John Driscoll is spoiling to spoil again, this time running, despite pledging to raise no money, against John Lewis for the Democratic nomination for Montana’s US House seat.
For those of you who don’t remember Driscoll, the last time he ran for the US Congress was back in 2008, when he surprisingly won the Democratic primary on name recognition, before mounting no campaign against Dennis Rehberg in the general. It got so bad that Driscoll ended up endorsing Rehberg for the race.
In his recent candidate profile for the Lee newspapers, Driscoll made it clear that he’s not a serious candidate, expressing a series of contradictory views that betray a deep disinterest in actual governance. Once again, Driscoll seems content to stir up some trouble to get attention, a trait that seems to be quite en vogue among elder Democratic statesmen in Montana.
He even considered running as a Republican in the House race.
Most troublingly, Driscoll is a supporter of the destructive Ryan budget, opposed by nearly every Democratic politician in the country. Driscoll told the Lee papers:
He said Congress must look at every possible way to reduce the federal deficit. He said he supports the general approach of Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan “without the rhetoric.”
The only thing good about the Ryan budget is its rhetoric, because no one opposes the idea of reducing deficits. As a policy, though, the Ryan budget is a complete disaster, devastating poor and middle class families, while extending irresponsible tax cuts to the richest Americans. Driscoll’s endorsement of a proposal too radical for the likes of Dennis Rehberg should disqualify from from consideration.
Another thing Driscoll seems to really love is shipping oil across the state, proposing not only to support the Keystone XL pipeline, but a second parallel pipeline from Sunburst to Los Angeles. That route not only crosses the most beautiful part of Montana, Shelby, but a few little geographical obstacles like the Missouri River. Given the dangers we’ve already seen with leaking oil pipelines, surely adding another across Montana’s mighty Missouri is anything but environmentally responsible.
Along the way, Driscoll delves into minutiae like renaming the Montana Democratic Party and converting the mission of Malmstrom Air Force base into a plutonium vitrification site. That may well be, as Driscoll claims, a “cutting edge industry,” but I have a feeling that Montanans do not want to be the destination for weapons-grade plutonium for conversion.
Despite specific proposals like that, Driscoll dropped another bombshell on Montana voters: he hasn’t really thought about Social Security and Medicare.Driscoll said told the paper he hasn’t really looked into those programs:
As for Social Security and Medicare, Driscoll said some changes probably will be needed, but he hasn’t studied the issue fully yet.
I’d argue a real candidate for the US House would probably research programs that are critical for tens of thousands of Montanans before researching plutonium mitigation.
Montana Democrats got fooled by name recognition and a poor primary strategy back in 2008. Let’s not let it happen again this time. Winning a race against the presumptive GOP nominee Ryan Zinke, backed by millions from out of state donors, is going to be challenging enough, but impossible with a disinterested occasional Democrat with no real plan for Montana’s future.