Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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At 7 a.m Wednesday morning, the 2006 election campaign season got down to serious business. Gubernatorial candidate Jack Billion stopped by Aberdeen at the Ramada Inn on his tour of the state in promoting his candidacy in the Democratic Primary.
His primary opponent, Dennis Wiese, held his Aberdeen campaign stop on April 7. The men are entering a contest that has raised speculations about how the men can be reduced to "defining themselves" with the kind of snarling defamations that characterized the Republican primary campaign that sent the party's leading contenders down in flames and gave the nomination to Mike Rounds.
A Republican blog conjectured that the men cannot successfully identify their differences without getting into a pissing duel against each other. The Rapid City Journal political blog, Mt. Blogmore, asked what their campaign managers should tell them to attack about Gov. Rounds. The real problem with politics is expressed in those assumptions.
The popular mentality has been so conditioned by tabloids like the National Enquirer, cable television's obsession with personality traits as things to be condemned, and with the petty meanness of blogs that it can no longer understand the politics of issues.
Gov. Rounds can stand or fall on his record. While his use of a taxpayer-bought airplane is a blatant abuse of privilege, it is an expression of values and priorities. It fits with his legislative leadership in passing the infamous "gag law" which reduces South Dakota democracy to the status of a banana republic.
Let Dennis Wiese and Jack Billion examine the policies of the state and recommend their solutions to the problems they identify.
Let those who are obsessed with maligning and defaming people who think differently than they do have the blogosphere.
South Dakota has real problems to confront:
- Closed government
- Consolidation and control of agriculture
- Education funding and management
- Tribal relations
- A minimum wage economy
Let the real discussions begin. Let the blogs do the verbal lynchings among themselves.