Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Brueggeman: "Somebody has to stop the bleeding" (MH: we're still waiting for that "somebody")

Montana Headlines has remained agnostic about the Lange Senate run. Frankly, the chances of Lange getting the nod to take on Baucus are so small that it hardly seems worth spending time worrying about it.

There are probably a dozen potential candidates that could be named right off the top of one's head who would be better. There are probably a dozen Republicans in the current state senate alone who would do a better job for the party in that race.

Of course, someone actually has to challenge Lange -- don't worry, at least one someone will, and that someone will almost certainly get the nomination. So one would think that cool heads would prevail and that party regulars would take a chill pill.

But apparently, not all heads are cool, and apparently all it takes to get a nice article in the Gazette these days is to be a GOP lawmaker sending an e-mail saying that he will vote for Baucus in the general election if Lange is the nominee.

And this is going to change the results of such an election exactly how? (That was a rhetorical question.)

What exactly Brueggeman was trying to accomplish isn't quite clear. How does this announcement "stop the bleeding?" If he explained it in his e-mail, the Gazette didn't share that bit with us, the humble readers.

Does he think that this will encourage a potentially "headlining" candidate (as he put it) to enter the race? Not really. Any potential candidate has to ask himself, "gee, am I a headlining kind of candidate?" Because if not, Brueggeman might send an e-mail to the Gazette to announce that he's still going to vote for Baucus -- not something that is going to inspire confidence.

Or what if potential candidate X gets the thumbs-up from Brueggeman? Will this endear him to party loyalists who have loyally slogged through campaign after frustrating campaign against Baucus?

Keep in mind that Brueggeman didn't say that he would write in another name, or that he would sit the Senate race out -- he actually said he would vote for the Democratic candidate.

Try to imagine any Montana Democrat of standing who would announce an intention to vote for a Republican -- no matter how bad the Democratic candidate. Green Party -- maybe. Republican? Nope.

Brueggeman is correct that the Montana GOP is "kind of on the rocks right now." Very insightful of him to notice.

There are probably ways to help the GOP in its current time of troubles, but announcing that if you don't get the nominee of your choice that you will pick up your toys and go play with the Democrats isn't perhaps one of the most helpful items on the list.

The new GOP state chairman Erik Iverson struck exactly the right note when asked for a response:

"Senator Brueggeman is a good senator and a sharp guy, and he's entitled to his own opinion," said Iverson, who took office last month.

"The Montana Republican Party is going to strongly support the Republican nominee in the general election, whoever that may be. Differences in the party are certainly welcome. I certainly respect Senator Brueggeman."

Sen. Brueggeman should take notes on how this is done. Even though Iverson probably wanted to swat Brueggeman on the head with a rolled up copy of the Gazette for his failure of nerve (or maybe MH is just projecting,) he said nice things about Brueggeman and stated that the party is a big tent with room for differences of opinion.

And he said that the Republican Party would support the nominee -- whoever it might be.

Even if the good Sen. Brueggeman was anxious to get his name in the paper and to express his disapproval of a Lange candidacy, he could perhaps have accomplished the same thing in a more constructive way by saying something like this:

The Montana GOP is having problems right now. One of the things we need to turn things around is a U.S. Senate candidate who will run a good, clean race against Sen. Baucus, and who will put our party's best foot forward.

While I respect the hard work that Mike Lange has done, and admire his willingness to take on the formidable task of running against Sen. Baucus, I do not believe that he is someone who should be a a leading face and voice of the Montana Republican party in 2008.

While I will support the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, whoever that may be, I and many other leading Montana Republicans feel that Mike Lange is not the best candidate for that race.

We urge other potential candidates to step forward -- we will support you. I look forward to a spirited and substantive primary campaign and to a Republican victory in November.

In fact -- maybe Montana Headlines should send such an e-mail to the Gazette. On a slow news day, perhaps they'd make an article out of it.


Anonymous said...

One thing the Montana Democrats are good at is circling the wagons and keeping most, if not all, of their divisions within the family -kind of like Tony Soprano would. The Republicans don’t do it that way as you can tell by Brueggeman’s e-mail - kind of like Pee Wee Herman.
Brueggeman, is not a big player in the Republican Party. At the age of 28 and with several years of state legislative experience, he has authored no major legislation and insiders describe his career as a failure compared to his contemporaries in the Democratic Party.
He sent his e-mail and failed to be a Republican team member. He also failed Reagan’s 11th Commandment. Since his e-mail, Brueggeman will now and forever be but a small worthless blimp on the Republican radar screen. He can’t be trusted.

Montana Headlines said...

Maybe should have cut the kid a break -- only 28 years old, and all.

Oh, well.

But you are definitely right about the Dems knowing how to circle the wagons.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Lange, and Lange is not much of a supporter of the GOP either. As a union member Lange has blocked all Right to Work and "anti"-union legislation. Through his acts he has help fund the Democratic party and give them free volunteers come election time. I hope so very much that we have another candidate, and if Lange gets the nod i will not support him.