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Flip Flopping Ryan Zinke Already Upsets the Right Wing Fringe

John Boehner and Ryan Zinke

I have to say that I’m impressed that Ryan Zinke managed to waffle and dissemble his way through his very first vote as a member of Congress, when he voted for John Boehner to remain House speaker.

Talk about a man of principle. Hoping that the elderly audience of the right-wing Voices of Montana would forget to check the newspaper the next day, Congressman Zinke implied that he might not for Boehner and that Boehner needed to earn his vote.

When it came time to vote hours later, though, Zinke, a man of principles if I have met zinkeone, voted for Boehner–and the fringe right lost their minds. A sampling of the posts from Zinke’s Facebook page shows that conservatives were a bit displeased by the decision as the image to the right shows.

When he talked to Mike Dennison and Chuck Johnson about the vote, Zinke, in a totally unprecedented move, lied with no shame at all:

“It was clearly divided between (Democratic Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner,” Zinke said. “Given that choice, my vote was clear.”

There was no scenario under which Nancy Pelosi would have been chosen Speaker. The conservative revolt was designed to weaken Boehner and require a second vote, as the Washington Post notes:

The effort to depose Boehner was led by a group of hard-right conservatives and libertarians who did not think the speaker was doing enough to fight Obama over spending and executive power.

Their intent was not to beat Boehner outright. It was to humiliate him by splintering the party so that no Republican won on the first vote.

Even the dimmest member of Montana Militia knows that Zinke wasn’t voting against Nancy Pelosi, but for John Boehner, a decision that will likely not sit well with the conservatives in Montana who have never trusted, and just merely tolerated Zinke.

It’s also worth noting that Zinke tried yesterday to suggest that he would vote for Louie Gohmert, telling KMMS radio that he liked the crazed Representative from Texas, who believes that we can’t have gun control because of gay marriage, that Texas should go to war against child migrants, and that President Obama is like Hitler. Oh, and in terror babies.

So to recap Congressman Zinke’s first vote: he said he “liked” the craziest member of Congress for Speaker of the House, said he wasn’t sure if he would vote for the incumbent Speaker, and then lied about the reason he did so.

I’ve spent the last year or so hammering Ryan Zinke for his inconsistency and outright dishonesty, but I have to give him credit for one thing: on his first day of Congress he remained true to himself as a candidate, the kind of person who would and do anything to promote himself.

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.

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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