Monday, October 25, 2010

Old News

A couple of local "news" stories have caught my eye. First, a KELO/Argus-Leader poll that says Obama has a 53% unfavorable rating in South Dakota. This would seem to be bad, but a look back at the 2008 election results shows that 55.3% of South Dakota voters did not vote for Obama. In other words, whatever beating he may be taking around the country, Obama is pretty much holding steady here. Unfortunately for him, it's a steady disapproval.

Then, there's this, which I hadn't heard about in a long time.

Tribal leaders in South Dakota, Nebraska and Montana continue to work on a proposal to get back part of their sacred Black Hills, convinced that President Obama is willing to discuss it with them.

Ultimately, they want to present a proposal to the president about the potential return of some of their Black Hills - a possibility that candidate Obama fueled during a campaign stop in Sioux Falls.

The current obstacle is actually deciding what they want.

The real stumbling block might be the unified voice. Along with the Sioux Nation tribes, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association is trying to blend in varying treaty councils and other tribal entities that don't recognize the authority of the existing tribal governments formed under the Indian Reorganization Act.

Personally, I think getting that done won't be much easier than negotiating Middle East peace. I also can't see it doing any better in Congress than it ever has, especially if Republicans get back some control, and it's hard to imagine Obama using any political capital fighting for it when he has so many other problems, particularly when the South Dakota members of Congress don't want to touch it. On the other hand, as those poll results show, Obama doesn't have anything to lose here by listening.

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