Rep. Kristi Noem's vote and mealy-mouthed excuses for the surveillance state gall me. They also gall Libertarian blogger Ken Santema, who declares Noem "a true enemy of liberty" and calls for her replacement:
Hopefully in the coming months we can find one or more candidates to run against Noem. It is unclear if that will be an R, D, L or I. No matter which way it goes I know one thing: many of us will not vote for Noem from this point on. Even if Noem wins again it will not be a “free pass” like Thune got his last election. Many of us are willing to work to keep Noem and her anti-liberty colleagues out of DC [Ken Santema, "Kristi Noem Has Voted Against Civil Liberties, It Is Time to Find Her Replacement," SoDakLiberty, 2013.07.26].
I would like to believe there's an opening here for Democrats to reach out to disenchanted voters like Santema. Remember, former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio offered vocal opposition to the Patriot Act from its inception, often sounding like Libertarian favorite Ron Paul.
Santema worries that handing the House back to the Democrats while Democrat Barack Obama holds the White House poses its own threat to liberty. And he's sensitive enough to threats to liberty that he brands Rick Weiland "must-defeat" just because Weiland wants to take big corporate money out of elections.
But a smart South Dakota Democrat could overcome such objections. South Dakota Democrats are used to assuring people they won't be rubber stamps for a Democratic President or even a Democratic Speaker. We can show a little healthy independence but still not run from our brand. We can do well among our Libertarian friends by standing on our principles and explain how the Democratic platform really is better for liberty than the fearful machinations of Kristi Noem and the big-money GOP mainstream.
So, Dems, who'd like to run against Kristi and give Libertarians like Ken a defender of liberty to vote for?