Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke “Exploring” a House Run

The groundswell of support from his totally independent Super PAC seems to have persuaded Ryan Zinke that he should seriously consider running for the US House, as he announced the formation of an zinkeroveexploratory committee to consider his run.

Should be interesting to see Zinke win in what promises to be a rabidly right-wing fight, given his love for compromise and middle ground politics. After all, he told the Portland Tribune in May that he considers himself a moderate:

He is writing a book titled, “The Rise of the Middle.”

“I take the middle of the political spectrum,” Zinke says. “Middle America is us. Most folks are not particularly political. They’re paying taxes and working hard. They’re not being well-represented, but we have to get them to become part of the movement. The government has almost become a self-licking ice cream cone. The middle has to be moved as part of our political process.”

That should play well in the current Montana Republican Party. Of course, when he meets with them, Zinke is more likely to be this guy than a moderate:


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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  • A bit of a repetitive post, Don, calling out a Republican for behavior that members of both parties engage in. You’d support him if he was a D.

    • Radical idea: don’t read it. Alternatively, perhaps you can post comments over at 4and20 blackbirds. They’re more to your liking, I think. Oh, wait…

      • The fun of blogging for me is disagreement, not that anyone every changes their mind about anything. (One guy in Minot, ND did back in 2004, I hear.) But you don’t seem to want to engage in point-counterpoint, in fact, disagreement seems to make you angry.

        • I think you’re mistaking disinterest for anger. If you followed Montana politics, you’d know that this was actually the first blog/media to report that Zinke had announced. A small thing, to be sure, but being first does matter. That’s why I posted it.

          When I suggest that you post over at 4and20, it’s because I think that you’d really add more value there, if only they’d let you comment. I don’t think what you believe is point-counterpoint often adds much to the discussion. It’s often off-topic and almost always the exact same set of claims.

          People can read that over at your blog if they’re into that. I just find it boring.

          • I encounter your mindset everywhere and would like to understand it better. It’s as if you’re only interested in election outcomes. You don’t seem to be able to focus on an issue unless your opinions are filtered through a candidate. Once elected, they are not held accountable and then we start the cycle over again, all failures from prior terms forgiven, fear of the other party the driving force. I regard us as a dysfunctional democracy for that reason.

            I know you think that repetitive, but then again, you’ve never addressed it. It’s all beneath you, it seems. It’s as if you’re in hiding.

            • And the Tokarski cycle is complete.

              Step 1: Make a broad generalization about American politics that suggests Tokarski’s political wisdom. Typically, this is a half-digested Chomsky essay or piece from The Guardian.

              Step 2: Pretend that it’s about honest discourse and debate.

              Step 3: Engage in amateur psychology.

              Step 4: Repeat ad nauseum.

              I’ve “addressed” your same argument roughly 70,000 times. I think that your refusal to engage in politics that are beneath your sophistication are simply a reflection of your unaddressed privilege. It’s easy to say that electoral politics don’t matter when you don’t have to worry about food security, tuition, public schools, reproductive rights, institutional racism, or a whole litany of issues.

              Does the Democratic Party take the ideal position on any of these issues? Hell no, but I’d take their policy priorities over the American Taliban any day. You, on the other hand, secure in your privilege, pretend that partisan politics don’t matter. They do, to millions of Americans.

              While you decry a broken system, there are people doing real work to improve the lives of people who live in that system. You’re not one of them.

              • See now, there you go – condescension and anger. I don’t read the Guardian (I am more RT and Voltaire), haven’t read Chomsky in ages, though I am perplexed that you think reading him is some kind of offense. It gets worse – I read all the time, and even subscribe to Consumer Reports along with Rolling Stone and the Handyman.

                I am very much concerned about food security, tuition, public schools, reproductive rights (not so much as they are not nearly as threatened as you think – that’s me thinking my own damned thoughts again), institutional indoctrination of our youth in our schools reinforced by TV and movies, failure of the vote counting process (even when the candidates are really a choice we cannot be guaranteed a clean outcome) and whole litany of issues, but at the top of my list is campaign finance reform. Nothing else gets solved until we stop legalized bribery. And we can’t do that from within the parties that accept the bribes, can we Don. You can’t demand that the kids votes himself out of candy.

                I can think of only a few things about this country that are not utterly corrupt, starting with the two parties. You have never addressed corruption of both parties. In fact you ignore it unless the “other” party does it, which is why you wrote this silly ad nauseum predictable post. When Tester got all of his dark money last time around, you put your head in the sand. Why? Because he’s a Democrat! That happens with you ad nauseum! You Do Not Look Beyond Party Labels. You automatically support every Democrat and oppose every Republican. My evidence: Your blog.

                Jesus the condescension that pours out of you. You have never addressed these matters. You just turn off and walk away after letting go with some throwaway arrogant nonsense about how I am the one with the problem. But I’m not. It’s you. You’re asleep at the wheel. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. You are the problem. The condescending somnambulist.

                • I think your explanation seems quite likely to be true. It’s that I’m angry. Explain why every other blog in the state banned you, too. I don’t control them.

                  Use as many paragraphs as you need to explain how my anger (which I still insist is boredom) led to you being banned everywhere else.

                  Then we can talk about your mostly childish, often infantile view of politics.

                  SO MAD.

                • PS: one of us understands politics. The other is mesmerized. It’s easily described: You’re told to “Look here. Not there.” And you do. It is not that you do that but rather how easy you are.

                • I explained the failure of Democrats to you: Because you don’t hold your leaders accountable, your party is easily infiltrated by right wingers. They don’t even try very hard, as a D after the name does it. This is how we end up with two right wing parties – people like you.

                  By the way, Mr. Phoney Baloney, I know you’ve never read Chomsky or anyone like him. You know how? Because you can’t bring yourself to even go to a blog you know you’ll disagree with. Hell, you can barely make it through a comment here. No way do you sit through a whole book.

                  That inability to hear another side without anger is due to brainwashing. Ooops! There I go – psychology! unmderstanding your mind is not that hard, however.

                • There’s a difference between your blog and Noam Chomsky, Tokarski – Chomsky is a knowledgeable. I’ve read Chomsky. I disagree with him generally – what he omits is more important than what he includes, in my opinion, but he at least provides an educated point of view. I feel he often ignores facts that don’t go his way, but I can’t deny that he has studied international relations, history, and language extensively (although outside the US he is really mostly respected for the last); he doesn’t fall into the glaring lapses of logic that you do when you stray from simply parroting his work because he doesn’t try to substitute contrarianism for knowledge.

                  That’s why its quite possible, for example, to read Nye and Mearsheimer and Chomsky and take something from each of them, though they disagree – they are all scholars with a broad base of knowledge and thoughtful opinions. I can’t claim to be on their level, obviously, but I attempt to use similarly levels of research and reasoning in my writing, particularly but not only on foreign policy. Your blog, on the other hand, is no better than a Friedman column; though the point of view is dissenting and thus perhaps more thought-provoking that a mainstream hack, the quality of thought and research tend not to be.

                • You’re totally right. Because I don’t read your blog, I don’t read one of the leading intellectual lights in the American left for the past three decades.

                  I think it’s almost exactly the same thing. That I don’t bother to read most of your comments is further evidence of my inability to read.

                  I absolutely want to accept this compelling claim, but I’m still troubled by the detail that even your intellectual allies have banned your from their site. So, back to the question: if this is about my failings as a thinker and and reader, why has everyone else banned you, too?

                  I look forward to your nuanced explanation.

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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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