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Zinke’s Zigs and Zags, Week 1: Hanging Out With Insurrectionists!

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With fifteen Thursdays left until the November election, I’d like to roll out a new feature here at the blog, a catalog of the frankly astonishing stories about Montana’s Congressman, Ryan Zinke. What they share in common will be a surprising lack of coverage from the Montana media and a clear demonstration that Congressman Zinke lacks the temperament and judgment to represent Montana in Congress.

There’s no better place to start than one of my favorite Zinke stories, in which the Congressman hosted a full day of events with Retired General Paul Vallely back in August 2015. Vallely has always had a close relationship with Zinke, helping him found Zinke’s Special Operations for America SuperPAC. He also signed the crackpot pledge demanding the transfer of federal lands to the state and getting the UN out of our schools that Zinke signed in 2012.

More importantly, Vallely has called repeatedly for a coup against the United States government—and had done so well before Zinke hosted him in Washington:

Conservative activists including Jim Garrow, Erik Rush and Paul Vallely are pushing a rally called Operation American Spring demanding the overthrow of President Obama. Of course, in November, Larry Klayman held a similar rally calling for Obama’s ousting that he hoped would draw millions of people, but only drew about one hundred Tea Party activists.

The organizer, Harry Riley, predicts that “millions of Americans will participate” but warns that “patriots may be killed, wounded, incarcerated” and harassed by the government. After successfully overthrowing Obama, the group hopes to install a right-wing tribunal led by the likes of Allen West and Ted Cruz.

Don’t forget his claim that the only reason that Americans haven’t risen up against President Obama is their “fear of a black uprising” or his call for a citizens’ arrest of the President, Vice President, the Cabinet, and most of the Congressional leadership.

Worse yet, Vallely called for a terrorist attack against the United States to “wake the American people up” to overthrow President Obama:

Vallely, who once pledged to lead an anti-Obama coup, hoped that either “divine intervention” or a “cataclysmic event” like a terrorist attack will “wake the American people up” to rise up against Obama’s “tyrannical government” and demand his administration resign en masse.

Read the original story for more background on the connection between General Vallely and Congressman Zinke here, and ask yourself why the Congressman would associate himself with someone like Vallely, not to mention what that says about his values.

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About the author

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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