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The Right Resistance: Noem one-offs her ’24 Trump veep chance by offing pooch before its time

It’s probably safe to say that not many of us have ever paused a moment before committing an adrenaline-filled impulsive act to ponder, ‘If I actually go ahead with this, will it disqualify me for a future run for president years down the line’?

Yet some spur-of-the-moment contemplation, like when you’re about to put a gun to the head of a naughty but still young dog that you just happen to hate, could save the contemplator a boatload of frustration in difficult times. Or, in the alternative, if you do end the poor pup’s life, just don’t write about it in a personal tell-all book – about yourself.


This fairly well describes South Dakota governor and one-time lead candidate to be 2024 Republican nominee Donald J. Trump’s running mate Kristi Noem, who’s been catching more than her share of flak lately for seemingly being proud of snuffing out a pesky dog she owned simply because she could do it (by law) and the urge struck.


Isn’t this the kind of thing a politician might want to keep under wraps? At any rate, Noem penned a book about tough decision-making gravitas and included a description of how her dog “Cricket” breathed her last breath in front of the working end of one of Noem’s firearms. It goes without saying that some folks – a lot of folks – were a little upset about the seemingly callous and uncaring nature of someone who could very well be vice president someday, a mere heartbeat away from the Oval Office (occupied by a man in his late 70’s no less).


How to think of Noem now? In a typically hard-hitting (for him) commentary titled “Trump’s VP Pick Should Be Someone Who Has Never Admitted to Shooting a Puppy”, the inimitable Kurt Schlichter wrote at Townhall last week:


“… Kristi Noem capped Cricket the dog and then wrote about it in her book. Besides being bizarre and cruel, this was politically insane. It’s totally disqualifying, and apparently Donald Trump agrees because rumor has it that she’s off his shortlist. Somewhere across the rainbow bridge, Cricket is wagging her tail as she watches Noem’s political future dragged to the gravel pit and given the Joe Pesci in ‘Goodfellas’ treatment.


“Now, Noem was terrible anyway. Her country-girl affectation was tiresome, and as soon as the Chamber of Commerce cried, she immediately betrayed young women and refused to stop men pretending to be women from stealing their sports. But you can come back from betraying the base – not for folks like you and me, but for other, softer Republicans. There are lots of pols who have flirted with establishment RINOism and come back. Hi, Marco Rubio. But you just can’t come back from shooting puppies...


“[Trump] cannot pick Noem. There is no way that we Republicans want to spend the next six months when we should be talking about how Biden is turning this country into a communist hellhole of economic despair, fat commie campus mutants, and foreign policy humiliation, trying to articulate a defense of shooting puppies so that Kristi can live her dream of getting the hell out of South Dakota.”


Ouch. Harsh. But as I’m often heard replying to someone who doesn’t appreciate “tone” in polite conversation, what did Schlichter write that wasn’t true? There isn’t much sugar-coating that could be applied to this one. The mere image of an attractive made-up gal like Noem brandishing a gun and blowing “Cricket” away – at a gravel pit, no less – is disturbing to say the least.


The establishment media would – and already has – had a field day with this one. If Trump were to name Kristi his number two now, Cricket’s sad fate would be all the gabbers and gossipmongers would want to talk about. Forget immigration, the economy, abortion, “woke” culture, Critical Race Theory or transgender male participation in girls’ sports – or the destruction of Title IX – the news industry would ask about Noem and the unfortunate pooch.

This is in no way defending what Noem did, but I know for a fact that people who grew up on farms or in rural communities feel differently about treatment of animals -- and what "rights" the critters have, if any (other than pretty standard protections against animal cruelty. No Michael Vicks here). As an example, I have cousins who worked a farm in a certain midwestern state that happens to hold the first-in-the-nation caucuses -- you know, with corn and soybeans and chickens and combines and barns for doing the stuff of filling the nation's breadbaskets and display cases with food.


Well, when I visited my kin years ago, they talked about having barns full of cats that they wouldn't ever feed much less protect from the atmosphere’s nasty elements. Sometimes, they indicated, that they'd find dead cats, and the carcasses would be treated with about the same amount of deference as they would an expired farm animal. Yup, they have an incinerator right there -- often smelled like bacon!


The cats kept the rodent population down, so they were useful. But there wasn't any "emotion" involved with housing them. And they weren't pets. The city-dweller cat owners treat their felines better than some mothers would tend to their children. But not on a farm. There are lots of Kristi Noems in flyover country.


Further, my grandfather was a rough-and-ready tradesman brought up in the school of hard knocks and self-terminated his education after the sixth grade, figuring he would "learn" more by going to work in the adult world and getting paid. I remember as a kid visiting my grandparents' home and loving to play with their two dogs, one of which was a pug named "Nugget". As dogs do, Nugget got old, all but lost his vision and spent his final days in obvious physical pain. But instead of taking the dog to be humanely put down, my grampa put Nugget out of his misery with a garden tool. I was horrified when I heard about it. But was Nugget's last moment any worse than being put to sleep via injection -- or having Noem deal with "Cricket" with a gun blast?


Nevertheless, Schlichter is correct. The American public reveres cute little animals like puppies, sadly allotting them much more consideration as to their welfare than human beings growing in a female mother's womb (no transgender crap here). I've known liberal pet owners who had shirts and coffee mugs made with their pet's picture who, in the next breath, became antagonistic and hostile when asked about their feelings on abortion. Such is the amazing hypocrisy of the left.


Or who can forget in 2012 when Mitt Romney faced more than his share of establishment media attention when the story of his family's banishing of the family pooch to the top of the group's station wagon made headlines for days/weeks? The journos made it sound like the Republican nominee was a serial abuser of fuzzy friends, further dehumanizing a politician who already was questionable for his robotic, over-rehearsed, plastic phony nature. You mean Mitt was insensitive to his dog’s comfort level? Oh, the horrors! Romney explained, somewhat painfully, that his dog didn't suffer from his travel condition -- and even that the canine fared much better up in the fresh air than he would've if he were confined in the over-crowded human passenger compartment.


And how many times have you witnessed "comfort" dogs brought on airplanes, purportedly to provide emotional support for some schlep whose delicate sensibilities wouldn't allow for traveling alone or being taken care of by helpful (and notified) flight attendants? Being tucked under an airline seat isn't cruel to the beast, no matter how small? What gives?


It goes without saying that Noem – or any other politician – shouldn’t be irreparably judged and assessed based on one non-politically correct decision that happened years ago. There certainly must’ve been hundreds if not thousands of choices everyone’s made in their lives, 99.9 percent of which would never be exposed to the outside world – and not act as disqualifiers to holding public office.


Governor Kristi couldn’t possibly have realized that her decision to take Cricket on a one-way journey to the gravel pit would result in her national disqualification someday, but Americans aren’t necessarily a pardoning lot, figuring Noem’s final solution for a single dog deemed untrainable sheds unforgivable light on her character.


In other words, she’s toast, at least for 2024 and likely for the future as well. Once you’re branded as a doggy assassin, who comes back from that?


Besides, as Schlichter pointed out in his piece, there are a host of other Republicans who don’t have dog-killing tendencies (or again, weren’t dumb enough to detail such lack of common sense in a book).


With Noem’s name all-but removed from Trump’s getting shorter list, who would appear to have the upper hand? The rumor mill is abuzz, as always, with more mainstream names having floated to the top in place of the flash-in-the-pan longshots such as Tulsi Gabbard or Vivek Ramaswamy or Senator Tim Scott, all of whom are interesting but probably wouldn’t do much for the ticket.


In their places are a group of governors who are considered hot prospects due to their greater appeal to conservatives and the party establishment. They are, in no particular order, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Virginia chief Glenn Youngkin and North Dakota’s Doug Burgum, the first and third being 2024 GOP presidential candidates.



All of the names Schlichter mentioned would be strong veep candidates and presumably, none of them have been dumb enough to cop to offing doggies who hadn’t fully completed their growth and maturity.


Trump is clearly looking for a “dream ticket” including himself and another Republican who would go full on for the MAGA agenda. What he wants to avoid, at all cost, is a “nightmare” scenario where the only thing the media would ask about is an ugly moment in the person’s past. Who will it be?

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1 Comment

May 10

Indeed, it does seem that she is out of the running. Which doesn't bother me at all, since I wasn't looking for her to be selected. There are two rumored shortlists out there (possibly more), which didn't have Noem on it. I saw a report that had it down to Governor Burgum, and a trio of US Senators: Tim Scott, JD Vance, and Marco Rubio. Rubio is new, I may not have seen his name for consideration before.

Another list came out in a fundraiser text that I got, somehow, from Senator Hagerty yesterday (It worked! I gave him a dollar...I gave Trump $20.24). He says the finalists are Vivek, DeSantis, Tim Scott, Byron Donalds, and Tulsi Gabbard. Can you…

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