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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Herseth Sandlin Never Signed Hyde Park Declaration, Never Pushed Social Security Privatization

Talk about a fake issue: On Sunday, Dakota War College tried to distract from Kristi Noem's flip-flops by floating the meme that incumbent Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin once supported privatization of Social Security. DWC author Pat Powers couched this fabrication in all sorts of may have and sounds like language, but his purpose was clear: settle the Noem rah-rah club's nerves after a really bad week, change the subject from Noem's support for Paul Ryan's radical budget, and tie SHS to past efforts to privatize Social Security.

This Republican spin is built entirely on a note on OnTheIssues.org that claims SHS signed onto the Democratic Leadership Council's Hyde Park Declaration of 2000.

In a departure from my usual lazy Googling, I thought I'd go right to the source to find out what gives. I spoke on the phone this morning with Edward Gresser, president of the Democratic Leadership Council. He explained that the DWC rumor is wrong on all counts.
  1. The only signatories of the Hyde Park Declaration were Democratic officeholders in 2000. Stephanie Herseth did not become a Democratic officeholder until 2004.
  2. The Hyde Park Declaration did not become a national party platform or uniting manifesto that Democratic candidates or elected officials were expected to sign.
  3. Stephanie Herseth has thus never signed the Hyde Park Declaration.
  4. Even if she had signed it, nowhere does the Hyde Park Declaration call for privatizing Social Security. The document acknowledges that Social Security is expensive, but makes a commitment to protecting the program. The document proposes Retirement Savings Accounts for low-income folks as a supplement to, not a replacement for, Social Security.
When OnTheIssues.org says "Herseth adopted the manifesto, 'A New Agenda for the New Decade'" and links to the Hyde Park Declaration as its source, the website makes a mistake. When DWC uses this erroneous report to drive the meme that SHS flip-flopped on Social Security privatization, DWC makes a mistake.

The candidates' positions on Social Security are thus as follows:
  1. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: I'll protect Social Security. I've never supported privatization, never have, never will.
  2. Kristi Noem: I supported a budget that would privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Wait, really? Oh, I didn't know that was in there! All my Tea Party friends said Paul Ryan was really cool. Um, o.k., I guess I don't want to privatize Social Security. As for Medicare and Medicaid... oh, stop asking me hard questions!
  3. B. Thomas Marking: Hang on while I take a web poll....
Is that clear enough for you?


  1. It was never clear what PP's argument was in the first place. He's starting so sound like Sibby over there. Someone must have slipped him some "kool-aid."

    I notice he hasn't linked to the current House debate. Probably doesn't want his fans to have to watch Steph and BT eat Kristi's lunch.

  2. When I try to view PPs War College, it states Account Suspended. Wouldn't it be nice if it were permanently suspended. :)

  3. I'm pretty sure Pat uses Wordpress, which is great software, but sometimes the mySQL data-driven end of things can be finicky. I've had my problems with it, too. I'm sure he'll be back in the saddle--and once again revealing what a Leftist Herseth Sandlin really is--before you know it.

  4. "Wouldn't it be nice if it were permanently suspended. :)"

    I'm sure you dems would love that.

    Actually, my server was getting pounded with so much traffic, that they said I needed to upgrade my hosting account (whether I want to or not).

    Tonight I'm in the middle of growing pains, working to get back on-line.

    And Bill - I hadn't linked to it because today was pretty darned busy for work. (I do that from time to time)

  5. Let me be clear: I would not love a permanent suspension of DWC. A permanent suspension of the B.S. would be nice... but I guess I can keep acting as your fact-checker.

    I'm glad you're on top of the problem, Pat. The blogosphere only works if it is multivocal.

  6. Cory,

    I usally learn more from those who think differently than me rather than those who think like me. Personally, I think liberals watching more Hanity and conservatives watching more Maddow whould make both sides more rounded and intelligent on the issues. Way too much group think going on in politics today.

  7. Understood, Pat. Assuming you'll link to it when you've had time to catch up then, yes?

    Troy, I agree. There is much to learn from those who think differently than I do... for better or worse sometimes, but much nonetheless.

  8. Maddow and Hannity? Heck, I'd be moving up in the world just if my antenna could pick up more than SDPB. But Jim Lehrer isn't so bad...

  9. Cory,

    Well that explains your ignorance. ;) Actually, Lehrer is the second best source of hard news without a slant after Shep on Fox News (I'm not talking about the commentary shows on Fox). If I want a rundown of the news of the day, these two blow away the "Entertainment Tonight" of the three broadcast news shows.

    But to the point, when it comes to being informed, to be truly well-rounded, liberals should regularly read G. Will, C. Krauthammer, and the WSJ editorial page. Conservatives should read M Dowd, NYT editorial page, & R. Cohen.


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