Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jerry Steinley is a Democrat?

Rapid City Journal Editorial Page editor Jerry Steinley wrote a piece in the Nov 8 Journal that I hadn't had time to respond to until now. He was reacting to the anti-choice poster wavers in the Gap on Election Day.

Here are some of his thoughts and my responses.

(Sorry, the Journal doesn't post opinion page content online, or I'd link the entire piece.)
What I saw in the gap was this: “McCain not Hussein,” “Will your vote cause this?” (Followed by three postersized photos of an aborted baby) and, “No vote = No opinion.” I’m sure there was more tasteless fare but I was driving, [I doubt seriously doubt that!] and had to pay some attention to the road.


But he then dived into the BS of equivalence between left and right we've heard WAY too much of:
The line is so clear for so many people it’s simply a case of right and wrong. There’s no middle ground, no room for discussion or reason.

Well, yeah, if you are a Republican or anti-choice, that's true. Democrats are always willing to listen, and find the middle ground... and around here, we have no choice! On the other side, well, if you disagree on a hot platform topic, there is no room for talk. Ask Stan Adelstein or Sam Kephardt, or other pariahs in the South Dakota GOP.

The other day, I had to explain to my son why McCain shouldn’t be attacked for voting along party lines; why he isn’t too old to serve in office; and, that he actually does have good
qualities and is a valuable member of Congress.

Why is this not fair game? The Republicans have led us to the financial brink -- they are bad votes to be going along with. His age and health are obvious issues, especially given his inexperienced VP pick who has been in politics for only a few years.

And as bad, [Uh, NOT. FAR MUCH WORSE!] I had to explain to my son why an anti-Obama slogan he saw — "Obama bin Laden" — was racist, destructive and had no place in American politics.

Just how can you make that that equivalent to questioning party-line votes when those votes have led the country in the wrong direction, especially when the candidate claims (over and over, in defiance of his party-line votes) that he is a "maverick"?

Here's more from Steinley:
Unfortunately for me, I’m an idealist. I’d like to believe an election would bring out the best in us, the most caring, the most willing to come together and work for a common cause — not the most desperate, angry and divisive.

In West River in 2008 Democrats offered qualified candidates that offered willingness to work together for common cause. We worked hard to get our message to the voters that we care enough to listen to everyone. Great candidates like Dennis Finch, Eric Abrahamson, David Melmer, and Theresa Spry (rightly) criticized the performance of the State Legislature and offered to better represent us than the current class of reps in Pierre. The Democrats worked hard, going door to door (most of our candidates visited thousands of homes), attending events, and speaking out when we could.

The Republicans responded with the usual "guns and taxes" fear tactics, anti-gay smear postcards, and.... in many cases, simply not showing up. Oh, an Gordon Howie promised to push a two percent sales tax. (!) Some conservative!

The result: We got creamed.

Voters in West River voted for the same "my way of the highway" politicians that have been running Pierre for more than 25 years. They voted R, clearly without evaluating the candidates beyond the letter by their name, judging by the point spreads.

Kevin Killer of Pine Ridge was elected, but no one west of him. It was even worse than 2006, so bad the RCJ hasn't really even commented on it yet.

But, know that we're not quitting.

You can be sure that the local Democrats are not leaving town, and will be here, listening, refusing to leave anyone behind, and and working to bring everyone to the table, including those that do not agree with us.

Again Steinley said:
I’d like to believe an election would bring out the best in us, the most caring, the most willing to come together and work for a common cause — not the most desperate, angry and divisive.

By this measure, "the best in us" would be the values near and dear to... Democrats.

That's why we are not going anywhere.

Even if we did get creamed this year.

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