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Montana Politics

On Obsessive Rantings

A month ago, I wrote about Bob Brigham’s tasteless attack on Senator Baucus.  As I wrote in my previous post, “Brigham is an ideologue and that’s fine.  Great.  We need ideologues.”  However, I have two problems with how the man engages in the political sphere in Montana: first, his hatred for Senator Baucus is so extreme, that he’s become detached from reality.  Second, how is he supposed to be an effective spokesperson for the legalization of Marijuana when he spends the majority of his day polarizing everyone to the right of him, which includes a large majority of the Democratic Party.

This evening, Chuck Johnson broke the news that Champ Edmunds is “exploring” a run for the U.S. Senate.  Liberals on Facebook and Twitter were quick to joyfully mock the news – well, most “liberals.”  Bob Brigham, who also spent most of the day Tweeting back and forth with Aaron Flint praising Flint for his disrespectful harassment of Baucus, seems to think Edmunds is a serious contender to take on Montana’s Senior Senator.

To be exact, Brigham Tweeted “Champ Edmunds is looking at polls & realizing that if Dems renominate Baucus, the GOP nominee is new jr senator from Montana. #MTsen #MTpol

Brigham’s hatred for Baucus has become so intense, that it’s no longer about policy; it’s just detached ranting.  When someone thinks Champ Edmunds is a legitimate candidate for U.S. Senate, their credibility has taken a serious hit.

The Marijuana issue.

It’s my understanding that Brigham is a paid advocate-consultant-spokesperson for the legalization of Marijuana in Montana.  This is where my second problem comes in: why is he getting paid to do what he does?

An advocate, for a cause many of us support, should work to bring people together, build credibility, and try to serve their cause in the best way possible.  When you spend the majority of your day alienating conservatives, moderate, and liberals – like Brigham does – how are you supposed to hope to ever move your agenda forward?  You won’t, because no one wants to be associated with you.  That‘s politics and policy 101.

The Marijuana legalization community needs a spokesperson that builds coalitions, not one that is beyond obsessive in tearing down a Senator.

At this point, Brigham’s “outrage” has just become laughable, un-credible, and annoying.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

M. Storin


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  • Hello “M. Storin:” Can you please provide a link so we can listen for ourselves about Aaron Flint’s supposed “disrespectful harassment of Baucus?”

    Also, I don’t believe I know Bob Bringham, and honestly haven’t been following much of this at all, but you wrote: “When someone thinks Champ Edmunds is a legitimate candidate for U.S. Senate, their credibility has taken a serious hit.”

    However, unless Mr. Bringham said something more than this:

    “Champ Edmunds is looking at polls & realizing that if Dems renominate Baucus, the GOP nominee is new jr senator from Montana.”

    I believe your attack against Mr. Bringham here is entirely unwarranted. I mean, Bringham never called Edmunds a “legitimate candidate for U.S. Senate”….You did, M. Storin. So perhaps it’s your anonymous credibility that’s taking a serious hit? Besides, isn’t it pretty much common knowledge in Montana that if Baucus were to run again, no matter who wins the GOP nomination, that the GOP’er will have a better chance unseating Baucus than if some other high profile Dem (like our former Gov) was the Dem nominee?

  • Koehler!!!! Hahaha. You might be even LESS credible!!! You may be the LEAST credible dude on the interwebs. Do your own research and read all the stupid crap Bob spews… Oh wait, you’ll probably love it.

    • Thanks anonymous “Jag.” I appreciate the shout-out. The world wide web is a pretty big place, so to supposedly be the least (or is that LEAST?) credible dude on the interwebs is quite an accomplishment. Got any specific examples you’d like to share?

  • We can only hope that the Republicans choose Champ to run for Senate, no matter who the Democratic nominee is. He has all the charisma of a venereal wart.

  • I think there is an inherent problem with using the word “legitimate” inappropriately. It does not mean “likable”, “favored”, or even “appropriate”. In the political context, all it means is that Edmunds has payed his filing fee and submitted appropriate notification to his party of intent to run in the party primary for the US Senate. Beyond that, it isn’t up to Democrats to decide who is the “legitimate” Republican challenger to Max Baucus.

    That written, I’m with Pete. I hope the Republicans do nominate Champ, regardless of who the Democratic nominee is.

    As for Bob Brigham, he is a person of very distinct passions, and a necessary voice in the Democratic dialogue. He adores Schweitzer and has rejected any support for Max. I share the latter. I’ve written before that Max will not get another vote from me, and I stand by that no matter who is his opponent. That isn’t hatred, and it is dishonest to paint it as such. It is a rational choice of who the individual wants representing the interests they hold dear (are passionate about.) Matthew Koehler is rather rabidly anti-Tester. No one should have a problem with that until Koehler begins to blame and demean them for not agreeing with him. Brigham is rabidly anti-Max, but I’ve yet to see him claim superiority over any who disagree with him. If you feel threatened by his disagreement with you, then the problem would appear to be yours, at this point. You’re not coming off as ‘pro-Max’, but rather ‘anti-Bob’.

    As for Mr. Brigham’s credibility, I offer this. At a time when many on the left are widely advocating for an end to the failed and expensive prohibition of cannabis, many of those same folk are calling for a new prohibition on firearms as if such a thing will work ever so much better than the prohibition they denounce. Bob has been steadfast in his support for our rights, including calling out the hypocrisy of the new bunch of Prohibitionists. That is the kind of credible consistency I would expect from an ‘advocate’.

    • I think “legitimate” as used by Storin means a credible candidate, someone with enough money and organization to mount a serious campaign. As used by Rob, “legitimate” means legally qualified.

      I think both meanings are legitimate, and in this situation which is which can be determined through context.

      Now, the Champ’s chances against Baucus. Max is running in a non-presidential election for the first time in 12 years. He did not have stiff competition in 2008. A strong opponent — it’s too early to tell whether that would be Champ or someone else — and an unfavorable political climate for Democrats could result in a much closer race than we might now anticipate.

      As for Brigham; well, the less said about him, the better, I think.

    • I think all the author is trying to accomplish here is to point out that a paid advocate of a policy needs ought to act with a bit more finesse. The internet has no lack of people loudly proclaiming that marijuana should be legal. The internet and indeed the country lacks politically savvy people who can get it done. Personally insulting the most powerful politician in Montana is not savvy. Letting your hatred for Max cause you to believe that he would lose to Champ Edwards is not savvy.

      • You still keep using the word “hatred”. I simply disagree that it applies.

        There are a whole big bunch of politically savvy people in this country who can end the war on drugs. Max isn’t one of them. Most of those we *elect* don’t seem to be among them, and as Bob has attempted to point out, that seems to be the problem. That is regardless of whether Max is the “MOST POWERFUL POLITICIAN IN MONTANA”. Bob’s point is fairly square; Max is only powerful because we keep reelecting him.

        • Blaming the man for his nephew’s death is making the whole thing pretty personal, and if its not hateful I don’t know what is.

          And Max’s power base goes well beyond progressive politics. He has consistent moderate and independent support, and more importantly, he has friends and connections in DC and Montana that are unparalleled. Gratuitously attacking Max Baucus is a sure way to be left out in the cold of Montana politics. Disputing his votes and policies is on thing, but going out of your way to attack the man personally will gain you a loyal following of people who will always be on the losing side of elections. That does the marijuana lobby little good.

  • Bob may be steadfast in his support for MMJ. But he is an awful advocate. He burns bridges left and right and that’s why he’ll never get anything done in the political sphere.

  • I knew, and see the fog forming an image now, that when Baucus announces another run for senate, Montana Democrats will forgive all his sins and line up behind him. There are two reasons for this:

    No, there’s only one. They love forming lines.

  • Montana is not Oregon but it could look more like Colorado next cycle.

    Baucus will have a primary contender after he announces a 2014 Senate run later this year. Gov. Schweitzer is on several Cabinet short lists: he would be foolish not to entertain a post with the Obama Administration. Should he decline to serve just to unseat Max so he can make money very quickly and run a really ugly campaign?

    A better idea might be to run for the House seat Daines is going to fuck up in two years.

    • Schweitzer has features that disqualify him from appointment to any cabinet, among them a free-ranging style and unpredictability. Never going to happen. If he is indeed on short lists, they are lists of another type.

      • Yeah, I agree with Mark RE: “Schweitzer has features that disqualify him from appointment to any cabinet, among them a free-ranging style and unpredictability.” Just what are these “Cabinet short lists” that Schweitzer is on? Of course, easy to see how Schweitzer could be our next senator, but I think Obama Cabinet member is a big stretch.

        • Honestly, without regard to his ideology or performance in office, I see him as an executive who would slowly lose his marbles in a body like the senate. Talk radio, speaking engagements, a few TV guest appearances, maybe a ghosted newspaper column (I don’t know his writing capabilities) – his future is wide open.

          I say this knowing full well his disappointing performance on environmental issues. I cannot help but like his personality.

                • For a while there was a push in the movement to get USDA Forest Service put into Interior Dept….However, I’ve never heard of putting Forest Service in Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry, so that’s a new one. I certainly don’t agree with every Forest Service decision under the sun, but don’t think making U.S.F.S. look like Bureau of Reclamation would be a good idea either. Regardless, F.S. will stay w/ Ag…..

                • P.S. Off topic….Larry, never realized you are in South Dakota. My brother got his undergrad and played basketball at U of SD in the mid-90s. You know of Dr. William Farber?

                • Am a SDSU alum not USD, living in Santa Fe, and only know of Dr. Farber tangentially.

                  BIA Forestry and the Park Service are cooperating on some projects. As you are aware, Matthew, DHS is assuming many firefighting roles leaving the FS with far less budget leverage. Such an opportunity would help tribes like CSKT and many others to become better stewards of land as part of heritage. Would love to see a name change that solidifies those communities’ futures.

  • Wow. Comments are really off topic. Here’s an attempt to get it back on subject: can Mr. Brigham get MMJ passed? No. Now, your turn.
    Sorry, Koehler, don’t get me wrong – I’d love to hear you rantings and all that.

    • Once again, thank you anonymous-posting “HelenaInsider” for the shout-out and support. Not really sure where I’ve “ranted” much about anything above….just sharing my views and trying to be nice and adult-like about it. But if a courageous, anonymous poster such as yourself says it, it has to be true. Thanks for that reminder.

      P.S. Also, don’t we have medical marijuana program in Montana? And don’t a number of other states around the country also have similar (even better) MMJ programs? And despite the Feds busts in Montana and elsewhere a few years ago hasn’t the MMJ issue made tremendous strides nationally over the past 10 or 20 years?

    • Mathew is an evidence-based commenter, always bring a satchel of facts with him. I have a hunch people find this annoying because, face it, there are three things to know about us: One, we like to be right; two, we like to be right, and three, we like to be right. Mathew doesn’t offer the opportunity for such validation, and so draws attacks, some vitriolic (Rod, for instance).

      On top of that, he is always adult and polite.

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