For good political news, you can’t do better than South Dakota, my home state. The Democrats haven’t yet ceased to exist, but they are on a death watch. The events of this week are classic.
The Democrats are holding their big annual event, the McGovern Day dinner, next weekend at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. They invited Minnesota’s Keith Ellison to be their featured speaker. But then they got cold feet, and closed the event — their big public dinner of the year — to the press. Dakota War College explains:
I’m not sure if they want to hide the fact that their keynote speaker Keith Ellison has said that a 63 Percent Tax Rate is “Fair,” and they’re afraid that it could see print in the Argus Leader or Rapid City Journal.
Or that a KELOland reporter might note to the audience that Ellison gave a speech defending Sara Jane Olson, a Domestic Terrorist and attempted Cop Murderer.
Or it could be that Ellison stated that he believes the Democrat Party should come out against the Second Amendment, and Democrats are afraid how that’s going to look for their party in South Dakota when it appears in every weekly newspaper in the state?
Yes, a party that opposes the Second Amendment can’t expect to fare well in the Dakotas. But something else is going on, too. A movement is afoot to expel the Democrats’ current party chairman, Ann Tornburg, when the party’s central committee meets on the day of the McGovern dinner.
Why? Well, no one can say Tornburg’s tenure has been successful. A very knowledgeable reader writes:
[S]ince 2008, SD Democrats have lost EVERY statewide race in South Dakota. There are 13 statewide offices. And the Dems have lost every one in the past 8 years. That’s incredible. It could be a historic record. I should ask Barone.
Democratic central committee members who are trying to oust Tornburg sent out a letter criticizing her “severe lack of management ability that has led to low fundraising, dropping voter registration numbers, a nearly invisible message, and at the center, zero of anything resembling a strategic action plan for the State Party.”
But commenters at the linked site suggest the real problem is that Tornburg is pro-life, and therefore the long knives are out. The “pure” Democrats want to shrink their party still further.
These factors–fear of what Keith Ellison might say, or could be asked about by a reporter, along with the anticipated coup against the state party’s chairman, combined to cause Democrats to close their signature event to the press.
South Dakota Republicans lost no time counter-programming. They lined up ageless warrior David Horowitz for an event on the same night as the Democrats’ closed-door fiasco, and at the same venue–the Ramkota in Sioux Falls.
The Republican event is billed as a Freedom Rally, and it is wide open–the press is invited.
If you ever feel depressed about how things are going in your state, tune in to South Dakota. Events there are guaranteed to cheer you up. Why this is true is a subject for another post.