Rocket Man, excellent blog about South Dakota politics and the Daschle meltdown. I’d been meaning to ask you what’s going on in your old state, and why it keeps sending people like McGovern, Daschle, and Senator “Arab-League” (or whatever his name was) to Washington. The question is important because it is the upper Midwest that keeps the Republicans from a commanding position in the Senate. When the parties are equal in popularity, as they were in 2000, the Senate should be Republican, as demonstrated by the fact that Bush carried more states than Gore. To my knowledge, the states that Bush carried comfortably but that send Democrats to the Senate (and often liberal Democrats at that) are basically the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Montana.
I had suspected that there was a strain of isolationism and/or anti-militarism in the upper Midwest. After all, Kentucky and Arizona don’t send McGoverns, Gene McCarthys, or Tom Harkins to Washington no matter how good they are on tobacco or water issues. And I’ve read some scholarly writings that purport to trace alleged anti-interventionism in the upper Midwest back to New England and forward to the upper Northwest (which gave us Wayne Morse and Mark Hatfield but, in fairness, also Scoop Jackson). That’s why I was happy to read your blog and especially happy about the poll you cited from the Sioux Falls paper. The good people of South Dakota seem to be fully in accord with the national sentiment when it comes to self-preservation.
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