Montana Politics Ryan Zinke The Media

Representative Ryan Zinke Boldly Both Supports and Opposes Ground Troops Against ISIS

Montana’s congressman Ryan Zinke loves the media and the media love him. Each benefits from him coming on the channel four or five times a week to attack President Obama, dropping pithy red meat Republican lines like contending that the President should spend more time on ISIS than global warming. His rhetoric no doubt cheers the Fox viewers and anchors who believe the Commander-in-Chief is a Muslim bent on the destruction of America, and certainly has to help Zinke fundraise. It’s a win-win, except for the truth, which suffers every time Zinke speaks.

Yesterday, Zinke told The Hill that he doesn’t believe the US should use ground troops to defeat ISIS:

Zinke does not recommend sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq or Syria, as some other critics have suggested, but would loosen what he says are overly restrictive rules of engagement in the war for the 3,500-plus U.S. troops in Iraq who are now fighting it.

Odd, given that he told Chuck Johnson the opposite:

Disagreeing with President Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke said Wednesday it will take ground operations for the U.S. armed forces to defeat ISIS terrorists in the Middle East.


And a brief search reveals that Zinke has been hammering the President for not sending in troops.

Zinke’s entire political career in Montana follows this pattern. He’s now attacking the President for supporting gun control measures that Zinke endorsed as a member of the Legislature, and he’s attacking the President for treating global warming as a national security threat even though Zinke himself called for that in 2010. It’s one of the most shameless, pandering performances from politician anywhere in the country, and Zinke gets away with it because no one in the press covers it. He gets to hide in friendly media outlets that don’t ask hard questions and Montana newspapers give him op-ed space when he won’t answer news questions.

That Zinke does this is perhaps to be expected. That the journalists who call themselves the watchdogs of democracy let it happen is shameful.

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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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, 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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