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Montana Politics Steve Daines US Politics

FDR Warned Us About Steve Daines

As we studied rhetoric this week, a student shared this clip from a Franklin Roosevelt speech in 1936.


From the web page of Congressman Steve Daines:


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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • Even today, no one comes close to FDR’s mastery of that art form. That clip’s among my favorites, right up there with his defense of his little dog, Fala, and his send up of the GOP trio of Martin, Barton, and Fish.

    • James, I don’t know how old you are, but I’ll be sixty-two here shortly. And I can truthfully say that this IS no country for old men! I feel like I’m walking around on Mars.

  • Jumpin’ Jesus CHRIST! You see, that is our current problem. We USED to produce people like FDR. But we no longer do……, we get pat wms.!, who runs at the first sight of smoke from the muskets!

    • p.s. Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just be civil? Can’t we all just be nice?
      Can’t we all just be like pat wms.?

      • I know that Lizard, but fight I must. And I know that you’re a poet, so a little something for you: Beatrice understood quite well, that IF you hang around guys like wms., you just might catch a case of the Williams! Looks as if they have! And that’s real sad.

        “O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease! He is sooner

        caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently

        mad. God help the noble Claudio! If he have caught the

        Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a be cured.”

        GO nails it as usual. He’s a very good man. George is kinda old like me. We remember when Dems were made of sterner stuff! Union men, working men, fighters!

      • lizard –

        Ochenski doesn’t even try to argue that Democrats fighting could have made a lick of difference – he wants them to fight because, it sells more papers?. They would have inevitably gone down as ever, on a straight party line vote. As is, they apparently decided that they had a better chance of getting what they wanted in closed door deals than battling it out on the floor. As Mr. Tokarski would note, wrangling and voting on the floor are really theater – the outcome is known beforehand, and in this case they decided to improve their own image rather than embarrassing one another on the floor.

        I’m guessing the Dems were in a better negotiating position in offering unanimity because ultimately the Republicans wanted to avoid debates on the floor that would expose the cracks in their ranks and provide opportunities for their members to say scandalous things, and were willing to make concessions for a chance at a unanimous vote. So, the GOP keeps their image as one party, the Democrats get a budget that is at least as good as what they could have gotten on a normal vote, and both sides get to go home saying that ‘unlike those folks in DC’, they could work together. Those Reps seeking higher office in the future will point to this session as a great accomplishment, and I suspect that’s the biggest reason they wanted it.

          • I wasn’t actually suggesting that to be the primary reason, but as long as we subscribe to the belief that money sets agendas, wouldn’t that make all the sense in the world? I mean, the man works for a newspaper, his fortunes are thus intimately tied to the selling of newspapers, and here the Democrats are taking away the big newspaper headlines (“Deadlocked vote! No budget! Special session!) and all the political analysis columns that come with them. I don’t actually think that’s it, but if I were Mark or you I feel I’d have to, since it all comes down to following the money, right?

            Ochenski makes perfectly clear what he thinks the problem is – the lack of quixotic drama is going to make it harder for Democrats to raise money, because a compromise isn’t going to rally the base. However, I think the last election showed exactly the problem with that kind of thinking: when you rally the base and alienate the electorate, you end up with a lot of money, but a lot of ill-will from voters. Then you spend all of that money bombarding an already cynical electorate with pamphlets and commercials and people knocking on their doors, and while you may have success for a couple cycles ultimately you have an voting public that dreads even having to think about politics or public policy, and you have an election system being dominated by the donors, not the voters.

            • Wow! THAT one made my BRAIN hurt, Pee Wee Wolf! But hey, after a few choruses of Kumbaya, maybe we could all just be civil! Yep, that’s it! We’ve tried “quixotic”, and that didn’t work. Can’t we all just get along? I mean, real debate is SO annoying and distressing! It kinda ruins all the fun of the Lege! Best to simply appease, OOPS!, I mean compromise with the corporate fascists. That way, no one’s feelers get hurt! Yes, that is the way of the errant knight! It’s simply crazy to fight back! Hopeless really. QUIXOTIC! (I see your point…..NOT!)

        • Dee PLANE! Dee PLANE!


          Sorry to laff, but the Dems really HAVE become like the little midget on the old TV show Fantasy Island. You see, every time that little dude saw the plane coming, he would jump up and down excitedly yelling, Dee Plane! Dee Plane!

          The Dems have become little midgets JUMPING up and down every time they see the big bad Pubbies coming, yelling Dee FAULT! Dee FAULT!

          You see, it’s easier to default than to actually make a fuss about things that really MATTER to the folks who sent you there! And that really sucks! They all must’a went to the pat wms. legislative training session beFORE the session started!

          Dee FAULT! Dee FAULT! THAT’S what happens when you don’t show up!

          We are saddled with midget representatives this time around!! Yes, it’s better to get rolled by ALEC than to suffer the Big Koch! Tis a far, far nobler thing they do, to ALEC roll, and if this were gymnastics, I’d giv’em a TEN for that ALEC roll! It’s that perfect!!

  • I find it interesting that George Ochenski’s piece followed on the heels of the Lee Enterprises’ Mike Dennison column chastising the minority Democrats for not rolling over in committee meetings.

    I’m guessing that legislative reality lies somewhere between George’s and Mike’s opinions.

  • I love that it seems like th#&ey8217;ve thought of it all and that it’s so easy to use. Plus the extra storage is super nice to have! The ingenuity swings look great too – I like that both have open tops so it’s easy to get the baby in and out.

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