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Noem Wants More of Perry’s Ineffective Border Militarization

Further demonstrating what passes for a Congresswoman in South Dakota, Rep. Kristi Noem tells Fox News that she supports Texas Governor Rick Perry's plan to send National Guard troops to the U.S.–Mexico border to... hmm... to do what, again?

See we need more than a thousand border troops down there, plus they're limited to what they can do on federal lands, so we have some proposals going into house that would give us more access to that. Get more troops, and more border patrol agents down there that would really help the situation [Rep. Kristi Noem, quoted in "Noem Supports Guardsmen at Border," KBHB Radio News, 2014.07.23].

Wait: the National Guard is limited in what it can do—i.e., it cannot make arrests (and conservatives should not want the military running around he country making arrests)—so Rep. Noem wants to send even more troops to stand around and watch children swimming the Rio Grande and staggering through the scrub to escape crime and violence in their homelands?

Noem says while actions of the Texas national guard may be limited, it does send a message.

"These countries have realized that if they send their children to the United States, we'll interview them, take care of them, feed them. We'll even deploy them all across the country and re-establish them with families across the United States. 72% of these children never leave our country. They get a free pass into the United States of America, and they're doing it illegally, so these parents in Central America recognize here if they can get them here and get them through this process. They have to recognize that we have rules, and we want people to do this legally" [Noem via KBHB, 2014.07.23].

Yeah, mobilize soldiers with guns to send scared, hungry children a message. That'll fix 'em.

Actually, the National Guard mobilization Rep. Noem wants to expand won't fix anything, say local Texas officials.

The National Guard will not be making arrests and will instead observe the border and notify law enforcement of any undocumented immigrants, which doesn't make sense to many officials at the border.

“I don’t know what good they can do,” Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio told the Dallas Morning News, referring to the National Guard. “You just can’t come out here and be a police officer.”

Lucio said that hiring additional police officers at the border would make more sense.

"The National Guard is trained in warfare. They're not trained in law enforcement. This is not a war. This is people asking for help," Lucio told the Houston Chronicle [Caitlin MacNeal, "All the Border Authorities Who Think Perry's Plan Doesn't Make Sense," Talking Points Memo, 2014.07.22].

Presidents Bush and Obama have sent Guards to the border before, to no apparent avail:

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera told the Chronicle that sending the National Guard to the border didn't help in 2006 and 2010, so it won't do any good now. Vera suggested that the surge of police presence at the border isn't even helping that much.

"Those DPS people that are down here," he said. "There's one every mile, or every half a mile. And then every once in a while you'll see a cluster or three or four of them chatting. They are doing absolutely nothing" [MacNeal, 2014.07.22].

Even President Bush's National Guard chief can't figure out what good a border-troop surge will do:

“Until mission requirements are clearly defined, it can’t be determined whether this is an appropriate use of the Guard in this particular case,” H. Steven Blum, who was the Chief of the National Guard Bureau from 2003 to 2009 and has been a career military man for decades, told me. “There may be many other organizations that might more appropriately be called upon. If you’re talking about search and rescue, maintaining the rule of law or restoring conditions back to normal after a natural disaster or a catastrophe, the Guard is superbly suited to that. I’m not so sure that what we’re dealing with in scope and causation right now would make it the ideal choice” [Greg Sargent, "Sending in the National Guard Isn't the Answer," Washington Post: Plum Line, 2014.07.15].

So we have a Republican Texas Governor seeking redemption and a Republican South Dakota Congresswoman seeking more Fox News time eager to spend more money on a plan that local officials dealing directly with the immigration problem and a former Guard chief say won't do any good. Soldiers are a response rooted in fear, not compassion. Governor Perry and Congresswoman Noem favor a policy that does little but play to "un-biblical and inhumane" impulses among their constituents.

With their common commitment to posturing over problem-solving, Perry and Noem might make the perfect GOP running mates for 2016, representing everything—ineffective, inhumane, but good-looking—that the GOP wants to be.


  1. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.24

    Deputize the guard and make them Texas Rangers. A GOP congressman had a much more cost-effective plan. Put the illegal aliens on a plane as soon as they arrive and fly them south. Would cost about $327 per illegal alien. That would total a fraction of the cost of kangaroo courts and detention centers.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.07.24

    Perry and AG A-Butt are gonna sue Obama and make the ew ess gubmint pay the costs of Perry's impotent power play-about 12 million per month. A-Butt brags about waking up every day and suing Uncle Sam and he is 0fer in his lawsuits and has cost Texans several millions in frivolous lawsuits.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.07.24

    Statehood for Mexico would create an enforceable border with Central America.

  4. JeniW 2014.07.24

    So, we airlift all those kids to somewhere in Central America, dump them all on the runway, then take off? Really?

    As if the Central American country where the planes would land do not have a single bit of military equipment that cannot be used against the pilots and airplanes, once the kids a dumped on the airstrip?

    What I am finding interesting, but it very well could be that I missed it, is that there is nothing mentioned about working with the Central American countries to deal with the issue at hand.

    Central American countries may not have the strongest government forces, but to believe that they are too stupid not to have some power is reckless thinking.

  5. bearcreekbat 2014.07.24

    Perry's actions seem like a stunt for his 2016 Presidential hopes, but it should backfire. Noem's support for this stunt seems stupid at best and mean spirited at worst. But she does seem to have a feel for hatred and fear of some voters for innocent South American kids trying to escape violence and poverty, and is banking on exploiting that fear. I wonder when she will start parroting the "diseased kids" mime?

    Given the cost of Perry's peccadillo, and given the goal of sending a message, why not just start an advertising campaign in South America telling them that America is a terrible country that hates foreigners, so they don't want to come here. Right now we tend to brag about what a great place America is (which it is) and this has to attract people in poverty. Ad campaigns are what the Republicans use to convince local voters that black is white and since it seems to work here, why not do the same in Central America?

  6. Loren 2014.07.24

    I saw that clip of "Congressman $327"! He looked like a real immigration scholar! Why not just shoot them at the border with a cartridge that only costs a few cents and save the air fare. They are probably going back to a death sentence anyhow! OK, sarcasm aside, has Noem ever spouted anything but a talking point? Has she ever had a real answer for any problem? Can you imagine the uproar if Democrats were to propose spending $12 million per month on a "show"? Real conservatism there, Kristi! :-(

  7. Bill Fleming 2014.07.24

    Interesting. Can the children just surrender to the guardsmen, or do they have to wait for the homeland security guys to show up? If the latter, maybe the guardsmen can just give them some milk and cookies and play iPad games with them while they wait.

  8. lesliengland 2014.07.24

    repubs are terrorists. nyt headlines, 7.24.14

  9. lesliengland 2014.07.24

    saw interesting statistic, chilling really: each enemy killed in Vietnam required equivalent of 50,000 rounds of ammunition.

  10. lesliengland 2014.07.24

    nyt headlines this a.m.

    paul ryan poverty plan shifts onus onto states

    conservatives write new abortion tactic

    Arizona takes two hours to execute

    two countries, no home

    florida voting map change

    senator plagiarism (possible oops)

    rikers island

    study gives hope to adaption to climate change (btyb: KOCHS!!)

    states opposed to e.p.a carbon rules would gain

    tax inversions

    idiots guide to inequality

    putins crime, Europe's cowardice (repubs lionization)

    control of senate hinges on GA

  11. mikeyc, that's me! 2014.07.24

    How about we send Kristi to the border?
    She doesn't have anything else to do.

  12. jerry 2014.07.24

    NOem has the bullshit inside her boots rather than outside with this plan. These republicans want to make more use out of a military that they hate when the military needs medical care. Veterans are not welcome at the republican table, you are only welcome when you are killing brown people. Here is the latest from NOem and the rest of the veteran haters.

    Someone should ask her about her commitment to veterans and why military should be deployed anywhere with the current hate on for them when they leave service.

  13. mike from iowa 2014.07.24

    Perry admitted yesterday that the troops won’t be able to do anything but watch.

    Most of the 1,000 National Guard troops headed to the Texas-Mexico border will take up observational positions and detain people only if they interfere with their mission, a top general over the deployment said Tuesday.

  14. Doctor not Bricklayer 2014.07.24

    Was she wearing glasses to make herself look more intelligent, too?

  15. jerry 2014.07.24

    I do wish Corinna Robinson would become more active in campaigning against NOem. NOem just keeps throwing those grapefruit out there that could be hit out of the park with the right messaging. Of course, that take moolah to get that message out. We owe it to ourselves to make the contributions needed to defeat this knucklehead. So get the checkbooks out and send her some cash boys and girls.

  16. JeniW 2014.07.24

    Doctor, she has reached the bi-focal age. Just read that she was born in 1971, that makes her 42 or 43 years old now. That is about the age when most people who use corrective lenses need to start using bi-focal lenses.

    I have not seen her wear corrective lenses, but she may have been using contacts?

  17. owen reitzel 2014.07.24

    these kids aren't illegal immigrants they're refugees.

  18. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.24

    The are illegal alien refugees.

    The source of this problem goes back to Reagan and Bush when they eliminated birth control funds for Mexico, Central and South America. Republicans want cheap labor and Democrats want cheap votes.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.24

    These kids are kids. Did we have this freak out when boat people came in the 1970s?

  20. chopperjohn 2014.07.24

    Anything Noem says is just a fart on a windy day.

  21. jerry 2014.07.24

    When you have an attitude problem like NOem, The Thune Bird, Rounds and other useful idiots that think that kids are expendable, should just move to Israel where they have no problem killing them. I think they call it the fog of war or some other form of bullshit that some politico came up with. Like Perry down in Texas, they want our tax dollars to pay for this disregard of human dignity, just like Israel demands.

    The problem with frauds like these three is that they want soldiers to do the shooting and maiming so they do not dirty their hands and feel the stickiness of the blood that mists when you make the shots. Nope, they want it surgical. Load them all up and send them someplace else like what was done to the Israelis in the 30's and 40's. These children are war refugees and need shelter, they do not need hate.

  22. lesliengland 2014.07.24


  23. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.24

    This is really funny Cory: "representing everything—ineffective, inhumane, but good-looking—that the GOP wants to be"

    Lousy policy in Central and South America have been costing the US for decades. We've got immigration problems, drugs, violence, human exploitation, diseases, reduced life spans, etc. All the short-sighted reactions and greedy plans of the past 75+ years are a collection of Failures!

    Maybe, just maybe sometime before I die, enough real statespeople will show up in Congress and the White House to address the roots of the issues. Maybe?

  24. Mike Q 2014.07.24

    Honestly, I am a yellow dog dem, but the Robinson campaign, no matter how nice the woman actually is, stinks to high hell. I will write in Kurt Vonnegut perhaps. He was not afraid to say what needed to be said, and forcefully. And that is the effin problem for us SoDak Dems. We have a bunch of mealy mouthed "leaders", who won't fight fire with fire. I don't care if Phat Powers likes me, nor do I care what Troy Jones did with Jim Abdnor. There is no reason we cannot make an argument that doesn't also point out character flaws. What qualifies Noem for office? She has a high school education (don't tell me for a minute the BA degree she bought from Moo U really means shit), she is a subsidy sucking government abuser, has horrible constituent service, no leadership position, and could not even shepherd the Farm Bill, a money bomb for SD if there ever was one, through Congress. She has passed three bills in four years, and one has to deal with a freakin farm dust regulation, which was never going to be regulated in the first place. A solution looking for a problem!!! Its one thing to be a quite, reserved workhorse, and work behind the scenes. Its a whole other scene when one tries to coast by on a Watertown haircut, and contribute little to nothing in the betterment of our state. And lets face it, if it wasn't her in there, it would be some other fool connected to the same deep pockets making deals to make money for them whilst doing the bare minimum to represent us in any sort of way. Dems need to get nasty, and quick. This is a full contact, baseball bat with nails in it fight. Why lay down over and over???

    Ok, sorry, rant over. Have a good night.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.25

    Dang, Mike Q, you seem torqued. To a large degree, I share your torquor (that's my new word of the day).

    First, may I ask you to clarify the high-hell stinkiness you smell in the Robinson campaign? Is it just lack of fire, or something else?

    If we're talking about fire, may I ask you, Mike Q, how you square your statements above, which seem to advocate a full frontal assault on Noem's utter lack of qualifications with David Newquist's latest blog post, which seems to urge us Democrats not to give in to the urge to get down on the GOP's level and campaign by character assassination?

    And in general, does Mike Q's indictment of Noem's record constitute anything like the GOP character assassination tactics?

  26. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.25

    Newquist appears to suggest that Weiland should not attack Rounds record and failures, but other Democrats and Democratic party should do that in order to set the agenda.

    If Democratic candidates and supporters wait to covered in blizzard of GOP crap to the point all they can say is "Blub, Blub", they will lose every election every time.

  27. Mike Q 2014.07.25


    I would square my differences with Mr. Newquist's thusly; A different path to same point. One wanders a bit, and one cuts much straighter. It may sound strange, but why do we, as liberals, not employ dog whistles as skillfully as the right? We need not delve into racism, sexism, and such. But why is it that most of our federal elected officials either enter government service rich, and exit richer? Those that are "poor" exit with millions of assesets.
    Populist dog whistles are not below us; there is no moral victory in seeking to win nice. MLK jr. Put kids out in front of those dogs and firehouses in the South. It was disgusting, and necessary. He had to employ tactics that were below him to show how low the other side will sink. Perhaps that is what I am suggesting.

    I'm regards to Mrs. Robinson; she seems very nice. I just do not detect a level of fire necessary to win office in such a large state. That would go for the SDDP in general. It seems as though the party has resigned itself to losing often, and is ok with that! That is no way to create a solid organization people respect.

    And I am torqued. I've worked hard to get my MPA at USD, and stayed in SD to be near family, especially for my wife. And there is nothing here. It's sad how little our state does for those seeking to give back in a professional way to our state and communities. It's simply disheartening.

  28. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.25

    "Mass torquedness" is the word you are looking for Cory. You'll find it in the Dictionary of Deb. (Available everywhere, except Amazon.)

  29. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.26

    "Mass torquedness" sounds like a measure of stored energy in a spinning flywheel.

  30. Tim 2014.07.26

    I could give you all the mechanics version of torque, but it might not be acceptable to the ladies here. I agree with Mike Q, at some point liberals have got to show people what conservative policy is doing to the state and country, and we may have to get rough to get it to sink in.

  31. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.26

    Doug, it's related to the spinning energy involved in an automatic transmission's torque converter, coupled with the energy generated by a collection of really ticked off human beings.

    Thus - mass torquedness.

    Scientific American will be publishing the entire paper next month.

  32. mike from iowa 2014.07.27

    Libs are using stall converters where the anger has to be built up to a predetermined level before it is unleashed(torqued) on unsuspecting,but deserving,enemies at full throttle.

  33. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.27

    Maybe we should be sharing our collective wisdom regarding Mass Torquedness on the post about energy. Another non polluting source of energy!

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