Why I Won’t Support John Bohlinger for Senate

I will not be supporting John Bohlinger for the US Senate race—and I’d humbly like to suggest any progressives tempted by his decision to position himself as the liberal candidate for US Senate do some research before throwing their support behind the former Republican. He’s not the candidate we need nor the candidate we want.

The truth is that a month ago I didn’t know who I would support. Despite being interested in and following politics reasonably closely, I couldn’t have told you which John I’d support for the Senate race. Their positions as Lt. Governors and in the case of Walsh, the National Guard, afforded little opportunity to know either man politically. By reputation, each was (and is) a good man, but the past couple of months have made it clear that Mr. Bohlinger cannot be my candidate.

So far, his campaign for the US Senate has looked a lot like his campaigns for the Montana Legislature: he’s running against Democrats—and his erratic, even irrational campaign underscores someone who’s desperate to run from his conservative past while trying to establish liberal bona fides.

He’s simply not a candidate who can beat Steve Daines, and he’s not a candidate who deserves progressive support.

On Abortion Rights

Bohlinger simply can’t be trusted on reproductive rights. His entire political record is that of a pro-life supporter, despite his half-hearted assertions to the contrary. While he wants to dismiss abortion as a “litmus test” for Democratic candidates, it absolutely must be one. We cannot afford a Senator who will not fight for women’s health.

Bohlinger filed a complaint over the mere suggestion he supported abortion rights. Bohlinger had a terrible, terrible voting record with NARAL Pro-Choice Montana. Bohlinger even voted to blast a profoundly anti-choice bill out of Senate committee, demonstrating his deep commitment to the pro-life agenda. He’s even stated that his disagreement with the Montana Democratic Party is with the party’s firm commitment to choice.

And we’re supposed to believe he’s pro-choice now?

On John McCain and Barack Obama

Just five years ago, Lt. Governor supported Senator John McCain over Barack Obama for President, saying that “John McCain is the most prepared candidate to take on the challenges facing communities in Montana and across America.” Faced with a historic choice, Bohlinger supported the candidate who wanted to prolong the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposed the development of a national health care system, wanted to privatize Social Security, and had an 82% lifetime record from the reactionary American Conservative Union.

And we’re supposed to believe he’s committed to progressive values?

On Medicaid Expansion

Mr. Bohlinger has tried to burnish his progressive credentials by advocating for a special session to expand Medicaid.  There are a couple of things to keep in mind about this call: Bohlinger did not testify before the Legislature about this issue; Bohlinger did not call for a special session publicly in the six months between the session and his announcement of his candidacy; Bohlinger did not even sign the petition calling for a special session until the day before he called for one. That’s real commitment to the issue.

Instead, he waited until the day before a group of activists and progressive strategists decided to announce their call for a ballot initiative to parachute in and steal the attention from their campaign.  Now his campaign is painting his position as some sort of moral necessity, despite the fact that Bohlinger seemed entirely disinterested in the process until he could get some free press for it. His performance at the Ballot Initiative press kickoff was an embarrassment not worthy of a serious candidate.

The people who’ve been fighting since before the 2013 Legislative session until today have decided that a ballot initiative is the way to go, and Mr. Bohlinger’s just thrown himself in their way, jeopardizing their efforts and attacking the governor in the process.

And we’re supposed to believe that he’ll put Montanans ahead of politics?

On the TEA Party

On November 7th, Mr. Bohlinger attacked the TEA Party, likening their actions to that of the Taliban and the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Pretty bold rhetoric for a former Republican, but rhetoric not far removed from the truth. In the same month, however, Bohlinger walked back his remarks, telling conservative radio host Aaron Flint that he “regretted” the remarks.

And we’re supposed to believe that he’ll stand up against the TEA Party?

On Terms in the Senate

In August, Bohlinger told the Associated Press he would only run for one term if elected, saying that it would allow him to be “bold with his decisions and not be forced to worry about raising money or getting re-elected.” Less than three months later, he backed off that pledge, saying he is “ blessed with good health” and it will be up to the people of Montana to decide what they want.”

And we’re supposed to believe that he’ll stay consistent?

On the Company He Keeps

Mr. Bohlinger has made a great deal of his association with former Governor Brian Schweitzer, someone I and many Democrats admire greatly. He’s even somewhat disingenuously suggested that Governor Schweitzer has endorsed his campaign, despite the fact that the Governor said he plans to donate to both John Walsh and Bohlinger.

On the negative, however, Bohlinger’s decision to let Bob Brigham, a self-described Internet consultant, speak for his campaign speaks incredibly poorly about Mr. Bohlinger’s judgment.  According to Mr. Brigham, in fact, he’s “running” the Bohlinger campaign.

Today, when I questioned Mr. Bohlinger’s commitment to Medicaid expansion, Brigham responded with his usual moderation:


Interesting that’d he use the term “whore,” given his public association with blogging for pay. Unlike Mr. Brigham, I’ve never taken a dime from a political candidate, committee, or campaign, let alone while blogging about a campaign.  Brigham can’t say that himself—and I suspect Dr. Freud would take issue with his desperate projection here.

The problem with letting Brigham be a strategist for the Bohlinger campaign actually isn’t about my hurt feelings about being called a sex worker, though; it’s that Bohlinger chose to let someone like Brigham speak for the campaign. It demonstrates both a lack of seriousness as a candidate and a lack of judgment as a potential Senator.

While he’s certainly energetic, managing half a dozen Astroturf Twitter accounts, Brigham is erratic, rude, and hostile to anyone who disagrees with his vision for the Democratic Party. He often viciously attacks anyone who disagrees with his views, including accusing Senator Max Baucus of having the blood of his nephew on his hands, attacking the Montana Human Rights Network for calling for a Special session he now supports, and spending  more time attacking Democrats than the Republicans he pretends to fight against.

Take a handful of Tums and read through his Twitter feed for a sense of the person who’s advising Mr. Bohlinger.

All of that would be fine for a member of the Internet commentariat or a Republican in the Montana Legislature, but not terribly appropriate behavior for someone running the online communications, much less advising, for a Senate candidate.

The tone of Bohlinger’s early campaign has been an unfortunate and costly mistake, one that could have been avoided.

The Bottom Line

I have a relatively simple criteria for determining a candidate who will receive my support in a Democratic Primary:

  • Is the person a Democrat?
  • Do his/her votes and positions align with progressive values?
  • Does she/he seem rational, consistent, and competent to hold the office?
  • Does he/she seem like a decent human being?

Less than a month into his campaign, it already seems like John Bohlinger has failed the first three questions. I certainly hope his campaign doesn’t end up changing my answer to the fourth.

The kickoff of this campaign has hurt the most valuable thing John Bohlinger had going into the race: his reputation as an honorable man. People who follow politics closely in Helena are horrified with the turn of events that’s seen this decent, good-natured man turn into a surrogate for one person’s petty grievances against nearly every progressive organization and worker in the state. It’s potentially a tragic ending for a man admired for his fundamental decency.

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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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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  • Interesting insight, but I have to respectfully disagree with you, Don. Bohlinger hasn’t just come to some new realization that he is a progressive, he has been doing it for the last decade. I commend a man, a statesman that can stand-up when what he use to believe about a party was wrong, dead-wrong, and he has the will to change his allegiance to the party that represents his values. John Bohlinger has done just that in the face of attacks from Democrats, Republicans, the press, and blogs, like yours.

    Do we give people the opportunity to change? Grow? Learn? Not at Intelligent Discontent.

    Bohlinger has stated he is pro-choice. Why shouldn’t we believe him or his most recent record? He supported and advocated with an administration that increased funding for women’s health, vetoed anti-choice legislation, and expanded programs like CHIP and SNAP. Sounds like someone that has actually done important things to protect choice and expand women’s health.

    As for medicaid, looked up the last budget at mt.gov. The Schweitzer/Bohlinger budget included the funding necessary to expand medicaid well before the Kaufmann petition or the ballot initiative. I don’t think we should be vilifying someone who is willing to fight for what is right — our need to expand medicaid. Bohlinger is moving the dialog on an important issue, yet because he is running for Senate, you believe he should be silent. I guess that is something we should come to expect from Democrats; Walsh, Lewis, and Adams, and even our two Senators, Tester and Baucus, have been, if not, completely silent on expanding medicaid, very sheepish.

    I commend Bohlinger for retracting comments that may have been made in the heat of the moment. I just don’t get inveighing politicians for trying to correct a wrong.

    The one thing we do know is Bohlinger’s has a record. He is the only candidate that has one, and thus far, the only candidate to take any sort of stance on anything. What is Walsh’s plan, stance, values, and political history? With Walsh’s long military history, are we suppose to believe that he wasn’t a Republican at some point? We have not heard a thing from him or his campaign team at Hilltop, a dark-money group, btw.

    I will wait until I hear something, anything from the other candidates before I pass judgement.

    • Bohlinger is certainly welcome to change his mind. But ‘why wouldn’t we trust his word that he is pro-choice?’ Because he’s not being honest about his record. He has a demonstrably pro-life record, and yet he comes and and says he has always and consistently pro-choice. He’s not facing up to changing circumstances or his own changed opinions – he’s insisting that he’s always been at war with Eurasia. Some of his fundamental beliefs are at odds with progressive Democratic values. In that regard, he’s no different than Senators Tester or Baucus. The problem is he’s not facing up to it, which makes his entire progressive ethos look suspiciously like a game he’s playing for the primaries. The same goes for the shell game Bob Brigham is playing with his support for a special Medicaid expansion session. The entire impression created is someone who is letting his campaign staff run the game. And, as with any professional campaigners, they are more than willing to abandon long-held principles for primary victory, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t abandon their recently adopted progressive beliefs for general election victory.

      The other issue this brings up is electability. Even if he reverses his primary-season liberalism and goes back to the John Bohlinger we all know and tend to be rather fond of in spite of some disagreements, he’ll be a better Senator than Daines, and a more progressive Senator than Baucus. But I guarantee you the Daines campaign is taking screen shots of everything Bob Brigham tweets and saving every video statement Bohlinger makes. He’s going into this primary season with a Romney-esque record of flipping, and flopping, and presumable flipping again if he wants to win the general election. And it doesn’t really matter which side lands up, I don’t think Montanans will stand for it.

      • PW, there is no better screen shot to use against Bohlinger, than the title to this post. The points that follow should dispirit many progressives to just not show up and vote in the general. It’s a real head scratcher as to why this was posted. It doesn’t lift Walsh, and is a club if Bohlinger is the nominee.

    • For me, Bohlinger has absolutely failed to explain any evolution on these issues. It’s not enough to offer a throwaway line that he is “pro-choice.” He needs to explain what changed his views.

      And the evolution you speak of would be more compelling if he hadn’t endorsed John McCain just five years ago. Did he “evolve” after that? Perhaps a bit of explanation would help.

  • I appreciate you linking to this story on the historic win I was part of the same election that you lost to Schweitzer-Bohlinger by 88 points.


    Mark Leno wrote the playbook on how to beat an entire senate caucus in an expensive primary.


    And the way Leno won allowed him to earn his status as the top progressive legislator in all the states.

    We have a model to win. And then succeed legislatively.

  • Your negative critique of Bohlinger is pretty well done. At this point, I’m disinclined to vote for him in the Democratic primary. Walsh, however, needs to make himself a lot more apparent to voters. And soon. I’m a little disappointed in his showing so far.

        • It doesn’t really matter because the system’s already rigged for the rich. You need $5,000 to enter the race, so that precludes a huge segment of the state’s population right there.

          • That doesn’t preclude people from voting, and from experience I know better than to accept the notion there are no real differences between candidates. Cynics who don’t vote don’t pull their weight as citizens.

            • There is not all that much to be a citizen in the United States. 1. Obey the rules, which actually I find somewhat sparse and easy to follow, 2. Pay your taxes so you can continue to use roads, police services and public schools and Libraries. tons of other benefits apply as well. it isn’t that much compared to other states I have lived in possibly the least amount I have ever had to pay.
              3. Vote to make sure your Tax Money is used properly, and your representative is the guy most likely to seek the majority of your views( that doesn’t mean everyone of your views but more than the other guy in the election). If you dont vote….. well lets say you lose your right to complain because that is what voting is all about.

              If any of this is too hard on you Greg seek refuge in a country closer to your views.

              And lastly your view isn’t the only one that counts in your community. Thats why we live in a democracy. If you aren’t part of the majority rethink your views, or suck it up and be magnanimous.

                • Throwing my hat in the ring is more productive than complaining on blogs. I’m sorry you don’t agree with my plan to put my money where my mouth is. Well, I guess not this election cycle since I don’t have that kind of money anyways.

                • Greg, your bitching at the wrong people. Turner and I both put our money where our mouths are and, at least weren’t afraid of running for what we believe in.. You’ll find a lot of arm chair politicos, like the Kaileys and Tolarski… Who talk big, but don’t even belong to any causes that there are meetings for, or dues, or community services. Or they’ll tell you they did something twenty years ago, but they dont do anything now. Now is when their community needs them most….. But Ahhhhh no they are busy twiddling their thumbs, or polishing their turds.

                  No Rotary, no Kiwanis, No Elks Club. No teacher functions, Just lots of Mouth.

                  We have People in our party, willing to trash others but very unwilling to serve their community as well.

                  We have a lot less armchair Politicos than the right. ..but we still have them, and thats a Pox on us!

        • Man I hate it when, given lousy choices, we’re told that not voting is a bad option, like there is some kind of civic duty in affirming a corrupt system by casting a ballot. Nonsense. That’s loser talk.

          A lack of choices merely means that electoral politics is meaningless and that other means need to be used to achieve public policy goals … until such time as the republic is functional again. Maybe in my lifetime.

          The first step is to remove money from politics, but since both parties are swimming in private money, there is no first step that involves the parties. Ergo, voting is pointless.

      • Until such time as you Democrats hold Democrats accountable , elections are farces anyway, so support for this or that candidate is just your reflexive need to win elections, and to hell with performance. So this is much ado about nothing.

        Nonetheless, your sole voting test for Bohlinger’s anti-legal abortion stance is the bill that granted personhood to fetus when there is violent attacks on the mother that end its life, thereby increasing the punishment of the offender and offering more protection for the mother. You’re a black/white kind of guy, but that’s hardly a clear-cut choice. I’d vote for that bill, and I am solidly in favor of legal abortion.

        In your second paragraph the words “The truth is…” is, as they say in poker, a “tell.” It means that everything that follows in that paragraph is suspect. Why else affirm in advance that it should not be doubted? It is no different than “I’ll be honest” or “To be perfectly honest.” Such advance affirmations are intended to emphasize that which we are given to doubt, and not without reason.

        So the truth is more like yes, you knew a month ago who you would support, and to be perfectly honest, anyone who reads your writing knew this too.

        Not that I care too much – to win the general in Montana takes untold amounts of outside money, dark money, so that the election is just a buy for various moneyed interests, and in sparsely populated Montana, a cheap buy. New York, California senate seats costs tens of millions more, and yet have the same voting power. New office holders might be honest in intent on day one, but by day two have been brought I to reality. This is an extremely corrupt system, and no one survives without first being vetted by money. Even to be considered viable by the media is a sign that money has already given its approval.

        This is something I did not know when I supported Tester – he had already cut the necessary deals to gain traction, buy TV ads, and take office. He then promptly stuck it to progressives, so that his loss of that faction necessitated introduction of a huge wad of dark money to hold his seat six years later with less than 50%.. There’s no honor there, so if you’re still a Tester guy, your support is not based on principles of integrity. Your opinions about Bohlinger need to be weighed carefully in that regard.

  • I could come up with a hundred reasons to not vote for Bolinger either. here is just three

    1. Bob and Aaron:
    First of all Bob Brigham isn’t a Democrat Mr. Bolinger. He’s a loudmouth on the fringes of insanity, and more like Aaron Flint a conspricy theorist( if that was a party, they would be leaders). Both of these guys have said repeatedly said they don’t speak for party affiliation in the past… Like that is some kind of measure of goodness in todays world? Not!

    These guys are always selling themselves out to the highest bidder. They belong to the Party of the month club, one day they are all about the tea party, one day they are all for the neocon, one afternoon the believe in Democratic princibles…. These guys are willing to sell out their neighborhoods out for a buck.

    Democrats don’t speak to Arron, hell they wont let him anywhere near a public event. So that was a huge mistake for Bolinger. he would have had more credability calling teabaggers stupid, and not trying to placate the Idiots. You cannot explain facts to people who wont believe in them.

    The same can be said for Bob. No one in the last couple of years has been inviting him anywhere near a democratic event…. he just shows up and make things as awkward as possible. Bob’s closest allies have been Libertarian, and constitutional party members. Neither party has forwarded anything of value except word salads and Plagiarisms

    Aarons sold out repeatedly to Koch and ATP propaganda in the past, follows the Fox Byline of not allowing facts to get in the way……..And Bob will sell himself to anyone who has cash.

    Because of Bobs Mouth, he made it possible for Republicans on the extreme right to hate medical marijuana. Our chance to make it legal was continually crushed by his insane arguments on twitter….Basically he was talking out his ass, cussing folks out, telling folks he was the spokesperson for the budding industry.

    I gotta believe, He single handily made those of us proponents who weren’t crazy, unapproachable. those of us who did make sense and had the real statistics to prove Grass was helping not hurting, were being over shouted out by a flaming imbecile like Bob. he wanted the limelight so bad he was willing to say anything to keep the cameras on him, and not those who needed it for medical purposes in our communities.

    Bob and Aaron are not the guys you listen to when making a thoughtful path forward for the community’s or states future….

    Then theres. the no voice in politics until last month by Bolinger I don’t like either, when the Legislature was in still in session why wasn’t he in there trying to get medicaid expanded? where was he????? and why all this bullshit about a special session now???

    Goofball Mike Miller explained the Republican plan for a special session on twitter: “76 R’s will bring back the two vetoes in a SS (HB12 and 218 I think) and he will look bad again” they will fight it tooth and nail, for goodness sake let the people vote for it. polling right now shows support for expanding medicad.

    3. Bob Brigham is trolling montana Hashtag #MTPOL and calling out anyone who is against him or Bolinger. probably the craziest shit we have seen on twitter in a long while.

    Even jhwygirl @jhwygirl said on it recently.
    I can barely go near #mtpol because of all the trolling & uncivilized banter. Primarily sourced from @BobBrigham. How do people handle it?

    • I can see why Montana politics is so silly. While you guys (and I mean the majority of the people in this state) are arguing back and forth someone from left-field’s just going to come right in and take it all away from you before you even noticed.

      They won’t need the press, they won’t need the parties, and they won’t need the money. In fact, they’ll rail against those things, and people will love them for it. I hope you guys keep posting replies like this to this blog – the results will give you a lot to talk about.

        • I guess we’re already seeing the nonsensical back and forth that will lead to nothing more than a useless and drawn-out primary fight, one which will benefit no one but the GOP.

          It’ll have to be that way, as any democratic candidates will have to holler and shout just to get noticed. After all, they’re all old and boring. I said it before, there’s nothing to get excited about with any of these people. Maybe getting excited to see them fail, that’s about it. But I mean, my indifference far outweighs that. And then I guess my eternal vigilance will be going out the window as well.

          I’d hate to be the PR guy that’s got to come up with something fresh and catchy for this group of walking dead.

          • Greg – such frank treatment of Democrats at a Democratic web site will earn you that “superficial” label every time. I agree that the field is typically Democratic, uninspiring, and that it’s all about winning elections and election-night parties, after which the party regulars go back into slumber. That’s not superficial, but does rub their fur the wrong way.

      • Who in left field? Walsh? Yeah that is the only other guy from left field!

        Whats with the fear factor here Greg? WHo is the big mystery? Man I have to agree with Turner here.

    • “How do people handle it?” It being Bob Brigham, I would imagine they handle “it” the same as they handle you, Norma.

      You afford Bob way more power and influence than is his due. He didn’t “single-handedly” do anything, most certainly not paint others as ‘not making sense’. Many of those ‘not crazy’ folk did that all on their own. The vast majority of Montanans pay no attention whatsoever to the Twitters. Many do, however, pay attention to Aaron Flint and what they hear on the radio. To those of us looking for a candidate, it is distressing to read one who blames Bob Brigham and Aaron Flint for controlling our decisions and making up our minds.

      Bob’s mind-control has apparently failed on me, as I will not be voting for Bohlinger. Frankly, Walsh has much more to offer, including his frequently annoying but necessary appeals for money. Arguing over who is “progressive” and who isn’t just turns me off. I want somebody who will represent Montana. That won’t be Bob Brigham. He ain’t runnin’.

      • Right and I have a bridge to sell you in Dillon?

        Please, ROb, dont let your hate for me clog your already shut eyes further.

        since I hang with a majority of ranchers and farmers here in our part of the world…. Most of them, Solid GOP voters who say they get the cattle report, feed prices from the same station Aarons on, and turn it off when he shows up on air. Their prognosis in comments to me about Aarons show:


        But wait,

        We are gonna see how Kailey politics unfolds here in Dillon pretty Quickly….

        The new Mayor here, you and your brother backed…The tin hat show…. Cant even show up to find out how city government works.

        A month after election, and the only thing that has shown up at city hall…..Is all manor of rumors that the next mayor nutjob is gonna fire half the city’s staff, without even knowing what they do or how hard they work? Let alone see what the mayor’s job is all about??? Really???

        If the rumors are true, I’m wondering, How many brownnosers of Klakken are going to get a job, they know nothing about?? Well it be a kailey as well? I shudder to think that far.

        Thats right Folks! As of today when I visited our city government, Klakken still hasn’t shown up to talk to the staff or city council members yet…. not even gotten to know them?
        Hasn’t yet made that important step of integrating into mayor…..and Dillonites fear a total clustersuck is around the corner…… brought to you by well…. you and your brother opinions on how democracy should work.

        Talk about transparency for incoming Klakken city government, its so thin its non existent at this point.

        Thank goodness I am living in the county, cuz at this rate the double AA rating of Dillon, second only to the state itself has no where to go but down the tubes… with all the winging it from the incoming Kailey indorsed Klakken City government! Dillon is thirty years behind in infrastructure repairs and replacement and it looks like it is gonna take another 6 years before someone might continue this important stuff through….

        Like Bob you guys can’t leave well enough alone, when its moving forward!

        By the way Kailey you can always always uninscribe off the official maillist of any candidate you wish…. just saying.

      • Rob, progressives, judging by Nader’s showing in 2000 and Tester’s turnout decline from 2006 to 2012, make up perhaps <5% of the Montana vote. Given only the power to put someone over the top, we are an important force in elections but otherwise have to rely on rank and file Democrats to advance our causes, which rarely happens. Since we have no power within the party, it's a bit of a Faustian bargain, no?

        • Right thats why with the exception of Tim Fox every Big political spot in Montana is filled with Democrats.

          Again some out of state, out of his mind mathematics from a guy who confessed to be an accountant. Not only your mind but your numbers are way off…. per usual!

          • It’s an established truth in business that slice in time comparatives are weak. You claim that Democrats have been awesome in Gummint because they control 4 of the 6 top offices (Senate, Senate, House, Governor, SoS, and AG.). Hate to break the obvious, but we’re likely gonna lose another Senate seat. Trending is actually a metric born of the Intertubes, and it tells a different story. Republicants are gaining strength in Montana, as evidenced by nothing other than Tim Fox.

            Y’know, back when Melcher ran against Burns, people like you, Norma, kept claiming that Montana had only elected one Republicant Senator, and Burns stood no chance in this state. Funny that, Burns won.

        • Moralizing to the side, Faustian bargains still bear fruit. Though Norma seems oblivious to the fact, Democracy itself is a Faustian bargain. Each one of us puts our well being in the hands of those who frankly don’t give one salient crap about what we want, but rather are only concerned about what they want. The Devil will always keep his promises, because Mephistopheles will never promise to make one ‘content’. That is the horror of Democracy.

          ‘Progressives’ want what they want and they want it NOW! It may be right and it may be just. But it simply ain’t gonna happen by letting the enemy win. The enemy of course, are those who disagree in even small increments with ‘progressives’. Democrats tend to pull the line of contentment a little further to the progressive side. But they will never ever be what outsiders want them to be. Imagine that … in a Democracy.

          • Mr Kailey,
            I notice you Trash talk Melcher, but not Brian David Schweitzer? he lost to Burns as well? but went on to be our Gov anyway didn’t he? Well did you forget that fact. Isn’t that your argument….How democrats dont win, and now look at brian not Burns being Talked about as a serious populast campaign as President. wheres Burns now?????

            Democratic principles eventually always win. I trust the american public to make the right choices. After they get battered by republican Ideas they eventually come around. Real democrats make it possible a day at a time to get things right.

            Your argument about Burns, is pretty invalid at this point….. And it pretty much proves you are not a real democrat either, but another fear monger.

            Lastly it is pretty lame to me for a Supposed Democrat to use a republican Argument thats nots winning elections.

            The “We are all getting shit on anyways” argument. Your erroneous argument about Democrats amusing as it is, is entirely grounded in Republican/ teaparty speak.

            I Dont know how you lost your way…. but you’re in the middle of nowhere with that argument and still in the Mark ballpark for answers.

            Save your faustian arguments for someone who cares to hear circular reasoning. I will keep moving forward on step at a time.

            • Man! Why be a Democrat in name only Rob. be all you can be and just drop the DINO tag all together…. or be honest and just say you dont like my cheeky democratic notions of right and wrong. I know you and your brother don’t like me, I dont intend to grow fond of either of you guys either.

              at least be honest for a friggin change and stop trying to co-op me to your side of slimy politics.

            • Norma, since your ‘response’, such as it was, had absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote save including the name “Melcher”, you’ve really raised the bar on your own level of incoherence.

              I wasn’t ‘Trash-talking’ Melcher. I was trash talking people like you who think their own sense of justice coerces democratic will. No, it doesn’t. If it did, John Melcher wouldn’t have lost to Conrad Burns, Tim Fox would not be our AG and Steve Daines would not be the front-runner for US Senate.

              Democratic principles do win. They just aren’t what you think they are. You equate ‘democratic’ with Democrats, and nothing could be further from the truth. Democratic principles are not about justice. They are, simply put, that every person has their say in who represents them in a democratic republic. What I tried to point out to you, but you are vastly too defensive to understand, is that Montana is trending to the right. That is as much because of fantasists such as yourself as it is the TeaPeeps on the other side. The point is very simple and very democratic. More Montanans are voting for Republicants at an increasing rate.

              Your little notions of right and wrong are not democratic in the least bit. They are self-serving and nothing but combat fodder for you to think more highly of yourself. If you wish to be Democratic, then you’d best wake up to the realization that others have opinions and interests that don’t rely the tiniest bit on a concern for you. You have allies, potential allies, enemies and potential enemies. If you really think you’re a Democrat then ask yourself which of these will help you win elections, and which of these wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. Then ask yourself the hardest question of all. What have you done to define which is which by your behavior, and how much of that is in your own mind?

              • Wow would you listen to yourself Rob Bwahahahaha

                When you read your words again in front of a mirror, you’ll see who the real culprit is.

                Cuz trust me what you wrote fits you to a tee buddy boy!

                I am not sorry to explain to you again that I as a democrat I don’t have to live by your little pesky “Get along with Rob’s personality Laws.”

                As a democrat we all know we work within a huge tent of personalities and like buses….. If we don’t like one because of their shrillness, we can wait fifteen minutes and a better person will come along.

                Yep then what happens is two voices outvote the one who keeps demanding they go his way. Thats called a majority by the way Rob for future reference.

                Since I don’t hinge my values on your whining in the comment session, you should in turn either stop whining and go about your business…. or continue and see if you can find like-minded whiners to play with!

                No matter what I say you’re gonna disagree out of pure spite. which tells me you don’t get out of your little bubble much.

      • Interesting points Rob. Always comical to read what Norma has to say…Bohlinger is by far not the first Democrat to come on the talk show, even in the short 4 years or so that I’ve been hosting Voices of Montana. In fact, one could argue that it was Democrats like Brian Schweitzer and Dennis McDonald (who came on the show several times) that helped get all of these other Democrats elected. I think you could argue that Tester/Baucus etc all benefitted from Schweitzer/McDonald charging the hill, and now that they’re in power they want to pretend they did it on their own without Schweitzer- who saved the MT Dems’ rear end in the last decade. Pam Bucy, Monica Lindeen, Denise Juneau and others have also been on the show recently. The bigger picture is that our elected officials have a duty to answer to their constituents- not just cherry pick the easy, canned interviews. Oftentimes, I think the biggest barrier blocking some from wanting to come on the show is that they don’t want to hear from the callers who can call in without being screened out…

        • I always get a kick out of hearing Cletus from Ekalaka call in and ask about the UN Agenda 21 plan to force bison onto his scrub brush ranch. Your show is always a hoot Aaron.

        • Not as comical as you Arron. You remind me of all those late night guys in LA radio in the 70’s …. who had those canned pre-recordings where you acted like you were talking to celebrities in your studio…. when all it was were promo LP records with a script.

          Oooh did I give away your secrets dude.

          I also noticed how you didn’t speak up for Craig’s two recordings. Your show is more than half cooked in clips. dude.

          Nice try though!

  • Bohlinger is a good man. Ok.
    I will not be voting for Bohlinger. Why? Because he has a HORRIBLE voting record. And while he may claim that he “stood by Brian Schweitzer” when Brian vetoed anti-woman bill after anti-woman bill, the truth is that Bohlinger was still anti-choice and even told people that while Lt. Governor.
    As you point out, Pogie. Bohlinger is also being advised by a very questionable “activist” named Bob Brigham. One moment Bohlinger is trying to make us believe that he is now “pro-woman” while his campaign manager makes light of rape and freely uses the term “whore.” That’s despicable.
    The sad thing is that I don’t think Bohlinger is aware of how toxic his top advisor is. I doubt Bohlinger is on Twitter tracking all the horrible things Brigham says using his Twitter trolls, etc. For me, this campaign was sunk the day Bohlinger hired Mr. Bob Brigham.

      • LOL Hey we all continue to read 4& 20 even Don does. we just take it with a grain of salt. JC is okay in my book, she hasn’t gone completely libertarian republican, like some of you posters at 4 &20 have. Lizard. JC is also a little better about checking her facts. Just saying…..

        • checking her facts? that’s hilarious. also, I wish you would check your prolific comments for misspellings and bizarre punctuation. just saying….

          • Hey I am not writing a thesis for some professor here. I am writing a comment or two between drives. or scribbling between jobs. … at Cynics just like you

            Cynicism isn’t my bag, but I like sarcasm– Love screwing with those who wear Cynicism in this comment section like a badge of courage…..Like they are doing something for the good of their community by saying things aren’t working????

            “Oh it is too hard to make things better in government or too hard, or not politically correct at this time, to make people and corporations accountable to speak the uncomfortable truth while they are fouling our air land and water and people?” Really?

            Whereas there are other people on the ground really trying to affect things and improve their lives and the lives of other people around them….. Anyone else notice these two groups of people are not mutually exclusive Lately? I have!

            Granted I do screw with conservatives here more than I ought too, but that’s because the Extreme right of them like Craig still believe in Magic… Some invisible being who is gonna save them, instead of rolling up their sleeves and helping to get ideas off of paper and built for real.

            Too busy arguing and waiting for rapture… no time to help the poor, no time to promote jobs, no time to save the environment from ALEC and the Koch brothers… but hell we have time to argue our pants off with Norma’s spelling?


            Word salads don’t fill stomachs, stop pain, or create a caring educational environment for Montanans in need, so I need not worry how well I write here….

            I worry more about what I “Do” elsewhere when I donate my energy, and time to projects that matter in my community.

            I think in some ways, and there is some present company excluded… That a lot of Democrats don’t know what it means anymore to be Democrat.

            We do have a backbone you know, Plus we also have the elbow grease to get the job done… doesn’t matter how we say it, if at the end of the day there is more than words standing!

            • yeah, I wouldn’t know the first thing about helping people—I just blog about punks like our president who continue destructive policies while putting liberals into a trance with his pretty sounding words.

              • Punk? Is that code for Black?

                Because to me the real criminals are Bush and Cheney who sent 1000’s of Americans to a wa, and a death or maiming for WMDs that didn’t exist.

                Used Uranium spent bullets that litter every city and rural town, in Iraq that now causes leukemia to almost every new and innocent child there… so innocent war victims can continue to be buried next to the 100’s of thousands we have already killed for the oil Business.

                I could complain we Democrats representatives allowed it to happen…. except we were lied too as well, and when we found out we helped stop it as soon as possible. Lied too by the GOP, who now wants to nuke Iran. instead of making peace.

                No equivalency necessary when conservatives speak!.

                • Obama is just as much a war criminal as the previous administration, Norma. you would have to be a blind partisan to not see that. funny, there seems to be a lot of blind partisans incapable of understanding that presidents who violate the constitution should be impeached. oh well, I’m sure Hillary will be better.

                • Right?

                  Like I said code words for Black.

                  Hillary signed on for Iraq as well, notice: Obama didn’t!

                  It was not Obama who invaded Iraq on a fabricated pretext and with an army designed to fight not an insurgency but World War III. Significantly, it was not Obama who lacked either a plan for administering the country once Saddam Hussein was removed from power, nor a long-term exit strategy. Those failing were those of President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.”

                  The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda (2011)

      • You’re a hard guy to reconcile, wondering if you’re really that doctrinaire, or merely Snap-On for anyone that the the big guns in the D party are pushing. You do exhibit an authoritarian bent in that you demand to be taken at face and so attack anyone who even remotely inquires into your sincerity. Ergo, banning.

        That’s a tell

  • I find Bohlinger’s candidacy to be disingenuous overall. During his tenure as Lt. Gov, he was touted as the Republican yang to the Schweitzer yin. Over and over we heard about Brian reaching across the aisle to add a Republican to the ticket. Perhaps, for a Republican, he is on the progressive end of their spectrum. That’s great. Honestly I wish he would stand up in his party for those values that made him a Republican in the first place and hold his party’s feet to the fire. It feels opportunistic to me that he is now, at 78 years old, hopping into a Democratic primary. For me, one of the many reasons I am also not supporting him.

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