TURES COLUMN: Kristi Noem’s Book And Disturbing Arguments For Presidential Immunity

Published 9:00 am Thursday, May 2, 2024

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Virtually the entire American political sphere will be talking about South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s book No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, where she talks about shooting a dog and a goat.  And those are certainly issues worth talking about.  But I think we’re missing something equally disturbing among these passages which should be discussed as well.

It is a curious thing to hype a book by talking about killing a 14-month-old dog named “Cricket” who made her mad by disrupting a pheasant hunt by being “out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life.”  She did claim that it killed a neighbor’s chickens and growled at her, so she made the choice to take the dog to a gravel pit and shoot it.  She also did the same thing to a goat that smelled bad and was mean.

She then sought to sell more book copies by adding “If you want more real, honest, and politically incorrect stories that’ll have the media gasping, preorder ‘No Going Back.’”

She did have the media gasping, both conservative and liberal. Those on the right were just as quick to condemn her words and actions, from the New York Post to bloggers and commentators.  According to Gabriel Hayes of Fox News who documented the conservative outrage “‘Florida’s Voice News’ CEO Brendon Leslie let Noem have it, writing, ‘Kristi Noem should be criminally charged for animal abuse – this is vile and disgusting. It’s one thing to put a dog down that is sick – it’s totally unacceptable to put a puppy down because it wasn’t a good hunting dog. Put it up for adoption!’”

And I can attest to Brandon Leslie and Florida Voice News’ conservatism.  They put me through the wringer over my article in the Palm Beach Post saying that Florida may be more purple than red.  But they were very professional about it, showing we can disagree and show respect to someone else.  Some liberals thought it was so outlandish that it had to be fake news until Noem doubled down on it on “X,” according to Raw Story.

We can debate all day about euthanizing older, sick animals and the proper way to do it.  But here’s something I wish we were talking about instead.

On the shortlist to be Trump’s Vice-Presidential pick, Governor Noem could have hyped it in a myriad of ways when she had to make tough choices that would be relevant to today’s politics.  I’m sure she had to make some tough budget cuts, and delay some key spending.  She could have talked about how challenging it was being a chief executive officer of a state during the pandemic.  Or maybe she could have articulated how tough it was to stand up to the anti-Semitic wing of the Right that would have earned her compliments, and even respect.  But no, she led with executing animals by gunshots in a gravel pit, to demonstrate some sort of toughness.

At the same time, we’ve learned from Trump’s former Attorney General, Bill Barr, about how often Trump openly discussed executing rivals a lot, and had to be talked out of it.  In the former President’s bid for immunity from prosecution currently pending before the court “Former President Trump’s legal team suggested Tuesday that even a president directing SEAL Team Six to kill a political opponent would be an action barred from prosecution given a former executive’s broad immunity to criminal prosecution,” according to The Hill.

Yes, post pictures of your dogs, cats, and other pets, to show your love for them, even when they chew on the couch.  But what we need, even more, is a national conversation about whether we should be electing a political official bent upon killing those he disagrees with, whose legal team is currently trying to defend this in court.