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My Service Is Bigger Than Yours: Nelson Makes Same Error as Ravnsborg

So maybe this explains the Rhoden surge in the Madville Times primary poll?

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!


  1. Steve Sibson 2014.05.21

    So Rhoden pulling a Rounds. Look what that got us. My experience with Rhoden has been mostly favorable. I have huge respect for his leadership abilities. The problem I see is that he is willing to throw East River under the bus if it is good for or does not damage West River interests. Examples were issues involving small school consolidation and Ag Property tax changes. Thanks to his work, I have land whose property tax jumped 19% from last year. And I believe it was Rounds who signed the legislation into law.

  2. owen reitzel 2014.05.21

    I agree that anyone who served should be thanked-no matter how long or what they did.
    I was in the Air National Guard for 4 years and even though I didn't go to war or have a NCIS type job I'm still proud of my service to my country.

    As far as Rhoden, I've lost all respect for him when he accused liberals, like myself, of trying to destroy our way of life. That is BS.

  3. Kal Lis 2014.05.21

    I think the best diversion is listening to Steve Earle's entire 2004 album, The Revolution Starts now that contains the song Houston which is about a truck driver in Iraq. The album is a solid alt country effort.

  4. Jerry 2014.05.21

    Geez, this has turned into bar talk from too many beers at the EM club. Boys, we get it, you served your country. No matter in what capacity, you took the time to serve something greater than yourselves, and that is honorable, now let it go. Memorial Day is coming, be thankful you did not pay the ultimate.

  5. Nick Nemec 2014.05.21

    Meanwhile Mike Rounds never served anything bigger than his own bottom line.


  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.21

    Focus focus focus! Nelson and Ravnsborg have too many foci.

  7. TG 2014.05.21

    Jerry - Amen! Too many people forget why we 'celebrate' Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran's Day. The better word is 'honor' those days but since it's a day off of work for most people, it's just another long weekend of fun for many.

  8. Bree S. 2014.05.21

    I haven't listened to the Argus interview yet but I can state with confidence that the DWC takes everything out of context, cutting and splicing comments in joyful hackery, so quoting Pat Powers only encourages his fictions.

  9. Bree S. 2014.05.21

    And what explains the Rhoden surge is the tactics of dishonest politics.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.21

    Bree, I'm not convinced context saves Nelson on this error. His comment seems to be a pretty straightforward repetition of the error Ravnsborg made. Neither man can justify this tactic when Rounds awaits heavy fire.

  11. Jessie 2014.05.21

    "East-coast rotten" and "cowboy clean"

    Hmm, displaying a little regional prejudice, Cory? Are you looking for Gary Cooper or John Wayne?

    Bit of irony there, Wayne's real name was Marion Michael Morrison. Did Round's parents know that?

  12. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.05.21

    Nelson fell into the temptation of responding to Ravnsborg's ignorant comment in kind. We have confirmed that Nelson is human.

    While Pat Powers enjoys parsing Nelson's every syllable, he takes extreme caution in reporting on anything of relevance to the scandals surrounding Rounds or of Rounds being called out as a liar on his claimed opposition to Obamacare.

    Notice that Rounds nor Rhoden dared brave the Argus 100 eyes on politics.

  13. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.05.21

    Curious the IP addresses on the poll participants.. Unusual that the Senate race has such a spike over the other two races..

  14. Rorschach 2014.05.21

    For whatever reason, Roundsberg put out that horribly conceived and produced web ad for the purpose of baiting Stace Nelson. He knew Stace couldn't resist taking that bait, and lo and behold Stace ran with it to the point of overreaching. Just as planned by Roundsberg or whoever put him up to it.

    What doesn't make any sense is why Roundsberg would bother with something aimed at provoking Stace and making both of them look bad, when Roundsberg should be aiming at the frontrunner - Rounds. My thought is that Roundsberg is resigned to losing and losing badly, but that in distracting and enraging Rounds's top opponent he may garner himself some kind of benefit after the campaign is over. I'm interested to see what job Roundsberg is offered in June or July. Will he work for the Attorney General's office? Will he become a Division director or even a cabinet secretary? Time will tell.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.21

    Stace missed a real opportunity to pound Jason on the relevancy of military service, he should of simply responded with what most people are saying, all service is equally important.

    Nick is right on this, if either plans to win this primary, it is Rounds they need to focus on, Rounds has the garbage, use it against him.

  16. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.21

    I may be wrong, but I listened to 100 eyes yesterday, and although he may have been set up, Stace fell into the trap somewhat. I don't know that he said this anywhere beside 100 eyes, and he tempered the comments somewhat compared to what these comments are suggesting.

    Having said that, Jerry is right, they and all of us who served need to be thankful that we did not pay the ultimate price. Stace is the speaker Monday at the SF VA, so we will see what his comments are then, if any.

  17. Bree S. 2014.05.21

    You're right Rorschach, I think Ravnsborg is baiting Stace. Just Stace mentioning and responding to Ravsnborg gives him attention he doesn't deserve.

  18. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.21

    I just went back and watched that portion again, and it was no more than 10 to 15 seconds and he said the NCIS and truck driver comment laughingly. He also said that Ravensborg had backed away from the statement that he previously made. Where is the concern over the two big issues, other than the ones hat have been out there over the last couple of months? He asked about the conflict of interest of Bosworth's attorney being on the Rushmore Group staff that supports Rounds.He intimated that the Justice dept is holding off on releasing the findings on its EB-5 investigation, so that Rounds wins the primary, because they know how vulnerable he will be once that information is released.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.21

    Don't take bait! Stace! Don't take bait!

    Ravnsborg as a cabinet official? Has he projected any apparent leadership qualities in this primary campaign?

  20. grudznick 2014.05.21

    Mr. Ravnsberg seems a fairly level headed young man and I could see him serving some future senator as a cabinet member or staff chief. It would let him learn more and run again in the future for a lesser position.

    Mr. Nelson, not as much.

  21. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.05.21

    @PNR indicates on his own blog that he didn't even watch the show. It appears that all he did was blog post off of Pat Powers rant, just as he has done before. While I expect such idiocy from Powers to off-color 6 seconds of hyperbole of an hour show, I am curious why PNR does so? As Nick says "focus." This was an hour long rapid fire interview with questions coming from anonymous posters. I think Lanny had the best understanding of the whole thing.

  22. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.21

    Thanks Disgusted. I wondered the same about Cory's headline and assessment. Did he even watch the show or was he writing his comments based on others views? I think this whole column as well as many of the comments are off base.

    I would still like to see someone explain the answer to Mr Nelson's question about Bosworth's attorney being a member of the Rushmore group backing Rounds.

  23. Bree S. 2014.05.21

    Okay I'm partway through the interview with 100 eyes.. and the Taxpayer Protection Pledge allows for tax increases in one area vs. tax cuts in another as long as, as a whole they are at least revenue neutral. You can't raise taxes as a whole.. but you can cut one area and increase another under the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Stace should've called them on that.

  24. PNR 2014.05.22

    I didn't indicate I hadn't watched it. Jumping to conclusions D.D.

    Same ol' same ol'. Somebody Stace doesn't like gets caught in something, and pedal-to-the-metal attack - the error proves they're a terrible person. Stace gets caught and you just don't understand, you're just repeating gossip, you're a hateful liar... blah blah blah.

    He said what he said. He shouldn't have said it. Having said it, he should apologize. Same for Ravnsborg. Both want to pretend their military service grants them some unique claim to manhood, but I wonder which one is man enough to apologize first?

  25. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.05.22

    @PNR You previously posted about the SDPB debate, and admitted up front that you had not even watched it! Reading your blog post about 100 eyes show, then your comments in the comment section, it is clear you simply posted your comments off of Pat Powers comments and had not watched what you were posting about! The most telling part? You don't deny above that you hadn't watched the show until you were called out on it. I watched the 100 eyes, I agree with Lanny. I think you as a minister owe the first apology for continuing to pass on rumors, gossip, and projected motivations about people you don't even know.

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