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Dear Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,

Yesterday, I read Jonathan Ellis’ piece in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader about your keen interest in our South Dakota Senate Race.

I looked at the clock, I put down my coffee, I put down my paper, and then I went to church.

There, I heard God, and I heard echoes of our George McGovern, and I found myself getting my righteous indignation on.

The word 'righteousness,' in Hebrew, is tzedek.  Strictly speaking, it means “properly aligned.” For example, ideally, both a car and its driver are tzedek.  

But of course, one can be aligned with any number of points.

So when one speaks of alignment, one also has to decide with which points one should be aligned.

The DSCC is choosing the wrong points.

It’s not like I needed Ellis’ article to make me wonder for the first time which points DC insiders are using to try to align South Dakota Democrats.  

Such intervention caught my attention in 2010: Dr. Kevin Weiland vs. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

That did not work out so splendidly.  

Needless to say, references in Ellis’ article to DSCC arm-twisting, threats, horse heads, and goons rang familiar but not hollow.

We South Dakota Progressives have come to know that you are not aligned with us, nor with core Democratic values, and certainly not with the spirit of George McGovern that runs wide and deep here within our state party.

Be not mistaken: there are far more Progressives here than you believe, and with pockets both small and large.

So I am not only indignant.  I am righteously indignant: righteous because the South Dakota Progressive cause is aligned with South Dakota and is aligned with the basic points of the Democrats.

But when powerful DC Dems enter South Dakota, they seem to align themselves with Republicans and their talking points.  

And your efforts are pointless: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin lost badly to Kristi Noem.

We South Dakota Progressives believe that the Republicans are out of alignment.  

You are too.

We’d like to bring you back into alignment, along the line of health care for all, care for farmers and our environment and our natural resources, concern for education, advocacy for the Least of These, governmental transparency, protection of the elderly, protection of the lower- and middle-classes, and unrelenting safeguarding of programs on behalf of women and children.

We have not forgotten the meddling in 2010, and what it got us.  

We have also not forgotten George McGovern.  Tom Daschle.  Tim Johnson.  

You have.

We are not interested in giving our money or our time or our voices on behalf of a Democrat who is aligned with the Republican agenda.

Come to South Dakota.  

Your alignment is out-of-whack.  

We’d be awfully glad to fix it for you and make you all tzedek again.

We’d even give you a free copy of George McGovern’s book What It Means To Be A Democrat while you wait.  

Originally posted to Anna M. Madsen on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by South Dakota Kos.

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