Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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The playground bullies I recall were also possessed of the dimmest wits in school. But they had an instinctive understanding of how dog packs and chicken flocks work. They knew that they could always count on a sufficient number of fellow dimwits to cower behind them as they carried out their assaults on those they targeted for their predations . Their targets were usually the kids with gifted brains who were more interested in the higher laws of humankind than in exercises of brute strength and domination.
The bullies and their dimwit coalition had a favorite tactic. They ridiculed, belittled, taunted, called names, and put on great displays of peevishness, resentment, and disrespect for the kids with greater endowments of mind, good will, and grace than they had.
This technique has become the official doctrine of the Republican Party. The motto seems to be: Deception, meanness, and personal belittlement can always triumph over issues and character. And among the bully-backers, it works.
When Eric Abrahamson was announced as Jack Billion's choice as a candidate for S.D. lieutenant governor, the sullen and spiteful bully-backers spewed forth their usual repertoire of personal belittlement.
Immediately, they focused on Eric Abrahamson's office as chair of the state library board and tried to belittle his stand on an incident involving the board's web site.
The incident involved the Governor removing a link to the Planned Parenthood web page ostensibly because it contained information "inappropriate" for children of a certain age. This, of course, comes from a leader of the political party so hellbent on making Newspeak the official language of the country. With the announcement of Eric Abrahamson's candidacy, the bully-backers misrepresented the issue and tried to paint it as a matter of seamy fatuity when, in fact, it was a matter of democratic principle.
Here is the story as told at the SDDP conventioin.
When a parent viewed the State Library Website, the person made an objection to the inclusion of the Planned Parenthood link. The person received a hearing from the board, and it voted unanimously to keep the link along with the others that it provided.
A protest was sent to the Governor about the link, who referred the matter to the State Library Board. Again, the Board voted unanimously to retain all the links provided.
Then the Catholic Bishop from the Sioux Falls diocese wrote the governor a letter criticizing the inclusion of the Planned Parenthood link on the state website. The Governor ordered it removed. This time the State Library Board, except for Eric Abrahamson, voted to remove it.
The term "bully pulpit" has taken on a new meaning. State government has a direct line to the Vatican through the Sioux Falls Bishopric. And in this case that is where the governing gets done. And, by golly, the folks in those offices know how to manipulate the dog pack.