Kristi Noem: A Republican Who Frags Culture Warriors
I wish I could bring myself to care about the big GOP fight in the House of Representatives over the speakership. I know it's important, but I don't really take the Washington party to be serious about the issues that move me the most. I think it's probably the case that more Washington Republicans are serious than I realize, but in general, I vote Republican not because I expect them to do much, but because they do less harm than Democrats do.
Sometimes, though, you'll hear about a senior Republican politician who is a jaw-dropping sellout to the enemies of conservatives. Nate Hochman's powerful piece in National Review about South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem ought to drive a stake right through the heart of any national political career she hoped to have. It shows that she has a tendency to shoot conservative culture warriors in the back, and responds vindictively when she's called on it. I wrote back in 2021 about how she threw female athletes and conservatives under the bus to defend Big Trans. She's still doing that kind of thing, according to Hochman's reporting. Excerpts:
Last month, South Dakota State University (SDSU) sparked fierce criticism from conservatives after allowing a “kid-friendly” drag show to be hosted on campus. Among those critics was Norman Woods, director of the state-based social-conservative advocacy group Family Heritage Alliance (FHA), who penned an open letter to Governor Kristi Noem urging her to take action: “Innocent children should not be exposed to drag shows. Full stop,” Woods wrote. “Considering you have the power to hold the South Dakota Board of Regents accountable and fire at will, I am greatly disappointed you and your administration have taken no action to rectify this situation or to ensure that drag shows for children never happen again on South Dakota soil.”
Noem has just responded — by denying responsibility, threatening to sever ties with FHA, and implicitly calling for Woods to be fired.
“I’d encourage the Family Heritage Alliance to evaluate the purpose of your organization,” she wrote in a letter to the group’s board of directors yesterday. “Is it to promote family values — or is it to attack the most conservative governor in the country? I believe it is the former. . . . I suggest you find an executive director who agrees.”
The controversial event, which took place on state property and was organized by the college’s Gender & Sexualities Alliance student group, encouraged attendees to “show [their] support for the drag queens by bringing $1 or $5 bills to tip,” according to a now-deleted post on the SDSU website. (“This show will be kid-friendly, so bring the whole family,” the promotional ad concluded.) The controversy led to swift condemnations from conservatives, including some in the state legislature who argued that the drag show’s content could be illegal under South Dakota’s prohibition on “show[s] or other presentation[s]” deemed “harmful to minors.” Woods’s letter echoed those criticisms and requested that Noem “work with the Attorney General’s office” to apply that section of South Dakota law, “push legislation that protects South Dakota minors from future drag shows,” and speak “to the South Dakota Board of Regents and the President of the South Dakota State University about this drag event to ensure our taxpayer-funded buildings are not used to harm our children in the future.”
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If we cannot count on GOP elected officials to oppose drag shows for children at publicly-funded venues, what's the point of electing those officials?