The Sioux City Journal has endorsed Rep. Kristi Noem for a second term. That's easy for the Sioux City Journal to say; they don't have to live with Noem as their Congresswoman!
What's the best the SCJ can say about Rep. Noem? She's got potential:
In the end, Varilek hasn't made the case for why he's a better choice for South Dakota than Noem. He's thrown a lot of accusations Noem's way, but offers few specific plans.
Noem, a former state lawmaker, is fond of discussing her background as a farmer and small-business owner. She believes that experience gives her unique insight into how the federal government's actions and regulations impact regular South Dakotans. There's something to that argument.
Simply put, Noem has taken her surprising 2010 win and made the most of it. She has shown considerable potential in her first two years in the House [editorial, "Noem Earns Re-Election to U.S. House in South Dakota," Sioux City Journal, October 25, 2012].
Let me get this straight: I can earn a second contract just by showing "potential"? Holy cow: I thought my school board only used "potential" as a justification for hiring me to teach French here in Spearfish the first time. I thought that to get a second contract, I had to demonstrate some results and actually teach some kids some French last year. Heck, if I had known that "potential" was all I needed to get rehired, I'd have just played movies for the kids last year and done a lot more blogging!
Let's get clear: Noem was hired to do a job. She has regularly skipped that job or phoned it in. Her impotence hurts South Dakota. When she does show up, she does more damage by voting for bad policies. (Note: that's more concrete reasons to vote Noem out in two lines of hyperlinks than the concrete reasons SCJ can give to vote for her in an entire op-ed.)
The Sioux City Journal resorts to willful blindness to endorse Noem over Varilek. One click shows that Varilek has made clear his policy positions on a number of issues. Varilek published a position paper on agriculture this summer before Noem did, even though Noem had been a sitting (and not much else) Congresswoman for a year and a half. To suggest that Noem has more specific plans than Varilek is obvious horsehockey.
Maybe in endorsing Kristi Noem, the Sioux City Journal is looking at its web referral records from Google Images. They certainly aren't looking at Congresswoman Noem's record or Matt Varilek's ability to improve upon it for South Dakota.
Update 10:16 MDT: Tim Giago still can't come up with any solid policy achievements to justify rehiring Noem, either.