Gordon Howie says the face of tyranny is right here in South Dakota, with one-party rule corrupting the South Dakota Republican Party and state government. Yet like Cardinal Raymond Burke blaming feminists for pedophile priests, Howie blames Democrats for Republican tyranny:
In South Dakota, the Republican Party has simply moved to the left, thanks to the efforts of political power brokers with lots of money and liberal perspectives. Infiltration of the Republican Party might have been the Democrats response to one party rule by the Republicans. They did, indeed gain some ground with regard to policy, but at what ultimate cost? Democrats are now so weak statewide that they have trouble finding credible candidates for most political races, thereby simply giving the offices to Republicans [Gordon Howie, "The Face of Tyranny," The Right Side, 2015.01.11].
Democrats infiltrated the SDGOP. Right.
Howie hopes for a revitalized Democratic Party (yes!) and says the key lies in re-recruiting Republicans:
If there is any hope for accountability to return to this state, it may be in a revitalized Democrat Party. That will only happen if they can entice their own to shed the costumes, leave the Republican Party and come home. That would leave conservatives to manage the Republican Party and once again, give South Dakota voters a real choice [Howie, 2015.01.11].
I agree with Howie that part of the recipe for Democratic rebuilding is finding candidates and issues who can win votes from some moderate Republicans. But I cannot adopt the Howie narrative that the SDGOP is filled with leftists. Howie and his Republican purists need to stop labeling folks like Mike Rounds as leftists and call them what they are: opportunists. Folks like Larry Rhoden don't switch their registration from Democrat to Republican as some plot to infiltrate the SDGOP and promote leftist ideology. They switch parties to get their names on ballots, win elections, and gain power. By Howie's own thinking, those opportunists have weakened the Republican Party; why would Democrats fare any better by drawing such self-serving opportunists "back"?
Instead of trying to get Democrats to lure other people our of the SDGOP, Howie challenge tyranny by a more direct route: forming his own True Conservative Party. His pal Gary Coe already has a PAC with that name; it shouldn't be hard to turn that mechanism into a party. Get the 8,474 people who voted for Howie for Senate in 2014 to petition a True Conservative Party into existence. (Forming a new party will require 6,936 signatures.) Line up True Conservative Party candidates for at least ten Legislative districts (including every Black Hills district, an easy task for a party centered around Howie's new world headquarters east of Rapid City). Abandon the SDGOP to its soulless, self-serving opportunists, cooperate with Democrats to fire on the depleted SDGOP from both sides, and upset the balance of power.
Even conservatives recognize that South Dakota needs a real liberal party to bring balance to Pierre and check the tyranny of Republican opportunists. But the solution is not for Democrats to catch the disease Howie says debilitates the Republicans.