Kristi Noem Says Earth Is Round, Biden President-Elect, Quickly Recants
Donald Trump, the mad king, doesn't like anyone reminding him he's been deposed. It infuriates him when his flunkies acknowledge reality and don't cater to the fiction that the presidential election is somehow in extra innings. This is a challenge for Republicans who'd like to move on — not because they necessarily support democracy but because they need to get busy demonizing incoming President Biden.
Kristi Noem, the Republican governor and executioner of South Dakota, presented her 2022 fiscal year budget in Pierre Monday, and she said she expects "the road could be a little bit rough under the Biden administration" for her surviving constituents.
NOEM: We can expect that they may try to raise taxes, they have said that.
Biden won't raise taxes on individuals with incomes less than $400,000. Noem pulls down $113,961, and while it's adorable that she's worried about people who can buy and sell her, they don't live in South Dakota, where the median household income is $56,274. South Dakotans' more relevant concern is rising COVID-19 rates.
NOEM: Similarly, we can expect they will try to eliminate fossil fuels by passing the Green New Deal.
Biden has said he doesn't support the Green New Deal, and a Senate whose deciding votes are potentially Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema is unlikely to pass a Green New Deal. Biden's actual plan aims for making the United States carbon neutral by 2050.
The governor who still resists masks mandates warned about Biden's liberal “regulations."
NOEM: I expect that federal agencies will see South Dakota not necessarily as a partner but as a subordinate based on what they have already communicated to us. So, we are preparing for that.
This good old-fashioned Republican fearmongering is almost refreshing after more than a month of willful denial that Biden is president-elect. Noem is actively preparing for a barefoot hippie Biden administration, which is just 42 days away. She doesn't have to buy him an inauguration gift but she needs to ramp up her rightwing rhetoric.
Noem, like most other Republican cowards, has said that Trump is entitled to pursue every legal recourse against democracy. They probably assumed he'd get tired of having his ass beat so thoroughly in court and concede already. Noem gave her remarks on the same day as the safe harbor deadline when states locked in their electoral votes.
"What federal law requires is that if a state has completed its post-election certification by Dec. 8, Congress is required to accept those results," said Rebecca Green, an election law professor at the William & Mary law school in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The only fixed day in the U.S. Constitution is the inauguration of the President on January 20 at noon. Despite the media trying desperately to proclaim that the fight is over, we will continue to champion election integrity until (every) legal vote is counted fairly and accurately.
It's not the media doing the proclaiming. It's the courts. The “elite strike force" dared speak the name of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who said the “ultimate significance" is Jan. 6, when Congress counts and certifies the votes of the Electoral College. However, this was from her dissent in Bush v. Gore, where she advocated for an existing count in Florida to continue past the safe harbor deadline. Wisconsin and Georgia have completed multiple recounts. Trump's team has had more than a month to argue and, you know, prove that widespread voter fraud affected the outcome. They've failed and will continue to fail.
But it's clear that Republicans are stuck on this sinking ship until Biden is sworn in. Noem's director of communications, Ian Fury, later clarified that Noem was discussing a “potential" Biden administration. She wasn't acknowledging Biden as the next president. She was speaking in hypotheticals like she was in an intro to philosophy course: Can Joe Biden win a presidency he himself could not lift?
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."