Montana Politics

Intelligent Discontent’s Most Popular Posts of 2011

Written by Don Pogreba
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While I’m certainly surprised that no posts directly critical of Representative Rehberg cracked the top five this year, I’m quite certain he won the aggregate total. Better luck next year, Mr. Rehberg—once you lose one contest in November, you’ll need the consolation.

Thanks to everyone who’s continued to read and discuss, even (especially) when we disagree—and a Happy 2012 to you all.

5. Why Public Schools are ‘Failing’, Pt. 1

From contributor The Polish Wolf, this short post about schools led to a heated discussion about the role of unions and poverty in schools.

4. Watch Out, GOP Gubernatorial Candidates. Neil Livingstone Might Just “Disappear” You

I certainly have to say that Mr. Livingstone has proven to be the most entertaining GOP candidate for office in Montana since Mr. Kelleher from Butte. When he’s not trying to profit from the civil war in Libya, he’s demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge about Montana.

3. A Sellout’s Manifesto Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Party

“Does the Democratic Party move too slowly and too cautiously in the defense of progressive values? Does it even occasionally move against those goals? Certainly—and it’s frustrating when they do it. Should progressives fight tooth and nail to drive the party back to its roots of protecting the worker, the Constitution, and a sense of economic justice? Absolutely.

But that progressives are seriously discussing working against, or even voting against Democrats, at a time when basic economic rights and the future of the country are at stake, absolutely baffles me.

Ideological purity feels wonderful, but it won’t feed a child who needs better nutrition to learn.”

2. The Terrifically Stupid Twenty: More GOP Job Creation and The “This Has to Be Satire” Thirty: More Bad Bills from the Legislature

Lest anyone forget just how inept the Montana GOP proved itself to be during the past legislative session, these two posts offer a primer into the thinking of modern Montana Republicans. From trying to take away the rights of Montanans to fish in their streams to attempting to mandate counseling for divorce, your Republican legislators made a mockery of good governance and common sense.

1. How Eager Are Progressives to Elect Senator Rehberg?

Certainly my most controversial post of the year—and one I still stand by. The 2012 Montana Senate election is going to be one of, if not the most contested race in the nation—and could well determine the balance of power in the Senate. While Senator Tester has certainly disappointed in some areas, he is clearly a stronger voice for progressive values than his opponent, a man who believes that student loans are welfare, that black lung disease and air pollution are fine, and that lead in our children’s toys and toxins in our blood supply are all fine.

Before progressives write off Senator Tester, I urge to at least look at this list of votes he’s cast—and think about the positions his rival would take. For me, an imperfect candidate who is pro-labor, pro-choice, pro-environment, and pro-Montana  is a candidate an imperfect voter is proud to support.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-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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