Doggedly Wrong — Kristi Noem licks the third rail

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

April 28th, 2024

There’s a time in a child’s life known as “the terrible twos” when a child is constantly overamped, rebellious, and defiant. “No!” becomes their favorite word, and poking out their tongues at anything they are mad about—dinner, the cat, parents—becomes a nearly obsessive behavior. Most kids start to tone it down about the age of five or so. Gentle but firm discipline smooths those rough edges, and what the parents don’t address their peers certainly will. Most boys that age come home at least once with a puffy cheek and scruffed clothes, wailing, “But all I did was stick my tongue out at him!”

As they approach their tweens, many find themselves on the receiving end of that sort of behavior, usually from younger siblings or a face pull from a kid from the safety of a passing auto. If they haven’t outgrown it by age 14 or so, they end up diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder and end up on meds.

However, there is one segment of the population where that sort of behavior in adults is encouraged. That would be the American right. Going back to the days of Rush Limbaugh and hate radio back in the 80s, “owning the libs” made ignorant and disgusting behavior not only acceptable, but praiseworthy. He would pop off with remarks like “When WOMEN got the right to vote is when it all went downhill,” or “Holocaust? Ninety million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos – what’s to complain about?” He encouraged destructive things like rigging trucks to emit immense clouds of thick black smoke to annoy the libs, or to be rude and condescending to women (“Ideal women: 36-24-36, five foot seven, flat spot on top of the head, deaf mute. The flat spot on the top of the head is for your drink.”)

He also made a big thing of the fact that he smoked cigars, and encouraged kids to take up cigar smoking because it annoyed the grown ups. He ended up dead from lung cancer, perhaps the most positive lesson he ever offered the public.

That attitude took over the GOP, and its companion movements, the chauvinists and the conspiracy mongers. They exploded on the web, trolling everyone and everything. (They’re amazingly easy to troll BACK, by the way, and you don’t even have to sink to their level. Just respond politely and sincerely, using provable fact and sweet reason. Burning coals on their heads. Call it being passively-aggressively nice, but it works.)

Hillary knew exactly what she was talking about when she deemed these offspring of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy “deplorables.” That they reacted like scalded cats to that only proved her point.

They got into Congress, of course. Some of them are seriously emotionally disturbed, but most of them are just engaging in a kind of little-boy-nasty performance art, sticking out their tongues at the grown-ups. Maggie Armpits and Bo-Bo don’t exist in a vacuum.

That brings us to Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota. She wants very badly to be on the ticket if Trump makes it to the convention (and especially if he doesn’t) and so she wrote a book meant to establish her cred amongst the deplorables. As she put it, she wanted “to illustrate her willingness, in politics as well as in South Dakota life, to do anything ‘difficult, messy and ugly’ if it simply needs to be done.”

Apparently, this included shooting puppies. Or at least, a puppy, a 14-month old wire-hair terrier. She portrayed it as having to put down a dog that was utterly incorrigible, and somewhat vicious and destructive. She portrayed it as being a part of farm life, and of course, that does routinely include putting down sick or elderly animals, and slaughtering same for food. In these days of bird flu, swine flu and so on, it sometimes involves mass culls.

She might have even gotten away with it if she had left it at that, but she went on to say that the dog was a family pet named “Cricket.” (Douglas Adams to the white discourtesy phone, please), and added, “I hated that dog.”

Yes, this annoyed liberals. And pretty much everyone else, down to and including Rush Limbaugh fans.

There is a Netflix documentary series named “Don’t F–k with Cats.” Some guy posted anonymous videos of torturing kittens to death. This lead to a mass campaign online to find and out the culprit. In so doing, they unmasked and stopped a serial killer. True story, and worth watching.

Same goes for dogs. Richard Nixon saved his political career in 1952 by staunchly defending his dog, Checkers. LBJ’s popularity began to erode in earnest when he picked up his beagle by the ears. Mitt Romney’s campaign faltered when it came to light he drove 200 miles in his SUV with his dog in a crate strapped to the top of the vehicle. I believe him when he said the dog wasn’t in danger, but it was still a mean thing to do to the family pet. Mistreating family pets is the true third rail of American politics.

True to form, Noem tried to turn this political catastrophe into a cause celebre with deplorables by ‘owning the libs’ and do a little marketing, posting on Twatter, “We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm. Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years. If you want more real, honest, and politically INcorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back.’”

Even deplorables have their limits. Few are trying to defend her.

And she has lost supporters in droves. According to Raw Story, “@colin_fendley said, ‘I have been a farm owner, I have been a K9 Handler, and I have trained thousands of dogs; you can not justify this, my dear. I’m a conservative, and you lost my support.’” Multiply that by millions.

Kristi Noem’s political career is now deader than Cricket, but unlike Cricket, she had it coming.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy Zepps Commentaries? Please spread the word :)