Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Five Reasons This Election Cycle Looks Bleak For The Democrats

I hope I'm wrong because Democratic gubernatorial candidate Susan Wismer is correct: politics and government work better when true competition exists. At this moment, however, the elements necessary to provide that competition are woefully lacking.

First, abortion and sex education, arguably the nation's most divisive social issues, became the blogosphere's top talking points less than eight hours after Susan Wismer announced Susy Blake as her running mate for Lieutenant Governor. At Madville, Cory praised the Blake choice, in part, because "Blake pointedly fought South Dakota's offensive, misogynistic abortion restrictions. A short time later,  at DWC, Pat Powers produced a two-year old Aberdeen American News paraphrase that has Blake advocating sex education beginning in kindergarten. South Dakotans voted against an abortion law that was going to waste tax payers money for legal fees, but South Dakota's pro-lifers outnumber South Dakota's pro-choicers, and the former are more motivated on that single issue than the latter. If these issues dominate the debate, Daugaard's over/under approaches 70%.

Second, Democrats seem to have forgotten that everyone needs a foil on her side. This point should be obvious because the Democrats have a solid national example. In 2008, President Obama gave the impression of being young, eloquent, and cerebral. Joe Biden added the appearance of maturity and a bit of working class bluster to the ticket. Cory writes, "Blake looks and talks like the South Dakota mom next door. She's someone with whom any South Dakotan can envision chatting at the grocery store." I had to read that sentence twice to make sure he wasn't talking about Wismer.

On the Republican side Matt Michels produces a genuine smile whereas Governor Daugaard sneers and smirks. That distinction is clear and obvious. I really don't know what distinguishes Wismer from Blake. As a side note, it would not shock me if Daugaard doesn't have a couple of his lower level Mayberry Machiavellis in a basement creating a silly and cruel version of My Two Mommies to mock the Wismer/Blake ticket. It would, of course, be passed along only to the most judicious and discreet.

Third, the future isn't always now. Angelia Schultz may well be a rising star. Democrats believe she's embarking on a "political career that has a lot of potential." She also impressed Libertarian blogger Ken Santema who opines Schultz "may be one to watch out for in SD politics for years to come." Garnering positive reviews from both Democratic insiders and Libertarians is no mean feat. That said, one wonders about the wisdom of putting a political novice, no matter her potential, in the Secretary of State race that, thanks to Jason Gant's frequent missteps, will receive more attention than usual. If Schultz wins that tough race, her political future is secure. On the other hand, nothing crushes potential faster than losing two political contests in less than six months.

Fourth, Democrats seem to have a problem communicating. Schultz may be "logical" and possess "energy," but she apparently doesn't return phone calls. On another side note, Democrats haven't  sent me a return email about my requests to blog the Democrats' convention in Yankton this weekend. Ignoring the writer of a small blog is understandable; failing to return reporters' phone calls is not.

Fifth, Democrats, with the exception of Rick Weiland, apparently haven't read Sun Tzu.
Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.
Weiland has a recognizable strategy: be the everyman who's gone everywhere in South Dakota. I eagerly await someone explaining to me what the rest of the party is doing.

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