Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Charles Johnson on the Dem convention

For some entertaining reading, try this week's "Horse Sense" column by Lee reporter Charles Johnson. As always, it is an understated piece of art, just telling the facts without any commentary -- often more damning to the officious, the sneaky, and the silly than is the editorializing that passes for journalism in much of the main-stream media today.

We read about Democratic Congressional candidate John Driscoll saying "You're looking at a guy that will absolutely end coal burning. I'd shut it down in a heartbeat" and suggesting that there are other uses for the coal. Sure. But how many parents still put coal in the Christmas stockings of their naughty children? The market may be limited for uses that don't involve burning it. It didn't go well with the lip-service that other Democrats, such as the governor, were trying to pay to the coal industry. At least Driscoll is honest about his obstructionism.

We have the chairman of the Montana Democratic Party -- Dennis McDonald -- a California trial lawyer who moved to Montana and bought some cows. Perhaps whoever sold him the cows had a sense of humor, and threw in a gigantic cowboy hat with the deal, just to see if McDonald would wear it. And he does, everywhere he goes.

Without commentary and with a straight face, Johnson reports that McDonald made bold to ridicule "pretend cowboys" in the Republican party, comparing them unfavorably with our Democratic governor, "the real cowboy, the third-generation cattle producer from Geyser." McDonald singled out Denny Rehberg (a "goat-herder") and Taylor Brown (a "disk jockey for the Northern Ag Network.) Did someone forget, by the way, to tell McDonald that this is not a good year for Democrats to be making fun of goat herders? Maybe he didn't get the memo -- but we suspect he will, since a certain Presidential campaign seems not to have a sense of humor.

Last we checked, Denny Rehberg is at least as much a rancher as McDonald is, and he grew up in an Montana agricultural family. Taylor Brown was working cattle on the family ranch in Montana at an age when McDonald was probably goofing off in California. Taylor was working to serve the Montana ag community when McDonald was making a living by filing lawsuits in California (and pocketing more than a third of the plaintiffs' awards.)

But of course, the real irony (which Johnson leaves out on the table, unspoken, for everyone to contemplate) is the idea of Dennis McDonald being some sort of arbiter of who is and isn't a "real cowboy."

Moving on from fake cowboys like Dennis McDonald, there were other goodies, like McDonald citing Linda McCulloch's presence on a powder-puff football team as a job qualification for Secretary of State. And the governor making sure that the governor's office staff turned out for the convention to boost its meager attendance. And the fact that few Democratic state legislators bothered to show up.

Perhaps most amusing was the fact that Democratic AG Mike McGrath, who is running for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sanctimoniously said that it "violated the judicial ethics code for judicial candidates to attend political party conventions." His opponent, Ron Waterman (also a Democrat,) showed up and spoke at the Democratic convention, just as he had at the Republican convention (where he was warmly received, by the way.)

The amusement comes from the fact that the McGrath campaign had a huge banner sign up for him at the Democratic convention. Funny thing -- McGrath didn't have any presence at the Republican convention. It seems that Ron Waterman is the only one who is in a position to treat this non-partisan Supreme Court race with the dignity and, well, non-partisanship that it deserves.


Anonymous said...

Tim Fox parades in cowboy boots, cowboy hat, cowboy jeans, shirt, belt buckle, etc. Isn't he the son of a car dealer?

Montana Headlines said...

I can only remember seeing Fox in a cowboy hat once, and pretty much otherwise he is seen in standard business dress, with cowboy boots (pretty average for anyone in Montana.)

Not sure what the point is that you are making, though. Tim has plenty of ranching and agriculture in the family and spent his share of time growing up working out in the country, from what I understand.

And explain again how a party with Dennis McDonald at the head of it is in a position to point fingers at Tim Fox or any other Republican, talking about "fake cowboys?"

Anonymous said...

Tim Fox has ranching and agriculture in his family history? That's a flat out lie. He has none.

Montana Headlines said...

Sorry buddy, but you're the one who is lying. In fact, after doing a little checking, we learn that Tim and his brothers still own a Hardin area ranch that his parents bought in the 1970's.

So Tim Fox is at least as much of a "cowboy" as is Dennis McDonald, who was the Democratic Party chairman who started this whole thing by having the nerve to label certain Republicans, like Taylor Brown of all people, as "fake cowboys."

I notice, by the way, that in response to my challenge regarding Denny Rehberg and Taylor Brown, you folks quickly changed the subject and decided to try to smear Tim Fox instead.

The bottom line is that Republicans of all backgrounds have always embraced rural Montana, rural issues, and our western ranching heritage, whereas Montana Democrats have traditionally tended to look down on country hicks and their concerns and culture. Never mind the fact that the "urban" strongholds of the Democratic Party in Montana aren't terribly urban -- but Democratic provincialism is what it is, and always will be.

Democrats in Montana have figured out that this approach doesn't work very well at the ballot box, though, so they are now trying to level the playing field by tearing down Republicans and by playing cowboy themselves (remember the governor's famous line about talking about health care from the back of a horse?)

You guys are clearly worried about Tim Fox, and you should be.

Anonymous said...

Your so full of crap. The Fox cabin sits on someone elses ranch--south of Busby. The Fox cabin is not a ranch. What a lie! So is the rodeo belt buckle Fox wears in parades (or should I say, Faux?) You're such a tool of the party that you don't even do your homework about the crap you write. Do you just copy the talking points directly from GOP HQ or FAUX HQ? So, yeah, your point about fake cowboys is best embodied by Tim (faux) Fox whose never ranched in his life.

Montana Headlines said...

Now, now, sweetie. That's no way to make friends -- by saying that someone is "full of crap." No-one is forcing you to read Montana Headlines or to comment here -- but one of the rules of the road are that we use polite language around here. Any future similar comments will just be deleted.

We also try to use correct grammar. It may be common usage when writing on bathroom walls to say "your" when the contraction "you're" is what is meant. Try to learn to use the English language. College classes can help, but are of course no guarantee of literacy.

As to the rest of what you say, I would point out that Montana Headlines has never made any bones about having strong partisan leanings toward Republicans. You're (note the correct usage) surprised?

If this is the best that you can do against Tim Fox, then you folks are in for some real trouble this fall. And you still haven't addressed why fake cowboy par excellence Dennis McDonald would presume to pick this fight in the first place. And you still haven't addressed why he was silly enough to try to lasso in Taylor Brown. If Fox was such an easy target, then why didn't McDonald pick on him in the first place?

It would be to your (note again the correct usage) advantage to quit while you're (again correct usage) behind.

Anonymous said...

I wager the Faux campaign planted the lie that Tim Faux is a cowboy and owns a ranch. Bull pucky (does that go easier on your tender city slicker ears? Heavens to Betsy!) You chose the topic of fake cowboys, and now your caught in a flat out lie!!! I notice you don't want to claim anymore nonsense about Faux's phony ag background! Its no suprise that a blind suck-up like yourself would swallow hook line and sinker. Later Tool! Try to keep it real next time.

Montana Headlines said...

"now your caught"

Slow learner, aren't you? You really need to get some education in the English language before you come around here again.

By the way, I can spot a city slicker even through the anonymity of a blog comment, and the city slicker in this exchange isn't me. If you think that using crude language and personal insults somehow makes you seem like a genuine rural Montanan, then you are showing exactly the contempt for rural Montana that is typical for a paid Democratic operative.

I never said that Fox was a cowboy, only that he has family connections with agriculture -- and that remains true. Again, if this is the best that you folks can do against Fox, you are in some serious trouble.

There is no need for me to go round with you on whether Tim Fox is somehow less worthy of wearing cowboy boots than is Dennis McDonald -- all we'll have to do is watch the rural vote come in, overwhelmingly for Tim Fox, and that's all we'll need to know.

It is much more entertaining just to let you keep posting your comments, and to watch you continue to avoid talking about California trial lawyer Dennis McDonald, and to watch you avoid trying to explain why McDonald would have the gall to call Taylor Brown a "fake cowboy."