Repeat after me: The National Rifle Association wants you to vote for Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.
Conservative friends, if that really bothers you, feel free to declare the NRA an irrelevant bunch of Beltway elitists. Repeat that as often as you like. I know I will.
But Kristi isn't saying the NRA is irrelevant. She's stamping the NRA logo on her mailings like two big seals approval. Team Kristi is a whisper shy of a lie and they know it.
So does the NRA. From Roll Call:
“The one thing that is clear to our members in South Dakota is that we did endorse Stephanie Herseth Sandlin,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said. “It’s unfortunate that there are efforts to try to insinuate otherwise” [Anna Palmer, "Herseth Sandlin Takes Issue with Noem's NRA Mailing," Roll Call, 2010.10.14].
The NRA spokesman could have stopped with that first sentence. That second sentence suggests that the NRA's endorsement of Herseth Sandlin is more than mere pro forma adherence to its "incumbent-friendly" endorsement policy. If the NRA really had its fingers crossed behind its back for Noem, it could have withheld any endorsement. And it could have withheld that second sentence, a pretty clear slap at Team Kristi's marketing trickery.
The NRA is a single-issue organization that distracts us all with John Wayne fantasies (and Constitutional misreadings, and outright lies) from discussing real solutions to real problems. Their endorsement of Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin doesn't make me like her any more.
But Kristi Noem's counterfactual insinuation that the NRA actually prefers her makes me like Noem even less. Watch out, Kristi: the NRA may feel the same way.