Montana Politics The Media

More on SB 114: Story in the IR

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There was a much better story about SB 114 in the Independent Record this morning, because it better characterized the nature of the opposition and support for this truly insane bill. While it still didn’t characterize the paranoia demonstrated by proponents, the article laid out the case made my law enforcement and lawyers against Marbut’s bill. It also included a quote from Marbut that I somehow missed last night:

“It’s my opinion that the Civil War did not establish any legal precedent whatsoever,” Marbut responded. “It established the precedent that the North and the federal government had bigger and more guns, not that there’s any legal doctrine that arose out of it.”

Having read both the piece by Matt Volz for the AP and Sanjay Talwani for the IR, though, I’m still disappointed that the remarks of proponents were not more thoroughly discussed. I don’t think the paranoid views of a few who worry about a UN invasion off  Sanders County represent the views of most Montanans, but it’s precisely these people who seem to be driving the GOP agenda at this session. Maybe it’s time for the GOP to “refudiate” that kind of language and time for the media to let Montanans know just how far into the realm of right wing paranoia these proponents have gone.

We’ve already seen the results of some of this TEA Party madness in the past few years, with laws like the Castle Doctrine creating nightmares for law enforcement and the legal system.  Yes, the media should present the arguments of both sides, but if one is based in reason and the other is based in conspiracy theory, the public should know.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • you are doing some amazing stuff here pogie. thanks. i tweeted it. especially like your sentence…..

    "I don’t think the paranoid views of a few who worry about a UN invasion on Sanders County represent the views of most Montanans, but it’s precisely these people who seem to be driving the GOP agenda at this session."

    and marbut's insane statement about the civil war should put to rest any last vestige of reasonable montanans who think he may actually be lucid.

  • “It’s my opinion that the Civil War did not establish any legal precedent whatsoever,” Marbut responded. “It established the precedent that the North and the federal government had bigger and more guns, not that there’s any legal doctrine that arose out of it.”

    Well I guess he is right – the Civil War didn't establish any legal precedent. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, however, did. The ability of the Federal Government to grant its citizens rights denied them by their States (exactly what Marbut et al would describe as the point when the Feds overstepped their authority) has the noblest of pedigrees – it was needed to end slavery and it was later used to extend civil rights to all. How long would we have had to wait for slavery to end if the Federal government had refused to assert its dominance over the States?

  • Well, as noted on the other thread, the notion that a state could legally interfere with a federal official performing his duties under a federal statute that people in the state didn't like (or didn't think was constitutional) was dealt a death blow in the 1850s. So, it's not the CW that killed that one either.

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