Tim Giago must have something against the South Dakota Democratic Party and logical consistency. The Oglala Lakota gadfly attempts to stir the electoral pot by endorsing Independent Larry Pressler over Democrat Rick Weiland for the U.S. Senate.
Giago seems to want his endorsement to sound like a call to selflessness. He claims Pressler shows real humility:
The other night at the debate Larry Pressler said, "I am ashamed of myself and I am ashamed of Washington and I am ashamed of South Dakota for allowing this situation to exist." He added, "And I am even more ashamed that I didn't do more about it when I was in the senate." In the Lakota language Pressler is "onsika" or humble. That is why I support him [Tim Giago, "An Independent Can Awaken 'Party' Zombies," Huffington Post, 2014.09.21].
A few lines up, Giago pastes this paragraph on selflessness and wishful analogy into his text:
I looked up the word "selflessness" and the interpretation of the word appears to mean Chad Taylor, a Topeka Democratic who announced he was quitting the senate race in Kansas and giving his support to Greg Orman, an Independent. In so doing he has given the Independent Orman the opportunity to defeat a sitting Republican Senator named Pat Roberts. In fact, the last poll I saw showed Orman with a lead over the incumbent [Giago, 2014.09.21].
So if Pressler is the humble one, why doesn't his selflessness move him to quit so Weiland can win? Either Giago's call to selflessness cuts both ways or it cuts none.
Giago endorsed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in 2010, then turned and endorsed Kristi Noem in 2012. Giago offered no substantive or consistent reasons for that switch. But his pro-GOP endorsement appeared to have little impact on the race. Varilek slipped no more than seven points from the totals Herseth Sandlin posted in Indian counties in her loss to Kristi Noem (see general election results from 2010 and 2012). If we spot Noem a modest boost for incumbency, Giago's rejection of Democrats appears to have had no discernible impact on the 2012 Indian vote.
I suspect that Giago's ongoing, crotchety, and inconsisten Democrat-jamming will have similar impact in the 2014 Senate race.