For all the intra-party intrigue, though, to me the race is still about who can best protect this seat from being influenced by the Republican Party's death-wishers, aka the Tea Party. Former Governor Mike Rounds' comments (albeit after the fact) about the futility of the Tea Party-orchestrated U.S. Government shutdown and near default on the federal debt give him the inside track as far as I'm concerned, so for now--I like Mike. This doesn't mean I can't go into "I used to like Mike" mode. I intend to stick with the candidate who will be utterly committed to South Dakota's, not the Tea Party's, best interests. That mantle is still up for grabs.Over at Madville, Cory has reached a similar conclusion:
I've complimented Rounds's pragmatism before. That pragmatism keeps him from signing silly pledges like Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge. (And, again as Toby noted, even Norquist prefers Rounds's pragmatism to Cruz's/Noem's/Rhoden's/Nelson's/Bosworth's suicidal ACA obsession.) That pragmatism would have kept Rounds from casting what could have been the most destructive vote of the 113th Congress... a vote every Republican challenging him would have cast.
There are many reasons I could encourage my Republican friends to nominate someone other than Marion Michael Rounds. The uninspiring Larry Rhoden would be easier for Rick Weiland to beat. Stace Nelson would provide much more exciting debates with Weiland. Annette Bosworth's spontaneous combustion would make for much easier blogging.
But if Rick Weiland gets a record deal and moves to Nashville, Marion Michael Rounds is the safest, sanest choice for Senate.I think I agree with both assessments. Watching and listening to Ted Cruz orchestrate the shutdown and show no concern for the harm caused must give one pause. Cruz having another syncofant in the United States Senate is a worrisome possibility. The United States will not well served by another elected official who cares only about repealing Obamacare.
And yet there exists a lingering doubt. Rounds is nothing if not a consummate insider, the epitome of an establishment politician. It was members of the establishment who created the system of trading derivatives and mortgage tranches that caused America to experience an economic downturn that the country had not experienced since 1929. The idea that Rounds would support efforts to keep his fellow elites from repeating that destruction is ludicrous.
I wish I could be sanguine about voting for rational destruction over irrational annihilation. I may have to do it, but the vote will make me queasy.