10SD Blogosphere Polarizing for Fall Campaign?
[7/27]: No, I wasn't just disappointed that everyone didn't come to my party (though Lake Herman beats a conference room at the Ramkota any day). The Sam Adams alliance didn't have much immediate impact: the arch-conservative blog aggregator (both wrong and stupid) petered out before the election, and for all their Lee Atwater tactics to jam the liberal blogosphere, they still got hammered in November. Now, can we all just get along?
9Hickey for Choice? Left and Right Throw BS Flag [9/14]: Abortion and South Dakota's Initiated Measure 11 make the list three times. This post addressed the word games played by Pastor Steve Hickey, whose blog and entire church were dedicated to banning abortion. His own mission has since drifted into standard right-wing nuttery on doubting Obama's citizenship and bemoaning the soul-destroying power of vampire movies. No word yet on whether the flock will follow....
8Initiated Measure Makes Women Second-Class Citizens [4/16]: I had hoped not to get embroiled in abortion politics, but a serious conversation with my wife reminded me that there's too much at stake not to fight oppressive laws like IM11.
7Higher Feed Costs Send Cattle to Pasture [8/30]: Feedlots and stinky cows made the news. This report was part of a series of posts relating to efforts to build a 5,500-head feedlot in Grant County (the county commission kaboshed that plan, thank goodness).
6Teacher Pay -- The Crunch Is Coming [3/24]: This post mixed local and state politics. I was running for school board and noted that with baby boom teachers retiring and new graduates able to find much better pay just across the border, the whole state had to look seriously at raising taxes to raise teacher pay. (Ah, so that's why I lost! ;-) )
4Sex, Oil, and Misogyny from the McCain Campaign [8/5]: National politics came to South Dakota, as GOP Presidential candidate John McCain came to the Buffalo Chip (appropriate on so many levels) at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and laid bare the sexist mentality on which his campaign was based.
4Female Chauvinist Pig Applies Double Standard to Herseth Sandlin [8/22]: Interesting that these two posts tied! Anessa Klumb, sister of a Joel Dykstra campaign staffer, declared that moms (like Herseth Sandlin) can't hold office because they should take care of the kids, but dads (like GOP challenger Chris Lien) should be free to traipse off to Washington. Right.
3Moving from Abstraction to Reality: Why Marriage and Fatherhood Made Me Pro-Choice [7/24]: Some people argue that marriage and children change your views on political issues. They certainly have: now that I live with two female citizens, I realize all the more the importance of defending their right to let them and not Pierre control their bodies.
2Oral Roberts University as a Voting Issue [1/23]: An odd insertion on the list: I mentioned one day that Joel Dykstra's education at narrow-minded Oral Roberts University was fair game in the debate over qualifications for representing South Dakota in Washington. Much discussion ensued. Maybe if Dykstra had gone to SDSU and networked with South Dakota's future leaders, he'd have had a shot at beating Tim Johnson.
1South Dakota Stands Alone with Clinton on Prairie [6/5]: Again, we couldn't get away from national politics. This South Dakota story—which I actually wrote at a blog conference in Minneapolis—was inspired by a startling graphic: South Dakota alone in deep Hillary Clinton blue surrounded on the upper Plains by green Barack Obama states. You have to drive through at least two other states from South Dakota to get to another state that favored Clinton in the primary. Whatever our reasons, something very different was operating in the minds of the South Dakota electorate than in any of our neighboring states, and you had a lot of fun discussing what that difference might be. (Just to shake up your local political theorizing: Lake County voted 60–40 for Clinton over Obama, then went for Obama in November.)
Next up: the Madville Times goes national, with the most-commented U.S. stories of 2008!