Governor Kristi Noem is sending out a plea for “emergency” contributions to for a gubernatorial campaign that is still year away and in which, according to her party, she faces no credible, viable challengers. Let’s check out the exaggerations and lies she’s telling for money:
“Lies and attacks of the radical left”—What lies, and what radical leftism? I see no signs of either in South Dakota, and based the chances of the South Dakota Democratic Party nominating a radical leftist to challenge her are slim to none. But “radical left” must be focus-grouping well, because Noem refers to them continually in her letter to scare her marks into handing over their cash.
“Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, and the media”—Noem is not running against any South Dakotan here; she’s invoking the national figures whom her targets see villainized on Fox News all day long. Noem isn’t talking about governing South Dakota; she’s practicing for a national campaign in 2024.
“their goal is to blame and ultimately ‘cancel‘ the 74,216,722 Americans who voted for Donald Trump over the despicable actions of a fractional minority”—This sentence stands out for what it leaves unsaid. Noem appears to be referring to the January 6 Capitol insurrection, but you couldn’t hold her to that with this sentence. She’s not directly condemning the insurrection or any of its instigators, and certainly not the chief instigator. Instead, she’s touting the vote tally of the Insurrectionist in Chief. She’s speaking of “canceling” those voters as if Democrats are trying to erase their votes, as if those votes somehow should have constituted a victory over the 81,283,786 Americans who voted for Joe Biden.
Bonus: Noem actually appears to cancel some 5,830 voters for the loser: CNN reports her candidate’s November 2020 vote total as 74,222,552.
“Nancy Pelosi…AOC…Kamala Harris”—Again, Noem invokes national figures, not the South Dakotans who might challenge her. And again, she avoids the issue of accountability for the January insurrection by raising false equivalencies. Noem presents no evidence that Speaker Pelosi, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, or Vice-President Harris have ever conspired to overthrow the government the way Noem’s Presidential candidate and his followers did and continue to do. Were she to do so, were such evidence credible or even extant, I would drop everything and call for the removal and prosecution of the coup plotters in my own party as surely as we ought to call for the same disposal of the coup plotters in Noem’s party. But Noem doesn’t want real accountability for any bad behavior. She simply asserts that people in the opposing party have done bad things, so her followers shouldn’t feel bad about members of their own party doing bad things.
“Big Tech and Big Business are ending Free Speech in America in a way that government never could.” Now Noem is sounding like the radical leftist attacking big business. If only she meant it! Instead, she’s the one handing out coronavirus relief dollars, CAFO bribes, and other corporate welfare to her business friends in South Dakota. She’s the one saying big business is more important than public health or local control or fair taxation or any other conceivable public policy objective. She’s the one cozying up to Big Ag, Big Oil, and other corporate donors. She’s the one burying our environmental protectors in the Department of Agriculture to favor big corporate farms.
And as for ending Free Speech (o.k., I don’t mind adopting Noem’s emphatic capitals for that vital principle), Noem’s the one who pushed anti-protest legislation to stifle the First Amendment and favor big corporations. She’s the one who has defended multiple government infringements of the First Amendment in court. Corporations pose real threats to our freedoms, but you can’t count on pro-corporate Kristi to take any real action against those threats. She’s too busy using her government power to attack speech she doesn’t like.
“Right off the bat I can tell you that I didn’t seek out this fight which requires a national response.”
- “Right off the bat” does not happen on page 2.
- Noem totally sought out this fight. Her controversies are an attention-seeking concoction of her own making, as she carries out the playbook of pot-stirring that Corey Lewandowski has coached her to ride to demi-stardom.
- “national response” is code for justifying Noem’s ignoring South Dakota and spending her time on the national campaign trail. (Tennessee a couple weeks ago, Arkansas last week, Montana this weekend….)
“…[Democrats’] fundraising capacity means they can spend tens-of-millions of dollars against me without blinking an eye.” Noem is talking potential, not empirical evidence. In the 2018 campaign, her opponent Billie Sutton never came close to raising “tens of millions of dollars.”: he raised $3.71 million, significantly less than Noem’s $6.67 million. If national Democrats have tens of millions of dollars to spend, they aren’t going to spend it on a South Dakota Democrat running right of Joe Manchin. If anything, the South Dakota Democrat who runs against Noem in 2022 probably has more chance of getting big bucks from national Republicans who would like to black Noem’s eye and protect their own prospects in the 2024 Presidential primary.
“…the kind of voter abnormalities and ‘vote by mail’ schemes we saw in 2020. This is no joke.” Ah, so she does believe the 2020 election was stolen.
Voter abnormalities are rarer than ever, and when they do crop up, they tend to come from scheming Republicans. And voting by mail is no “scheme”; it is secure enough for the President himself, as well as the rest of us.
“…after crashing their economies…”—California has a huge budget surplus built on strong business income.
“Because, if you make nice, the Democrats and their media allies will attack you nonetheless…”—says the woman who trashed the endlessly nice Billie Sutton in 2018.
“I need to fight ‘on the ground’ by building and maintaining a 66-county grassroots organization…”—What? She doesn’t already have a statewide party with offices in every county and a volunteer list from 2018 that she can just switch on to turn out another winning majority? What, did Kennedy take all the campaign spreadsheets to college on her computer?
“…that’s the day you and I lose our country for good”—Again, Noem stokes the absolute fear that we are in a battle for the life of the nation, the kind of rhetoric that mobilized the insurrection on January 6.
Whew! reading four pages of Noem tripe tires me out. Unfortunately, those four pages will scare vulnerable, easily fooled donors from across the country, folks who don’t witness or live with the daily consequences of Noem practical failure to govern in South Dakota, to cough up their cash in fear that the nation will collapse if they don’t fight the bogeyman radicals Noem evokes in this tiresome pitch.