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South Dakota Tea Party Bailing on Kristi Noem: Howie for House?

Kristi Noem's effort to repair her reputation among Black Hills Teabaggers is failing. After a year of signals from impatient right-wingnuts that Red Dog Kristi isn't measuring up to their most fervid fantasies, the gloves are coming off. Ed Randazzo, one of the Tea Party mouthpieces of Gordon Howie's fake media empire, declares the entire current freshman class of Congressional conservatives (that means Noem) "spineless enablers of the progressive liberal left" unworthy of a second try:

Even the 2010 elected "conservatives" offer excuses for their failure to vote by the principles they were elected to uphold. They say things like: "At the end of the day, we have to govern," as they are seduced by the clamor to "compromise." (pronounced surrender) and perpetuate the big government socialist agenda of a wonderfully effective president who plays them like a cheap guitar. All the while, they are outmaneuvered and outsmarted by a former community organizer with a wide anti-American stripe.

Every incumbent must go so that those not up for re-election will walk in abject fear of the people they serve [emphasis mine; Ed Randazzo, "Super Committee Failure: What Now?" Right Side SD, 2011.11.26].

U.S. House 2011 freshman legislators
Ed Randazzo's Least Wanted... a.k.a. U.S. House freshpeople elected in 2010

Randazzo includes in his post this photo of Rep. Noem with her fellow House freshpeople. I can only conclude that he is declaring his Tea Party Alliance will not back Noem in the upcoming election.

I ask Randazzo in his comment section when Gordon Howie will be declaring his candidacy against Noem. Randazzo mutters vaguely about calling attention to horses (funny: Kristi does that, not I). But his words make clear that incumbent Kristi Noem must go. The Tea Partiers certainly won't settle for a Democrat replacing Noem, unless you believe the fantasy another of Gordon Howie's opinion-bots floated Thursday that Democrats could field Tea Party candidates (I suspect Brad was simply suffering from turkey overload).

I thus conclude that my wingnut neighbors are about to field a challenger to Noem. Gordon Howie seems like the first logical choice: he embraced the Tea Party mantle most avidly in 2010 and continues to amplify the Tea brand more than any other prominent politico in the state. Plus, it will take a certain kind of nuttiness for a conservative to turn on Noem and risk ceding the House seat they fought so hard to wrest from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin back to the Dems after two short, unproductive years. And Howie has that kind of nuttiness (that's why I love him).

While I'm at it, permit me to jounce this shaky limb further and predict that if Howie or another Teabagger runs for Noem's seat, the Tea Party won't mount a primary challenge. They'll go the Independent route, get the extra signatures, and avoid letting Noem murdalize them in a head-to-head primary race against Noem's campaign cash and party bosses determined to get out the mainstream GOP vote. Running as a third party, Howie or whoever can move directly to playing for Independent voters and synergizing with the Democratic nominee in attacking Noem.

Obviously, I race to all of these conclusions on the basis of one blog post from one wingnut... plus a record of die-hard conservative frustration with Rep. Noem that started before she took office. And naturally, my speculation is colored by my passionate desire to see some quixotically principled conservative wreck Noem's re-election and clear a path for united Dems to take back that seat.

But don't blame a guy for wishing: Howie for House in 2012! Wouldn't that be fun?


  1. Taunia Adams 2011.11.27

    Teddy Hustead will be giving out 2 free donuts to all GOP cardholders wearing Tri-Cornered hats, and KrisKris will do her part in the campaign by driving even faster.

  2. Michael Black 2011.11.27

    I couldn't get off the odd posing of the group. ElizaBeth and I could do better.

  3. mike 2011.11.28

    Why don't we start talking about Shad Olsen?

  4. mike 2011.11.28

    Where these people will make the most difference is if they stay hom in 2014 in a Rounds vs Noem primary. If they don't drag their conservative friends to vote Noem does not have a shot to win a primary against Mike Rounds.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.11.28

    Shad Olson? Oh, the arrogance! Somehow talking about him feels like trying to eat Little Caesar's butter-garlic dipper sauce.

  6. mike 2011.11.28

    There must be some kind of ambition in him. I mean he seems like he wants to take it to the establishment and he doesn't really seem to care if he is critical of Thune or Noem.

    Howie wouldn't give Noem a scare because he made a mockery of himself with his run for Governor.

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