No Good Way Ahead for Herseth Sandlin?

As most of us know, Representative Herseth Sandlin voted no on the HCR bill before the House of Representatives yesterday. Her statement behind that decision is as follows:

“Unfortunately, this bill is too expensive. It does not do enough now or in the future to contain costs or to lower insurance rates. And it is marred by special deals,” Rep. Herseth Sandlin said in a statement Sunday night.


“I listened closely to thousands of South Dakotans throughout this process, and it is clear to me that the vast majority of my constituents do not support this health care bill ,” Herseth Sandlin said.

On the face of it, it would seem that she gets it–as in fact a vast majority of her constituents (otherwise known as possible future supporters) do not support the bill. However, the three reasons (roughly defined) that she gives for voting no are not terribly encouraging. She speaks of expense, rates, and deals–not a single word about the Constitution or the power of the federal government vs the power of the state government.

Scott Johnson of PowerLine sees her no vote as having little bearing on our next steps to undo this terrible thing which has been/is being done:

Dedicating ourselves to the repeal of Obamacare means dedicating ourselves to the defeat of Democrats at every level of government, but especially at the state and federal level. As Hugh Hewitt points out, the 34 Democrats who voted against Obamacare must be held accountable for their votes for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House and their other votes in favor of the program of national socialism on which Obama is embarked.

Take, for example, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota. The good people of South Dakota must understand that her vote against Obamacare is meaningless so long as she contributes to the Democrats’ will to power in Washington. She should be defeated in favor of a Republican candidate who will help constitute a partisan majority for the undoing of Obamacare.

And, of course, there is the question of competition for Ms. Herseth-Sandlin in the Democrat primary this year. Steve Hildebrand had said a few days ago that he would run against her if the vote for HCR passed or was too close. Now, it appears he’s backing off and claiming that the vote wasn’t really close enough to warrant his joining the race. Hard to know if he was merely bluffing–but that is what it appears to be. If Herseth Sandlin is seen by Hildebrand and others to be tacking toward the right to shore up her chances for re-election this fall against the likes of Chris Nelson or Blake Curd, she may well see a challenger from within her own party.

Bottom line? This is shaping up to be a very difficult year to be a Democrat representative from a (still) center-right Midwestern state.