Friday, August 10, 2012

My American Spectator piece on Gov. Schweitzer's "two-step"


Update: When Aaron Flint and I chatted about this article on his Voices of Montana radio show, he asked me whether I thought this story "had legs" or if it was a one-day news story. My immediate response, without thinking about it, was to say that I thought it was a one-day story, mainly because I didn't think the governor himself believed what he said.

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.

6 comments:

Ed Kemmick said...

Good piece, but this portion was as untrue and nearly as disingenuous as the Schweitzer remark that prompted your article:

"The smart set in Montana (yes, even Montana has a smart set) is embarrassed by rural residents who make a living cutting down trees or raising animals for slaughter, and who generally hold retrograde views on life and the universe."

It just shows that we all pander to our audience to some extent.

Brad Anderson said...

You are right that the brush was broad, and I probably should have thrown a qualifier or two into that sentence.

I acknowledged that there are enough people who fit the governor's description to make me disinclined to criticize him too much for his comments.

Likewise, I would imagine that you've heard enough derogatory comments about backwards and uneducated Montana rednecks to know that I didn't create that sentence out of whole cloth either. If you haven't, there is one right in that same speech by the governor.

Anonymous said...

Really?

You Follow almost word for word,the BS and lies of Dustin Hurst( the Original writer of this GOV/ Montana Race baiting story-piece).

This is just another attempt by Koch Paid people like you, to make well known Democrats Outsiders of whatever country you think you belong too. Personally most folks I know are American no matter how you wish to paint them

So when are you guys really going to get to work helping the country at large?

Or are you going to keep calling everyone a Muslim, or un-American, just because they do not share your twisted view. Real Montanans and Americans want to know?

Brad Anderson said...

You clearly didn't read either my post or my piece in the American Spectator. Your comment speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Actally, I think Governor "bobble head" meant what he said. I have observed his elitist b.s. for several years and am amazed that he would take a paycheck from people so beneath him.

And, Mr Kemmick--those dumb rural folks put a roof over your head and food on your table.

Brad Anderson said...

There is perhaps no way to know whether the guv actually meant what he said.

Regarding what Ed said, however, I think there is little doubt: far from Ed looking down on rural folks, I understood him to be questioning either (a.) my statement that Montana has a smart set, or (b.) that Montana's smart set has a tendency to be embarrassed by Montana's rednecks -- or both.

I obviously believe that both statements were true enough that I felt moved to write the sentence.