Friday, November 22, 2013

Too Many Windmills, Not Enough Tilt

     I spent a couple of hours last night at the "debate" between GOP U.S. Senate candidates Stace Nelson and Annette Bosworth.  The South Dakota Tech-hosted event could attract just those two out of a field of 4 candidates running for the GOP nod in the coming primary (Larry Rhoden and Mike Rounds were absent, both pleading "prior commitments").  That Nelson and Bosworth showed up just the same said much about their commitments to their unrealistic shots at the nomination.  That they couldn't break out of their standard Tea Party/right wing fringe rhetorical parameters said even more about the near-impossibility of their respective crusades.  Don Quixote himself would shake his head at the futility of their prospects. 
     They lashed out at the national debt (though neither had much of an answer to my question about how they would stimulate the economy to generate tax revenues as a way of reducing the debt, Bosworth saying she would get rid of regulations that stifle free enterprise, Nelson resoundingly announcing that he'd repeal Obamacare--two answers that are pablum for the extreme right but don't resonate in real life), decried the bloated bureaucracy in D.C. (a rhetorical safe harbor for would-be federal officials who don't have much in the way of realistic plans to reduce the size of government), denounced the Affordable Care Act (Bosworth calling it "evil", Nelson comparing it to what he considers the overly-bureaucratized and poorly  delivered health care that he gets from the Veterans Administration.  Neither candidate gave up much in the way of how they would fix this country's healthcare status quo.  Bosworth said she would remove the layers of people who get between physicians and their patients and move toward a direct cash payment system at the points of contact--and she wasn't kidding. Nelson said he would let the free market work, whatever that means.) 
     The choir these two were preaching to was small (around 60) in numbers but sizable in enthusiasm, with repeated bursts of applause for answers that to me seemed generally incoherent and rambling.  Nelson was especially fond of interspersing his comments with irrelevant references to his service in the United States Marine Corps that apparently were intended to make some sort of a point but essentially carried him off into tangents that had little to do with the discussion at hand.  Bosworth explained that she decided to go into medicine because, having been raised on a farm, she "hated to do hog chores," which struck me as a rather flip, if not altogether disdainfully condescending, disregard for the huge bloc of voters that will come from the agricultural production communities in this ag-oriented state of South Dakota.
     Anyway, after two hours of this I got the idea and left during the break.  All I can say is that I appreciate the willingness of Bosworth and Nelson to get into the process of serving as elected officials and I wish them both well in their campaigns and coming endeavors. 



  1. Perhaps if you'd asked a more well thought out question v the mangled word salad that was offered in it's stead?

    I got what you were trying to say, and wanted the candidates to answer it fully as well, but I think that they like almost everyone else including you got lost in your mangled question.

    Shame really because they need to be hammered on the economy and the correlation between low taxes actually meaning higher revenue for gov as opposed to high taxes resulting in suppressing economic activity and growth.

    After all, Liberals like to use taxes to social engineer the public to not do some behavior that the Left does not like, like smoking or gas taxes to deter these activities, right?

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  3. Thanks for commenting. Actually my two questions were fairly direct and straightforward. The first came at the end of the two speeches on the deficit, during which they both stressed budget-cutting. I asked if they had any plans or thoughts on enhancing tax revenues by stimulating the economy as a way of closing the budget gap. The second came at the end of the two speeches regarding Obamacare. I asked if, considering they both found ACA to be abhorrent they were a) satisfied with the healthcare status quo in the country and b) if not, what broad, general changes they would make to repair it. The moderator seemed to understand the questions, the audience seemed to as well. I believe the candidates did as well. Was there an aspect to either question that you found difficult to understand?

  4. Nelson's answers have been proven to be solutions to the question you asked. To wit, cutting government, government spending, and taxes, have been a tried and proven (conservative Republican) answer for stimulating the economy, which increases revenue. His responses on the ACA and healthcare were also text book conservative Republican answers. Instead of projecting your opinions of what you claim what was said incorrectly with your biased opinions, why not report what they actually said? Novel idea I am sure.

    Your comments that they are both on near impossible crusades shows your denial or ignorance of the political landscape in South Dakota. Nelson has been polling in 2nd place since declaring with noticeable movement upward in recent polling. The desire for change and a candidate that is anything but a tired conventional career politician, is palpable throughout the state and nation.

    This is still America. A hard working conservative Republican clearly has a great shot at unseating an establishment moderate Republican embroiled in a scandal that reminds so many of the corruption and dysfunction of DC.

  5. I appreciate your input. I haven't followed any polls of late and would love to see your polling results. The last one I saw (Harper Polling) covering the SD GOP Senate field in September had Rounds quadrupling at 58% the combined 14% reported for Bosworth-Nelson. I may be in denial or ignorant, but those kinds of numbers look pretty daunting to me. It remains to be seen if Rounds can keep some distance between himself and the emerging EB-5/Aberdeen packing plant story, but if he does, his money and his polling lead speak for themselves.


    A bigger poll showed nelson at 40% to Rounds' 54%