And now in the local Tea Party irrelevance department, the Minnehaha County Republican Party shows its need for a coup by declaring the Chamber of Commerce a den of liberal iniquity. Rep. Manny Steele (R-12/Sioux Falls) and Minnehaha County GOP chair Lora Hubbel dismissed both the Chamber and the League of Women Voters as partisan, liberal organizations who favor liberal questioners and exclude conservative questioners at their legislative crackerbarrels. Steele vowed to host his own crackerbarrels where conservatives would be able to get a word in edgewise.
Steele and Hubbel have met with near universal ridicule. The state GOP has signaled its displeasure with Steele and Hubbel. Issued these speaking orders, the GOP blogissariat piles on. Meanwhile, the saner heads among local legislators all signal they'll be attending the traditional Chamber/LWV crackerbarrels, as they ought.
The Steele/Hubbel brand of conservatism leads to declaring everyone who allows disagreement with orthodoxy a traitor. By decrying forums where they face hard policy questions instead of the lollapalooza of John Birch chanting, Steele and Hubbel exhibit the craving for epistemic closure with which they will consign themselves and their party to irrelevance. Minnehaha GOP, for your own sake, check your by-laws, look into impeaching your chair... and in 2014, find some practical policy-makers to primary Manny Steele.