Pro-shutdown SD ranchers upset shutdown means no federal aid for devastating blizzard

South Dakota ranchers, who were in favor of the government shutdown, are now bemoaning the fact that the shutdown means no federal assistance following a devastating early blizzard that wiped out much of their livestock.


What’s worse is that the ranchers don’t sound like they’ve changed their minds about the shutdown.

Rather, they think that their welfare checks from the government are the only good the government actually does.  So while the rest of the government should still be shut down for you and me, we should make an exception for them.

And for World War II memorials.

Cattle killed by freak South Dakota blizzard, courtesy of CBS video.

Cattle killed by freak South Dakota blizzard, courtesy of CBS video.

The LA Times reported on the freakish early blizzard, which followed 80 degree weather, a few days ago.  80,000 head of cattle were killed by the blizzard. It’s being called the states’ “worst economic disaster in decades.”  Some ranchers lost all the cattle they had.  Clearly a devastating disaster.

More from the LAT:

Yet Washington’s shutdown has deprived people here of a traditional safety net: Congress hasn’t passed a new farm bill to subsidize agricultural producers, and the lockout means legislators won’t be voting on the topic any time soon….

Still, he’s frustrated and feels that federal lawmakers have turned their backs on the nation’s heartland in a time of need.

“We’re just a bunch of ranchers from South Dakota — it’s hard for our voices to be heard,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table at dawn Friday, drinking coffee, fielding calls from fellow cattlemen. “You see crises across the country, the hurricanes and tornadoes, and officials are right on top of it. But something of this magnitude, that has just about leveled this part of the country, and there’s nothing.”

Many residents in this conservative region had supported the government shutdown as a way to make Washington more fiscally responsible. “But one appropriate role for these guys is to lend a hand after disasters like this,” Christen said, “and they’re not here.”

They’re not here.

No sh*t, Sherlock. What part of “you shut the government down” are you not understanding?

These guys are no different, and no better, than the Tea Partyers, led by Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, who protested at the White House to express their ire over their own shutdown shutting down the World War II memorial in DC.  Cutting off cancer patients from possibly life-saving medicine is a necessary evil, but don’t shut down their memorials.

Or their corporate welfare.

Isn’t this always the way it works? What everybody else wants is “pork” and “wasteful spending.”  But what you want is “appropriate.” And you want it now.

Polls have often shown that while people – including Republicans – want the budget cut, they’re not terribly in favor of specific programs being cut.  Here’s one from PEW back in 2011:

Budget cutting is a top priority for the GOP, with 70 percent of Republicans in a new survey by the Pew Research Center saying the federal government should focus on reducing the deficit, not new economic stimulus. And in many cases, more Republicans now support cuts than did so two years ago….But across 18 areas of federal spending, a majority of Republicans support decreasing spending in just one: aid to the world’s needy. In one other area, unemployment assistance, 50 percent of Republicans polled said they would decrease spending (far higher than the 11 percent who said they would increase it), but in all others the number saying funds should be cut is under the 50 percent mark.

Now who’s the “taker”?

Keep in mind that the last time the Republican party threatened to shut down the government, in 2011, part of the deal reached to avoid shutdown was cutting FEMA by nearly a billion dollars.

And GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney ran on a platform of abolishing FEMA.

So it’s not like the pro-shutdown South Dakota ranchers weren’t put on notice about what was coming, and what they voted for.

It’s really quite a sad read. Families have lose their entire fortunes. I urge you to go read the entire story over at the LAT.  But Republicans, including these ranchers, really need to get over their sense of selfish exceptionalism.  Everybody else is crazy, everybody else is selfish, and the rest of the government, the rest of government spending, is all waste and abuse.

Except them.

And even after they’re faced with a horrific disaster, these ranchers are still singing the Tea Party tune.

Good luck explaining that one to your kids.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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71 Responses to “Pro-shutdown SD ranchers upset shutdown means no federal aid for devastating blizzard”

  1. Buford says:

    Simple – conservatives lack empathy. They are completely incapable of seeing something from another’s perspective, and they are likewise incapable of foreseeing themselves ever needing the type of support that others need today. This applies to safety nets, civil rights, warrantless spying, habeas corpus, etc.

    So… with that said, conservatives see no need for “society and community” because they falsely believe that everything they have was obtained exclusively due to their own effort, and they cannot foresee a time when those things might no longer there, making them dependent (even temporarily) upon “society and community” for survival.

  2. Horace Boothroyd III says:

    Not to pile on the crazy, but these self same sons of the soil have seen fit to elect global warming denialist goobers to positions of trust and authority, thereby guaranteeing that disruptive weather events will become increasingly more common. The Dakotas already have plenty of extreme weather, the last thing they need is more and stronger.

  3. vickif says:

    I believe The Lutheran Church is more liberal than The Missouri Synod. At least they used to be when I was a member.

  4. karmanot says:

    Even more notable are the comments on this blog by libertarians (?) that America is not so much as democracy as a republic—-a reflection of the idea that state’s rights secessionist thinking is fomenting a new civil war.

  5. Country boy says:

    Some random, probably-mostly-a-political rancher dealing with his cattle is “no different, or no better” than our ultimate bêtes noires Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin?

    That is stereotyping and lazy argumentation that runs completely counter to our claims to advocate on behalf of all working Americans. Listen to your better angels.

  6. inmaneck says:

    One of the ways to achieve thermonuclear fusion is through a controlled reaction between two light variants of hydrogen, called deuterium and tritium. Mauro Temporal, from the école Normale Supérieure Cachan, in France, and colleagues have made theoretical calculations indicating how best to improve the ignition stage of fusion reaction. Their approach, described in a paper published in The European Physical Journal D, involves increasing the uniformity of irradiation using high-power laser beams on the external shell of a spherical capsule containing a mix of deuterium and tritium. Reaching uniformity of irradiation matters. Indeed, if it can be achieved, it rapidly heats up the capsule and makes it implode, compressing the fuel inside to very high density. This, in turn, induces the compression and heating of a small amount of fuel in a hot spot, which is a sine qua non for reaching the ignition conditions of thermonuclear fusion to produce large energy quantities.

    Temporal and colleagues analyse the possibility of using the UK-based Orion facility’s high-power laser beams to study uniformity. Orion has a few nanosecond-long pulse -5 kiloJoules in energy -which cannot achieve ignition, but can help to test ways to produce uniform irradiation from non-uniformly distributed beams: a technique called Polar Direct Drive.

    Specifically, the authors use numerical simulations to analyse the uniformity of the illumination of a spherical target both in the case of circular or elliptical laser intensity profiles. Their work also takes into account other potentially disruptive factors. These include beam-to-beam power imbalance, laser-beam pointing error and target positioning error.

    They demonstrate that this approach reduces considerably the non-uniformity of the capsule irradiation-by 50 percent and 35 percent, for elliptical and circular intensity profiles respectively.

  7. whipmeco says:

    Here SD Cattlemen, let me get you a glass. A glass of STFU!!!!

  8. judybrowni says:

    Sooooo, let me unpack that: Tea Baggers let their anger become a toxin, and find that they’re the first ones’ poisoned.

    They were shouting on the government shutdown, voted for the TeaBagger crazies who shut the government down, and then screamed bloody murder when the government shutdown affected them.

    But we’re not supposed to notice the hypocrisy or comment on it?

    Because that makes us…bad sports?

    We’re supposed to ignore factual data, because it’s inconveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenient for the Tea Baggers.

    Uh huh.

  9. judybrowni says:

    Or when a “Drunk Florida man sets self on fire while lighting Halloween cross-burning ‘prank’”

  10. judybrowni says:

    Shut down for thee, but not for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  11. Indigo says:

    That’s a very good point; I don’t know. Oh! The shame!

  12. BillFromDover says:

    Obviously, these cattle needed to graze only 29 hours a week?

  13. BeccaM says:

    “Disaster aid for me, but not for thee…”

  14. BeccaM says:

    Funny, isn’t it, how all the exceptions the radical wingnuts start piling up eventually equal “a functioning, funded central federal government.”

  15. karmanot says:

    As was the Soviet Union. China will be facing these progressions soon enough.

  16. karmanot says:


  17. karmanot says:

    Oh for Christ’s sake, nobody is gloating over the death of those animals and the harm done to ranch families. The Tea-Party Republicans are destroying their own familiars.

  18. nicho says:

    But are they Lutheran Church in America or Missouri Synod? God only loves one of them.

  19. karmanot says:

    Moooooving along.

  20. nicho says:

    When someone tries to burn down his neighbor’s house and ends up setting himself on fire — yeah, I chuckle a little. Call it gloating, but it’s well deserved.

  21. karmanot says:

    Like the Bachman’s and other teapots: “because all of the farmers are hard-working,” AND collecting tens of thousands, millions over time of Government welfare.

  22. karmanot says:

    They don’t call the Dakotas ‘Waste Land’ for nothing.

  23. fletcher says:

    What do you expect from a party that makes Eric Cantor one of its leaders? After voting against Hurricane Katrina, Cantor relief is faced with hurricane damage in his Virginia district. Opposing federal relief would have resulted in his voters fitting him in a black tar and white chicken feathers overcoat, so he proposes that we pay for relief in his district but cutting spending that benefits people outside his district. Me first and everyone else go to hell is the motto or too many right-wingers.

  24. silas1898 says:

    His elected representative also voted against Hurricane Sandy aid.

  25. Country boy says:

    It’s a fact we should gloat that these Americans are struggling? It’s a fact that’s how to best demonstrate our concern for them? I have used those us/them hate/hate tactics enough to see I was the bastard then. Martin Buber set me str8, figuratively.

  26. chris10858 says:

    I’ll put on my crazy hat for a moment and try to channel conservative ideals: Gosh, we really hate that you lost all that cattle and may lose your family’s ranch but just like any other business, those are the risks you take in doing business today. You’re no different than any other company or family who tries to start a small business, only to lose it all due to a natural or economic disaster. (I hear Wal-Mart is hiring, though!)

    Just writing the words above made me want to go take a shower but isn’t this essentially what conservatives say all the time about personal responsibility? Isn’t this the ideal of Ron Paul and the Libertarians? As Ron Paul has said in multiple occasions, “People just need to learn to take care of themselves!”

    How is this different than someone who works for a company for say 20 years, only to get laid off due to company cutbacks and then need to get some unemployment assistance? Oh wait, the difference being that people pay into unemployment insurance. Ranchers just want someone to pick up the tab for their losses.

    IMHO, this is why (in the heads of Republicans): It’s because all of the farmers are hard-working, white Americans; whereas, those lazy people who “don’t want to work” are probably all [inner-city] black folks.

    What Republicans need to know is that we are all in this together and sometimes they might need a hand getting out of the proverbial ditch while I meet need a hand from them the next time.

  27. judybrowni says:

    Yeah, facts are a bastard, aren’t they?

  28. country boy says:


  29. country boy says:

    John, I don’t think it does progressives one bit of good to be spinning the ball, painting an entire state as yokels, and showing a distinct lack of empathy for struggling farmers or their cattle. We can’t let our anger become a toxin, becuase we will be the first ones poisoned.

  30. NT says:

    No sh*t, Sherlock. What part of “you shut the government down” are you not understanding? LOL! Oh the irony.

    It is so hard to negotiate or debate with willful “Stupidiness” – ugh!

  31. rudolf schnaubelt says:

    1) yay!! we shut down the government!!!!
    2) why isn’t the government open?

  32. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m beginning to think that a large number of people simply don’t believe in America as a unified nation anymore.

    Indeed. If it’s one of your central beliefs that more than half of the citizens of the United States aren’t really true Americans but impostors and vampires on the lifeblood of the nation, can it really be said any longer that you believe in that abstract concept by the name of “United States”?

  33. milli2 says:

    I wouldn’t even call what ails them “rugged individualism”, its “rugged ignorance”.

  34. benb says:

    From Wikipedia:

    “As of 2005, South Dakota has the lowest per capita total state tax rate in the United States. The state does not levy personal or corporate income taxes, inheritance taxes, or taxes on intangible personal property. The state sales tax rate is 4 percent. Various localities have local levies so that in some areas the rate is 6 percent. ”

  35. Blogvader says:

    Those Socialist South Dakotans needs a real taste of free market capitalism if they’re ever going to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and exit the ranks of the government moochers.

    And, to be clear, that was a joke. I believe South Dakotans (even assholes like these) deserve value for the taxes they’ve paid, and even moreso after a natural disaster.

  36. Naja pallida says:

    Okay, let’s make it clear, budget cutting is not the Republicans top priority. Not elected Republicans and not voters. Punishing anyone and anything they disagree with is their top priority. No one can be taken seriously if they claim to want to cut the budget and/or reduce the deficit without first and foremost demanding the military budget be cut by at least half. That is the primary driver of our budgetary woes, and of all our spending that also returns the least benefit to the American people. Medicare, etc, may cost a lot, but it returns a direct benefit to millions of people. Committing random acts of war around the world does not.

    Profound selfishness has become a defining trait of being American. If you have ever wondered why so many other people around the world get frustrated with us, you need look no further than that. We have let the ideal of what we should be and could be go to our heads, and instead became something entirely different. Something very ugly.

  37. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s quite possible. The sectional divisions that once plunged us into civil war have never gone away; they’ve only taken different forms and are, perhaps, stronger than ever now. What’s particularly bizarre is that the descendants of the people who once wanted to divorce themselves from the United States and indeed waged war on the United States have now convinced themselves that they are the only true Americans, honest citizens of “the heartland” (how I loathe that expression!) and not like the corrupt and decadent inhabitants of the Northern and coastal states. The same division exists at the state level; the minority of persons living in the sparsely populated rural counties convince themselves that they are the only true and honest citizens of their states while the effete, liberal citizenry of the large cities are mere outsiders and foreigners lording it over the humble peoples of flyover country. You get a taste of that from the complaints of the North Dakotan ranchers that they’re being ignored because they’re “just a bunch of ranchers” while other, less deserving people get showered with money.

    I don’t see any chance of healing these schisms. They’re just getting worse and worse with time.

  38. Mr Ephemeris says:

    “But Republicans, including these ranchers, really need to get over their sense of selfish exceptionalism.” Exceptionalism isn’t a birthright. It must be earned.

  39. caphillprof says:

    How can Scott Reder not understand that it was his politicians who shut the federal government down and it was his elected representatives who chose to cripple the federal government so it could not respond to Scott Reder’s disaster?

  40. Indigo says:

    Folks have been saying something along those lines since Jefferson engineered the Louisiana Purchase. Pushing all the way west of the Mississippi to the mountains? Sheer nonsense! These United States have not ever actually been one nation, let alone under any particular god. The axiomatic lie in our propaganda structure is that this vast mess is a homogenous social group. My feeling is that Bulkanization has been the fact-on-the-ground all along.

  41. Indigo says:

    Impossible! They’re Lut’runs!

  42. BeccaM says:

    I grew up in Pittsburgh. We have picture books full of what that city looked like when the steel and coke mills were running full-on — air so black some days, it was like night, except it almost lethal to try to breathe. My grandmother used to tell stories about how she’d put out sheets on the line, then have to scramble to get them back in if the wind blew wrong, otherwise she’d have to start all over again with the wash.

    When I went to college, I wondered why all the huge magnate-built public buildings up and down Forbes and Fifth Avenues were these black stone edifices — then saw how when they were first built in the 20s and 30s or earlier, most of them had actually once been light gray.

  43. BeccaM says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing, my friend.

    I’m beginning to think that a large number of people simply don’t believe in America as a unified nation anymore. How else can someone in one state demand Federal aid while simultaneously seeing fellow citizens in another state suffering from another disaster — and say these others don’t deserve help, too.

    Or bitch and moan about closed parks and memorials, but apparently not give a damn about military hazard pay, closed cancer research and treatment facilities, and the fact Nana and Gramps are going to freeze this winter because LIHEAP (the winter heating assistance program) is shut down.

    We, as a nation, have lost our heart and soul.

  44. Naja pallida says:

    The main reason why people are against certain agencies is that they simply don’t understand what they do. Or they’re simply blithering idiots, like those that want to eliminate the Department of Education or Department of Energy.

  45. Suemarie says:

    This reminds me of when pro-lifers need an abortion. “Mine is reasonable and necessary because of my special circumstances, but yours is because you’re a slut.” People are so myopic.

  46. The_Fixer says:

    Oh My, some of those IT people are the worst. I know several of them, and read a lot of what others have to say. They’re all for independence and self-reliance, but wouldn’t know it if it bit ’em in the ass.

  47. Jim Olson says:

    I concur with your analysis. The US is perhaps, too big to manage.

  48. caphillprof says:

    We could a Democratic Party in Washington DC instead of the cowards they we have now.

  49. littleguy99 says:

    It will take a while, but hopefully evolution will get them out of the gene pool.

  50. caphillprof says:

    I don’t think you are being unduly pessimistic.

  51. neenerpuss . says:

    Wait until they feel the SNAP program drastically cut. When you cut $40 Billion out of the countries grocery bill it is bound to be felt by those that produce food products. The farmers and ranchers will be devistated…..but then again they voted for it and can only blame themselves.

  52. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Now, the Wing Nuts are all tripping over themselves to be the first to deny that they were working to repeal Obamacare. Yeah, right.

  53. heimaey says:

    Maybe God wanted this to happen. They might have been sinning.

  54. smkngman3 says:

    SD is already one of the biggest welfare states in the country! The receive $1.53 back for each $! of federal taxes!

  55. cole3244 says:

    those westerners are independent to a fault (cheap grazing land), until they need assistance then the govt is derelict if it doesn’t fund their needs, of course no one needs the govt except the lazy excluding the westerners they are the backbone of america.

  56. emjayay says:

    A lot of them think the EPA is nonsense and it was so much better in the old days with cars with no pollution equipment you could work on etc. No pesky regulations from OSHA and EPA reducing industry profits. Read the comments on anything EPA related at Yahoo! or I suppose any conservative website.

  57. sherman says:

    It seems that selfishness is the defining characteristic of right-wingers.

    Followed closely by dishonesty and hate.

  58. Monoceros Forth says:

    Stories like this one make me wonder if the very idea of “United States” isn’t completely beyond repair now, destroyed not so much by a political system gone haywire or by the corrupting influence of corporate money or by right-wing Christian mania, but by a pervasive defect of temperament–the stubborn belief in the myth of rugged individualism. Is it really not possible for these South Dakotan ranchers to grasp that other American citizens are in the same dire straits as they are? Can’t they see that undermining the power of the federal government hurts everyone, not just themselves? I don’t think they can.

    Maybe I’m just being excessively pessimistic this morning but I really don’t see how the nation can hold itself together much longer when a large fraction of its citizens refuse to believe in the very concepts of society and community.

  59. gratuitous says:

    Say, wouldn’t now be a good time for a slice of rhubarb pie? Yes, nothing gets the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth like a slice of Be Bop a Re Bop Rhubarb Pie.

    Now might also be a nice time for South Dakota’s Democratic Party to get out there and explain how much different and better life can be under a Democratic regime. A lot of folks appear to be focused on government right now. Give them a new story line to ponder.

  60. Testor15 says:

    I’m in South Dakota and I am laughing at these buffoons. The stupidity of these back to Gawd, tea parties thinking they could destroy everyone else so they can ‘live free’ of any government. Bulls’it. I listen to it everyday out here about how bad the black president is and how the Dems are destroying America. Our members of Congress, Kristi (NoMind) Noem and Johnny Boy Thune, are doing all they can to let the southern confederacy win in the name of their fundamentalist religious views.

    A version of America most of us were not raised to believe in. If only we had a Democratic Party in South Dakota who could pull their heads out of their collective asses.

  61. PeteWa says:

    cognitive dissonance burgers for sale.

  62. Badgerite says:

    Shared burdens. Shared benefits. If you can’t do the one, you can’t do the other.

  63. SharonB says:

    In the ultimate show of suicidal mendacity, I have ‘friends’ who are Gov’t IT contractors, pulling down big buxx, who are all in favor of Tea Party austerity measures and the ‘government is too big’ mentality.

  64. Vinnie Tesla says:

    For some reason, my mind went immediately to this:

  65. bkmn says:

    Being from SD I am sure these same asshats would be in favor of cutting the National Weather Service to the bone and then turn around and bitch about having no warning ahead of the next tornado.

  66. Vegas Dave says:

    The stupidity of these ranchers is amazing, but not surprising. It’s the NIMBY mindset. The government is a failure except for the government program I want or need. The fact that so many who receive food stamps or work in government positions whether national or local and vote Republican proves your point. Voting for someone who ultimately is not your friend is self defeating. Perhaps this is the defining moment for the idiots who keep voting against their own interests.

    But then again, maybe not. For too many of these idiots, it still comes down to God, Guns, and Gays.

  67. Vegas Dave says:

    So true. Any time someone tells me they hate government or believe that government is the problem (thank you Ronald Reagan) I like to ask where they stand on roads, cops, clean air and water, etc.

  68. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Cutting government spending has consequences? Who knew?

  69. Phred says:

    So you want to cut government spending? Fine. What programs that YOU use are YOU willing to do without? Police? Fire department? And everyone in favor of cutting meat inspections say neigh. (H/t Jeremy Hardy, BBC Radio )

  70. The_Fixer says:

    Excuse me while I leave the room to go bang my head against the wall.

  71. arcadesproject says:

    It’s the same whole world over. Shutdown for you but not for me. Subsidies for me but not for thee. Go ahead, get sick and die if you work at Micky D’s. I, on the other hand, am entitled to health care.

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