Rep. Stace Nelson loses focus in the final push for a primary upset. While his sole target should be frontrunner Mike Rounds, he slips into taking potshots at fellow military man and electoral non-threat Jason Ravnsborg:
...He also went after Jason Ravnsborg, specifically over their tiff on relevant military service, calling him ‘ignorant,’ and oddly belittling him as just “a truck driver in Iraq,” because “they have a TV show about NCIS, I don’t think they have got a TV Show about being a reservist as a truck driver in Iraq or Afghanistan yet” [Pat Powers, "When Nelson... Torched the Republican Party...," Dakota War College, 2014.05.20].
We've had this conversation. Taking cheap shots at any soldier's service profits no one. Whether you're investigating crimes, driving trucks, slinging hash, or leading prayers, your willingness to do so under the orders of the military is respectable service and sacrifice. Like any other work, it may or may not make you a better U.S. Senator, but splitting hairs over the relative merits of such sacrifice and service is, at the very least, a waste of time.
It also torques PNR off:
Nelson is not only dead wrong on the specifics, his statements in this regard are an affront to the proud traditions of discipline, teamwork, and devotion that mark the United States Marine Corps. He should be ashamed of himself. If he were capable of shame and remorse, he would withdraw such statements and apologize for them, not least to the widows and mothers of those truckers who died to bring supplies to my Marines and never gave a damn about showing up in stupid television shows. This pissing contest has gone on long enough ["Stace Nelson Should Be Ashamed," P&R Miscellany, 2014.05.21].
Ravnsborg hurt himself by making his snarky attack on Nelson's service. Nelson makes the same error by letting himself be drawn into a conversation more suited to two soldiers who've had one too many at the bar than two candidates who ought to be talking about nothing other than how awesome they personally are and how East-Coast-rotten Mike Rounds is. Nelson and Ravnsborg could end up playing Kirby and Barnett, allowing cowboy-clean Larry Rhoden to round up the sane and attentive anti-Rounds vote.
The only good to come out of Nelson's error is the opportunity for The Displaced Plainsman to make the first B.J. and the Bear reference of the 2014 primary... and perhaps of any South Dakota primary ever. Now that's a worthwhile distraction!