Opinion

Oh Noem, Not Another Squish!

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Posted: Mar 25, 2021 12:01 AM
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Oh Noem, Not Another Squish!

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

You know who is laughing right now? Nikki! Haley is, because Kristi Noem may have derailed her own electoral freight train as it rolled down the conservative governortrix tracks toward the GOP nom in 2024. Now, Nikki! is a total non-starter, though she doesn’t seem to realize it. Her astonishingly weak submission to the forces that hate us – she was not to be seen at CPAC because she would have been booed – has totally killed her dreams, though the GOP establishment has this fantasy that she can cruise into the White House by pretending to be hardcore when she’s just Jeb! in a skirt. But Noem has – perhaps had – a future as a conservative conservative, and her utterly insane unforced error last week has hugely damaged her prospects. There are lessons here, people.

What did she do? She vetoed a bill defending women athletes from the insanity of letting men dominate them, a “style and form” veto, and then offered the most weaksauce weasel word explanation imaginable. Here tweet thread trying to explain it was lame; her appearance on Tucker was condescending gibberish. Watching it, woke cons started out disappointed with her and ended up infuriated at her. Here’s the irony – Kristi Noem stepped on her Ted Lieu in the context for a transexual policy issue. 

It was really quite remarkable how amateurish and totally unnecessary it all was, but we’ve been seeing a lot of this lately. Recently, Greg Abbot decided to label all of Gab’s users “anti-Semites” because…well, who knows? It’s one of those things that you do that ticks off the base while the liberals continue to hate you. Good plan. 

On the plus side, it lets us disqualify the weakhearts now.

It’s unclear who told Noem this was a great idea, but that person ought to be exiled to one of those other Dakotas. It’s 2021 and there are Republican consultants who still think the base is dumb. SMDH. The base is not dumb. The base is based. And we’re not going to be fooled with painful tweet threads and interviews about how 2 + 2 = 5 and how we need to not fight because it might make our enemies angry with us or – horrors! – cost us something to make a stand. Noem decided that instead of holding strong on an issue that conservatives care about, she would not merely rollover to the tech/Chamber of Commerce lib axis but also attempt to talk us into thinking this was just a routine administrative decision and that she is totally behind us 100 percent.

Except she isn’t.  

We’re not stupid. Is she? Because if she thinks that conservatives, the cheated-on spouses of American politics, are not hyper-vigilant to any sign of betrayal then she’s too dumb to be our prezzy. We’ve been shafted too many times, and she is hallucinating if she thinks anyone will get a pass – including her. One of the most basic things we expect GOP politicians to do is protect our girls from getting clobbered by boys pretending to be girls. This is not one of those fringe issues where we’re, “Yeah, okay, sometimes you gotta compromise.” This is foundational.

But she didn’t see that? I hope not. Her best case is that she was dumb instead of squishy. But it begs the question of whether if she shafts us on this – and this was an easy call – then what else will she shaft us on in office when the Establishment tells her to?

Cons aren’t psyched to find out. Fortunately, we have other options who don’t roll up into a ball and sob when the establishment whines.

Perhaps we dodged a bullet with her pulling this now. I got a weird vibe when I met her at CPAC, in the hotel bar, when her handlers had brought her to mingle with the activists. It was deer/headlights time. It was clear she wanted to be elsewhere, and she seemed to make no connection with the activists. She was pleasant, but I was not particularly impressed. Sure, she says she likes guns (but after this, if a bunch of corporations tell her to support “common sense gun laws,” will she just nod?) and she dresses like Annie Oakley, distinguishing her from the bitter wine moms that make up the Dems’ suburban base. She has impressed us with her COVID paranoia-resistance in the past, but that and the fact she is not a hideous crone are literally the only things you hear about when people talk about her. She is the governor of a small state we don’t think about much – hey, haven’t we been down this road before? – and now we have to worry that she’s weak. We know she’s totally tone-deaf.

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Yeah, those are problems.

Candidates, understand this. We are woke. We expect you to be woke. Period. If you don’t know what time it is, it’s time for you to go away.

There’s no way to split the difference, no needle-threading or insulting “explaining” that will mollify us. We didn’t like Trump because he was on TV (we didn’t watch that crap), or because he was an ideological conservative (he was not), or because he sent mean tweets (okay, a little). We supported Trump because he fought for us and did not compromise with the people who hate us and want us disenfranchised, subservient, or dead.

Noem did not fight for us and she did compromise – she said on Tucker that she was afraid she might lose! – and now we will always have to worry that she will go all 1940 France every time the other side cries.

I don’t know if this killed her chances. I, and the many conservatives who have expressed their disgust at this cowardly surrender, are not quite Never Noem like we are Never Nikki!, but Kristi is on double-secret probation.

One more failure like this, one more awkward flirtation with Jeb!ism, and Noem shall henceforth be assigned the ironic explanation point that identifies an establishment supplicant.

Kristi, you better get it together or we shall know you as Noem!.

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