Montana Democrats Get Some Game

Rep. Betsy HandsRep. Dick BarrettIt’s a proud moment for Montanans.  Democrats in the Montana House of Representatives took the opportunity, during a debate of a prominent piece of the GOP agenda,  to masterfully expose the Republicans for who they really are.  The Montana Lowdown has the story and the video.

Ridicule and satire are powerful political tools, especially when applied so deftly as they were yesterday, because they allow the Dems to point out the deficiencies in the GOP’s agenda in such a way threat they become absurd–even hilarious, and therefore allow them to be entertaining, and reach a wider audience.

A few highlights: In a series of tactical moves during a session of the full House of Representatives,  Democrats blatantly mocked a GOP bill to require that business be transacted in gold and silver.

First master of debate Rep. Dick Barrett (D-Missoula) a professor of economics, got Rep. Bob Wagner to refuse to publicly acknowledge that “dollars” (rather than gold) even exist.

“I don’t know what other people to know as to be a dollar” said Wagner and would only call them “federal reserve notes.”

Then, Barrett proposed that money be transacted in other in-kind goods, such as chickens (a reference to Nevada Republican who, during the last election year, proposed allowing people to pay their medical bills with chickens) or coal.  Next,  Rep. Pat Noonan, spoke up for job creation in Butte America, by proposing Montana use a copper currency instead–a not so subtle jab at the lack of job creation on the GOP agenda, which has rather focused on extremist and downright kooky social engineering bills.

Ridicule is also effective because it’s hard for the Repubs to counter effectively –  if they try to respond logically, they acknowledge the absurdity of their agenda.   If they don’t respond at all, they look like their ideas are indefensible.  As we saw yesterday, the tactic caused the Republican sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bob Wagner, to lose his cool, making the R’s look like hotheads, and forcing a Republican to stand up and try to defend the caucus more rationally, which can’t really be done.

If the pointed satire wasn’t enough, Rep. Betsy Hands (D-Missoula) put the final nail in the coffin when she pointed out that the new currency and the militia bill are the first steps proposed by those who advocate seceding from the union, or, as Rep. James Knox calls it “succeeding.”

Jamee Greer RT of James Knox Hilarity

Kudos to Minority Leader Jon Sesso and the leadership in the House for hitting on the perfect technique for a session such as this.  Your strategy is a winning one.


21 Comments on "Montana Democrats Get Some Game"

  1. Comment removed | March 30, 2011 1:11 PM at 1:11 PM |

    [This comment has been removed by the administrator.]

    • Recognise the underlying situation, though. The Nazis would not have been able to succeed in taking power if the Germans weren’t bankrupt, hungry, tired and angry. The Nazi party promised them a relief from that unhappiness and they were able to focus that anger on the Jews and Non-Germans.

      For the Democrats to succeed, they have to do more than point out how these Tea Party idiots are idiots. They have to offer a solution to the problems that caused the anger in the first place. Until they do, the party that is able to capitalize on the anger better, wins – even if they are neo nazi, racist, homophobe idiots.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 2:08 PM at 2:08 PM |

        I’m not angry at all, EXCEPT at the morons. I think that you need to understand that the state is chugging along just fine withOUT their nonsense. Scwheitzer had a budget already in place that looked really good. Our budget was balanced, and things didn’t look too bad. So, the Dems have PLENTY to offer that ain’t batshit crazy. The Pubs have nuthin’. I really don’t know just what “anger” you’re talking about. Maybe you could explain why you’re angry.

        • First, the excesses of the Tea Party not-withstanding, the State financial situation will only get worse as the Federal Situation gets worse. Remember that Montana ranks pretty high on the Federal money per capita list and as that money dries up, things will have to tighten in Montana.

          Second, there is a lot of anger being expressed all over the Montana Blog-o-sphere and not all of it directed at the idiots in our State government. People SHOULD be angry as more and more of our tax money is wasted by the abuse, bad direction and mis management of our elected officials. That anger will only get worse as time goes on and the situation does not resolve itself.

          You, yourself have expressed anger at more than just the Tea party just in the last week on various blogs. I recognise your direction is definitely at the Tea party, but you have expessed your concern of many of the directions even taken by our Democratic Senators.

          Like my brother, I have almost a pathological hatred for stupid. It doesn’t matter to me if that stupid is tea party or not. If someone representing me is doing something that is stupid, it upsets me. I can deal with a disagrement in policy. We are a representative democracy, so my view point will not be represented some of the time. What I can’t stand is utter stupidity (or worse, out right corruption) in my elected officials.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 4:54 PM at 4:54 PM |

            Um, sorry there, moorkitty, but somehow striking a path toward secession does NOT strike me as being very smart. Hence, NOT a viable solution to correct any stupidity you see out there. You see, maybe it’s just me, but I DON’T view doing something stupid as being very smart! Maybe YOU can take these buffoons seriously, but I can’t. They have nothing to offer other than comic relief. Oh sure, they also remind people that it’s important to NOT vote for idiots. And that it’s also important to vote for people who have a BASIC understanding of government and how it operates. I see neither expressed in the teawankers speaking in the video.

            • Umm… maybe you confused me with someone else. I have NEVER advocated secession, nor have aplauded anyone who has. I have certainly not called anyone advocating that path as “smart”. Calling me moorkitty is certainly not condusive to making me give your argument any credence, either.

  2. Was the post removed for sound cause?–or simply because it was not in keeping with the purpose of this forum?–which seems to be rubbing the faces of rightwingpathetics betwwen cowgirls chaps.

  3. The bill is HB-513. “Democrat” Frank Smith voted for it. Below, the honor roll of Republicans voting against it:

    Ankney, Duane Colstrip 59323
    Bangerter, Liz Helena 59602
    Bennett, Gerald Libby 59923
    Berry, Tom Roundup 59072
    Clark, Christy Choteau 59422
    Cook, Rob Conrad 59425
    Ehli, Ron Hamilton 59840
    Esp, John Big Timber 59011
    Fitzpatrick, Steve Great Falls 59405
    Gibson, Steve East Helena 59635
    Greef, Edward Florence 59833
    Hoven, Brian Great Falls 59404
    Klock, Harry Harlowton 59036
    Maclaren, Gary Victor 59875
    Mcnutt, Walter Sidney 59270
    Milburn, Mike Cascade 59421
    O’hara, Jesse Great Falls 59404
    Reichner, Scott Bigfork 59911
    Roberts, Don Billings 59106
    Welborn, Jeffrey Dillon 59725
    Yates, Max Butte 59702

    A representative whose name on the tally is accompanied by “Y” just received a failing grade in economics.

  4. Thank the maker, my representative wasn’t sucked into the insanity – not that he hasn’t participated in some of his own.

  5. There would not be a problem if there were jobs available and people weren’t losing their homes. The Repugs have proven over the past 30 years that trickle down economics does not work and never will. Despite that, they run on creating jobs and immediately abandon that for cutting services for the less well off as a way trimming the budget. When your only way of creating jobs is to give the “jobmakers” tax breaks and when no jobs come, it is greedy public service employees fault. That is not only insane, it is not even adult.

  6. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 5:11 PM at 5:11 PM |

    If you haven’t watched this video in its entirety, please do! I have sat in on many hearings and testified on many bills in Helena, but this one takes the cake! This is truly the most PATHETIC collection of dumb bastards that I have EVER seen in our Lege! They truly are some scary folks. And I find it funny that the Teawankers whine so mightily when called on their extreme rightwing assholiness! Maybe Birther Bob and Jumbo Jimmy Knoxious thought that they were gonna move here and prance their little bircher agenda right through the Lege.

    Well, turns out that Montanans AREN’T going to willingly swallow that goofy horsehit! Gold standard?? Militia??? Expert witness (only ONE allowed) who SUPPORTS sucession?? Or “succession” as Birther Bob and Jumbo Jimmy and their fat colleagues term it!

    Sorry bout that! And I must make a correction. I have been referring to Birther Bob alternately as Fat Bastard also. Well, he’s more appropriately named DUMB Bastard! What a whimp! I can’t believe he gets all pissy when other legislators point out what a buffoon he is! Maybe he’d find more support back there in Colorado where he CAME from! Maybe THEY’D share his ideas ’bout “big gubmint”! They can surely have him back! (I’m thinkin’ they may have run his fat ass out!)

    Hopefully, enough Montanans will figure out that sending complete nincompoops to the Lege is NOT a good idea! If they don’t get it this time round, they never will.

  7. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 5:13 PM at 5:13 PM |

    Oops! I meant “secession”!

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 5:35 PM at 5:35 PM |

    Judy Mars, here they come! As the Teawanker Party languishes in the sh*tter of poll numbers, it’s time to FLUSH’em! Judy Mars had record low poll numbers as a result of her stupidity, but the teawankers are gainin’ fast. And well they should. Fat Bastard and Jumbo Jimmy are, unbelievably, even MORE stupid than Judy was! Guess that the Koch’s wet dream of owning the the United States of Kockland will have to wait for another day.

  9. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 5:49 PM at 5:49 PM |

    Here, maybe THIS will help Fat Bastard and Jumbo Jimmy and their pal, Kennutty, next time they try to explain the gold standard to the Lege. You’re welcome in advance Fat Bastard.

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 30, 2011 9:52 PM at 9:52 PM |

    Whew! After much agonizing research, I finally located an old video of Birther Bob when he was a member of the gold standard club, or a Gold Member so to speak. And boy was he eloquent! He also speaks in the video of his ag policy views regarding corn, and “soil” conservation. He’s a real soil scientist. It’s a younger Bob, but he’s in his prime!

    And my apologies in advance to Rep. McGilgeek. We really should not make fun of the reetards in your party. It’s heartless, cruel, and unsportsmanlike, but it sure is DAMN FUN!

    Birther Bob in Goldmember. Enjoy.

  11. Birther Bob and his ilk would have more productively spent their time in Helena knocking back cheap whiskey in one of the downtown dives than arguing for these idiotic bills. Kudos to Sesso and the Dems for making this one of the best clips from the lege EVAH!

  12. I have noticed a lot of support for a copper standard. Birthed Bob should have attached the Butte America Amendment.

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