While President Joe Biden gave a stirring speech yesterday bravely confronting real threats to democracy and challenging the Senate and all Americans to get on the right side of history, Governor Kristi Noem just tired me out with another divisive personal campaign pitch filled with dreary dissemblage. After reading and transcribing the President’s honest and helpful words yesterday, slogging through Noem’s partisan claptrap is just depressing.
So I’ll leave it to some of my favorite Democrats to break down Noem’s broken-down rhetoric:
SDDP Vice-Chair Nikki Gronli:
“It comes as no surprise that Governor Noem used this speech to further divide South Dakotans. Clearly she’d rather continue to build a national profile as a culture warrior than address the real concerns of hardworking South Dakotans. Democrats are focused on delivering for South Dakotans on healthcare, education, and an economy that works for everyone.”
House Democratic Leader Jamie Smith:
“Governor Noem’s speech was an opportunity to bring South Dakotans together, but today we heard a partisan speech that divides. We need a government that works for all South Dakotans. There are opportunities for us to work together. Areas of agreement include workforce housing, job training, and childcare just to name a few.
Instead of paying attention to the science and encouraging South Dakotans to get vaccinated and boosted, Kristi Noem refuses to lead. I encourage people to get vaccinated and wear a mask when appropriate. Together we can end this pandemic.”
Senate Democratic Leader Troy Heinert:
“Governor Noem squandered the opportunity to make meaningful change in many South Dakotans’ lives by focusing on social issues that have been debated and settled in this state over twenty years ago.”
Senate Democratic Whip Reynold Nesiba:
“Kristi Noem is quick to say we’re first in lack of education loss but South Dakota is still 50th in teacher pay. Teachers have worked to ensure our children’s education but Kristi Noem is offering them a raise that doesn’t even keep up with inflation. They deserve 8%. Teachers and state employees deserve better” [South Dakota Democratic Party, press release, 2022.01.11].
Governor Noem should act like President Biden, speaking to true American history and values and proposing practical solutions to real problems affecting all of us. Instead, she ignores facts and science to make real problems worse while she preens for the cameras and a radical right-wing primary base.