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I have been, for some time, favorably disposed toward Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota.  South Dakota is my birth state, and one of Wyoming’s next door states.  Noem has seemed to have solid conservative credentials, and rationally dealt with the Covid political hoax, drawing great hatred from those pushing the hoax as they did not let that particular crisis go to waste.  Her political moves, thus far, have placed her near the front of the pack for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Unfortunately, we are fighting a culture war in America, a formerly cold war that threatens to go hot.  The opponents of liberty—of America—have embraced identity politics, which extends to the smallest possible identity groups, including the vanishingly small “trans community.”  The movers and shakers in this miniscule “community” are almost entirely men identifying as—pretending to be—women.

Normal Americans are genuinely tolerant.  For most, a guy pretending to be a girl is an oddity, but they’re willing to leave them alone.  Democrats/Socialists/Communists are not, however, willing to leave normal, liberty loving Americans alone, so they use those identifying as “trans” as just another cudgel with which to bludgeon freedom.  Not only do they demand society accommodate them, society must praise their bravery and superior morality, and if there is collateral damage—almost entirely visited on actual girls and women–that’s the price that must gladly and cheerfully be paid for a socially just and equitable society in their image.

D/S/Cs are all about “equity,” not equality.  The difference is they’re for equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity.  Merit doesn’t matter, just results.  The former party of women has decided women don’t provide sufficient political, woke benefits, so like every other group that bought their lies, they’re being thrown under the campaign bus.

Normal Americans are not amused, and are fighting back, as The Washington Examiner reports:

The hot-button issue of transgender athletes participating in women’s sports is coming to a head in state legislatures across the country.

Nationwide, there are more than 70 bills in 26 state governments that would prevent transgender athletes from participating in sports using their preferred gender instead of their biological sex, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Conservatives argue that allowing transgender women to play against biological women would present them with an unfair advantage that would hurt biological women, while Democrats argue that such a policy would isolate and discriminate against people who are trying to embrace their gender identity.

Here are the states that have such bans in place:

*Mississippi: Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill on Thursday stating that “students of the male sex” are not allowed to play on “athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or girls.

*Idaho: Gov. Brad Little, in March, signed a measure that effectively barred transgender athletes from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. A judge issued a temporary injunction in August preventing the state from enacting the law.

*South Dakota: Gov. Kristi Noem said she intends to sign a bill that was passed in the state Legislature days ago that will prevent transgender athletes from playing with and against people of the same gender identity.

Here are the other states where there are bills in the state legislature that would prevent transgender athletes from playing with and against biological women: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia, per the ACLU.

President Biden made his position on the issue known on his first day in office, when he signed an executive order focused on ‘preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,’ which stated, ‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.’

Translation: Hell yes we’re going to force you to allow boys in girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it, you white supremacist, racist transphobes.  Temporary President Biden has gone further—much further:

Taxpayers will now foot the bill for gender reassignment surgery for active military personnel and veterans, with some treatments costing upward of $200,000 under an executive order signed by President Biden.

Tucked inside Biden’s Jan. 25 transgender order, ‘Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform,’ is a clause that repeals an Obama-era policy that prohibited federally funded reassignment surgery. This was followed up by memos from both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough specifically stating that surgery is now an added benefit.

Take the link to see just how insane this particular attempt to put the whims of mentally men over the will of the public and even national security.  Let’s move on to the focus of this article: Gov. Noem, as Brietbart.com reports:

Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said at a press conference on Monday that she did not sign a bill passed in the state legislature because it was flawed and announced she is launching a nationwide coalition of stakeholders to push for preserving Title IX’s protection for female athletes.

Noem did not veto House Bill 1217, which was designed to protect female athletes from competing in sports with biological men who consider themselves transgender women but said she hopes lawmakers will fix some issues in the legislation that she said legal advisers have called ‘a trial lawyer’s dream.’

‘Today we’re announcing that we’re forming a coalition – Defend Title IX Now dot com,’ Noem said.

‘Once we have enough states on board … big enough that the NCAA cannot possibly punish us all, then we can guarantee fairness at the collegiate level.’

Take that link to read more of Noem’s commentary.  I saw Noem on Tucker Carlson Tonight on 03-21-21.  It was clear the NCAA threatened her, and she caved, but blamed it on unnamed legal advisors who told her she would lose any battle with the NCAA. Carlson didn’t ask a number of obvious questions, such as:

*Did you contact these lawyers, or did they contact you?

*Are they affiliated in any way with the NCAA or groups of the same political leaning?

*What about the rights of SD high school and college female athletes until this “coalition” is sufficiently strong to cow the NCAA?

*What happens if this coalition never materializes?

Carlson, who was trying to be polite as usual, did gently suggest it is the NCAA making SD law/policy, bur Noem, who was not happy, denied it and kept up the narrative, holding out Hershel Walker as sort of a symbol whose moral authority would win the day.  Here are some of her comments:

‘Listen,’ Noem continued. ‘I’m not interested in a participation trophy. I’m not interested in picking a fight that we can’t win. I am a problem-solver … and I have been bullied for the last year by liberals, Tucker. I’m not going to let anybody from the NCAA, from any big business, I’m not even going to let conservatives on the right bully me. I’m going to solve the problem.

I’m going to make sure that we are building strength in numbers and we are going after the NCAA and make sure that we are keeping only girls playing in girls’ sports.’

Before I get into analysis, let’s briefly review the stakes, from Trans Athletes: Divorced From Reality, back in February of 2020:

UPDATE, 02-16-20, 1630 CST:  Brian C. Joondeph at The American Thinker provides a particularly telling example of the real effect of trans men invading women’s sports:

‘As an example, let’s look at the 2016 Rio Olympics and compare the men’s and women’s marathon results, the sport mentioned above where a biological male will be competing as a female.

At the last Olympics, the gold medal winner in the women’s marathon ran in a time of 2:24:04. In contrast, the men’s gold medal winner ran 16 minutes faster, finishing in 2:08:44.

Interestingly both winners were from Kenya, born about a month apart in 1984, taking age and ethnicity out of the equation.

More instructive are the finishing times of the other men in the race. If the gold medal winning woman ran in the men’s event, her time would have placed her in 90th place, far away from the medal stand. Conversely, any of the top 89 finishing males would have won a gold medal if competing as a female in the women’s event.’

I recently found a similar comparison relating to Florence Griffith Joyner, the fastest woman to date at 100 meters. What’s most interesting is hundreds of contemporary high school aged sprinters, since her untimely death, have beaten her record.  Any one of them, suddenly identifying as female, could reset the female record book.  Second, even third tier, high school athletes could beat the female world record.

Analysis:  What’s going on with Gov. Noem?  Is her newly discovered position on trans athletes born of conviction, or have her unnamed “legal advisors” pulled the wool over her eyes?  Has the NCAA bullied her, despite her protestations to the contrary, and how, precisely, have “conservatives on the right” bullied her?  By expecting her to stick by her word and protect female athletes?

High school athletics within each state are controlled by state bodies and/or agreements between participating schools.  The NCAA is quite another matter, and holds power beyond reason.  The NCAA, like too many other similar sanctioning bodies, has taken sides in the culture wars, and not on the side of liberty or normal Americans.  Did Noem not realize the NCAA would be hostile to liberty and the rights of women?  Or did the NCAA change between when Noem said she supported the bill and when the bill was delivered to her desk?

Noem seems willing to protect high school girls, but that’s apparently because she’d face little or no opposition.  Facing the NCAA for college girls is obviously a very different matter, which makes Noem’s brave stance against bullies seem something less than bravery.

To be fair, building a coalition to take on the NCAA might be a rational thing to do—if it materializes–but there is much to suggest it won’t.  South Dakota colleges have never been major players in the NCAA, and compared to many states, SD spends a pittance on college athletics, which is the greatest weakness in Noem’s scheme.  Even if such a coalition vowed to be one for all and all for one, when it came time to put up or shut up, would states whose participation in NCAA tournaments garners substantial prestige and money really stand up for little SD, whose colleges do neither?  Would they tell the NCAA they’d forgo that prestige and money to vindicate SD’s stand on trans athletes?

Final Thoughts:  The issue of men’s whims overpowering women’s rights, to say nothing of their privacy and bodily integrity, will not be decided by coalitions, but by lawsuits and legislation.  It’s a battle that must be fought until the culture war is won by proponents of the rule of law and liberty.  Organizations like the NCAA are consumed with the drive to power and political correctness.  That’s a given.  What’s changed in SD is not the NCAA or the legal climate.  It seems to be Noem’s resolve.

For Normal Americans the issue is simple and non-negotiable: only biological women participate in women’s sports.  Only biological women use women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.  Any politician showing a willingness to negotiate, or a lack of resolve, is not going to be embraced.  That said, visit this article by Stacey Lennox, and this by Brian Darling, both at PJ Media, both suggesting Noem is playing an advanced, winning game.

Perhaps Gov. Noem knows more than she’s telling.  Perhaps she does have a plan that will ultimately result in securing the rights of girls and women.  Until then, SD female athletes are pretty much on their own.  Or perhaps, like too many other politicians, she’s merely gone wobbly. One thing is clear: she’s backed herself into a corner from which she can’t gracefully extricate herself.

In terms of the culture war, facing real opposition, she’s retreated.  If her approach is vindicated, she may retain some of her political cachet.  But even if that turns out to be the case, her political star, has, for the time being, stopped rising, and by her own hand.  Should her avowed anti-bullying approach fail to protect female athletes, history will record this as yet another example of political suicide.

UPDATE, 03-24-21, 1400 MT:  Well, if Governor Noem isn’t intent on committing political suicide, her latest take on the controversy is inexplicable, as Mary Chastain at Legal Insurrection reports:  

“South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s office sent an email slamming ‘conservative cancel culture’ for the criticism she received after she did not sign a bill banning biological males from competing against biological females.

From The Daily Caller:

‘Governor Noem is very used to fighting off criticism from the left,’ Noem spokesman Ian Fury said in a Wednesday email. ‘After all, in the past year, she was the only governor in the entire nation to never order a single business or church in her state to close. The left bullied her incessantly, but she didn’t cave.’

‘But if any number of conservative pundits are to be believed, that same governor who refused to cave is now caving to the NCAA and Amazon on the issue of fairness in women’s sports. What? Apparently, uninformed cancel culture is fine when the right is eating their own,’ Fury said.”

Oh dear.  Where to begin?  No one is trying to “cancel” Noem.  Normal Americans of good faith are merely raising two issues: (1) Is Noem actually sincere in her desire to protect the rights of female athletes, or has she gone wobbly in the face of D/S/C woke threats? (2) Is her stated course of action—building a “coalition” to oppose the NCAA—a rational and effective tactic, or a means of appeasement and obfuscation?

Definitive answers to those questions remain unresolved.

Noem is obviously taking personally reasonable concerns about this particular policy, and is responding as corrupt D/S/C politicos reflexively respond to any criticism.  Attacking one’s heretofore supportive base and accusing them of behaving as mindless and vindictive D/S/Cs is not a tactic designed to ensure one’s long-term electoral viability.  No one is trying to run Noem out of office—to “cancel” her in any way–though the manner in which she is handling this issue might eventually have that effect.  Her defensive and offensive response can do nothing but make her base believe she really has gone wobbly on this issue of significant importance, and may portend the same or worse in the future.

What should Noem be doing instead?  Calmly demonstrating her tactic is indeed designed to protect the rights of female athletes, that it is succeeding, and will ultimately prevail.  This will require more than rhetoric.  Thus far, she producing nothing but talk, and attacking her supporters.  This need not be political suicide, but she’s continuing to hand her political enemies ammunition.