Kristi Noem Sends Guard Troops To Defend South Dakota's Border With Mexico
Deprived of a president who'd join her for a Fourth of July superspreader event this year, South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday ordered some 50 troops from the South Dakota National Guard to the US-Mexico border. IF you want to get all technical, the border is well over a thousand miles away from Mount Rushmore if you're talking El Paso, or more like 1,400 miles if you had Brownsville in mind.
Why send troops from South Dakota to "protect the border," which is actually a federal responsibility? The reasons are plentiful! 1) It's what other Republican governors have done recently, to send the message that some kind of crisis exists at the border and that Joe Biden is bungling the crisis, because it must be a crisis if states are having to send their own police and Guard troops! Also, 2) Unlike any other governor involved in this stupid show, Noem found a rich donor to pay for the deployment. Yes really. (We may be saying that a lot in this story.)
Noem's spokesman Ian Fury said the governor decided to fund the deployment with a private donation "to help alleviate the cost to South Dakota taxpayers," but declined to provide estimates on the cost of the deployment, citing "security reasons."
Willis and Reba Johnson's Foundation made the donation directly to the state, Fury said. Willis Johnson, a Tennessee-based billionaire, is the founder of an online used-car auction called Copart. He regularly makes large contributions to Republicans, including $200,000 to the Trump Victory Committee last year.
With a name like 'Ian Fury," we'd have expected Noem's spox to be down there on the border himself, possibly reciting lines from Apocalypse Now while playing with the machine gun on a Texas State Patrol not-too-swift boat.
Mr. Johnson explained that he'd actually approached Noem to offer money for the deployment, because he reckoned that Texas "has plenty of money" to do its own unnecessary border crisis panic displays.
Noem tried "explaining" why she simply had no choice but to send troops to stand around somewhere in Texas for no good reason.
"The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide," she said in a statement. "We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden's Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve."
YA BURNT, states that sent police to stand around somewhere in Texas for no good reason! As for the "crisis" supposedly driving all this, Politico notes:
Large numbers of migrants have been showing up at the U.S. border with Mexico, with many turning themselves over to U.S. Border Patrol agents in seeking legal asylum status. But the numbers of families and children traveling without their parents crossing into the U.S. have dropped sharply since March and April, while the encounters with single adults have remained high.
Republican governors of states like Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, and Nebraska — none of which actually have a border with Mexico — have eagerly sent cops and sometimes troops to back up Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's effort to build walls along the border, now that Biden has ended that utterly useless display of highly expensive, environmentally damaging dick-waggling. It's worth the expense, though, because trolling is easier than governing, and far more satisfying.
Abbott this month announced plans to build more barriers along the border. Abbott's new push has been criticized as political theater, but he defended the plan, saying the number of border crossers remains high. The governor said he will use $250 million in state money and crowdsourced financing for the barriers, although the timeline and cost for the push are unclear. It also faces potential court challenges from the federal government.
On the other hand, it's popular with anti-immigration idiots, so it's an easy call. Johnson, the billionaire donor, cited WALL as his primary motivation, saying, "America gave a lot of money to get that border wall done. [...] It takes private individuals now."
It really is impressive to see people willing to throw perfectly good money at a dumb project because they're terrified of brown people.
Abbott has pushed his personal WALL project with all the racist rhetoric you'd expect, claiming his state's border with Mexico looks like "a third-world country" and that area farms and ranches face "a tidal wave of illegal immigrants coming across the border." So far, he hasn't said anything about how they breed like insects, but we wouldn't be surprised if he did.
Abbott has wisely refused to say exactly how much of Texas's 1,254 miles of border with Mexico will be walled off by his completely new project. About 131 miles of new wall were built in Texas under Trump, so heck, now all that's left is another 1,123 miles, easy peasy!
Back in South Dakota, Democratic state Senator Reynold Nesiba questioned Noem's authority to send the Guard troops at all, considering that it's basically a political vanity show paid for by a donor.
"This could set a dangerous precedent to allow anonymous political donors to call the governor and dispatch the Guard whenever they want," he said.
Yes, and that would be bad why? If you can't use the National Guard to make yourself look like a tough border warrior a thousand miles from the border, why even have it at all?
In related speculation, we bet several other red state governors are exploring the possibility of deploying National Guard troops to public schools so they won't teach critical race theory.
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