kiss Israel’s ass or play footsie with deities no one can prove exist or ever existed.

    There are no religious tests for any government office in the United States that OldSequester hates.

  60. bearcreekbat 2018-09-27 15:05

    OS, thanks for the link to action on a single issue concerning language in the 2008 platform, which apparently was quickly changed at the urging of President Obama.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/democrats-rapidly-revise-platform-include-god/story?id=17164108

    Your comments, however, have never indicated you were referencing a single action many years ago. Instead they seemed to imply that you were referencing the current democratic party and platform. Do you have any source for the implication that democrats or the democratic party currently have rejected God in their platform or otherwise?

  61. jerry 2018-09-27 15:06

    “”The Republicans on the Judiciary are bona fide sociopaths. The courage and bravery of Dr. Ford is incredible. This entire nation owes her a tremendous debt for what she has done in the face of powerful, despicable men. Every minute they continue this gross inquisition is a crime.” https://twitter.com/jeremyscahill

    How true. Theocracy is showing its ugly head today with the disgusting way it treats women, all women.

  62. OldSarg 2018-09-27 15:16

    bear creek, the majority of the posters on this site deny God and admit to be democrats. . . How am I drawing the wrong conclusion?

    Please, tell me which of the posters believes in God. Who I am mistaken about. Maybe Sutton would post and we would see what he thinks. . .

  63. RJ 2018-09-27 15:30

    OS, could you elaborate on what you mean by “American culture”. Also, I believe I God and I’m a democrat, so please enlighten me how the two are incompatible? If any person or group of people takes a dump on the principals of Christianity it those like you.

  64. bearcreekbat 2018-09-27 15:43

    OS, your response clarifies that you are not referring to the current democratic party nor to all democrats, given the reference only to some of the posters on this blog. As best I can tell, democrats are not unified in religious beliefs, some may be atheists and some religious.

    I haven’t inquired into the personal beliefs of posters on this blog so I am not in a position to tell you which posters believe in God. Personally, I do not and I have never identified myself as a democrat on this blog.

    How about you, do you believe in God? I assume you might not be a democrat given many of your comments about democrats. Are you are a republican or registered in some other party? Do you feel your personal religious belief or non-beliefs represent everyone with a similar registration?

  65. Patricia 2018-09-27 20:46

    Cory stated: “Then it turned out to be pandering to Republican theocrats.”
    Theocrats???
    So are you suggesting that Republicans are being divinely guided to be government leaders? Because Theocracy is government by divine guidance and many members are clergy. Its a form of government which defers not to civil development of law, but to a interpretation of the will of God, i.e. Islam.
    Frankly, if I were to allow myself, I could be greatly offended by that comment.
    Additionally, I think the most important part of that commercial are the Republicans admitting they are Republicans and that they are voting for the Democratic candidate. Any time life long Republicans vote Democrat, that’s a clear and exact message that the Republican candidate is viewed as not having the leadership qualities and strengths that are necessary to hold the office in which they are running. How many Republicans feel that way will be revealed at the polls.

  66. OldSarg 2018-09-27 20:55

    bear creek, I was a democrat. My first presidential vote was for Carter. Later I did a lot of very low income housing on the reservations and learned a lot. Mostly of the corruption within the party and how everyone was lining their own pockets. Then I audited the Empowerment Zone. That ended it democrat party for me as I found the Clinton grant purchased backhoes behind the homes of board members, semi-trucks by Crows abandoned and Pow Wow lights laying on the ground for years on end. It was all a lie. It was supposed to be for jobs but it was a lie. Then it was killing babies, abandoning God, open borders, using the government against the people. So is the democrat party of today. Did you watch the hearing today? A good man stood in front of the democrats as they tried to destroy an honest man. Very sad but, it is your sad party. Not mine.

  67. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 21:34

    Thinking about O’s comment, I remind everyone that Sutton’s appeal to the incorrect, anti-constitutional religious-test mindset will not make me leave that line of the ballot blank as South Dacola plans to do. I still recognize that the mistakes Sutton makes in his pragmatic campaigning are not as harmful or incorrigible as the incompetence and mean-spiritedness with which Kristi Noem and her puppet-string pullers will rule South Dakota.

  68. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 21:40

    Well, Debbo, I probably am more attuned to such messages, rightly or wrongly, since I am not a Christian and since I’m disappointed to find a leader of my ticket undermining my own effort to get people to move beyond the religious prejudice that holds far too much sway among the South Dakota electorate.

    As far as I know, every member of the Legislature is a Christian. This Legislature underfunds education, health care, and environmental stewardship. This Legislature affronted the dignity of the common man by repealing IM 22 and passing laws to undermine initiative and referendum. The label of “Christian” appears not to predict moral or practical governing performance.

  69. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-27 21:50

    Now, now, Patricia, you know better than that. Our Republican theocrats think they are divinely chosen to rule and think we all should submit to the Christian Bible. They are incorrect on both counts, but that’s the conception of government they hold. My use of the word “theocrat” describes what they believe without ascribing any merit to their anti-First-Amendment beliefs.

    And Sutton could have sent that whole message about Republicans voting for him without also affirming religious tests for public office.

    May I offer a comparison to sexism? Another part of Sutton’s advantage in this race is that, I speculate, there are a significant number of South Dakotans who will revolt at the idea of being governed by Kristi Noem as much as they revolted at the prospect of being governed by Hillary Clinton. Sutton will win the vote of some sexists who just can’t stand seeing women in authority over them. I’m not going to bar the door trying to keep sexists from voting for Sutton for sexist reasons, but I’ll feel darned dirty if that sexist vote turns out to be a key factor in putting Sutton in the Governor’s office.

    Similarly, I understand full well that Sutton needs to persuade Republican voters on many fronts that it’s o.k. to vote for him. Many South Dakotans believe in a discriminatory and unconstitutional religious test, and Sutton has a Republican voice chirp in this ad that he, too, passes that discriminatory and unconstitutional test. Wrong thinking may lead to the right Governor, but I’m going to feel darned dirty about it, and I’m going to keep trying to change that wrong thinking.

  70. o 2018-09-27 21:56

    The Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh is not a good man. The most recent accusations – accusations not from the Democratic Party, but from women who came forward about his predatory behavior – have burried the facts that he has lied to congress about his role and work with previous GOP nominees for the bench, he is firmly partisan in his work for the Republican Party, and the President wants him because this nominee believes the President is above the law as much has this President does. His pension to dismantle Roe ought not cleanse these issues – even for the GOP (and you OldSarge). There are plenty of other judges looking to overturn Roe on the conservative list that would not be nearly as awful, partisan, permissive of Presidential misconduct as this man.

    The Democratic Party is not killing babies. As a matter or law, this is established definition. Or we ought to lock up every masturbating male for killing babies as well (every sperm is a potential child). Again, I will point out the hypocrisy of OS’s words with his disdain of freeloaders — starting at the moment of their birth that is. Birth is the defining moment when a right to life ends.

  71. Debbo 2018-09-27 21:56

    “The label of “Christian” appears not to predict moral or practical governing performance.”

    I totally agree. They are charlatans who use the word “Christian” the same way they use “conservative, illegals,” and other pointless buzzwords. Political expediency is the purpose. Meaning is irrelevant.

  72. T 2018-09-27 22:13

    Still time to leave messages for
    10 undecided to vote no
    Instead of debating and discussing we can actually call
    Would love to share the phone numbers but
    Dam phone isn’t cooperating with the cut n paste again
    Here what I have so far
    LA bill Cassidy 2022245824
    MAine Susan Collins 2022242523
    Nebraska Ben Sasse 2022244224
    Alaska Lisa murkoeski 2022246665
    Kansas Jerry Moran 2022246521
    Oklahoma James Langford 2022245754
    Louisiana John Kennedy 2022244623
    Wyoming michael Enzi 2022243424
    Arizona Jeff flake 2022244521
    Guess is 9 now corker is for according to Fox

  73. jerry 2018-09-27 22:28

    Wow, The Jesuit Review has withdrawn their endorsement of Kavanaugh

    “Evaluating the credibility of these competing accounts is a question about which people of good will can and do disagree. The editors of this review have no special insight into who is telling the truth. If Dr. Blasey’s allegation is true, the assault and Judge Kavanaugh’s denial of it mean that he should not be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court. But even if the credibility of the allegation has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt and even if further investigation is warranted to determine its validity or clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name, we recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country. While we previously endorsed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of his legal credentials and his reputation as a committed textualist, it is now clear that the nomination should be withdrawn.”
    https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/09/27/editors-it-time-kavanaugh-nomination-be-withdrawn

    Man, when you have lost your peers, you ain’t fit to be in a food court.

  74. Debbo 2018-09-27 23:34

    Good find, Jerry. I love your concluding line, too.

  75. bearcreekbat 2018-09-28 01:56

    OS, you keep referencing actions from long ago in the past. What party do you belong to these days? And what exactly has the democratic party, rather than some particular person or persons in the party, done recently to earn your wrath? Your claims that you cannot support Sutton even though you believe he is a good man seem rather like biting your nose off to spite your face – illogical and against your own self identified self interest.

    As o noted, the accusations against Kavanaugh that he says destroyed him, his reputation and his family came from private individuals who knew Kavanaugh and were aware of his lifestyle, resulting in their allegations of criminal and inappropiate conduct, not the democratic party. Perhaps you can clarify what exactly the democrats have supposedly done that has caused Kavanaugh such terrible harm?

    I have seen no reports that anyone from the democratic party (including Sutton or SD democrats) caused these women and male friends of Kavanaugh to report on his alleged crimes and misbehavior. As best I can tell, Senate democrats simply asked serious but respectful questions addressing current allegations and requested further investigation of named witnesses, which has been denied by the Senate republicans that hold the majority. Meanwhile complaints about the timing of the allegations against Kavanaugh could have been easily dealt with by the republican Senate majoty by extending the hearing sufficiently for a complete opportunity for republicans, the administration, and Kavanaugh to investigate and obtain whatever information they deemed necessary to respond to the new allegations.

    But it seems to be a feature of our current administration to attempt to distract from the allegations against Kavanaugh by claiming democrats did something terrible, without ever specifying what the terrible deeds were. Since Kavanaugh supporters have a serious problem challenging the credibility of Ford’s allegations, many, including some republican Senators, the administration, and even OS, are now reduced to responding with tantrums, yelling at democrats and doing everything they can to avoid discussing whether the allegations of misbehavior are credible.

    As a side note I haven’t even seen any claims that any of the people who have come forward to describe Kavanaugh’s crimes and misdeeds are democrats, republicans, independents, or associated with any particular political party or are politically active in any way.

  76. Ryan 2018-10-03 08:42

    you people can’t claim the republican party is the party of racist women haters all the time and then demand OldSarg produce an official statement from the democratic party that they denounce god.

    He appears to be using exaggeration, metaphor, and hyperbole as often as everyone else, but because you disagree with him, you demand perfect evidence for his comments. His point is clear and you seem dumb pretending not to understand what he means or why he’s saying it.

    Of the two main parties, one side runs around claiming to be followers of jesus and the other side runs around saying religion doesn’t or shouldn’t matter politically. You know what he is saying, you are just being thick.

    But back to the main point. I wish Billie would have used visuals rather than spoken word to get the point across that he isn’t one of those darn atheists, but ultimately he is trying to get a job and 70% the people doing the interview care about whether or not he believes in jesus. I hope for a day when we can have elections and we learn nothing about the superstitions of the candidates during the campaign and just focus on real issues, but Billie knows he would never be governor in SD if he tried to start that religious anonymity in 2018.

  77. Hal Koiman 2018-10-18 20:53

    You horse’s patootie! You’re probably the same person that thought Hilary and Trump were “just about the same.” In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not in Europe. We don’t have coalition governments. We don’t have 8 viable political parties. We’re in a system in which DEMOCRATS MUST WIN IN ORDER TO GOVERN. So either move or get […] out of the way.

  78. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-20 06:41

    Hal, I’m not certain who you think is a horse’s patootie, me or another commenter, but I will point out that I never have contended and never will contend that Clinton and Trump were “just about the same.” Clinton is a qualified, intelligent public servant under whose leadership the world would be safer and more humane and America would be more reliable and respected.

    Sure, we must win to govern… but we still don’t need to win by promoting false or unconstitutional ideas.

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