Montana Politics Steve Daines

Walsh Offers Excellent Contrast with Daines

The news that Lieutenant Governor John Walsh has entered the race for Senate has energized Montana Democrats and made a race that seemed worrisome immediately competitive.

While the specific timing of the announcement (late night Wednesday) was certainly odd, in a broader sense his timing couldn’t have been more perfect: announcing his candidacy at the precise moment Steve Daines is demonstrating his preference for radical Republican obstructionism over real governance provides the kind of contrast Walsh will use to his advantage in the campaign.

In the last couple of contested Senate elections here in the state, Montanans, despite a conservative bent, have chosen sensible pragmatists over radical ideologues—and are likely to do so again.

The experience gap will also work to Walsh’s advantage. While each has experience overseas, the fact that Walsh led Montana troops in a war zone as Daines was helping outsource Montana jobs to China offers another instructive contrast about their priorities and values.

This will undoubtedly be a close, nasty race fueled by unparalleled outside spending and we’ll undoubtedly talk a lot more about it here and elsewhere, but the Walsh announcement—coming as Daines is demonstrating his true colors—is perfect timing for Montana Democrats.

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.


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  • HEY, I’ve got lots of military experience too! I think that my numerous trips to magic fingers pretty much inured me from intern temptation! Maybe walsh too, huh?

          • Craig did your family ever stop at a cheap motel when you where a little kid? Dont you remember feeding coins to the bed in the motel room?: “In 1958, John Houghtaling invented Magic Fingers, a device mounted onto a hotel bed that would shake the mattress under you for 15 minutes, promising escape from the work-a-day non-vibrating bed world. Let me describe the experience to you. First you drop 25 cents into the coin box at the head of the bed. There is a buzz from deep within the mattress, and very quickly the fine lines printed on the bedspread go into soft focus. Panicked, you wonder whether it’s scientifically possible to rattle the eyes out of your head. Eventually you are able to let go and enjoy the body massage by imagining that you are sleeping on a giant purring cat.

            You’re able to forget for a while that you’re in a cheap motel, that the vibrating bed has probably been used less for its therapeutic advantages, and more as a giant kinky toy. That’s right, forget it all, let go… and right when you’ve drifted off into a quarter-fueled zen state, your time is up and the bed grinds to a halt. You rack your brain trying to remember where you may have stashed some more change, and the cycle begins again.”

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  • I am actually pretty excited to see Walsh enter the race. While I do not see Daines as an ideologue (I really think people are barking up the wrong tree with Daines – he is a self admitted corporatist), I think he is definitely the wrong person to represent Montana. Further, Daines will not make the same mistakes that Rehberg or Burns made. He is far too smart to open his mouth and insert his foot. In fact, if Daines follows his pattern, he will avoid most microphones and simply work in the shadows. Walsh has enough presence and following to make Daines come forward and actually have to fight for the election. This will make him as vulnerable as he will ever get. Make no mistake, though. As a corporatist, as well as a fairly wealthy man in his own right, Daines have the financial backing to make this a VERY expensive race. As Rob has repeatedly pointed out though, Denny’s financial backing still failed to pull down Tester. Count me solidly in Walsh’s corner.

  • Does anyone know if Walsh is a thinker/delegator military type in the model of Lieutenant Gen. Paul Van Riper? Or does he get off on ordering people to do stuff his way?

      • Meet him a couple of times already and I believe he is the right guy for the job. the guy asks all the right questions. and better yet he pretty good at the answers!

        Last time was Bannack during the recovery here…. Daines nowhere to be found!

            • “Meet him a couple of times already and I believe he is the right guy for the job. the guy asks all the right questions. and better yet he pretty good at the answers!”

              Not one ounce of accountability, no content of any sort, and automatic reflexive support. I know you well, as you write in large volume and expose yourself. You’re a group thinker, nothing more. If it’s a D, you are in favor, an R, opposed. End of story.

              • Hey at least I have had the time to talk to him, ask him some questions that weren’t fluff about Montana. I got the answers I needed… You Mark,on the other hand can only guess way out there in Colorado….Where a Montana election won’t matter to you on a daily basis.

                Heck, You don’t even vote as you have famously said at Cowgirls blog and elsewhere. So why add two cents worth of conversation?

                • So what were the questions, what were the answers? Did you measure his responses, study his body language and eye movements? Did you consider that he knows what you want to hear, and are easily satisfied? Have you studied his finances, associations, positions and circles of contacts? Do you value military service above individual accountability?

                  Did you even meet him?

                • Please Mark Read above, Yes I have net him. yes I have conversed with him at length, and no a Colorado minded numskull does not get to have access to a Montana conversation….

                  Attention Mark your not part of My Montana (Thank God)

                • Now you’ve gone from merely asking a couple of questions and coming away happy to “having conversed with him at length,” of course relating nothing of interest in the conversation other than that you support him.

                  Come on, Norma. I know how it works. Democrats do not hold office holders accountable. You saw the D, you hope he wins, beyond that, you’ve not thought much about it.

                  I know you Norma. Don’t kid with me. I read what you write. I know you.

  • Kralj, what the hell is the inverted pine cone up your ass about Walsh? He comes from Butte heritage and was a ‘snuffy’ before becoming an officer.

    • Simple. We can do better than a military retread. Look, the dude hasn’t had to worry about missing in a meal in the last thirty years! No health care! Nor a job! He has NOTHING in common with your average Montanan. We can do better. The military is NOT reality, especially here in Montana. Gubmint tit all the way. If you don’t get so fat that they kick you out, you’ve got it made in the shade! I simply do not believe that the military prepares one for anything but being in the military. That’s it. I have the exact same beef with Corky Stumblebum. Look, I known many lifers and consider them close friends. There great guys and fun to go drinkin’ with and run the whores. But they are not senatorial material. Give me the gentlemen farmers, or maybe an intellectual. Name me a few military lifers in the senate. I can think of none off hand.

  • Wrong Larry! what my son does with his unit is quite different than when you where in now. as a logistics and communications specialist. he has been setting up procurement chains to get food and medicine to civilian Syrians. saving people without using a gun.

    Last year, it was setting up communications in Libya after Stevens got killed with friendlies of the new government there, you know the same guys who helped with the Intel that made this weekends raid successful in catching a wanted terrorist.

    Not the same armed forces since you left Buddy. Iraq ended the military you grew up in. Obama pretty much finished it when he became president. The stuff you keep harping on is pretty much gone.

    • Oh yes, you’re right, Norma. The military has been such a HUGE success since WWII. What were all those successes again? Could you list them for me?

      Bottom line. The military is destroying this country! For no good reason! I won’t rehash the stats, but we are bankrupting the country with bullshit military spending. Take a look at the budget figures sometime. I think it’s time for a REAL cost benefit analysis. Any REAL cost benefit analysis would show that the MIC is outta control.

      The CIA has conducted foreign policy for a long time now. There is no State Dept. any longer. Any thinking person realizes that this is not the way our democracy is supposed to work, for it’s NOT democracy with the Kockh brothers and the CIA calling the shots.

      • WE ARE SPARTA!…..or some such. I do NOT theenk that this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind. In fact, the country changed dramatically and went off course after our JFK coup and the CIA taking over. That was the end of the promise, and the end of the Republic the Big Boys left us. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep it. I think it’s important to face that reality if we’re ever going to change.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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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