Off Message?

Ever since the Montana Republican Party’s ideology went so far askew it caused several of its own members to start voting independently during the 2013 legislative session, the Montana GOP has been busy trying to put some spin on the problem.

Former GOP Speaker of the House Mike Millburn is the latest to do so with a guest opinion in the Great Falls Tribune, saying that the GOP must “stay the course” on its hard-right ideology.   Milburn says the real problem is that the GOP’s message “just needs to be refined.”

It’s easy to see why the “message” theory is so appealing to Republicans.  It allows them to tell themselves that they need not be concerned that most people disagree with their ideology.    It allows them to believe that if they just had better polls and slicker advertising all of their problems would be solved.

But while Republicans think their problem is one of message rather than bad policies, a look at recent polls shows the public does not share that view.

By 47 percent to 22 percent, Americans say they disagree with the GOP’s approach to social and cultural issues,  according to a NBC/WSJ poll.  Polls also show that people think the GOP’s policies are indeed too extreme:

a majority of Americans (53 percent) say the Republicans’ problem is that they are overly conservative and unconcerned “with the welfare of the people, particularly those in the lower and middle income levels.”

Americans say Democrats are doing a better job than Republicans. They say health care is important and that cost is a barrier to getting it.

So if the GOP wants to stop losing votes and voters, the answer isn’t that yet another round of road show tours in which they repeat the phrase “jobs for Montana” ad nauseam when they voted to block 14,000 Montana jobs just last session.   They should listen to voters instead of right-wing think tanks.   They should start funding public school classrooms and improving wages and health care for working people instead of focusing on corporate welfare and conspiracy theories.

Milburn also advises Republicans to stop the debilitating race to the bottom that the party has seen recently, with every conservative candidate and officeholder trying to prove how conservative they are, and trying to prove that they are more conservative than their colleagues.  Milburn says the GOP is “a big tent” open to all Republicans.  He might be hopeful that the GOP could be such a tent, but his viewpoint is a minority one.   The right-wing has lately been dictating the course of the GOP, and there is no sign of anything changing.


19 Comments on "Off Message?"

  1. Rep. Mike Miller | July 8, 2013 7:39 AM at 7:39 AM |

    Thanks for the mention Cowgirl. However the guest opinion you refer to was written by former Speaker of the House, Mike Milburn.

  2. I have to laugh. Got national news on Schweitzer’s DGA slush funds, books kept by Trister Ross Schadler and Gold, which tells “nonprofit” clients “the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC created new opportunities for these organizations to speak out publicly about candidates and elections.”
    And you have CB Pearson, who brought in 300 grand plus of out of state money from Common Cause for his ballot initiative, but Daines should give back ten grand?
    Color me cynical. Now, when are you going to get the straight goods on Council for a Sustainable America?

  3. Surelyyoujest11 | July 8, 2013 11:56 AM at 11:56 AM |

    Bottom line problem with the State Republican Party is they are more concerned with the party, and the vision of a minority of extremists, than the people they are supposed to be representing. Color me a disgusted Republican official.

    • Dont mind Skinner he would rather scream the sky is fallng then fix the GOP.

      No one in the extremist part of the party is willing to leave their personal beliefs at the door of the Statehouse, none of them are interested in the whole of the constituents, none of them want to roll up their sleeves and fight for the future of this state or any other….. they just want the past.

  4. ” Milburn says the GOP is “a big tent”….I think your tent is on fire and all the elephants left. Maybe a bucket of cold water in the face will bring you back to reality, and that is, the American people are fed up with you bullshit antics and your backward legislation.

  5. Mill burn did not have the permission to write this from the state party,so that needs to be made clear-lets remember Reagan’s 11th commandment

    • I don’t remember Reagan performing any miracles; most certainly not to the degree he should placed in the Godhood. Republicans are as Republicants don’t do. If they speak ill of their own, then Dog bless them.

  6. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | July 8, 2013 3:34 PM at 3:34 PM |

    POLISHT THAT TURD, MIKEY MEALWORM! Yes, Mealworm IS a freakin’ dumbass! But a leetle history regarding this situation is in order. Mike is a reluctant writer. You see, the GF Spitoon, in its infinite corporate wisdom, figured that it would be smart to add some local political color to their ed page since their paper is a royal flush of SHIT anyways! Guess that they thought that ANY kind of shit would an improvement! Well, they learned otherwise.

    So first, they printed some inbred who spent his entire life in the military named Snuffy Smith or some such. This guy was SO awful that people started cancelling their subscripitions! And hell, even the brainiacs at the Spitoon quickly learned that THAT was not the best way to suckle on the corporate appendage if one wanted to keep their jobs! Hence, even though they defended Col. Inbred to the end, they finally had to make the economically correct decision and let Col. Inbred go! Sure, they may be stupid, but they WANT to keep their jobs too!

    THAT is when they started hunting for a replacement for Snuffy. Seems that they settled on Mikey Mealworm out of desperation. Only problem is though that Mikey is a certifiable IDJIT! But at LEAST the readership is no longer cancelling their subscriptions, so the sucklings that work at the Spitoon can keep their lips attached to the corporate appendage a little while longer!

    But here’s the problem. There are ONLY two types of ReePubes, those who can lie with a straight face (which is really hard to do), and those who are true believers! And those who actually BELIEVE that Pube shit are DUMBER than shit! And Mikey, unfortunately, is not lying! He actually BELIEVES the shit he writes, AND hence, he is dumber than shit! He’s a sad case. I don’t thinks he’s evil, just stoopid! And that’s why Mikey can write the way he does! IT’S WHO HE IS! When he polishes the turd, he MEANS it, no matter how ridiculous it is! Big tent? Why NOT? Even though the ONLY diversity it contains is inbreds, crhistofascists, nutjobs, loonies, and retards! HEY, that’s kinda like diversity, right??

    But finally the Spitoon added a more liberal writer too in Mary Sheehy Moe. Mary is a fantastic writer and person. I think she is the best writer in the state at the moment, AND a very accomplished person too. So, we in GF get treated to our weekly dose of Turd Polishin’ from Mikey, and great insight from Mary! I think that’s a fair trade!

    But on a more serious note, I take the polishin’ of SOME turds very personally! You see, there has been an ominous, evil shift in what passes for acceptable discourse from the nazis. Now, they aren’t even tryin’ to HIDE it any more! Fascism is good. THAT’S their new message! They’re REAL fascists and proud of it! So while the world recoils in terror at the thought, THEY polish that fascist turd and re- WRITE history! Fortunately, most of the world doesn’t forget. ONLY the Teatards and christofascists in this country do! The real fascists supported Hitler, AND all fascist dictators throughout the world, guy’s like Prescott Bush, Daddy Kockh, etc. THESE were all Hitler’s good buddies! And now, in their own revisionist turd polishin’ way, they’re sayin’ the fascism ITSELF is good! Good for the economy, good for the country, and good for business! JUST LIKE MUSSOLINI said!

    THIS is offensive beyond belief and takes their fascism to a whole new level, a level of respectability among the ruling, corporate elite! They CANNOT be allowed to get away with this! Pinochet MURDERED lots of people just like me and you, union folks, teachers, intellectuals, leftists, ANY one who didn’t buy his fascist bullshit!

    So, it’s simple. Prepare for war! When the nazis start modeling themselves and the government after the likes of Pinochet, be prepared to defend yourself with arms! As did the people in Chile and ALL the Latin American countries that had to throw off dictators and their fascist regimes! It’s comin’. It’s only a matter of time. With folks as dumb as Mealworm endlessly polishin’ the turd of fascism to lay the groundwork!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | July 8, 2013 3:42 PM at 3:42 PM |

      Good comment from the comment section. I suggest that you read all 571 to get some insight into just how atrocious the WSJ article was.

      “Only surprise is, the writer’s surprised.

      I don’t know…I consider myself a pretty hard-boiled and cynical person these days, but even I thought there were a few limits of decorum and sanity left. Which editor allowed that howler to pass? It cannot have been someone with a functioning memory or the compassion to give a damn about one of the great atrocities in modern memory (of course we now have too many to choose from.) Still the fates of those people kidnapped, tortured, raped, dispossessed, and destroyed in the name of Pinochet and the CIA should mean something. The uneasy dead and their still grieving families (I’m thinking, too, of Charles Horman, the American journalist killed in the soccer stadium and his wife who continues to fight for justice) are owed something…even if as little as being spared the kind of depraved comparisons this jackass at the WSJ penned.”

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | July 8, 2013 4:08 PM at 4:08 PM |

        Wonder if any of THESE dudes are in Mikey Mealworm’s “big tent”?


        Oh Sweet Jaysus it’s now or never! We gotta get that christofascist gubmint in control, or we’s gonna suffer your terrible swift sword of punishments!

        First it was women’s lib (uppity women), then civil rights, (uppity blacks) then abortion, and then, even HOMOS! (uppity homos!) Now this! Our Kristyeean founding fathers are rollin’ in their graves! For they were grave men! Who FOUNDED this country for JAYSUS! Our situation is grave, very grave!

  7. Hello, I am not usually someone who leaves internet comments but I needed to say this. When the Republican legislators in Montana blocked the people of Montana from participating in the Medicaid expansion paid for by the federal government, they did more than reject thousands of jobs. If Medicaid is not expanded in Montana, thousands of low-income people will get much sicker and some will die. Many will live a life of misery, not being able to go to the hospital or even see a doctor until they are so sick that nothing can be done for them and they will die, when for a low cost preventative treatment up front, they would live. And some of those who die will be Christians, some will be grandmothers, some will be parents, and some will be sisters. Does it make sense that the richest country on earth allows its families to die needlessly when we have the money to pay for their care? Do the lives of Christian families who live in poverty not count to you people just because they are construction workers or hotel maids? And if not, why not?

    And most of these tea party members profess to be Christians don’t they? I see all these letters to the editor using religion to justify demeaning and harming others and denying them equality and it sickens me. To those of you Republicans who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus I would ask you to read Matthew 25:31-46, where He said “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

    And I have one more thing to add. If Jesus lived in this country today, the Republican Party would have no place at all for this good man in their hearts–only as a plastic statue on a mountain.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | July 8, 2013 7:48 PM at 7:48 PM |

      GREAT POST, sister! Do NOT let these assholes take the word of God away from decent Christian people! Fight back!

      And besides, Mathew chapters 5,6,7. Pretty much all we need to know! Eat a little sumthin’, and thank the Creator for it. Be nice to one another and try to get along. Appreciate this wonderful gift of life and creation that was given to us by the Creator. AND TAKE CARE OF IT! And try to avoid the bad shit that you know ain’t right! And just generally enjoy this gift of life ’cause it won’t last forever! Amen.

      Can I get an Amen!

      A friend once said, “I like your Jesus but not your Christains”! And he was right.

  8. Go away Milburn. Montanans saw your true colors in the 2011 Legislature. Stay on your “BIG” ranch and get some cowshit on your boots. Then maybe you can call yourself a “REAL” rancher!

  9. You wanna’ know what’s really weird about this? Millburn was not termed out–he could have ran for Senate but was scared away by threats of a more conservative primary opponent. So here he is trying to have his…er…cake and eat it too. He defends the right wing nuts saying the GOP don’t need to change policy – then he bashes the right-wing nuts saying we shouldn’t compete for who is most far right – is he taking a side at all?? Just complaining about his threatened primary?? or what the hell is he saying. It’s not clear to me that he even has a point.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | July 9, 2013 8:07 PM at 8:07 PM |

      He doesn’t. Again, mike is an idiot, but the Spitoon needed SOME one to write after they asked Col. Snuffy Smith to stop losing them their circulation! So, we get treated to the THIRD McKenzie brother, mikey mealworm, who has an even HARDER time than the McKenzie brothers coming up with a topic! The editorial above is pretty much standard fare for mikey. But HEY, when you think about it, what OTHER retard IS there in the GF area other than mikey? So you can see the Spitoon’s dilemma. It’s either mikey or LOSE readers! He’s SO pathetic that he’s basically inoffensive! BINGO! The perfect conservative writer for the Spitoon!

  10. Milburn says the GOP believes in individual freedoms, the GOP is always trying it’s best to control what people do. They don’t even believe in property rights these days, so why vote Republican.

  11. Excellent blog post. It

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