Cognitive Dissonance and the GOP’s Nelson problem. Or is it Nelson’s GOP problem?

If you’ve been on facebook lately, or here at the SDWC, you might have noticed some of the elective blowback from Stace Nelson over his successful campaign this past Tuesday. For Example:



Image 23

Aside from Stace taking the opportunity to be a sore winner, of course, he tries to intimate that everyone is lying about him. According to himself, Stace is as pure as the driven snow, and never did anything “underhanded or dirty.” Despite ample evidence to the contrary such as his own robocalled voice on Sunday Night accusing his opponent of wearing women’s undergarments:

As the dust settles in the race, Nelson isn’t doing much by way of attempting to build bridges, as much as exhibiting cognitive dissonance; in that the beliefs he tries to claim do not match up his behaviors.

Aside from that, a bigger question is whether Nelson’s election represents a problem for the SDGOP?

Reading in comments on this website and elsewhere, Nelson’s election might raise a moral dilemma for some members of the GOP. Do you raise money and support the campaign of someone who is a complete jerk to a significant portion of the party? Or do you just walk away?  Already I’m hearing talk from a member or two of the lobbying corps who note that they don’t want any of their donations to go into Nelson’s coffers.

It’s not unlike the GOP’s problem on the national level with whether or not to support Donald Trump as he attacks people and says offensive things. Do you get out and support the nominee, do you support the opponent, or do you just take a pass.

With Donald Trump, the Hillary alternative is even more offensive, so it’s hard to consider that an option. But with Stace, it depends on who the opponent is.

Russell Graeff is the Democrat in the race, a man Nelson has claimed is only serving as a placeholder. That’s not hard to believe, and regardless, Democrats may replace him anyway after Graeff appears to have been arrested for DUI on May 16th.

Maybe a better question to ask, is “will Nelson face a GOP problem?”

If Democrats replaced Graeff with someone with political experience and well-liked, the race could become competitive, especially given that Nelson is directly antagonistic with those who had supported him in the past.  

Upon his entrance into the race, he openly attacked the sitting Senator Bill VanGerpen. From his abuse and public name-calling at Senator Bill VanGerpen, one would not have known that pre-US Senate, VanGerpen was his biggest campaign donor, and had jointly campaigned with him in the past.

Nelson has also taken after other legislators, at least one whom he accused of encouraging Caleb Finck to get into the race when he did the opposite.   Nelson also attacked Jim Putnam, who had represented the area for years, and has gone after the two house members in his district enough to the point where they were openly in support of his opponent.

Going from his biggest financial supporter to the subject of Nelson’s public abuse in newspapers, its highly doubtful that VanGerpen will be lending any support to the Nelson campaign.  The same goes for the House candidates, and most statewide and other elected officials.  Does anyone think US Senator John Thune is going to want Nelson within a country mile of him, after Nelson called for Thune being primaried?  I don’t think I even need to ask about Senator Mike Rounds.

The GOP does not provide direct cash assistance to candidates as they had in the past, which leaves Nelson’s monetary sources limited, which could crunch him for cash in the face of a serious opponent. For some, letting the seat go to a mildly ineffective Democrat may be preferable to backing someone who will be verbally abusive to his colleagues and causing the kind of drama that arose during his last stint in the legislature.

With the possibility Democrats could put someone tolerable in the race, Nelson may find that burning his bridges has only succeeded in isolating himself on an island of his own making.

53 Replies to “Cognitive Dissonance and the GOP’s Nelson problem. Or is it Nelson’s GOP problem?”

  1. Troy Jones

    This is in the top-five districts in the state with regard to GOP voter registration %. No matter what Democrat runs, it will be herculean to beat him. Need to do the math but I’m not sure all of Caleb’s supporters, all of the Independents, and all of the Democrats in that Distrct add up to a win.

    The choice is simple: Stace and his colleagues find a way to get along respectfully or they operate separate.

    1. ANNON

      What “leadership” do you think he will have. He will huff and puff and in the end get nothing done but get press for his outrageous statements.

  2. Anonymous

    Did anyone really do much to oppose him in the primary or is he pretty much just coasting and attacking.

  3. The Guy from Guernsey

    “Already I’m hearing talk from a member or two of the lobbying corps who note that they don’t want any of their donations to go into Nelson’s coffers.”

    oooowwww the insular donor class of Pierre won’t give a politician any of their money !! Money offered presumably in order that their water be carried through the legislative session, often in direct contrast to the best interests of their constituents. Sometimes in directly contrary to the will and intent of voters (e.g. HB 1067).

    No worries. We’ll still have plenty of pols with a palm out and buckets ready.

    If only lobbyists could be brought to have similar reservations about more politicians. We would be better served.

  4. Kernel Fan

    Troy Jones and Pat Powers now pushing Frank Klocek over the GOP landslide primary winner?

    Nelson just beat everything you people threw at him and you now think that the independents and the Democrats are going to oppose him because of a college kid dressed in women’s clothes?

    Two years from now, Nelson is the senate incumbent. Finck is remembered as the Daugaard candidates dressed in women’s clothes who was pushed by Bill Van Gerpen, Jim Putnam, and a bunch of special interests.

    We thought that You jumped the shark when you supported Tidemann and Peters. Now you’re jumping it backwards.

  5. Troy Jones

    Kernel Fan,

    You are a nut or can’t read. I’m pushing nothing. I said specifically I didn’t think the numbers were there for a Democrat to win in that district. Period.

    1. Anonymous

      Mr Jones,
      While Kernal fan is by definition a nut ” nət/ noun1.a fruit consisting of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel.”

      The misunderstanding of your intent appears to be the fault of the author’s painful explanation.

      I have never seen one circumstances of outrage by you or Mr Powers over anything with Mr Nelson dealing with his voting record or positions as a noted conservative Republican. Every claimed outrage was contrived or created political propaganda against Mr Nelson for his opposition to this or previous administration’s corruption, fiscal irresponsibility, or departures from Republican principles.

      Even in this circumstance of outrage over Nr Nelson “negatively” campaigning against Mr Finck. You and Mr Powers acknowledge Mr Finck’s stance on gun control, and his participation in the SDSU Homely Queen competition, are negative. Instead of holding Mr Finck responsible for such UnRepublican conduct, you and others dishonestly try to transfer that admitted negative from the person responsible Mr Finck, to Mr Nelson who had nothing to do with either situation.

      The political scales have greatly changed this year. There are enough traditional Republicans (conservatives) potentially in the Senate to cause a recorded vote on every conservative issue that originates or makes it to the senate. If the conservatives decide to caucus separately as conservatives, they may have enough numbers to be the majority which would leave the moderates in no man’s land in the middle

      You establishment types hated Nelson in the House? That “Bull elephant conservative” let loose in the Senate? With the momentum of Tea Party wins inciting activists? The cautionary warning should be to the moderates to start voting with Republicans instead of the Democrats.

        1. Nelson Supporter

          Wait a minute!? You said I was Stace Nelson. I didn’t post those comments, so what do you do? Label every post you don’t like “Stace Nelson?”

      1. Gallery Lizard

        Stace’s problems aren’t with his votes. It’s his behavior, and his attacks on fellow Republicans.

        1. Nelson Supporter

          I 100% support him outing “Republicans” who vote with the Democrats, like Democrats. That is not “attacking” Republcans. His loyalty should not be to politicians but to Republican principles. That sums up why you people hate him, because he won’t go along to get along with you!

  6. Daniel Buresh

    A politician who isn’t going to follow lockstep in place with what the establishment demands?….Are you aware of how the wind is blowing this election cycle? We sent the message last session when over 60% of voters wanted a raise for teachers and we were willing to support a Democratic bill because our Republicans have sat on their hands for years kicking the bucket down the road. Maybe if they discussed, argued, and compromised more; didn’t follow inline all the time; we may actually have legislation that solves problems and not concentrating on who is sh!tting in the stall next to you. When I hear some politicians were ticked at how things worked in Pierre this year, I have to think to myself that they may have actually done their job for once. If they don’t want to come back, it’s ok. They can act like 2 year olds and take their balls and go home.

    1. Anonymous

      “A politician who isn’t going to follow lockstep?”

      Obviously you weren’t paying attention when he was alleged to have threatened another legislator, screaming across the room in committee, and other antics.

      That wasn’t Stace solving problems. That was him being an ass.

  7. Steve Sibson

    ” in that the beliefs he tries to claim do not match up his behaviors.”

    I think that more correctly applies to the RINOs who claim to be conservatives. And when those voting behaviors are brought into campaigns, the propagandists call it negative, dirty, and we should be ashamed for passing on lies. And the media is all to happy to repeat the propaganda because they know what butters their bread…ads paid with campaign money from those special interests who benefit from tax increases.

  8. anonymous

    I read on another posting that Stace is mad at home.

    That too would be a lie since no one knows what he does at home.

    And now we read that those with dissenting opinions are just nuts. great retort!

    Its time that these loudmouths shut their pieholes about this guy until they can say somthing nice about him.

  9. Anonymous

    To Nelson and his supporters;
    You proclaim with righteous indignation that he is going to Pierre to call out RINOs and be a leader for true conservatism. I ask what’s the point if you can’t pass bills and you can’t stop bills? Why don’t you just go lobby particularly since you can’t even be civil enough to join a caucus?Lance Russell may not get many bills passed and he certainly holds no candle to Nelson on hard core conservatism but at least he is respected and can get along with others.

    1. Nelson Supporter

      Again with the ad hominem attacks claiming Stace Nelson and Representative Russell are not effective. If these two were not effective? You wouldn’t see the nonstop panic and attacks.

      1. Troy Jones

        Nelson Supporter: You might want to look up the definition of ad hominem. You are misusing the term.

        1. Charlie Hoffman

          Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

          1. anonymous

            Ad hominem (or argumentum ad hominem) assertions are not always “fallacies”.

            Ones motives are frequently legitimate and worthwhile modes of attacking the substance. In other situations, using a persons known penchant for lying (a character flaw of course) is surely a legitimate mode of rebutting the substance of ones statements.

            So much for your mimicking a wiki entry.

      2. Anonymous

        It has zero to do with effectiveness of legislation. Would you want to put up with personal attacks, droning on and on over every bill, countless bills that never stand a chance? In essence, the wasting of time and agitation of your colleagues is why people don’t want him there, not because he is shaking up the system or advancing his legislation.

  10. Anonymous

    ad ho·mi·nem
    /ˌad ˈhämənəm/
    adverb & adjective
    adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem
    1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining. “vicious ad hominem attacks”

    2. relating to or associated with a particular person.”the office was created ad hominem for Fenton”

    1 ad hominem adjective | ad ho·mi·nem |\(ˈ)ad-ˈhä-mə-ˌnem, -nəm\

    Definition of ad hominem
    1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

  11. Pancho

    The problem is not Mr Nelson. I have never seen him support tax and fee increases, increases in government, candidates who support abortion, or candidates who dress in women’s clothing.

    Our legislators are supposed be going to the legislature to argue and speak at length on issues important to South Dakotans, not go there to make lobbyists and leftists happy.

    Mr Nelson is so “ineffective” that despite the entirety of the Daugaard machine funneling cash to his opponent, and the governor, two former, and four current legislators best efforts to beat him? Nelson strolled to a huge win.

    I looked at his Facebook pages, this post is grossly misleading. One friend of Mr Finck made the post above, that Mr Nelson left up. Over 400 “likes” for his thank you note with over 80 comments of congratulations.

    1. Anonymous

      So by “effective” you mean winning an election and Facebook likes?
      If Stace would act like Brock Greenfield, he would be a lot more “effective.” How Stace votes isn’t the problem, it’s how he conducts himself.

    2. Anonymous

      The only one who worries about Facebook likes (remember the US Senate campaign and the mysterious follower jump where he denied he bought them) and talks about Stace this much is Stace.

      So, whatever, Stace.

      1. Anonymous

        I hate to point out the obvious, but it was the blogger who pointed out 1 negative post by Finck’s supporter and ignored the hundreds of likes and congratulations.

        Mr Nelson is recognized by friend and foe alike as being a rock solid conservative Republican. The opposition to him isn’t personal, despite the claims otherwise, as none of the positions he has taken were personal, they were all ideological. The calls now to support a Democrat to defeat him show that clearly to be the case.

        1. Anonymous

          You mean the post where Stace refused to take responsibility for his negative trash? The only one who recognizes Mr. Nelson as a “a rock solid conservative Republican” is himself. Most others find him to be boorish.

          And who is calling for support of a Democrat? The only thing I’ve read is that Nelson should be worried about one. Whether the people support a democrat remains to be seen.

          I think someone is stewing in the perceptions they’ve made up in their head.

  12. Troy Jones

    Ad hominem attacks are always logic fallacies as the proponent is independent of the argument presented.

    The reason is just because you don’t like someone, under rules of logic, it is a fallacy to declare an argument false. Similarly, just because you like someone it is no reason to declare an argument true.

    Your comment to question motives as the means to attack an argument (or accept an argument) is illogical by definition.

    With regard to lying, that is a logical reason to have a higher degree of skepticism with regard to any FACTS they present but a logical mind questions all facts within reason before fully accepting an argument because faulty facts are false grounds supporting the argument. That said, false facts may not automatically be grounds for declaring an argument false (or true facts for declaring an argument true) as the facts themselves may be irrelevant or overshadowed by other facts.

  13. anonymous

    Your simply wrong.

    You assume that a statement asserted by another is always an argument. You assume that a statement made is always logical, or illogical. You assume that a statement made is always made without bias or prejudice.

    It is not.

    Under these circumstances, an ad hominem attck is not always a fallacy, and may even be perfectly logical given the proper context.

    You don’t know what your talking about so go troll somewhere else. Or go take a course or 2 in rhetoric or basic philosophy.

  14. Troy Jones

    If a statement is not logical, logic dictates you argue against the illogical argument and not attack the person.

    If a statement is filled with bias or prejudice, logic dictates you expose where bias and prejudice make the argument false and not attack the person.

    Even a weak mind should be able to refute illogic and not have the need to make a personal attack.attacking the person is a distraction from the matter at hand.

    I will compare my knowledge and understanding of logic and philosophy to yours any day but I can’t because you are too cowardly to expose your name. Convenient for on who also defends personal attacks. Very cowardly.

  15. anonymous

    I certainly have not defended personal attatcks.

    I have spoken loudky against the hate spewed on here about several targets. weren’t you part of the crowd hating on the Stace Nelson guy? Yes, you were the one asserting that he was either mad on the job or mad at home. Was tha t you? I believe Websters would describe that as an “ad hominem” attack, and in that case, illogical and off point.

    It could have been some other Troy Jones (which I doubt is your real name!) I suppose spewing irrelevant factoids like Cliff Claven from Cheers!

    And no, you have shown little knowledge of rhetoric or logic, so don’t fool yourself hypocrite troll.