2020 Governor Energy Environment Featured Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Tweets That Will Not Age Well: Lola Zinke Edition

When she’s not taking expensive vacations on the taxpayers’ dime, Lola Zinke, the wife of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, seems to spend most of her time ordering around federal government officials and blasting out Fox News-grade content on Twitter.

While most of it is a forgettable mush of MAGA aphorisms and retweets of Tier D conservative personalities, I was struck by a recent tweet in which Mrs. Zinke blasted James Comey for his testimony before Congress.

It’s not hard to imagine how delightful that tweet will seem in a short month or two when her husband (and perhaps Mrs. Zinke herself) are subpoenaed by Congress to explain their role in any and all of the seventeen ongoing investigations into the Secretary’s tenure. Democrats have already signaled their intention of targeting Zinke, noting in a series of posts that he is “the most ethically challenged member of the Trump administration.”

Even Republican strategists seem to see the danger Zinke is in. Kurt Bardella, a former spokesman for Republicans Darrell Issa and Olympia Snowe, went to so far as to say that Trump should get rid of Zinke before taking more damage from the compromised Secretary:

Zinke, Carson, Nielsen, DeVos and Ross represent the Democrats’ best opportunity to expose incompetence and corruption in the upper levels of Trump’s White House. And politically, it will be important to get some points on the scoreboard, especially since the Senate will remain in Republican control. Shining some light into the darker corners of Trump’s Cabinet will go a long way towards building trust and momentum with the American people. But again, this is some very low-hanging fruit; Trump would be wise to pluck it himself.

Personally, there’s almost nothing I would rather see more than the spectacle of Zinke having to answer for his indiscretions and abuses of his office in front of a hostile committee. At this point, I’d put it at even odds that Zinke cuts and runs before he has to face questioning in an effort to save what remains of his political prospects. The only reasons Zinke won’t sensibly retreat are his delusion levels of self-regard and the almost obscene good fortune that has allowed him to escape serious consequences for the series of ethical lapses he’s had in the past.

Just like I hope Secretary Zinke stays in office long enough to face the grilling he so richly deserves, I hope Mrs. Zinke keeps on tweeting. This pair of grifters facing the music is long overdue.

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  • I’m changing my mind on Zinke leaving office. His replacement might be even worse for Interior and its departments. Zinke is at least somewhat constrained by his hopes (delusions?) of future elected office in Montana, which keeps him from being a total policy disaster. The next Trump choice is likely to be a full-on fossil fuel Koch choice.

    • I think that’s a great point. Were Trump not obviously incapable of making strategic decisions, I’d even be tempted to argue that the appointment of so many of these people like Zinke was done deliberately to let players behind the scenes make reactionary change and then take over to do real damage.

      • Among other things Zinke has to keep his hands clean on is Native American issues. I shudder to think what kind of racist zealot could succeed him.

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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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