Inbreeding leads to genetic defects and decline. Forty years of political inbreeding and insularity have led Republicans to the weak, pale population of candidates now whimpering for your votes. The South Dakota Republican ticket is so weak that, unable to sell themselves as candidates with superior experiences and skills, political creatures like Kristi Noem and Jason Ravnsborg must resort to campaigning against national-level bogeymen and slogans with little if any connection to people and problems right here in South Dakota.
Simpering incompetent Jason Ravnsborg provides the latest example of gasping Republican desperation, as the extreme right-wing Trumpist who has spent over four years campaigning for Attorney General tries to paint Randy Seiler as an extreme career politician Obama-bot who wants to abolish the NRA (false, false, and false: it’s Trump who wants to take your guns!):
Funny: just Thursday, when asked about Seiler’s factual statement about Ravnsborg’s lack of experience prosecuting criminal cases in front of a jury, Ravnborg said, “When you don’t have any ideas you try and attack your opponent.” Then he released the above ad.
Ravnsborg does try to talk about himself, but he says far less about the actual experience necessary to be the state’s lead prosecutor and far more to portray himself as G.I. Joe:
Lieutenant Colonel Jason Ravnsborg 22 yeas of service a bronze star, leading our bravest in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Jason Ravnsborg is ready to serve South Dakota…. proven in the courtroom and in combat… [Jason for South Dakota, campaign video, posted 2018.10.19].
22 years of service? Jason has spent the same amount of time part-time soldiering that Randy Seiler spent full-time prosecuting just in the U.S. Attorney’s office. Maybe Ravnsborg should stick to soldiering and let Seiler handle the prosecuting.
But in emphasizing his less relevant experience in uniform, Ravnsborg once again appears to be violating Defense Directive 1344.10, which prohibits certain partisan political activity by people serving in the military. Let’s turn again to the relevant military regulation:
4.3. Additional Limitations on Nomination or Candidacy and Campaigning
4.3.1. Members not on active duty who are nominees or candidates for the offices described in subparagraph 4.2.1. may, in their campaign literature (including Web sites, videos, television, and conventional print advertisements):
184.108.40.206. Use or mention, or permit the use or mention of, their military rank or grade and military service affiliation; BUT they must clearly indicate their retired or reserve status.
220.127.116.11. Include or permit the inclusion of their current or former specific military duty, title, or position, or photographs in military uniform, when displayed with other nonmilitary biographical details. Any such military information must be accompanied by a prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or their particular Military Department (or the Department of Homeland Security for members of the Coast Guard); e.g., “John Doe is a member of the Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.”
4.3.2. Members included in subparagraph 4.3.1. may NOT, in campaign literature (including Web sites, videos, television, and conventional print advertisements):
18.104.22.168. Use or allow the use of photographs, drawings, and other similar media formats of themselves in uniform as the primary graphic representation in any campaign media, such as a billboard, brochure, flyer, Web site, or television commercial. For the purposes of this policy, “photographs” include video images, drawings, and all other similar formats of representational media. [Department of Defense, Directive 1344.10, 2008.02.19, p. 6]
Ravnsborg’s audio leads with his rank, with no indication of his reserve status. Let’s review those screen caps:
- Images 1, 2, and 3 show Jason in uniform, primary and only graphic representation, violating 22.214.171.124.
- Image 4 shows Jason and other uniformed soldiers in at least four distinct photos and one of Jason in civilian clothes. The primary graphic representation, the only photo shown in focus, shows Jason in uniform, in violation of 126.96.36.199. This image includes the disclaimer text required by 188.8.131.52; however, to say this narrow, all-caps text is “prominently and clearly displayed” is open for discussion.
- Image 5 shows Jason in uniform, primary and only graphic representation, which, even with the disclaimer, remains in violation of 184.108.40.206.
- Image 6 shows two images, Jason in civilian suit, Jason in combat gear, and declares him “proven in combat,” thus making a claim about military information. The photo in uniform is not the primary graphic representation, thus avoiding violation of 220.127.116.11. However, the disclaimer does not accompany this military information or photograph, violating 18.104.22.168.
If after multiple warnings Jason Ravnsborg can’t make sense of military directives under which he has labored for 22 years, we can’t trust him to make sense of South Dakota law and prosecutorial procedure that he has practiced for far less time than that.
Thus, Jason must keep waving his uniform and scary images of Barack Obama to lure South Dakotans into voting on the basis of something other than real experience and skills.
Jason Ravnsborg lays bare the results of a political machine allowed to run for forty years without being held to account by the voters: meritless candidates contemptuous of fact and law.
Tangentially Related: When I play Ravnsborg’s video attack on Seiler on Dakota War College, the videos YouTube suggests I watch next show Nazis and bullets in front of skillets. I’d love to parse the algorithm draws lines between Ravnsborg, DWC, and those images.