The fact that no-one in the Montana mainstream press has picked up this story backs me up in my assessment that nothing would come of his comments. Upon reflection, I should have thrown in a caveat: if the governor makes the unlikely move to challenge Sen. Baucus in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, we will suddenly learn from a barrage of Baucus ads that Schweitzer committed a sin without pardon, and the story will have to be examined carefully by the Montana Press.
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This morning, I have a web article at The American Spectator on Governor Schweitzer's recent comments in Ohio.
Like Dave Budge over at Electric City, I am disinclined to get overly worked up about the comments themselves, since we unfortunately have a few folks here in Montana who live up to the governor's words. We've all heard them.
I don't think the governor really believes that in any given Montana public setting it is just a matter of time before something "outrageously racist" is said about Native Americans. He couldn't -- he lives here. And yet, that is what he said.
What interests me is not defending Montana's honor on the point of racism -- the vast majority of Montanans aren't bigots and don't need defending. The ones who are, no one should defend. I'm sure that on reflection, the governor would probably word things differently and throw in an extra qualifier or two if he had it to do over again. I feel that way about lots of things I've written, and I get plenty of time to think before I press "send."
What interests me more is the "two-step" that red-state Democrats have to do if they want to play with the big boys on the national stage in their party. In this particular address, the governor pushed the buttons of race and immigration repeatedly, and the crowd of Democratic faithful in Ohio ate it up. In a sense, you can't blame him for getting carried away while playing to the crowd -- but it's too bad it has to be that way.