GOP Whining Violates Code of the West

The Havre Daily news has written a must-read, in-depth story about the national (and negative) media attention that the Repubs in the Montana legislature have brought upon themselves and our state, with their various nutty bills on secession, nullification, allowing guns in school, hunting with silencers, birth certificate requirements for candidates, returning the state to the gold standard, encouraging global warming, and so on and so forth.

(On Thursday the GOP voted to keep “sodomy” an imprisonable offense, by the way).

But apparently a bunch of GOP legislators believe that this national embarrassment was caused not by themselves, but by “the media”. They feel they did nothing wrong, but have been unfairly represented in the reporting.  Wendy Warburton, for example says the media is “sensationalizing” the story while “ignoring important bills.” Warburton even trashed her own hometown newspaper by saying that it was “being political” for even doing a story on how she, herself, has helped bring national ridicule.  In response, Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos says:

“Now, Republicans can whine that the coverage is unfair because not everything they do is crazy, but that would be like a death row inmate whining that his punishment is unfair because he didn’t spend all his time killing someone.”

I believe “The Code of the West” says something about taking responsibility for your actions rather than blaming everyone else for a mess you create. But to show how absurd the GOP’s reasoning is, the Havre Daily story even has Bob Wagner complaining about how the media is to blame.

That’s especially hilarious because Wagner booked himself an interview on CNN to promote his new policy he is advocating, that not only must a candidate for office in Montana produce a birth certificate, he or she must also prove that both parents were born in America. His leader, senate president Jim Peterson, also booked himself a national spot, on Fox News, to promote his bill to “adopt the The Code of the West as the official ‘Code of Montana.’”)

Rowlie Hutton, another nutjob, says in the article that “these bills are all good for our future” and says it “must have been a slow news day” for them to get national coverage.

Also complaining in the article is Carl Graham (occasional contributor here), head of the conservative Montana Policy Institute. Graham offers up this gem, blaming Schweitzer for the negative attention that the legislature is getting. He says it’s all the fault of the liberal elites back east, portraying Montanans as “ignorant rubes” and that:

“Our governor, by the way, only reinforces that stereotype when he does his ‘aw shucks, that dog won’t hunt’ and ‘there’s critters need’n brand’n’ routine for Bill Maher and his other friends in the national media who look at us as their cultural inferiors….(These stories) are merely cases of the cultural and media elite playing to their mostly urban and liberal fan base by pulling out an old stereotype of rural states like Montana.”

So to be clear, it is not the GOP who are to blame; it is the way Schweitzer speaks that is causing the problem.

Graham, it could be argued, is not as far to the right as some of the wingnuts who have created the mess for the GOP. But he’s feeling the sting of what has transpired. He, and others in the “mainstream” GOP (if there is such a thing), have been dragooned into a swamp of humiliation by the Tea Party takeover of 2010.

And you know what? Too bad, so sad. The Code of the West also says “you ride with outlaws, you hang with them.”

If the Repubs wanna be divorced from the lunatic ravings of their fringe, they need to act on it, just like they said Obama should have “denounced” Jeremiah Wright and all that stuff. Otherwise they are riding with the outlaws, and they are a part of the shenanigans and will (and should) be held to answer for them.

Posted: March 21, 2011 at 7:20 am

19 thoughts on “GOP Whining Violates Code of the West

  1. Corrine

    My opinion: these GOP legislators in leadership have totally lost control of their own caucus/party, whatever. They have to cave to the wingnut wing at this point, in their budget, for example – why do you think the senate isn’t fixing the house Republicans outrageousness – they know they don’t have the votes! A total s***_show is about to go down before our eyes, taking the Republican party with it.

  2. 51dimes

    I haven’t read any news stories that seemed to sensationalize the bills. I think the reporters in Helena have done a good job reporting the bills, and their opposition. The Anderson Cooper interview was fair as well. Cooper asked basic questions and did what a good journalist is supposed to do.

    Here’s an idea GOP: If you don’t want national attention for stupid bills, don’t propose stupid bills. Readers of this blog aren’t going to agree with you, but I’m sure there are some Republican-backed bills that we can see might have some merit. They are worthy of debate. But don’t waste our taxpayer dollars debating about spear throwing, a “code of Montana”, and two (or is it three?) bills that would repeal VOTER APPROVED initiatives.

    Oh, I’m sorry, you’re allowing landlords to not put in carbon monoxide detectors. Where is that GOP “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner.

  3. Carren T.

    The GOP legislature has accomplished squat. They can’t pull their wingers away from the culture engineering idiot bills long enough. Look at medical marijuana, for example, the haven’t proposed any viable regulatory bills, even though this law has been inplace since 2004! They say the want less abortion, but they cut family services and birth control programs–the one thing that can reduce abortion in they state. The wheels have totally come off of this thing, and mark my words, they will abandon the session and leave this disaster as it is-early, befor their job is done, before they’ll try to fix it. You heard it here first.

  4. Rob Kailey

    Simply restating what has already been said but; The thing that Carl Graham and the GOoPer brigade don’t understand is that the bills they support and pass aren’t making us *look* culturally inferior. They *are* making us culturally inferior. For pity’s sakes, atlatl hunting? Denials of any Constitutional amendment after the 2nd? Laws based on the Old Testament? The Cowboy code of the West? (Which, if I remember from other works of fiction also included “only drink Wiskey, and always fill your glass to the brim.”)

    It’s one thing to celebrate cultural heritage. I’ve been known to play with swords and wear a kilt every now and again. That sure as hell doesn’t mean I want to regress to an age of feudal domination and Clans in perpetual war. But that’s the thing with the Montana GOP. They DO want to go back to different times, and completely ignore the culture around them. The culture of America is founded on one thing and one thing only. The democratic rule of law is our fundamental culture. When they take steps to violate or ignore that rule, they are exactly making this state culturally inferior and worthy of ridicule.

  5. Lynn

    A special Session will cost right? So the Tea-republicans will make more money off the State?

    1. Jed Smith

      Lynn –
      Great point – they get paid period. thank you for the link (we are one) to the rally in HELENA APRIL 1st – we are coming!!

  6. Farmboy

    The GOP leadership does not get to blame Brian Schwietzer, they only have themselves to blame. I just got done reading the Billings Gazette, and in a public opinion poll Gov. Schwietzer is the most popular public official in the state of Montana, even more popular then rolex rancher rehberg. With Max Baucus being the least popular public official in Montana’s statewide polling. Also if you look at the poll in today’s gazette Tester is leading rehberg, Tester has 46% rehberg 45% and 9% undecided. Also Tester is leading among Independent voters. The GOP has become not only a joke, but they are a polorized party. Meaning they have gone soooooooo far to the teabagger right and the christian right, that they have abandon the middle ground. The middle is either Independent or Democrat.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

    I’m sorry, but I’m just SO f*cking pissed that I can’t even respond in a coherent fashion to the SHIT going on in the Lege by these cowardly, Kocksucking, anti-American, hateful, bigoted, racist, bircher, birther, misogynistic, inbred teabagger bastards!

    Look, you young dudes out there, it’s YOUR future, dudes! Us boomers are old, and we’ll do what we can with the years we have left. But it’s YOUR future, dudes. You need to get angry, get pissed, and get ACTIVE! And kick some teabagger ass! They aren’t scary. They’re just stupid, ignorant, and wrong.

    When I heard that gov. snot wanker of Wisconsin was going to preemptively call out the national guard, I nearly wretched. For it’s been done before. It was done to my ancestors at Ludlow, Colorado, and it was done to college students at Kent State.

    Young dudes, the nazis never went away. They’re comin’ back in a big way. I’m sorry to say that it will soon be up to YOU dudes to carry on the fight, ’cause we’ll all be gone. So, gird your loins!

    The beat goes on, and the fight goes on. “How can you run when you know”? It’s your heritage, and now, it’s your future! Fight these no good fascist bastards like you MEAN it!

    “tin soldiers and Walker comin’”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdVMGKOFIwY&feature=related

  8. Lt. Col (Ret., Army) Rich Liebert

    Right on target Farmboy and all. As for the ‘Code’ I think wevi can all easily disassemble it’s flawed premise, especially on being fair, and hope can the tea partiers be fair when they SHUT down public testimony from citizens who traveled many miles, or no-notice or short-notice of hearings (sounds like Madison, huh?), and then unfairly labeling citizens, and comparing women to cows (I’m a rancher friends, I know something here…) an outrage. Jon Tester’s the ‘real-deal’ farmer who knows the land, and I’m sure he’s received USDA subsidies, but he’s NOT a hypocrite and is compassionate, unlike Mr. Brendan of Scobey who- without SHAME – tells all ‘I’ve got mine, to heck with ya’ll’ in regards to the less fortunate, which INCLUDES veterans, who often fall more into the ranks of the homeless, unemployed and ranks of the destitute. Do the ‘birthers, flat-earthers’, and tea baggers’ have no compassion at all? They ‘shovel’ subsidies to fossil-fools without question, but QUESTION the little box of food MY aunt gets once a month from the county?? The Tea Party turns away vital federal dollars for foodstamps and healthcare, and why, to satisfy their twisted visions of the founders and our Consitution’s preamble, which INCLUDES the ‘general’ welfare, and if the Constitution is predicated upon ‘Judeo-Christian’ Values, that means the new testament also and what Jesus said in particular about the poor.

    1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

      One respondent refering to the teabaggers and their goofy bills: “I’m suprised that they haven’t tried to make Dueling Banjos our state song”! Now THAT’S funny!

  9. Jeannie B.

    I’m originally from California and Montana is becoming a mean spirited, intolerant place to be. The ridicule and condemnation of ideas that some may oppose is a California tradition that I wanted to get away from. Too bad Montana has started thinking like any other intolerant state.

  10. Corrina

    Wait, we’re “intolerant” for holding Republicans accountable to their own rhetoric?

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