South Dakota Politics
A University of South Dakota law student's blog dedicated primarily to shining light (either a harsh, unyielding spotlight or a soft, warm glow) on figures and institutions in South Dakota.

Saturday, March 15, 2003  

Clint Black has a new song out called "Iraq and I Roll."

posted by Jason | 1:23 PM

Friday, March 14, 2003  

It's too beautiful of a day to be nerding out in front of this computer. Your humble correspondent will be back to blogging tomorrow.

posted by Jason | 3:17 PM

This letter to the editor is a very simplistic and very poor analysis of history:

The "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive strike - which says that a nation may start a war not only when it has been attacked or threatened with attack, but also when its government feels it may be threatened with attack at some point in the future - is not a new idea. It was the idea behind the Roman sack of Carthage in 146 BC. It was the idea behind the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor later that year, and the Soviet occupation of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Where did I get the idea that my country stood against this kind of thinking, this kind of aggression dressed up as defense? Maybe it was from my father, who helped liberate the preemptively struck France in 1944. Maybe it was from his commander, Dwight Eisenhower, who said in 1953: "All of us have heard this term preventive war ... I don't believe there is such a thing."

Today we are plagued by certain men who think they know better, who despise law and trust violence. Their power greatly exceeds their memory and their understanding. It will require patriots to resist them.

The wars the writer lists were all wars of conquest and oppression, not wars of preemption. The writer twists the meaning of the word "preemption" into something unrecognizable, and subtly equates President Bush with Hitler, which instantly ruins the writer's credibility. The US has no desire to conquer Iraq and make it the 51st state. Once again, the sincerity of those who believe Iraq is a threat to this country is called into question. People like the writer of this letter never take on the argument that Saddam is a threat. They immediately attack the motives of those who believe Saddam is a threat rather than addressing the argument. And it's always amusing to watch how people like this writer scurry to don the mantle of the "true" patriots. But somehow they always seem to walk around with the American flag upside-down at the rallies.

posted by Jason | 3:12 PM

Thursday, March 13, 2003  

Make plans to attend a Rally for America in Sioux Falls on March 22 at noon.

posted by Jason | 9:52 PM

After some further research, it's been discovered that the poll numbers for a potential race between Thune and Daschle in the post below are not accurate. Roll Call published a story in January reporting the margin to be much more narrow. Excerpt:

In the November survey, Daschle led Thune 46 percent to 45 percent, well within the poll’s 4.3 percent margin of error. Conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the RNC from Nov. 20-21, Thune carried slightly stronger favorable ratings than Daschle, among the 500 likely voters tested. Sixty-five percent of those polled were favorably inclined to Thune, while 28 percent had an unfavorable impression. Daschle’s marks were also high, with a 62 percent favorable and a 35 percent unfavorable score.

Wouldn't that be something if Thune were to knock off Daschle in 2004? If the war goes well and the economy picks up in its aftermath, with Daschle obstructing the Bush administration every step of the way, the likelihood of Thune winning is high. There are a lot of "ifs" but it's not beyond the pale. These days, I'll bet Daschle is wishing he hadn't worked so hard to help Tim Johnson defeat John Thune.

posted by Jason | 4:49 PM

Stuart Rothenberg at Roll Call writes that "[f]ormer Congressman John Thune (R) is keeping his options open, increasing talk that he'll challenge Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D) next year. If Thune runs, the race is a tossup." I wonder what poll numbers Rothenberg has seen?
UPDATE: I did some research and found this in Roll Call from March 4, 2003:

Just two weeks after Thune's defeat, the Republican National Committee sponsored a poll that showed Daschle with a narrow 48 percent to 43 percent edge, a lead within the survey's 4.3 percent margin of error.

posted by Jason | 11:38 AM

Congratulations to Greg Belfrage for his guest appearance on the Mike Gallagher Show! I caught the tail end of the segment, but plan to listen to the promised rebroadcast on Sunday.

posted by Jason | 12:20 AM

Tom Daschle gets his ducks in a row when it comes to meaningless votes on abortion. But when it comes to a bill banning partial birth abortion, you can see he's worried about his re-election chances in 2004.

Washington - The Senate yesterday opened debate on a high-stakes bill to ban a so-called late-term abortion procedure amid signs that it now has its best chance of approval in its eight-year journey through Congress.

With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, both opponents and proponents said the bill sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is likely to pass. A final vote is expected Thursday.

"I think the odds are very good," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a physician who has called the procedure brutal and unnecessary. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) plans to vote for the ban.

I think this is a clear sign Daschle has every intention of running again, contrary to some of the the buzz I've been hearing.

posted by Jason | 12:11 AM

Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

The tyranny of the minority?

posted by Jason | 3:13 PM

The congressional newspaper The Hill has a story indicating that, due to the new campaign finance law, Tom Daschle may have a rough re-election campaign in 2004. Excerpt:

Because the financial resources of national committees such as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will be severely curtailed state party spending could have a much bigger impact on races in battleground states such as South Dakota.
In South Dakota, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D) is facing re-election in a state that President Bush carried by more than 20 points in 2000.

posted by Jason | 3:10 PM

Here are some interesting factoids on the Democratic version of Trent Lott, namely Rep. Jim Moran. I have to say that I'm pleased by Tom Daschle's comments on Moran's obvious anti-semitism. Perhaps Tom isn't the disciple of Jim Abourezk I feared he might be, at least in terms of anti-semitism.

posted by Jason | 11:25 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

Is the Israeli Defense Force coming to South Dakota? I think Sen. Abourezk would be opposed to this.

posted by Jason | 3:20 PM

There's not much going on in South Dakota today so here's a link to the Argus Leader editorial page, which is always good for some laughs.

posted by Jason | 2:00 PM

Monday, March 10, 2003  

In Spearfish today, Tom Daschle had to face a protest urging him to allow Miguel Estrada's nomination to come to a vote. Ten people gathered in one place to protest is a lot for western South Dakota! The sixty people Tom spoke to are the only votes he gets west of the river.

posted by Jason | 10:26 PM

The reporter from the New York Times who was in Mitchell last week has filed her story. Excerpt:

The men who gather at the Country Kitchen's round table every day at 3 p.m. for coffee (more regular than decaf) and conversation are Bush-loyalists, Daschle-denouncers, McGovern-haters. They disagree far more fervently over ice-fishing spots than over foreign policy.

posted by Jason | 10:05 AM

Sunday, March 09, 2003  

A warm thank you to Howard Bashman for citing SDP regarding the South Dakota legislature's resolution urging Tom Daschle to let the Estrada nomination come to a vote.

posted by Jason | 8:32 PM

The legislature has passed a resolution urging Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle to allow Miguel Estrada's nomination to come to a vote. Clearly, if Tom Daschle allows the filibuster of the Estrada nomination to continue, he will be flouting the will of the vast majority of his constituents. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform weighs in on the bold actions of the South Dakota legislature:

"Senate Democrats have undertaken a style of raw, vile, snakepit politics at its worst," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, "and all at a time when the United States is on the verge of a two-front war against terrorism and Saddam Hussein - not to mention that the economy is in the doldrums." Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation's leading taxpayer advocacy organization, and a critic of the politicization of the judicial nomination process.

On February 18th, The Washington Post called on Senate Democrats to "Stop These Games and Vote," and even Mr. Daschle himself is on record supporting up-or-down votes on judicial nominees during the Clinton Administration. (Congressional Record, 10/5/99)

"The South Dakota Senate has it right," continued Norquist, "but South Dakota's elected U.S. Senators are between a rock and hard place: do they listen to their voters or to the special interests who don't want to see a Republican President nominate a qualified Latino to a high bench?"

posted by Jason | 5:34 PM

Here's a remarkable letter to the editor on the Estrada nomination in today's Argus Leader. I'm going to respond to a few points brought up in the letter. First of all, Estrada has answered 125 questions, and has offered to answer further written questions from those senators who still have them. Second, if the writer of this letter is familiar with the Solicitor General's Office, then he knows that all seven living Solicitors General have sided with the White House on the issue of divulging internal memos, memos Daschle says he must see before he lifts the filibuster. Finally, Tom Daschle is NOT doing what the founding fathers expected in the nomination process for a federal judge. Tom Daschle is working against the will of the majority of senators who wish to have Estrada confirmed. The Constitution is a majoritarian document, and a majority of senators have declared their desire to consent to President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada. If the writer of this letter "knows" Miguel Estrada, how can he not know the character of Miguel Estrada, and the kind of temperament he will have as a judge?

UPDATE: I have to laugh at what a babe in the woods I can be sometimes. The author of this letter is none other than a former US Attorney for South Dakota under the Clinton administration. Hmmm. Do you think Mr. McBride might be big buddies with Tom Daschle? Note: that was a rhetorical question.

posted by Jason | 12:35 AM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias