Off on another profile-boosting campaign swing through Georgia over the weekend, Governor Kristi Noem called Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris “the most extreme liberal Senator that we have“:
Noem also told the crowd to make up with anyone they’d fallen out with over the election and talk to them about voting for Loeffler and Perdue Tuesday.
If I were Bernie Sanders, I’d be jealous of such a mis-designation. GovTrack.us does have a 2019 Ideology Score Report Card in which Harris edges Sanders for the top spot in liberalism as measured by bill sponsorship and cosponsorship. Yet GovTrack itself offers this article highlighting some of the bills onto which Harris signed and suggests they don’t represent any extreme ideological agenda, just a desire to help:
- Harris’s Counting Our Unexpected Natural Tragedies’ Victims Act requires a study to determine how we might improve our assessment of how many people are harmed by natural disasters. Senator Harris filed this bill as a response to the federal government’s sloppy response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017. So it’s liberal to want an accurate count of disaster victims so we can more efficiently and effectively deploy assistance?
- Harris’s Disaster Victims Passport and ID Relief Act waives replacement fees for U.S. passports, visas, and four other immigration documents lost in disasters like the California wildfires and floods of 2017. So if a tornado blows away your sock drawer, you don’t want the government to give you a break on replacing your passport?
- Harris’s Justice for Victims of Lynching Act passed the Senate unanimously in 2018; the House approved a version of the bill named for Emmett Till 410–4 in February 2020. Does that make all Senators and most of the House, including John Thune and Mike Rounds and Dusty Johnson, extreme liberals?
- Harris sponsored the MORE Act to legalize marijuana. On that, she apparently agrees with at least 54.18% of South Dakota voters. South Dakota must be more liberal than Kristi Noem admits.
- Harris sponsored the Rent Relief Act to give tax credits to renters who make less than $125K a year and pay more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities. If helping people keep roofs over their heads amidst 50 years of wage stagnation is liberal, then call me liberal. (Even if it’s just good sense, call me liberal!)
- Harris’s ENOUGH and SHIELD Acts sought to ban revenge porn at the federal level, just like most states, including South Dakota, have. South Dakota’s most recent toughening of its law prohibiting revenge porn came in 2020 Senate Bill 47, requested by our ragingly liberal Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s office. It passed 66–0 in our extremely liberal House and 28–4 in our only slightly less liberal Senate.
- Harris proposed a bill to put a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black Congresswoman, in the U.S. Capitol. That’s evidently only a quarter as liberal as Noem’s plan to perch four statues on the South Dakota State Capitol.
- Harris sponsored the Census Equality Act to add a question about sexual orientation. That’s factual, not liberal. And hey, even if you’re conservative, wouldn’t you want to know how many homosexuals live in each state so you could move to the straightest state you could afford?
- Harris’s Family Friendly Schools Act would offer grants to elementary schools to stay open until 6 p.m., giving working families a break on daycare costs and perhaps helping kids learn more. That sure sounds liberal, but conservative South Dakota rarely turns down extra federal dollars for its schools.
- Harris’s Access to Counsel Act sought to clarify that undocumented immigrants have a right to a lawyer. Here Harris touches on the extreme liberalism written into our Constitution: every defendant has a right to legal representation.
But of course, Noem isn’t speaking to people who want to read thorough explanations of public policy and political philosophy. She’s just shouting at people who foam at the mouth and vote Trumpublican when they hear words like Liberal! and Socialism! coming from pretty spokesmodels.