By David Lias
Last time I checked, we now have four candidates who have announced plans to seek the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in the June 2014 primary election.
Stace Nelson, a state legislator who farms near Fulton, is the latest member of the South Dakota GOP to throw his hate in the ring. Other candidates (as I write this, anyway) are Larry Rhoden, a state senator from Meade County, Dr. Annette Bosworth, a physician with no political experience from Sioux Falls, and former Gov. Mike Rounds of Pierre.
I likely could make a prediction this very moment of who will win the Republican Senate primary race, and have a very good chance of being right.
I’ll resist that temptation, however, to instead talk about why one candidate most assuredly won’t win.
Dr. Annette Bosworth will barely be a blip on the radar of South Dakota Republican voters when it comes time to cast ballots in June 2014. She’s not known in political circles, and she has no experience as a political candidate (making one wonder why the first office she chooses to seek is something as major as U.S. senator).
And, so far, some of the things she’s been saying on the campaign trail show that she sorely lacks the political savvy to do a good job for South Dakota in Washington, DC.
Last Monday in Pierre, according to a report in the Pierre Capitol Journal, she told citizens of that community that repealing, defunding or otherwise revoking the Affordable Care Act has become her defining issue, mainly because health care is her realm of expertise and the lens she views the world through.
Bosworth has come to detest the measure as an independent practice owner. She said from her experience it will destroy patients’ freedom to choose their own health options and cause physicians to have to report confidential health information to an unseemly number of regulatory boards, including the Internal Revenue Service.
“How have I become an expert on Obamacare? I’ve tried to implement it for the last year and a half,” she said.
Despite primary contenders having increased from one to four since she first considered running several months ago, not to mention the Democratic challenger, Rick Weiland, Bosworth said she’s confident her message will resonate with her fellow South Dakotans.
“I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I could win,” she said.
From a strictly partisan point of view, the most baffling aspect of her position on Obamacare is the total lack of an upside it would bring for Bosworth and her party.
If Obamacare is the disaster that she and others in the GOP claim it is, the logical course for Republicans is to let it fail.
One can sense that Sen. John Thune (R-SD) realizes the total folly of attempting Bosworth’s idea of trying to totally revoke the Affordable Care Act.
According to a Wednesday morning news report, Thune said that even as conservatives “believe profoundly that Obamacare is the wrong prescription for the country and will be very harmful to people and the economy,” Republicans need to be “realistic” about what they can accomplish.
One idea that Tea Party Republicans in DC are considering is to withhold support for any bill to fund the government if it contains money to implement the health care law.
If the Republican-controlled House refuses to pass a spending bill with funding, and the Democrat-controlled Senate refuses to pass a spending bill without funding, the result could be no government until the impasse is resolved.
This scenario, if it actually plays out, will be a public-relations disaster that the Obama administration undoubtedly will use to maximum effect in the 2014-midterm congressional elections.
Thune certainly appears to understand that. Bosworth, it appears, doesn’t.
There is not a single Republican fingerprint on the Obamacare legislation. It was passed by Democrats, and only Democrats, in both houses of Congress.
If the GOP leadership truly believes Obamacare is the disaster they say it is, why not stand aside, let it be implemented and watch it flop?
They aren’t truly worried that it will succeed … are they??