A Year in Retrospect: 19 Posts from 2019 We Hope You’ll Remember or Revisit

By the end of the week, we will have posted about 450 (give or take) articles this year at the Montana Post, covering topics ranging from Corey Stapleton’s ongoing malfeasance to Scott Sales’s absurd plan to divert Montana funding to President Trump’s border wall, from outing a vape merchant’s threats against law enforcement to the continuing inarticulate nightmare of Elsie Arntzen’s tenure at OPI.

It’s possible you haven’t checked in every day. And while we’d certainly appreciate if you checked in at least once a day next year, here are a few(!) of the stories from this year we hope you either enjoyed one or will now for the first time.

I perhaps think about Beware the Memory Hole: Rosendale and Gianforte Want Us to Forget Who They Are more than any other piece from this year, and I hope it’s one you remember. With both Gianforte and Rosendale running for what seems like the 83rd time each, they’re both counting on the Montana media to ignore their past bad acts: Gianforte’s assault on journalism and public lands, Rosendale’s tax evasion and votes against veterans, and the association both have maintained with bigoted anti-government forces. We can’t forget. And we can’t let Montana voters forget that both men are woefully underqualified for the offices they seek.

Related, of course, is the promise Gianforte is already making Montana Republicans: that he’ll further slash taxes for the rich and reduce funding for vital Montana services and public schools. If you care about a Montana that extends outside of the fences of the Yellowstone Club and elite Bozeman neighbors, you may want to let your friends know that Greg Gianforte Promises to Cut 30% of State Funding for Schools, Health Care, Infrastructure, and Highways.

Of course, Mr. Gianforte, Jetsetter of the Swamp Life, has already shown us his values, massively increasing the deficit and cutting vital services while voting himself a huge tax break for his private jet flights.

That’s the kind of thing you do when you Break [Your] 2016 Pledge, Signals He’ll Sell the Governor’s Office to Special Interests, though.

That’s also the kind of thing you do when, like Congressman Gianforte and Senator Daines, you believe it’s right to Starve the Kids.

And let’s not forget the breathtaking cowardice of Steve Daines, who has benefited from The Unbearable Lightness of  His Press Coverage Daines, who is so afraid of Montana constituents that he refuses to meet with them, has no moral qualms about spreading lies that could “Get an Abortion Provider Killed.” And Too Craven to Face the People of Bozeman, He’ll Never Find the Courage to Represent Us.

Asking for courage from the likes of Steve Daines and the Montana Republicans is asking for the impossible. If they only had a brain (or a heart or courage), they’d spare us the constant barrage of Montana values my a**but we’re unlikely to see that from a party consumed with demonizing and silencing opponents.

In a story that is begging for more attention from the media or for the time I cannot afford, the empty suits in empty chairs at the Montana Public Service Commission demand notice. Why Doesn’t the Montana Public Service Commission Come to Work?  seems like a reasonable question for the five members who, when they aren’t sleeping through meetings, often don’t bother to attend.

And for the life of me, I’ll never understand the mainstream media’s lack of interest in the connections between establishment Montana Republicans and the militia movement, but when it comes to Body Doubles, Fascism, and 9/11 Truthers. Why is the Montana GOP Legitimizing a Conspiracy Site? and Greg Gianforte Goes Full Alex Jones, it’s even harder to understand.

Back in February, before Ukraine, before the latest unhinged Twitter rants, before outing a whistleblower, before the clear evidence that the White House was letting a white supremacist dictate policy, we asked Montana Trump supporters At what point in this dumpster fire will you still be able to crawl out?, and  We still haven’t seen any even tepid criticism of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

And it’s almost certain some of those supporters come from the Montana Ag community, even though President Trump And His Republican Enablers Steve Daines, Greg Gianforte, and Matt Rosendale Have Devastated Agriculture Production.

It wouldn’t be a year at the Montana Post without coverage of guns. In August, I asked Attorney General Tim Fox How Do I Keep from Being Killed When I Leave My Home?a question he still hasn’t answered. And that was before Gundamentalist Gary Marbut Calls for Mass Gun Murders in the Wake of Mass Killings or The Reprehensible Montana Shooting Sports Association Reaches a New Low with the El Paso Shooting.

While they will do almost anything to protect the rights of people to own almost any weapon, Plains Feminist exposed the failure of the Republicans in the Legislature to do Something I Thought We All Agreed On: Protecting Children.

Thanks for reading in 2019, and we hope to see you here in 2020!

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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