Thursday, October 25, 2012

South Dakota ad wants you to vote against the smart choice

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I’m confused. This is an ad by the Republican Party of South Dakota about the “radically different visions” held by incumbent Rep. Kristi Noem (R) and candidate Matt Varilek (D). Being from the Republicans, you’d expect the ad to try and sell Noem as some well-qualified visionary while tearing at Varilek’s supposed bumbling incompetence … yet, after a careful evaluation, I can’t help but think it’s trying to encourage Noem’s supporters to defect to Varilek in droves:

Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

Kristi Noem. Matt Varilek. Radically different backgrounds, radically different visions for South Dakota.

1997, Arizona: Matt Varilek gets a degree in environmental studies and starts teaching at the Biosphere II, known as an incubator for radical environmental ideas. Back in South Dakota, Kristi Noem is named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Watertown Jaycees.

1999: Matt Varilek earns a Master’s Degree at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is named the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Broker for Natsource, a company that profits from cap-and-trade energy taxes.

2000: Matt Varilek authors a document advocating a global cap-and-trade scheme, while Kristi Noem is managing the family farm in Hamlin County.

2001: Varilek attends Cambridge University in England to for additional environmental study. Varilek goes to Marrakesh, Morocco, promoting a global cap-and-trade plan at a United Nations global warming summit. Back in South Dakota, Kristi is living in Castlewood, farming, raising a family, helping to balance the books and manage a family restaurant.

2003: Matt Varilek is in Milan, Italy, speaking at another U.N. global warming summit. Back in South Dakota, Kristi Noem receives the South Dakota Young Leader Award from the South Dakota Soybean Association.

2004: Matt Varilek leaves his job as policy director for Natsource to become a Washington, D.C. political staffer.

2006: Matt Varilek hosts a raucous “National Corn Dog Day” party in his swanky D.C. neighborhood, serving more than one thousand corn dogs, 1,200 beers, and a 150-pound ice luge for consuming shots of Jägermeister.

2006: Kristi Noem wins a seat in the state legislature representing north-eastern South Dakota in Pierre.

Sioux Falls, 2008: Matt Varilek is back “corn-dogging” again, defending his title as one of the few to achieve a “triple double” for his beer and corn dog consumption. As for Kristi Noem in 2008, well, she was still looking out for South Dakota taxpayers and still representing her friends and neighbors in the legislature.

Matt Varilek or Kristi Noem: Radical ideas or South Dakota common sense? Who do you trust to represent South Dakota?

Paid for by the South Dakota Republican Party

To be fair, I’ve never heard of either Noem or Varilek until now. And from seeing this ad, all I’m getting from this is that one candidate is a highly educated, motivated and ambitious achiever who has experienced the outside world and knows the ins and outs of Washington politics (and can throw the occasional fun party), while the other’s experience boils down to farming and working at a restaurant. Not that those aren’t fine endeavors, but it does give rise to an odd contrast when comparing their skills and know-how in terms of their competence for governmental representation.

Of course, that’s just my interpretation as someone who values education and wisdom. One can only guess what the anti-intellectual blighters whom this ad actually appeals to will think about it, insofar as thought has anything to do with it. (Case in point: Noem currently holds a slight lead over Varilek in the polls.)

(via Friendly Atheist)