“Go West, Young Woman, Go West.”
You might add “with a teacup, or maybe a teapot, in hand” to that bit of 19th century advice from New York newspaperman Horace Greeley.
It’s getting to be a regular event in South Dakota elections: lose it in the east, win it in the west. The latest example of this century old political divide is the dethroning of Princess Stephanie of Herseth. We haven’t made much of a trade, but the Princess rode the fence so long she must have saddle sores and had it coming.
I was home with a couple of friends election night watching KELO’s election coverage when upstart rabble rouser, speeder, stop sign violator, flaunter of court orders Kristi Noem edged ahead of our Princess and headed for the River of No Return, South Dakota’s Rubicon where, it turns out, there are plenty of returns. I told my friends, “This one is over. It’ll be all Noem from here on out.”
Just a few years before, Senator Tim Johnson salvaged what looked like a lost cause across the river. A couple of years later, Tom Daschle…one of the most powerful men in the country…lost it in the extreme east while John Thune was winning in the extreme west.
I used to joke that, “When you cross the river, you set your watch back 100 years.” That may be so, but in the current era in South Dakota politics, that’s where you find that last handful of votes. After that, you seem to achieve God-like status; Thune with no opposition, Johnson with a landslide one campaign and one brain bleed later.
As for this election, we witnessed a revolution founded in revulsion for what’s going on in Washington. I hope the Tea Party bunch…whom I thought were a bit nuts…now do what they say they will do; hold the firebrands…and flakes… they got into office accountable. I am fearful.
Watching Tuesday night unfold, I kept thinking, “I think we just decided that everything G. W. Bush did was absolutely right even though his goofy economic policies and wars are what launched the world into the mess it is now in.”
Well, it’ll be interesting to see how Herbert Hoover economics play out a century after their first disaster, the Great Depression. I’m not the fan of Obama-rama that I was going in, but I keep wondering where we would be without all that spending which everybody conveniently forgets started under the resurrected GW. No, the stimulus and bailouts didn’t create the jobs we hoped for. Hard to do in a country that no longer makes anything. We just sell Chinese crap to each other. But all that fake money floating around just may have been the brake on the elevator. You don’t know it’s there on the way up, but you sure as hell hope it works when you’re free-falling 100 stories, which this country has been for about a decade.
Hmmm. Maybe Minnesota needs a West River. Here they go again.