It was a fun week all around for Tea Party loons in Montana. First, to court we go.
Boniek, and some courtroom drama
Yesterday, Tea Party leader Joel Boniek appeared in court in Livingston, to answer for his arrest earlier this year at a traffic stop. You will recall that a few months back, Boniek was detained by a cop at a traffic stop, appeared to then fondle a pistol in his clothing to try to scare the officer, and then ran the roadblock. Boniek is a former legislator and ran for Lt. Governor this year. He rides his mule to work sometimes.
As any good Tea Partier knows, when you have a date before a judge, the best way to win your case is to bring an angry mob of lunatics with you to court, to heckle the judge and prosecutor. This is what Boniek did, and a hilarious scene ensued. As the Livingston Enterprise reported, Boniek showed up and refused to recognize the authority of the prosecutor or judge, the crowd of foaming imbeciles hooting and hollering encouragement. Boniek then tried to prevent the prosecutor from making an opening statement, saying, “Your honor, why is this woman even speaking to me if she can’t prove she’s a public official?” Boniek, like many wing-nuts, believes that neither a prosecutor nor judge has jurisdiction over a citizen unless she can “prove to they have taken an oath.” Oatherism, let’s call it.
Then things really got fun. The raucous crowd began heckling the judge, and so the judge and prosector got up and left the courtroom. At that point, Boniek stood up and declared that he was “now in charge of the court.”
“The judge abandoned the courtroom and I announced the case dismissed as the last man standing,” Boniek later explained to an Associated Press reporter. A bailiff who remained in the courtroom told Boniek that he was mistaken, that he had no authority and that he better take his angry mob and leave. Frighteningly, the bailiff saw a lump under Boniek’s clothing and asked him whether it was a firearm, and Boniek refused to answer. At some point the mob and Boniek finally went home. The charges remain.
Birther at Helena IR
Speaking of Oatherism, you will be happy to know that its better known cousin, Birtherism, is alive and well in Montana–and is being practiced by the editorial staff of the Helena Independent Record.
For those that did not see the item on A Chicken is Not Pillage, in Sunday’s IR there was a news article, written by a national AP reporter, which stated that President Obama was “allegedly born in Hawaii.” Naturally, the Associated Press writer wrote no such thing. The draft of the story that the IR received from the AP did not use the world “allegedly.” Instead, the editorial room of the Independent Record took it upon itself to insert the qualifier–since, as we all know, the place of Obama’s birth has never been proven, right?
“That right-wing notion [that the president isn't a U.S. citizen] has been so thoroughly discredited that only Donald Trump and assorted other loonies still cling to it. Neither the AP nor – I hope – The Independent Record belongs in their company.”
The IR had to do damage control, and a small retraction note was printed on the following Tuesday in which the paper claimed that a copy editor in the newsroom had merely played a prank by inserting the word “allegedly,” believing that his fellow copy-editor would catch it and delete it.
I suppose this could be a valid excuse, but it is also a perfect ruse, an escape hatch by which the conservative Republican publisher of the newspaper Randy Rickman can protect somebody in the newsroom who might have been doing his bidding. I would say there’s a fair chance that, despite what he might say publicly, Rickman believes that Obama’s nationality is an open question. He would not be the only editor in Montana to hold such an opinion. Frank Miele, who runs the Interlake, is a proud birther.
Anyway, I doubt that a reporter will digging into the IR incident any time soon.
Civil War, Anyone?
Speaking of the Helena IR, and speaking of crazies, am I the only one who was surprised when a full week passed after Intelligent Discontent and this blog wrote about it before the IR decided to report the fact that the Montana Tea Party has mounted an effort to get Montana to secede from the Union? Unable to live under the terrible yoke of an Obama presidency, unwilling to move en masse to Canada or someplace else, and wholly approving of the actions of the Confederacy in 1860, the Tea Party in Montana and in many other states has launched a secession movement.
Like everything else the Tea Party does, this effort will flop because of consists of imbeciles who can barely read or write, let alone organize a mass movement. However, as with other Tea Party antics that humiliate the GOP with image problems, the IR decided to wait on reporting it until a slow news day with few readers, the day before Thanksgiving.
Fortunately, the Cowgirl Blog told the story shortly after it broke, which is why we continue to be Montana’s number one site for politics.