One of the most important tactics used by the far right in Montana politics is to demonize the opposition by suggesting that they are engaging in unethical behavior when they’re not. Throw in references to treachery, backroom dealing, and the UN, and you have a sure-fire way to rile up the troops back home and get the militia ready to march on Helena.
Today’s potential compromise over the House rules, giving each party six “silver bullets” to allow bills that fail in committee to be debated and voted on in the House, was no exception to this demagoguery. Immediately after the passage of the compromise which, as John Adams notes, may do little to protect the will of the majority in the House, a few Republicans flew right off the deep end online.
Daniel Zolnikov, who presents himself as a lover of liberty who is not bound by party politics tweeted his displeasure, breaking a record for the speed of Republican disunity at the Legislature:
— DanielZolnikov (@DanielZolnikov) January 8, 2015
Art Wittich, always a diplomat and gentleman, took a typically moderate note:
— Art Wittich (@ArtWittich) January 9, 2015
But those reactions were predictable tantrums from ideological zealots who want to shrink government until it’s three sizes too small. Senator Jennifer Fielder, who was reminding us of her Christian virtue just days ago, chose another response: to make up something that would rile up her poorly-informed constituents. From her Facebook page today:
So, because Democrats want have a public debate on bills that the Republican leadership wants to kill in committee, a position supported by a majority of the House, Republicans and Democrats, Fielder contended that Democrats pulled a fast one and destroyed input on controversial bills.
She’s so inaccurate or dishonest that she should probably be a Republican chair of an Education committee.
Democracy is a messy, fractious, often brutal business, but does it really have to be characterized by adults acting like petulant, dishonest children when they don’t get their way? Children willing to dishonestly represent the opposition party and even those in their own just to score cheap political points?
It would already appear so in the 2015 legislative session.