I hope you all don’t mind too much that we took a bit of a break over the holiday. I assumed that most of you would be far too busy to pay much attention to the blog, and we all need a little break from politics now and then. I had an excellent break spending time with friends and catching up on school, and I hope you all enjoyed it as well.
Even though the holiday has passed, I do want to give thanks for some positive developments in the news and politics.
Let’s start with Governor Steve Bullock. Even though he announced yesterday that he was suspending his bid for the Presidency, it’s important that we take a moment to thank him for the work he’s done—and will continue to do—as governor. Once he completes his term in a little over a year, we’ll be able to look back with even more clarity to see what he’s done for the state. Following former Governor Brian Schweitzer, Bullock has protected Montana’s public schools, public lands, and public safety when a Republican legislature would have undermined all three.
I’m also thankful for the kids who spent part of their Thanksgiving break speaking about the urgent need to address the climate crisis. Kids across the state braved frigid temperatures (that’s the weather, not the climate for those of you in the back of the class) on Black Friday to call attention to the problem and demand action. A group in Missoula even got a shout out from Greta Thunberg on her Facebook page.
And while it’s a bit late to mention, I am thankful for Congressman Adam Schiff, who despite the infantile theatrics and obfuscation of Republican members of his committee, led a professional and thorough inquiry into the Ukraine matter and the potential impeachment of President Trump. While we may be long past the point when anyone wants reasoned, dispassionate discussion of the facts, Schiff underscored how desperately we need to return to that model of governance and debate. And it’s hard to feel a bit reassured–at least until President Trump fires all of them–knowing that we have excellent career staffers at State and the NSC like Fiona Hill working to keep us safe from external threats.
Although the overall picture is quite grim for media in Montana with another round of layoffs at the Lee Papers and an ominous merger for the Great Falls Tribune to worry about, I’m incredibly thankful for the great work at outlets like the Montana Free Press, which has filled a huge hole in Montana political coverage, and local news outlets like the Missoula Current and The Electric in Great Falls. I can’t imagine the challenges of covering the beats some of these young reporters have been assigned, but it’s also exciting to see that the Tribune is devoting coverage to Native issues, something that has been sorely missing in the major newspapers for some time.
Finally, I’m thankful for all of you who have continued to read, share, and support the Montana Post for almost fifteen years. I’m far too busy to respond as often as I would like, but please know your occasional kind words about our work is truly appreciated.