Not a good week for right-wing attempts to grow corporate-backed astroturf in Montana.
Some unstable right-wing characters, including Henry Kriegel (a senior Church Universal Triumphant loon who recently became head of the Bozeman Tea Party), had a big Tea rally at the Montana State Capitol a few days ago.
By big, I mean about 13 people showed up. They had previously been in other cities, as part of what they are calling their “Running on Empty Tour.” In no city did they get more than two dozen attendees. And in every city they appeared in, the morons who took the podium were shouted down by a crowd of progressives who numbered twice the conservatives.
But the most pathetic part of the whole business was what was revealed on the radio early in the week, a fact which escaped the notice of the entire Montana press corp. When Kriegel, the rally organizer, was doing a radio interview the day of the big event, the host asked him “where are you raising the money for these rallies” and Kriegel’s response was this:
So the Koch Brothers have wiffed in their most recent at-bat. They came to big-sky country and tried grow astroturf on the Montana prairie, but you have to cultivate soil, not urinate on it, if you want something to grow.
Generally Montanans tend not to have much patience with phony activities backed by big city money.
And it’s worth mentioning that on the same day as the Tea rally at the Capitol, New York Times readers were reading an opinion piece by the Montana governor, Brian Schweitzer, talking about how Montana on his watch has been the only state in America to run a budget surplus six years in a row. Which is probably why only 13 people showed up at the Tea rally. James Conner at the Flathead Memo attended one of the rallies. You can read his post on the Running On Empty tour here.