Hurst concludes we Democrats should vote for her.
Why? Because in the binary world of red-light/green-light, she does not need to be a good congresswoman...just a better one than Kristi Noem. That is an easy case for Herseth-Sandlin to make. And in a season where the balance of power in the House is at stake, that is enough. This is a frail reason to vote. It is utterly without imagination or enthusiasm. It is a strategy built on the most crass understanding of practical binary politics. But this November, that is reason enough [Sam Hurst, "The Logic of Binary Politics Compels Democrats to Vote for Herseth Sandlin," The Dakota Day, 2010.09].
Hurst wants the 3834 Weiland Wildcats and other crotchety Dems to hold their noses through November... and not one day longer. Come Wednesday November 3, Hurst says it's primary time!
His thinking here matches a thought I've been toying with even as I've watched Stephanie Herseth Sandlin surge and Kristi Noem repeatedly shoot herself in the lead foot. Perhaps the message from Dems to our incumbent in this race needs to be something like a warning ticket. We're giving Herseth Sandlin a pass this one time because Noem is a bad candidate. She is ill-suited to represent South Dakota effectively. Allowing her to take the House seat by our inaction is unconscionable.
Besides, unseating an incumbent Noem with a Hurstian McGovernite in 2012 would be significantly harder than launching a successful lefty Dem to Washington against a Republican non-incumbent following a spectacular primary victory over a four-term Democratic incumbent.
Let's take Hurst's advice and put Herseth Sandlin on probation. We keep her in office so we can keep up the pressure and demand that she return to Demoratic principles. We tell her she has a year and a half to turn things around, and we vow to test her in spring 2012 with a serious primary challenge.
But a challenge by whom? There is the question with which at least 3834 Democrats will cudgel their brains in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!
Update 2010.09.23: Mr. Hurst's missive provoke more blog conversation at Mount Blogmore and the Decorum Forum.