Thune Advances to #2 position in US Senate

From the Argus Leader:

28 Replies to “Thune Advances to #2 position in US Senate”

  1. duggersd

    Congratulations to John Thune. I am sure this is an honor for him. However I have voted for him for the last time. Anybody in Washington for that long winds up becoming part of the problem. I respected his decision to leave the House after three terms. I think he should do this in the Senate as well.

    1. Troy Jones

      Dont see the logic of always having junior Senators and ceding leadership to others. But, presuming it exists, we should have limits of twenty years to be a teacher.

      By the way, we have term limits. It is called the ballot box as many discovered last week. There are a lot of ways to denigrate democracy and taking away the right of the governed to vote for who they please. Term limits is among the most insidious.

      1. duggersd

        We do have term limits in theory, but in practicality they do not exist. Generally, more than 80% of Senators are re-elected. Since 1964, there have been a total of 8 elections in which less than 79% were re-elected. Since 2000 there have been 0 elections in which less than 79% of the Senators were re-elected. That is 10 election cycles. Some of those years were as high as 96%. You have to go back to 1986 to see the last time the rate was less than 79% (75%). Myth or not, continued “service” leads to the swamp we have today. Like our President, I am in favor of draining the swamp. The problem with swimming in the swamp is eventually you become covered in the swamp. BTW, the House is even higher, probably due to the sheer numbers. 7 flips vs. 80+.

          1. Anonymous

            Are you kidding? Daschle actually had power and clout. He could’ve done so much for South Dakota in terms of bringing home the pork. While I don’t like his stance on issues- I would’ve liked to see more federal funding flow to this welfare state.

            That’s why Sen. Johnson was so effective – he brought home the bacon and South Dakotans – and voters rewarded him for it.

            Thune has accomplished a lot, but I’m waiting for big ticket items. Protecting Ellsworth, the Powder River Expansion, crop subsidies, etc… but where’s the revolutionary item?

    2. Anonymous

      I agree with you duggersd. The founders didn’t intend for the positions of senator and congressperson to be a career; they intended that a citizen would go in for a while, do the best they could, and then return to their life as a private citizen. There is so much money in politics that the governed are limited to who they can viably elect by the amount of money a candidate has. DC is a corrupting place, and power is intoxicating.

      Teaching is a career, being a politician was meant to be a temporary thing.

  2. Troy Jones

    For a bunch of founding fathers who didn’t think it was a career, most served for more than 30 years. The idea public service was to be done for a few years is a great myth. The founding fathers considered it a noble vocation. Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe, And Jay. And if you go to the next generation and count their military years, they were in public service even longer.

    1. duggersd

      People in favor of term limits do not in general object to someone going from the House to the Senate or vice-versa. Most do not object to someone going from one public office to the Presidency.
      George Washington served two terms as President. 0 in Congress.
      To my knowledge, Franklin did not serve in Congress and even though he is on $100 bill, he was not a president.
      Adams was two terms as Vice-President and one as President.
      Madison did serve in Congress, but not for long.
      Jefferson did not serve in Congress, but did serve two terms as President and as Vice President.
      John Jay did not serve in Congress.
      Monroe served two terms as President.
      All of these people did not stay in any one position for a long time. I don’t see the myth.

    2. Anonymous

      Let’s be realistic- public service for the Foundeds benefitting them and those like them – affluent white men. Let’s not call it public service when most had slaves and treated women as objects.

      A real public servant would have ended slavery years before the end actually happened.

      1. William Beal

        Presentism, at its worst, encourages a kind of moral complacency and self-congratulation.

        Our forbears constantly fail to measure up to our present-day standards.

  3. The ghost of Senators past

    Swamp creature!!

    Troy, thats not what you and the repugs were saying about ol Tommy two-shoes Daschle. Once he was in DC long enough to have some influence, he had been there too long.

    But I’m sure that was different, feel free to stumble through an attempt at explaining how, I’ll grab some tea.

  4. Troy Jones

    If John moves to DC with his family and starts hanging with the DC crowd, it will be time for him to come home. But, as of now, he can still be found at Augie, SDSU, USD, et. al. athletic events, shops in HyVee, and spends more nights in SD every year than Daschle did in his entire 6 year term. As you might know, Daschle’s decision to stay in DC (and hardly ever coming back in the last dozen years) kinda confirms his heart is someplace else.

    Further, if he uses his new found position to promote issues/positions contrary to the majority of South Dakotans, I encourage you to bring that up and let the voters decide. As you know, Daschle’s choice of clients and work isn’t connected to South Dakota which confirms his issue priorities is someplace else.

  5. Troy Jones

    Dugger: “We do have term limits in theory, but in practicality they do not exist. Generally, more than 80% of Senators are re-elected.” So you have a beef with who the people choose and send back? What else about self-rule don’t you like?

    “Myth or not, continued “service” leads to the swamp we have today.” What evidence do you have to make that statement. New elected leaders win by making promises. The only way we will get reform is by those who are secure enough to get re-elected making the tough decisions or are willing to lose. There is absolutely no evidence new members are more virtuous.

    “Like our President, I am in favor of draining the swamp.” Nice job of virtue signaling. But your promise to vote against someone without regard to whether it is true or not is not virtuous. It is lazy and unthinking.

    “The problem with swimming in the swamp is eventually you become covered in the swamp.” The problem with empty bromides is they are shallow and nonsense.

  6. duggersd

    “So you have a beef with who the people choose and send back?” One of my complaints, and those of many others, is that we keep electing Republicans who won’t do the things we need in Congress. As a nation,we believe Congress is the problem, but when questioned about our Congressperson, she/he is doing great job. After FDR, our nation chose to put term limits on the Presidency. By your logic, we should get rid of that, too. Personally, I like it. Had RR not had the beginnings of alzheimer’s disease, I would have liked him be able to have a third term, but also recognize it would be better if we moved on.
    “There is absolutely no evidence new members are more virtuous.” You have a minor point, but when one gets into Congress, they are basically told their number one job is to get re-elected. Perhaps if they knew they only had a certain amount of time to get things done, they would worry more about what should be done. Congresspeople have a habit of finding ways to bring home the bacon to their states and districts rather than look at the needs of the nation.
    “lazy and unthinking”. I personally am less than satisfied with how things are working in our Congress. BTW, John Thune imposed his own term limits when in the House. He apparently at one time agreed with me.
    “shallow and nonsense”. I have raised three kids. There are certain kids I would not let my kids hang with. That is because they were into drinking, dope, and etc. I am not saying they always followed my rules, but they have turned into reasonably productive adults. Why did I not want my kids hanging with those people? Because I knew that if they are around bad things, they will be more likely to try the bad things. I believe the same is true in adulthood.
    We may disagree on this, but it is always nice to have a reasonable conversation.

  7. Anonymous

    John’s done a great job of promoting himself in DC. I’m not sure what his time in office has done for South Dakota or the nation.

  8. Troy Jones


    First, I want to say that I think you are one of the most thoughtful and intellectually hefty posters on SDWC. This is the first time I can recall you arguing from a emotionally perspective.

    “One of my complaints, and those of many others, is that we keep electing Republicans who won’t do the things we need in Congress.” We will always get the government we deserve. The question is whether we will add to our just desserts inexperience. There would be no Justice Kavanaugh without the cool head and counsel of Grassley, Hatch & Collins. But, for them, he either would have been jettisoned or they’d have done a cursory hearing/investigation. It was the experience of these three who said go the whole ten yards and he’ll be approved. And, after Ford’s testimony when the grumbling started maybe he won’t make it, it was Grassley who stepped up.

    Regarding Presidential term limits, that is an executive position which an become nearly regal. One of 535 can never become more than a bunch of cats (I mean Counts). False equivalence.

    “You have a minor point” and then go on to ramble about “perhaps” as just a knee-jerk try something different. I’ll touch your points in greater detail later.

    “I personally am less than satisfied with how things are working in our Congress.” So is 75% of country. But that doesn’t mean this will make it better. You mention how with time they become corrupted. If I went for coffee and read a book at a whorehouse, how long until I become corrupted? 18 years if it is the same whorehouse but 24 years if I go between two whorehouses? Your position is grounded on a presumption which is not repeated anywhere else in human nature. What is known is those susceptible to corruption show up with the concupiscence. If it takes so long to be corrupted, why did you worry about a few interactions with the bad kids? Not your best argument. 🙂

    “BTW, John Thune imposed his own term limits when in the House. He apparently at one time agreed with me.” He was wrong then.

    Finally, you said earlier “People in favor of term limits do not in general object to someone going from the House to the Senate or vice-versa.” What we have in SD is a sham and the fact they don’t have a problem with it is an admission term limits is at best a placebo.

    I laugh when pro-term limit people also limit how powerful the Governor is relative to the Legislature and how the Governor always finds money for his priorities. Well duh. You get rid of people when they start having been through enough cycles to be a competent check and balance. Do you know how many legislators we have in our Legislature who have a good enough grasp on the budget process to really dig deep? ONE (Deb Peters). Not, two. ONE. And, because of term limits, we removed her as Chair of Appropriations, forced her to run for the House and is now a Jr. member in a body with almost 60 Republicans. Now maybe the House leadership will deign to keep her. But maybe not.

    When I worked for Mickelson, we never, ever worried about the newbies thwarting our agenda. It was the Bill Grams, George Shanard, Joe Barnett, Roger McKellips, Jim Burg, Lars Herseth, Bob Duxbury, Jerry Lammers, Homer Hardings. Governors love the “talent” is consistently restocked.

    One more real world reality. Real change from the Legislative branch comes from subject matter experts who have studied and worked the issue for years and have developed respect from their colleagues. Newbies have ideas that sound good but are too rough around the edges and end up sounding better than they really are.

    Dugger, I’m with you on we need fundamental change but it starts with the voters. We are the one’s who have been tolerating b.s. The only fix is WE start doing our job. Its the only way democracy’s work. Putting on bandaids to cover up puss (ala term limits) is only a pretend solution that will make it worse (ala what we’ve done here in SD with term limits).

    1. William Beal

      Troy, I’ve often made the same point as to how term limiting our legislature has simply made the Governor’s office more powerful.

      A full-time governor will always have far more power than a part time legislative branch and term limiting the legislators only weakens whatever check and balance they have on the executive.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see any groundswell of support to repeal the legislative term limits, at this point.

    2. duggersd

      I will agree there are times that I behave certain ways due to my principles that may be against my self-interests. I quit watching the NFL because of the kneeling issue. I will purchase a pickup next Spring, but will not purchase a GM or Chrysler/Dodge/Ram product. I choose not to vote for people whom I believe have served their time in any one office. I take the penalties of less choice of what to watch, buy, or vote for, but I am comfortable with that. And BTW, I think John Thune was right when he was in the House. His willingness to not become a fixture is one of the reasons I voted for him.

  9. Troy Jones


    The reason you see know groundswell is a lot of people like to feel good about themselves and virtue signal they are for term limits. And, then they turn their head when they jump between the houses because they don’t want the results of term limits- inexperienced legislators inadvertently susceptible to manipulation.

    When people say to them they aren’t voting for Trump even though they like his policies because of his personal demeanor/lifestyle/actions out of principle, the term limit people can only say “I hear you.” And, because they want to feel good about themselves, we get to live under inexperienced legislators and a President who pursues bad polices but is a good guy. Standing on sanctimony is not always a virtue. It can be selfish.

    1. duggersd

      Self interests, rightly understood.
      When I made the comment about switching houses, I was actually referring to the US House and US Senate. It is rare that someone goes from the Senate to the House. The facts are with the power of the incumbency, people who are already in office have a much better chance of re-election. I even doubt the US House would have changed hands in power if not for the retirement of so many Republicans. This power has lead to a legacy in which we have the same old dinosaurs in charge.


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