It’s simply astonishing how far to the right the Montana Republican Party has swung in the past few years. Each day seems to bring new evidence about the values of the Montana Republican Party and its members. Today, we learned that one of the leading intellectual lights of the movement, Representative Derek Skees, will be presenting a speech (subject to be determined) to the John Birch Society in Bozeman this weekend:
That Skees is a reactionary entirely out of step with Montana values is hardly surprising news. Anyone who followed the Montana Legislature even in passing quickly became aware of his entirely unorthodox and embarrassing positions. Time Magazine even featured him recently as an example of the nullification movement, bringing further embarrassment to our state:
Skees spends a lot of time talking about the creeping threat of socialism and the way Washington has wrested away the rights of states and local municipalities. His policy prescriptions include privatizing public schools, repealing the 17th Amendment (which established the direct election of U.S. Senators), eliminating the Commerce Department and replacing the income tax with a flat “Fair Tax” on consumption. After taking office in January, he introduced bills aimed at repealing renewable-energy standards, reducing the number of school districts and Supreme Court justices in Montana and further restricting authorities’ ability to seize firearms in a state with famously lax gun laws.
So, it’s pretty clear that Skees is not exactly in the mainstream, but speaking on behalf of and promoting the John Birch Society, a movement so out of touch with reality that it has been exiled from the mainstream Republican party for decades?
An organization which:
- believes in a secret conspiracy to create one joint country with Mexico and Canada?
- proudly still defends its position against the Civil Rights Act?
- believes that the Illuminati are a world-government supporting,Satanic conspiracy whose members include American presidents?
- believes that Jews control world finance?
- attacks the Catholic Church?
- peddles idiotic conspiracy theories like Agenda 21 to intellectually challenged patriots?
If Ms. Ries (from the Facebook post above) is to be believed, this will be the first time in over a decade that the Birch Society has hosted one of these events in Montana, another troubling sign of the Republican Party lurching so far to the right that their hero, Ronald Reagan, wouldn’t even recognize them.
There’s no place for the Birch Society in Montana, and one of their events is no place for a sitting legislator to be speaking. The Montana Republican Party should say in no uncertain terms that hate groups are not welcome here and should condemn Representative Skees for his participation.