Montana Politics Steve Daines

Why is Senator Daines Pimping His Office for A Reactionary Gun Group?

It seems Senator Daines has learned a thing or two from Representative Ryan Zinke, both about the appeal of irrational language directed at the President and the value of appealing to reactionary national groups and their audience of zealots. I was surprised to see that the Senator lent his name to a fundraising appeal from the Gun Owners of America, in which the Senator, after asking for $20 or more for the organization, saw fit to call the President of the United States a tyrant. From the letter:

A tidal wave of input from patriots like you will prove the “political class” wrong.

Americans won’t tolerate a tyrant who thinks he can issue decrees stripping us of our rights.

The Second Amendment protects a fundamental right. Under no circumstances may the government take any action that disarms any peaceable person without due process of law — especially not by an executive declaration that bypasses a vote of Congress and the voice of the American people.

It’s tiresome, but entirely typical for Republicans to suggest that only people who share their view of the world can be patriots, but the decision to start throwing around the word “tyrant” is an embarrassing effort to short-circuit political debate and demonize the President. Putting aside the fact that Obama’s proposals are so minor that the NRA concluded there wasn’t much to them before realizing increased fundraising potential, those kids of attacks on the President have no place in our politics.

It’s also disappointing that Daines would choose to associate with the Gun Owners of America, an organization described as “eight lanes to the right” of the NRA, and one whose leadership attacked Bishop Desmond Tutu for his opposition to the apartheid regime in South Africa, called for “citizen defense patrols” following the model of death squads in Guatemala, and claimed, hours after the Sandy Hook shooting, that gun control advocates had the blood of children on their hands:

Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”

It makes political sense for Daines to ask for money from the Gun Owners of America, as the Senator received more money from the group than any other candidate in 2014. One has to wonder, though, if someone in the media will ask Senator Daines if he supports the entire agenda of this reactionary group he’s pimping out his office to support.

The Gun Owners of American also prominently feature Daines at the top of their web site, using this image, which was also on his campaign site in 2014.


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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  • It will be interesting to track Gun Owners of America’s campaign contributions as we get closer to Daines re-election in 2020.

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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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