Montana Politics

ICYMI redux: racists, guns and progressive politics

(NOTE: As Pogreba trots the globe, I’ll endeavor to pick up some of the slack at ID. Here’s my version of his popular In Case You Missed It series.)

Even though Laurel is upstream from Billings, there must be something in that Yellowstone River water that cranks out characters like the Montana Family Foundation’s Laszloffys (Jeff and Sarah), former anti-science state senator Dan McGee and sexist, racist “Doc” Krayton Kerns. Kerns served in the Montana House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015.

David Crisp at Last Best News has a great write up on Kerns’ latest racist screed. Here is a Kerns quote from the story:

Democrats are encouraging the Black Lives Matter movement because the violence it propagates helps the ruling class advance their gun control agenda. After all, a few dead police officers are a small price compared to achieving a Marxist utopia.

There’s no need to even comment on that statement.

Since there aren’t enough gun deaths in the U.S., Gary Marbut’s Montana Shooting Sports Association is promoting more guns in the hands of more people. MSSA has released its legislative wish list, as reported by Logicosity. Guns in K-12 schools, on college campuses and in restaurants serving booze are just part of the agenda, as is a legislative appropriation of $1 million every session to develop shooting ranges.

There are also a bunch of militia-type bills being suggested: sheriff’s should be the law of the land, the establishment of a “Home Guard” and prohibiting the enforcement of federal gun laws.

It’s time for Montana legislators to stand up to the deadly paranoia being advanced by Marbut.

And then there’s the Marbut/Greg Gianforte bromance. Flathead Memo’s James Conner posts a photo of Gianforte supporters packing more heat than a SWAT team and a sign reading “Veto Bullock Save Our Guns.” Conner writes:

The civic safety caucus, which is still the majority, would applaud less brass and more common sense. Brandishing firearms in support of a political candidate is the hallmark of a banana republic, not a mature western democracy such as the United States.

Current gun laws, which allow for almost unfettered access to anything short of a machine gun or a bazooka, and let folks pack them just about everywhere, are too restrictive by Marbut’s standards. Gov. Steve Bullock, a consistent Second Amendment supporter, isn’t gun gung-ho enough. In this Logicosity post, Marbut pimps for Gianforte:

Gianforte is clearly the best candidate to occupy the Governor’s Office for the next four years. Greg would sign the pro-gun bills that current Governor Bullock has vetoed, which MSSA and Montana gun owners worked so hard to get through the past two sessions of the Montana Legislature. Montana gun owners have been stonewalled long enough by an incumbent governor who doesn’t truly believe in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as an unalienable human right that the people have reserved to themselves from government interference.

Brewing but not yet in the news, is the formation of the Montana Progressive Democrats. Mostly made up of Bernie supporters, some of them recent delegates to the Democratic National Convention, it hopes to become a chartered organization within the Montana Democratic Party.

In my day, there were a number of these organizations — Native American, women, hunters/anglers — and they packed some clout. The power of these groups has diminished over time, at least at the executive board level. Still, it could be a foot in the door for the MPD.

Progressive movements aren’t new to Montana. Between the labor unions in Butte and Anaconda, and the Hi-Line farmers, many who had Scandinavian and German progressive roots, there has been support for progressive campaigns. Montanans were involved in Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 Progressive Party and the Farmer-Labor Party from 1918 to 1944. Montana Sen. Burton K. Wheeler ran for Vice-President in 1924 on the Progressive Party ticket with Robert M. La Follette.

In recent times, there was the successful, for a while, New Party in Missoula and later, the Progressive Democrats of Montana. The U.S. Supreme Court put the kibosh on the New Party when it ruled against fusion voting, the party’s main plank. The Progressive Democrats of Montana died from a lack funding, momentum, and some internecine squabbling (IMHO). Neither of these two movements actively pursued partnership with the Montana Democratic Party, which makes them different from the MPD.

We’ll see if MPD meets any resistance from the state Democratic party. It takes a 2/3 vote of the party’s executive board for MPD to become a chartered organization. We’ll keep you posted as developments warrant.





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  • Thanks for reminding everyone about Montana’s deep Progressive roots! Today’s Conservatives have done a good job rewriting our history to suit their Corporate Agenda. Montana was in fact largely founded and built by Progressive people, just look at the election of Jeanette Rankin as one example.

  • progressives seem to have an endless capacity for taking abuse. when are you people going to realize organizing within the totally corrupt DNC is futile? after Hillary starts WWIII? by then it will kinda be too late.

    • I guess we should just admit defeat, roll over, let the powers that be have there way and then whine about it at various blog sites.

      • yes, admit defeat, liberate yourself from the party that keeps slapping you around in the face, then start figuring out how to feed 100,000 people if the food on the shelves in the grocery stores disappear.

        • World War III! No food on the shelves! All is lost! So says the drama lizard. No point in trying to change the system. Time to buy a handgun and hunker down.

          And a Clinton presidency is scarier than Chief Executive Trump? The guy wants to “hit people in the face so hard,” and says “the fact is that we need unpredictability” when it comes to nuclear weapons, and “women who seek abortions should be punished … ”

          Anyway, I’ll keep plugging away with a good number of other folks to pull the party to the left. I don’t know any other way, realistically, of bringing about progressive change.

          • and you will keep getting lip-service around election time, then ignored when actual decisions get made. but I guess you’ll keep doing the same thing expecting different results while that decades-long march to the right continues.

            it’s too bad you are so devoid of imagination that you cannot think of other ways outside the political charade to bring about progressive change. the only thing your party has to motivate voters is fear this election cycle. while you tremble at every word that tumbles from Trump’s mouth, there is an actual body count associated with the sociopath the lied and cheated her way to the nomination.

            • Two concerns about this comment. I believe you previously lectured me about diagnosing mental illness in another person remotely. Pot, kettle something.

              More importantly, please enlighten us all about your plan outside the political charade to bring about progressive change. From my vantage point, it seems primarily to consist of swallowing Russia propaganda whole and regurgitating it, alienating anyone who might possible agree with you, sprinkled with some discussions about Atlantis.

              But perhaps I have missed something. Tell us your plan to feed the 100,000 when winter comes.

            • ” … the only thing your party has to motivate voters is fear this election cycle,” says lizard. Did you not watch any of the Republican convention? Crime, Negroes, Mexicans, Muslims — time to circle the wagons.

              The Democratic message was uplifting in comparison, except for the real fear that a madman like Trump could become president.

              Did you happen to see this outtake from nominee Trump?


  • Ever wonder where the 2nd Amendment came from? Check out the Declaration of Rights, penned by the English Parliament in 1689. “That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.” Seems simple, but what was their intent? “Suitable to their conditions” — meant the upperclass. “As allowed by law” meant that the Parliament would say who could have arms. Parliament was clear. They were not about to “arm the mob.”
    When England sent the first colonists to establish Jamestown, only “sharp-shooters” were allowed to have arms.

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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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