Press "Enter" to skip to content

Trump Is an Enemy of the Constitution, Said No South Dakota Congressperson Ever

South Dakota Searchlight has gotten South Dakota’s Congress critters to all criticize Donald Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution. But they all do so without saying Trump’s name. Let’s start with Senator John Thune:

“Of course I disagree with that,” Thune said of Trump’s comments. “I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and it is a bedrock principle — it is the principle, the bedrock of our country. So I couldn’t disagree more” [Seth Tupper, “Rounds Criticizes Trump’s Call for ‘Termination’ of the Constitution,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2022.12.05].

Thune framed his assessment of Trump’s invalidation of his oath to defend the Constitution in terms of campaign baseball rather than direct moral and political condemnation:

“If you’re one of these other people who’s interested [in] running this year, this is certainly an opportunity to create some contrast,” said Thune, noting that Trump is the only declared Republican candidate for president at this point in the election cycle. 

Thune said he was mystified why Trump would make such an outlandish statement in response to a report about Twitter employees’ discussions about how to handle media coverage of emails recovered from Hunter Biden’s stolen laptop.

“I don’t understand what the theory might [be] behind this particular campaign strategy, but he’s going to say what he’s going to say. I don’t think anybody’s going to control that, but I do think if you’re one of the other candidates, this is a golden opportunity,” he said [Alexander Bolton, “Thune: Trump Call to Terminate Constitution a ‘Golden Opportunity’ for 2024 Rivals,” The Hill, 2022.12.05].

Representative Dusty Johnson wrote this response to Searchlight:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Johnson said. “That’s the oath I took when I was sworn in as South Dakota’s sole member to the U.S. House. I will always uphold our Constitution. Calls to ‘terminate’ it are beyond the pale” [Tupper, 2022.12.05].

“Beyond the pale”—so that means disqualifying from public office, right, Dusty? That means you’ll vote for someone else for President in both the 2024 primary and, if necessary, the 2024 general, right?

Senator Marion Michael Rounds offers the longest response, posted in full on Twitter:

Americans have a deep appreciation for the Constitution and out Founding Fathers who risked their lives to establish it.

As elected officials, we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. We should never dishonor that oath. No one is above the Constitution.

As I’ve said before, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the results of the 2020 election.

Anyone who desires to lead our country must commit to protecting the Constitution. They should not threaten to terminate it.

In South Dakota, Mount Rushmore serves as an enduring reminder of that commitment and the stability of our Constitution has provided for over 200 years.

Despite their imperfections, our Founding Fathers crafted a Constitution that has stood the test of time and sets America apart from the rest of the world. We continue to strive for a more perfect union.

I believe Americans want leaders, like those on Mount Rushmore, who will defend the Constitution and unite us in our belief that America is truly a shining city upon a hill [Sen. M. Michael Rounds, tweet, 2022.12.05].

Rounds rambles a bit, showing he’s not worried about conciseness. So why cut any direct reference to Trump? I mean, it’s as if we learned that Republican Senate candidate Joel Koskan raped his daughter for years and we issued press releases saying, “As parents, we promise to support and protect our children. We should never dishonor that promise. None of us should rape our children. Anyone who desires to be a parent must commit to protecting children. They should not threaten to abuse children. The men on Mount Rushmore had their imperfections, but they were all good dads, the kind of dads I believe Americans want.” Why not skip all that obvious fluff and cut to the chase: “Joel Koskan committed a horrible crime and should spend time in prison and register as a sex offender.”

Why not reword your second paragraph, Senator Rounds, to address the malfeasance and the malefactor directly:

Like all of us elected officials, Donald Trump took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. With his words this weekend, Donald Trump violated that oath. Donald Trump is not above the Constitution. I thus cannot vote for him again. Our party should not nominate him, and voters should not elect him.

While I find our Congressional delegation’s incapacity for direct speech maddening, I do appreciate Rounds’s subtle tweakage of Trump’s fantasies of memorialization on Mount Rushmore and any likening of Trump to Ronald Reagan. But watch out: Rounds’s invocation of the shining city upon a hill” could be code for pushing to add Reagan to Mount Rushmore or some nearby stable granite.

But let’s not let Rounds’s Rushmore ramble distract us from what he and Dusty and John are not saying and what should be said: Donald Trump has declared that his false belief that the 2020 election was stolen justifies terminating the Constitution. Trump has said that his claim to power, based on a persistent lie, is more important than the Constitution. Trump’s own words show he does not take seriously his oath to uphold the Constitution. Trump has thus disqualified himself from public office.

Come on, Mike, John, and Dusty: Cheney up.

Rep. Liz Cheney, tweet, 2022.12.04.
Rep. Liz Cheney, tweet, 2022.12.04.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-12-06 07:06

    The Biden administration is anxious to reward Representative Cheney for her efforts to bring the Trump Organization to justice especially after Herr Trump endorsed a criminal for Wyoming secretary of state and the Republican establishment veteran Harriet Hageman for the seat Cheney holds.

  2. John 2022-12-06 07:28

    trump remains a clear and present danger to the US Constitution. Military and civilian public servants who’ve taken the oath to the Constitution MUST realize and act on the fact that trump is an enemy of the Constitution, a domestic enemy, unworthy of Secret Service protection. trump earned the treatment afforded to Jefferson Davis and Benedict Arnold.

    Local congress critters are using weasel words to dampen their party crazies who may primary them for not being nuts enough. The local congress critters are challenged to exhibit having a moral spine verses merely retaining a temporary job.

  3. Vi Kingman 2022-12-06 08:37

    Rounds, Thune, and Johnson should be asked if they will support Trump if he is the Republican nominee for president.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-12-06 09:21

    The national Republican Party is in a box. If they don’t nominate Donald Trump as their guy in 2024 he will run an unaffiliated campaign and they’ll lose the White House anyway so GOP support to block him under the Fourteenth Amendment looks like its best course.

    According to WNAX Sen. Rounds believes Trump is disqualified.

  5. Loren 2022-12-06 09:36

    Of course, Thune would support Florida Fats if he is the nominee. His handler, Mitch, has already said as much. John has always been a good boy and has done what he is told. It was a pretty speech, tho, Johnny. Of course he came out against female crotch grabbing, but supported the guy that did. I’m sure he is against obstruction of justice, but he let the guy off the hook who did, even tho others of moral character stood firm and sacrificed their professional careers. I’m sure John would tell you he doesn’t believe in blackmail or abuse of power, but… Yeah, Johnny, you are full of it… but keep working out so you look good in those photo ops!

  6. 96Tears 2022-12-06 09:45

    Note to Mike, John & Dusty: This was your moment to unshackle yourselves and your party from Trump. It was your moment to act like a leader. Instead, you chose to make it your “this aggression will not stand man” moment.

    Why do people vote for you clowns?

  7. P. Aitch 2022-12-06 10:05

    A core principle of mine is that the Constitution is a fluid document. I base this on the psychological makeup of the founders. The founders were, as a group, highly supportive of change. This was evident and embedded within the idea of leaving the monarchy and inventing their own government.

  8. All Mammal 2022-12-06 10:06

    Their blah blah blah is about as useful as an empty weed sack. Their turgidity just isn’t sexy…. Their manhood is so puny compared to Madam Cheney, who has honor and strength. Did trump turn our guys into eunuchs?

  9. Jake 2022-12-06 10:40

    Add up the amount of backbone of our three SD representatives and they would still fall far short of that blond-haired Cheney from Wyoming! Not one tid-bit afraid of Trump’s wrath and childish bravado, she at least is on the right track of telling it like it is in his case.
    Our SD reps will do the karaoke jitter-bug all month long just because they don’t have the balls to say anything bad about a fellow GOP member. This is sad, so sad, and far from being examples to our youth as to how a country should be run by ‘Representative Government!”

  10. bearcreekbat 2022-12-06 11:37

    Loren suggests “Of course, Thune would support Florida Fats if he is the nominee. His handler, Mitch, has already said as much.” Such an obnoxious vote for Trump would be justified based on theory that Democrats are so bad that no matter who Republicans ran, that would be a better choice than supporting a Democrat. I can understand such an argument since I lean the opposite way: Current Trumpist Republicans are so bad that supporting any Democrat against a Trumpist Republican, regardless of the Democrat’s flaws and warts, would be the best choice.

    That said, there is a theoretical problem with disqualifying Trump or any politician that argues the Constitution is flawed or should be suspended. Absent some push for a violent overthrow of the U.S. it would seem that everyone and anyone should have the freedom to advocate for their particular, or in this case – obnoxiously peculiar, view of what is the best form of government. Since Trump apparently thinks there are flaws in the Constitution that ought to be suspended for the betterment of the Country because he thinks that fulfilling his own desires is best for the Country, then he should be praised, not condemned for stating such a view publicly. Sharing radically different views from the norm or status quo should never disqualify anyone from seeking public office. By openly expressing distain for our current constitutional form of government Trump has offered himself as a candidate for those that believe as he does, and in a free country one should have the right to freely believe that there can always be a better form of government. And just imagine the possible damage by the election of a politician that believes our Constitution should be trashed, but hides this viewpoint until after obtaining public office with votes from naive voters that do not suspect such an obnoxious attitude.

  11. Ron Jon 2022-12-06 12:24

    All democrats are deeply distressed by President Trump’s remarks about terminating the Constitution. The good democrats because it is horrifying anyone previously holding the presidency and now running again would even contemplate such a thing – regardless of party affiliation. The less good democrats are distressed that such idiocy reduces his chances of being the Republican presidential nominee, lessening the likelihood of Dems holding the Whitehouse in 2024.

  12. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-06 12:54

    A fluid document is worthless. The constitution can be changed
    but it’s a long arduous process, and with good reason.

  13. larry kurtz 2022-12-06 13:29

    Liz Cheney would be a formidable candidate even if she ran outside her current political party and she would get loads of Democrats to vote for her, too.

  14. Donald Pay 2022-12-06 13:32

    Aitch and Arndt have different views about whether the Constitution should be fluid or not. I’m in the middle. It should be easier to amend.

  15. e platypus onion 2022-12-06 14:47

    Precedence should be respected by all jurists, but we see magats apparently believe precedence is fluid and susceptible to magat’s whims.

  16. e platypus onion 2022-12-06 16:58

    Sorta OT….
    A criminal court jury in New York on Tuesday found the Trump Organization guilty of all charges in a sweeping, 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. Jurors deliberated for just over a day before returning the guilty verdicts.

  17. leslie 2022-12-06 18:09

    Republicans’ stupid cling to failed policies:

    1. Misguided loyalty to Trump and his “wall”.

    2. MORE Guns as the solution to mass murder.

    (by handgun and military grade assault rifles and rapid-fire high capacity magazines and high velocity ammunition).

    3. Tax breaks for the wealthy.

    4. Originalist interpretation of constitution by 6/3 stolen conservative majority.

    (to outlaw abortion, untraditional sex and gender, and enable continuing racism.)

    6. Exacerbation of global warming for corporate fossil fuel industry.

    7. Embrace wealthy corrupt Putin and Saudi Royalty.

    8. Sacrifice of democracy to obtain political power.

    The effort and resources to tear them away from these policies consumes all the air in the room.

  18. P. Aitch 2022-12-06 18:43

    If you have a group of people throughout history who have embraced change and a group of people throughout history who have avoided change which group’s philosophy has most often prevailed?
    Or do cars still have manual brakes and non-radial tires? Do we still crap outside in a hole in the ground?

  19. Mark Anderson 2022-12-06 20:06

    Florida fats can easily refer to the girly voiced shortstop DeSantis.

  20. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-06 20:35

    Well, Aitch, (how did you come up with that spelling anyway?) what I,
    and many others do, I assume, is try to determine which change is practical
    and which is not.
    Oh, we had a two holer on the farm but it disappeared
    quite a long time ago.

  21. P. Aitch 2022-12-06 20:57

    OK, Edwin. There’s no benefit to anyone in you changing. Best of luck to you. By the way. How is it an eighty year old guy like you knows how to use the internet? Did you just decide to change yourself or what? I bet not two in ten octogenarians use digital media.

  22. John 2022-12-07 07:53

    Meanwhile back the house Johnson predictably voted against veterans, again. The Veterans Service Recognition Act makes it easier to immigrant non-citizen veterans to establish US citizenship. Today about 45,000 non-citizens serve in the US armed forces. Immigrant non-citizens served in the US armed forces since 1776. There are places for the service of immigrant non-citizens because citizens are too lazy, comfortable, pandered – to bother serving a cause higher than their own self interest. Three republicans voted for the Veterans Service Recognition Act so it goes to the senate for a vote. Expect faux veteran supporters Thune and Rounds to oppose.

    I’m beyond disgusted with the pandering South Dakota veteran organizations lock-step support of these congressional frauds on veteran issues. The South Dakota veteran organizations are a glaring bad example of pandering and voting against the interest of their members. Individual veterans should not join the South Dakota veteran organizations until those groups begin publicly calling out congressional /senate holders for not supporting veterans.

  23. Jon Arneson 2022-12-07 14:42

    Meanwhile, Kristi Noem, the champion of all things constitutional––at least as she mangles it––has been conspicuously silent. Clearly, she is still afraid to ruffle the peacock’s feathers, her statement to the NY Times, notwithstanding. She is generally a well-behaved Trump toady, so I think her extemporaneous comment that Trump isn’t the best way forward for republicans was an off-script gaffe on her part. Of course, her contention a day later that the Times had lied is, itself, a lie. But then ambitious politicians won’t let truth stand in the way of their political progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.