When Tim Fox ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General in 2008, you couldn’t get more conservative. He was the standard bearer when it came to far-right Republican politics. It’s 7 years later and how times have changed.
Attorney General Tim Fox’s response to the Supreme Court decision in favor of equal marriage was predictable. “The nation’s highest court has spoken on this matter, and though I disagree with the ruling, it is now the law of the land,” Fox said. Until the ruling last Friday, Fox had been trying to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Morris’ decision to void Montana’s gay marriage ban.
Apparently, in today’s Montana GOP, defending a discriminatory law isn’t enough. You have to be stupid, inflammatory, and vicious. Even worse, you have to sound like a Texan!
Representative Monforton (R-Bozeman) took to Twitter today to call out Attorney General Tim Fox for not sounding like “an actual GOP Atty Gen” and linking to a press release from Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas.
— Matthew Monforton (@monforton4hd69) June 29, 2015
In the press release, Paxton calls the Supreme Court “lawless” and defends bigots who refuse to do their jobs and issue marriage licenses. Monforton, who represents the dominant wing of the Montana GOP, is endorsing this kind of destructive behavior and shaming Fox for being surprisingly level-headed and reasonable. Moreover, Monforton signals just how far to the right the Republican Party has shifted since 2008. Even Fox has to be befuddled.
2020 is sure to be a fascinating year in Montana Republican politics. Assuming Governor Bullock trumps Greg Gianforte, Fox is all but certain to run for Governor, which may explain why hehas taken some subtle swipes at retirement-hating Gianforte. Watching him battle the Monfortons of the world will be especially interesting.