Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My piece in The American Spectator on the Montana Senate race

I was asked by my editor at TAS to share my thoughts on the Montana Senate race, especially in light of former Governor Brian Schweitzer's announcement not to run.

For those who have been following events in Montana closely, there won't be much "news" in my piece, but it does have what I like to think of as the "Montana Headlines" touch, when it comes to setting the race in historical context (both recent and more remote).

For those who don't have occasion to follow Montana politics, it is a good place to start when it comes to this race.

Here is the link: Enjoy!


Ed Kemmick said...

I had hoped to find something to argue with, but you're just too fair, and your observations all seem to be spot-on. One wee bit of history, though: K. Ross Toole used to say in his Montana History classes that Anaconda Co. control of the state meant that candidates for state and local offices, the people who could really do something to affect the fortunes of the Company, were necessarily mediocre (or tools of the Company) because no one else could survive the Company's opposition. And so Montanans sent their best and brightest progressives to the Senate, as witness Dixon, Wheeler, Metcalf and Mansfield.

Montana Headlines said...

A keen observation. Mansfield is the one that I know the most about -- everything that I have read about him sounds as though he was truly remarkable. I had occasion to meet someone who had known both Metcalf and Mansfield well.

He felt that Metcalf was even more brilliant as a politician and a leader than Mansfield was -- high praise.

To the extent that it is true that Anaconda didn't much care who the U.S. Senators were, that fact says more to me about modern politics than it does about the intent of Montana's voters. As recently as Mansfield, the amount of actual power that the federal government had in the day-to-day life of the Republic was quite limited when compared to today.

Today, any major corporation worth its salt knows that it makes all the difference in the world to them who controls the federal government -- not necessarily which party, just whether the folks in control are favorably disposed to your company's interests.

Theda said...