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Friday, April 9, 2010

Hurst: Weiland Canned-didacy Shows Need for New Ideas, New Dems

Rather than frittering away his brains in a constant drizzle of blog posts, Sam Hurst, saves up his brilliance for one big kerwhallop of political analysis and literary lament on what Dr. Kevin Weiland's all-too-brief candidacy for U.S. House tells us about South Dakota and our Democratic Party. He brands Stephanie Herseth Sandlin as a Reagan fiscal conservative, clinging to personal power rather than capitalizing on President Obama's victory to strengthen her party back home. He addresses Weiland's position on the unhealthy results of current ag practices and policy and says that's exactly the conversation we need in our political discourse (as Hurst says, promoting health is not anti-farming).

Hurst also takes the same position I have on the primary that could have been: far from hurting the party, a vigorous primary would have been exactly the conversation we needed to strengthen our party with new ideas and fight for the many to whom the status quo flips the bird:

...Where do new policy ideas come from? If we have learned anything about the relationship between politics and policy over the last decade, we should grasp that general elections (where both sides move inexorably to the middle) are no place to hear original ideas.

Political conditions on the ground in each state are different, but in South Dakota, this is not the time for nuance, for playing the game, for insider tactics. This is not a time to celebrate the vague mirage of a middle ground without substance.

Let Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin worry about herself. Let Democrats worry about the fate of the party. It is at rock bottom. It stands for nothing. It has virtually no ability to raise money or mobilize its base to action on behalf of its candidates. It has no influence over politicians elected in its name. It cannot compete. Not forever, not for always, but right now, South Dakota Democrats need leaders who will yell, "Charge!" And it needs soldiers willing to aim their sabers into the fire. Perhaps 3,834 naïve, liberal, desperate, lost souls, would be a good place to begin. Poor Lakotas, closeted gay couples, rock climbers and back country hikers, family doctors, less-than-literal Christians, seven Jews, two Muslims, the last family farmers, underpaid teachers, artists, windmill technicians and solar electricians, a ragged army indeed [Sam Hurst, "3834: Remember That Number," The Dakota Day, 2010.04.08].

"Charge!" sounds like a much better campaign slogan than "Kum-Bah-Yah."

McGovern Day is tomorrow in Rapid City. I passed on SHS's offer of a free bus ride, but I hope Hurst, Weiland, and other interested Dems will drop by the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn to lead some spirited conversations about who South Dakota Democrats are and what we should be fighting for.


  1. Yeah, another brilliant post by a South Dakotan with one foot on the platform and the other on the train.

    Flee now, Cory and Erin, while you can still get out! Let it burn to the ground...

  2. Outstanding. That's not just an article, it's a manifesto. (Oh boy, will Ellis have fun with that, or what?)


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