Montana GOP: a blast from the past

The late 1960s and early ’70s were an exciting time to be “coming of age.” Revolutionary, some might say, with anti-war protests, marches for civil rights and women’s rights, love-ins and be-ins.

There was push back, of course, but I never thought I’d hear the phrases today that I heard back then: “love it or leave it,” “go back to where you came from.”

Or this golden oldie, “Hanoi Jane” — a reference to Jane Fonda when she was an anti-war activist in 1972.

It arrived in an email from the new face of the Montana Republican Party, Don ‘K’ Kaltschmid, who owns car dealerships in Whitefish and was recently elected chairman of the Montana Republican Party. (Please keep that in mind, my friends, if you’re thinking of buying a Chevy, Subaru, Dodge or Jeep in the Flathead Valley.)

If you thought the past chair of the party, Trump-loving Debra Lamm, was an abomination, Don ‘K’ is a worthy successor.

The allusion to Ms. Fonda was an attack on Gov. Steve Bullock, who continues his run for U.S. President.

“Bullock’s sinking to a new low enlisting her support and taking money from Hanoi Jane to keep his barely moving campaign going.”

In other email from Don ‘K’, he tripled down on the far-right Trump/Daines/Gianforte rhetoric. Some examples:

They are socialists.

They hate America.

They hate Israel.

“They hate Israel” is a new twist but the phrases “hate America” and “are socialists” come right out of the Nixon era (although the term “Communists” was employed instead of “socialists” — there is no difference to a Republican). Don ‘K’ continued:

We’ve had enough of it – we stand with President Trump and Senator Daines and thank them for fighting back and calling out these socialists who have infiltrated and want to destroy our country.

Then there was the venerable, “If you don’t love America – then leave!”  

His most recent email took on the Mueller report:

Yesterday Robert Mueller sat before Congress and one thing was made clear: President Trump has been completely exonerated of any crimes. (Emphasis his.)

Don must have been following the Fox News version of the hearing.

I have to credit Kaltschmid for not veering from Trump and GOP talking points — nothing positive, no policies that might affect Montanans, no critical thinking — just a rehash of scary talk from decades past.

It’s the best they’ve got.


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About the author

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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