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New Republican Legislators Sound Like Perfect Empty Vessels for the Kristi Show

Expect more mindless pablum from South Dakota’s Republican leaders. While Governor Kristi Noem sequesters herself on a social media refuge for hypocritical white-supremacist snowflakes, to better echo her desperate Trump-suck-uppery, new Republicans are polishing their empty vessels to be filled by whatever the Snow Queen tells them to think.

Witness, for instance, Representative-Elect Richard Thomason (R-13/Sioux Falls), who (a) can’t find time to talk to a willing reporter in person to amplify his eager policy agenda and (b) can’t come up with any kind of eager policy agenda when given a chance to write a prepared statement:

This campaign humbled me in so many ways from volunteers, to emotional and financial support, to words of encouragement and so much more. The hard work now begins as session is only weeks away. I plan to bring a fresh and new perspective to Pierre that resonates with the constituents of District 13 and the state of South Dakota. Again, I am humbled and honored to be serving this great state [Rep.-Elect Richard Thomason, in Carter Schmidt, “Hearing from Newly-Elected SD State Legislators,” KELO-TV, 2020.11.08].

When a reporter hands you a mic, say nothing? What kind of sophisticated politico takes that advice?

Witness further vacuousness from Thomason’s fellow rookies, Reps.-Elect Marsha Symens (R-25/Dell Rapids) and Richard Vasgaard (R-17/Centerville):

“I was very honored and humbled that the good people of South Dakota put their trust in me to represent our district at the state level. That, it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m excited to get started,” said Republican Marsha Symens, Senator-elect for District 25.

“Certainly a humbling experience. Being a first time at this, you don’t know what’s going to happen. How things are going to work out, but I’ve been in Turner County all my life in 4-H and FFA, involved in activities,” said Republican Richard Vasgaard, Representative-elect for District 17 [Schmidt, 2020.11.08].

Compare the Republicans’ vast mental wastelands with Rep.-Elect Jennifer Healy Keintz, the only new member joining the ever-shrinking Democratic caucus. Instead of pure pablum, she manages to observe shifting political dynamics and key policy areas she’d like to work on and could work on, if she weren’t going to be surrounded by Kristi-drones:

“I’m really excited to represent District 1, and this actually had for many years been a stronghold for Democrats in South Dakota, and that’s changed over the last couple of years,” she said. “Hard to say if it’s a trend in that direction or if it’s more related to the national level, but I’m really excited that people put their trust in me to represent our district.”

She’ll represent northeast South Dakota. She has her focus on health care as well as other issues.

“Making sure that we have the kinds of communities and job opportunities for young people to stay here and to come here and to help grow our rural area. Keeping our teachers in our area with fair pay,” Keintz said [Schmidt, 2020.11.08].

Give Dems a chance, and they’ll talk nuts and bolts. Give GOPers the mic, and they’ll just prattle on and on about how wonderful life in Krististan is.


  1. DaveFN 2020-11-09

    Parler? How ironic considering that the vast majority of Republicans hold anything that remotely smacks of French culture with great disdain as being too intellectual, progressive, and subversive. Would that such a platform would serve to reform them from within but too much to hope. Even so, sequestering themselves from the greater social discourse might have the effect of wearing them down when they repeatedly tell one other what they alone want to hear. Identity is not infrequently defined in opposition to an enemy position and itself has no positive qualities of its own, picking up on Corey’s observations above concerning the humble, honored, and vacuous new arrivals.

  2. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2020-11-10

    We can read Camus’ The Stranger and Hugo’s Les Miserables and we can sweep the Legislature and Governor’s office from them. No more despair.
    Sure, the people barely chose Noem in 18, but there was a lot of people that did not vote.
    80 seats, Democratic Governor in 22? Absolutely yes.

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