Today's case in point is a campaign letter from District 13 candidate for State House Brian C. Liss. Challenging incumbent Representative Susy Blake, Liss apparently sends out a letter crying about "Socialism!" He apparently tries to make hay out of the fact that Blake voted this year for HCR 1015, which would have declared that the federal stimulus money that saved South Dakota's budget constituted "important, useful, and beneficial investments for our people, economy, and infrastructure." HCR—that stands for House Concurrent Resolution. Resolution—i.e., even had it passed, it would have done nothing.
Liss's real beef should be with SB 196, the FY2011 state budget that actually spends those nasty stimulus dollars. Rep. Blake voted against that spending. GOP nominee for Congress Kristi Noem voted for spending that stimulus money. So who's the socialist now, Mr. Liss?
Liss himself appears to like government spending. On his Issues page, he advocates bringing home all the federal handouts we can for "benefits and services." He also promises to go to Pierre and spend more tax dollars on education. Isn't that socialism, too?
But the blogger who gets first dibs on setting Mr. Liss straight is Corey Vilhauer of Black Marks on Wood Pulp. He makes a rare excursion into politics to chastise "Freedom Fighter" Liss for his blowhardery:
...Despite your letter’s insistence, governmental support for public services is not “socialism.” And the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn’t “unprecedented intergenerational theft”....
Those things don’t mean the same thing. They never have. Buy a dictionary. I’m struggling to determine which freedoms you’re fighting for, and why I’m in need of a freedom fighter in the first place. I get it, though. You’re using baited buzz words in order to scare those who aren’t paying attention into backing the standard Conservative Agenda [emphasis mine; insightful observation by Corey Vilhauer, "Dear Brian Liss, Republican," Black Marks on Wood Pulp, 2010.06.21].
Right on the money, C.V. Shouters like Liss turn some cute phrases, but they always fail on the details. Their only hope is that enough busy voters won't have time to pay close attention to what politicians are really saying and will fall for the surface-level rhetoric.
Voters of District 13 (and elsewhere!), pay attention. The only thing you need to "liberate" District 13 from is the sloppy and contradictory rhetoric of Brian C. Liss and similar conservative fakers.