Montana Ranks 3rd Nationally in TEA Party Members Per Capita

A new report ranks Montana third nationally in tea party membership as a percentage of the state’s population.

Wyoming ranked number two and Alaska had the highest percentage of TEA Partiers.  Still, the report from Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights showed MT TEA Party membership was much lower than what local groups have claimed, but its not like this bunch’s other claims have had much credibility either.

It also won’t surprise you that 2/3 of TEA Partiers are male, which makes the movement about as male-dominated as a doomsday prepper dating site. Of course, no group is more patriarchal than that of GOP and TEA Party legislators. Out of 90 people with an “R” after their name currently in the legislature, only 10 are women. (The legislative website doesn’t break out men and women by party. I guess they’re hoping we won’t notice.)

The upshot of all this of course is that the war between TEA Partiers and the establishment Republicans in Montana will continue to escalate. There are already large number of primaries slated between establishment Republicans and TEA Partiers.

Last session, some juicy emails [PDF] were published by the Great Falls Tribune (which only keeps stories online for two weeks) showing the machinations of TEA Party Republicans such as Jason Priest, Jeff Essmann and Art Wittich as they tried to vanquish the establishment, led by ousted Senate President Jim Peterson.  Presumably, these missives were leaked by one of the legislators in the scrum, who thought it would be good to publicize the schism.

There are some hilarious exchanges, especially from Art Wittich, the TEA Partier whose law firm represented ATP lawyer and is now under investigation in the meth house scandal for illegal collusion ATP during the last election, as Frontline reported this week.

It’s fun to observe the various leaders, or aspiring leaders, already openly agitating against the opponent faction. But it is also quite disturbing. Remember that the leaked emails reveal that the objective of Tea Party Republicanism is to control all branches of government, with absolute power, in its entirety.  Jason Priest describes it as his “ten-year war.” Here is an excerpt from a September 2012 e-mail by Essmann to his ultra-conservative cohorts (the subject line of the email is “Agenda Control”) about how a redistricting of legislative seats will make the ultimate goal achievable:

Jon Bennion was able to draw a map with 63 safe Republican seats. If we can implement the long term strategy we will be in a position to actually elect a majority of conservatives in both bodies, adopt conservative legislation and have a court that will uphold it.

And here is one from Art Wittich, describing efforts to get rid of moderates in GOP primaries:

We must help the purge along. Hopefully, a new phoenix will rise from the ashes.

Sadly, these writings and many of the other emails that were disclosed to the Tribune reveal an almost jihadist mentality at work. The right wing of the GOP views itself as an historic movement seeking a distant, ultimate triumph in which the opposition will be vanquished and the right-wing view of the world will be imposed,  imposed upon all Montanans even if a majority of the voters don’t want it. Priest, Essmann and Wittich are all running for leadership (Essmann in the house.)  As of now, there are no mainstreet Republicans even in the running.

How can this type of thinking possibly be the basis for a successful political movement? It can’t, which is why Republicans are currently circling down the toilet nationally. America has a two-party system and regardless of what party you are in, to be taken seriously and help the greater good you must work with the opposition, and accept the fact that your opponents are not enemies, but simply a counterbalance representing the viewpoints of many.


62 Comments on "Montana Ranks 3rd Nationally in TEA Party Members Per Capita"

    More of their fraternity
    In multi-level places of power
    Like an inter-locking directorate
    With our Republican Central Party

    Absolute power
    Has absolutely corrupted
    Formerly good Bitterooters!

    Very helpfull insight Cowgirl!
    I thank you.
    I ask others to reflect and share
    And compare!

    • “objective of Tea Party Republicanism is to control all branches of government”

      Well here next news from Bitterroot.
      After late late pass thru payments to School Districts, Towns, Libraries,
      Late late statements and records
      To Ravalli County also to Montana State Department of Revenue,

      After requests by citizens and Independent Newspaper to follow the law,

      7-6-2113. (( when Commissioners ask for reports from Treasurer, and that request is ignored OR refused,
      The Treasurer shall be assessed a $500 fee per late report!

      Wide enough to drive a megaload
      Through 7-6-2113

      Plenty mention in Commissioner meeting yesterday. No mention on TV
      I saw, or in Missoulian.

      Guess what the hold up is?

      I’m old and miss a lot but IMO:
      Two tea party Commissioners
      ESP tea party favorite Deputy County Attorney!

  2. This highlights the push for the TEA party to infiltrate all aspects of the local government. Here in Ravalli County, the push started early, and they weaseled their way into the Republican Central committee, the Hamilton school board and of course, the county commission. They even tried to infiltrate the Democratic central committee with enough success to set off alarm bells. Now we are suffering under the logical conclusion of their government hating ideology. They will flame out, because their basis is flawed and irrational, but they will cause immeasurable harm on their way to marginalization.

  3. Frightening and ever more the need for strick vigilance.

  4. Nothing Tea Baggers hate more than a legitimately elected democracy. They want to run a religious right dictatorship, all while waving the American flag. Gag.

    • Yes, the TEA (the)-Ocracy……..if you watched GOP lady’s response (by the way SHE has benefit of military TRI-CARE from her retired husband Navy officer) to help care for her children, and she had the gall to offer
      NO solutions and criticize ACA to no end………

  5. Tea Party in the morning
    Tea Party in the evening
    Tea Party at suppertime
    Be my little Tea Party
    And love me all the time…

    Looks like if the Tea Party didn’t exist, Dems would have to create one to keep the party united since the cache of Dem candidates doesn’t seem to ignite enough interest to write about or, horror of all horror, get out and vote for.

    Moorcat expressed the wish at another blog that it sure would be nice to vote for someone instead of against. I believe he was rebuked by the blog owner for such heresy that challenged the party approved approach of “burn the witches!” mantra.

    • If I was a conservative, I’d be desperate to shift the conversation away from the tea party too–so embarrassing. Good luck with that.

    • Opportunity to vote for good people
      @ Open Primary. Good Sheriff.
      Good Attorney. Yes it will be nice to vote, for people now doing the hard work!

    • Good point, Craig. It’s not Politics 101 – more like an advanced course, 401. It’s reverse psychology – Democrats continually focus on TP as a way of getting their followers to ignore what their own party is up to.

      Tea Party was a FOX TV product in the summer of 2009, created in an ad agency and made by power of suggestion. It’s purpose was to ensure passage of ACA by making it appear as though it had opposition from the far right, framing as it is known in the PR business. Seeing crazy people with goofy signs (probably made by the ad agency) convinced Democrats that Obama’s selling out to AHIP was a lefty move, when it was merely ceding complete corporate control of the heath care business to AHIP.

      In 2016 when the Republicans retake the White House, the TP goes out of business, no longer useful.

      And people imagine that political leaders don’t see through them or think ahead of them. They can’t imagine that they are that smart. They are in fact that smart.

  6. So why do so many Montanans support these policies? Why are they so disillusioned with the other two parties?

    If you read this site it seems pretty obvious that Tea Party members are wonderful at shooting themselves in the foot. If that’s the case, why are you so afraid of them? After all, drawing attention to your opponents will only keep them in the light longer.

    Is it because here’s a group of people that wants to do exactly to the country what the country has done to them – drive them right into the ground and take away all vestiges of hope?

    Take their core issues and start agreeing with them. I know you can find points. Now take them apart and give them those points dressed in different packaging. If you give people what they want they usually shut up.

    But is that possible, and is there any logical or rational thoughts coming from this group? They can’t be anymore irrational than the drivel I see in the commenting section of this site most of the time. You guys look just as scary to many Montanans as these guys look to you.

    When was the last time any of you talked to a card-carrying Tea Party member, or had dinner with some citizens who favor their views? I’m willing to bet you’ve got more in common than you or the media would have you believe.

    But that would require work, and some modicum of decency and composure, now wouldn’t it? Perhaps we’re all guilty here.

    • Seems like as a legislative candidate it would be unwise to talk about supporting the gold standard or public bearings in lieu of jail time in order to “get people to shut up.” But that’s just my two cents as a scary commenter.

    • Whoa!
      Wake up to a million bucks
      Of unbanked tax payments

      37 K possible late pay to MONTANA




    • I might agree common ground would be the obscene level of power and influence corporations have over the government, and that’s something they should agree on, but there’s conflict since many of the ‘astro-turf’ national tea party groups receive a LOT of dough from Kochs and other corporate treasuries.

    • I have dinner with one almost every night. Years of this has not allowed me to make any sense of Tea Part ideology not caused me to embrace it.

  7. You guys are so hilarious. A Republican says:

    “If we can implement the long term strategy we will be in a position to actually elect a majority of conservatives in both bodies, adopt conservative legislation and have a court that will uphold it.”

    And you shriek in terror as if this is some maniacal plot by Beelzebub himself. Look at that paragraph again. Isn’t it EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT YOUR SIDE TO DO? Get a majority in the legislature? And a court that will uphold the constitution? (well, maybe you don’t want that)

    You just can’t see how ridiculous you all look. You say the Tea Party is just a bunch of country bumpkins. Then why are you so obsessed about them and afraid of them? If they are that stupid they are no threat to you geniuses. Nobody will take them seriously. Your abject terror shows just how disingenuous you are – you really ARE afraid of the Tea Party because you KNOW they reflect the values of true Montanans – fiscal responsibility, family values, and adherence to law and the Constitution. You can’t win the debate on issues, so you make up lies and cry “boogie men! boogie men!”

    If you think that gains you respect in the eyes of your viewers, just keep it up. It’s really workin’ well for ya.

    • So sad
      You sound mad
      For no good reason!

      We looking at some two million of corrupt waste before the Treasurer

      No No
      This is fiscal irresponsibility
      Wrapped up by willful negligence

    • Please go back and read what Cowgirl reported, and respond to that!

    • Julie, I admit that I’m afraid of the Tea Party. I’m afraid of ignorance wherever I find it. The old photos of ignorant white people gleefully celebrating a lynched black person frighten me. Mobs of ignorant Russians beating and kicking gay people frighten me. Videos of old white men shouting down Democratic office-holders in town hall meetings frighten me. Watching the ignorance on display at Fox News frightens me.

      I’m afraid of ignorance because it leads to oppression and sometimes massive death. I’m old enough to remember the Brown Shirts, many of them ignorant country boys brought to German cities to punish Jews.

      The Tea Party, especially those who fetishize guns, are at least potentially dangerous. I don’t laugh at them. I keep a wary eye on them.

      • Turner, you admit you are afraid of Tea Party people. Do you know one? The grandmother next door? The school teacher? The grocery store owner? They want to reduce the national debt so your children have a chance at a decent future. That scares you? They want to preserve the constitution so no dictator or oligarchy can deny you your rights and ownership of your property. That scares you? Why do you associate the Tea Party with bigots, and brown shirts? Has a Tea Party person every lynched a black person? No, we have many black men and women working side by side with us to try to save the nation! Are there Tea Party kooks? Yes, here and there. Rare though, mostly concerned grandmas and grandpas. Are there Democrat kooks? Don’t get me started! You, Turner, are so badly under-informed that I find THAT scary. Anybody who verbally “lynches” a group of people that he knows nothing about is definitely dangerous.

        • Uh, where are the Democratic kooks? Are any D’s calling R’s “anti-Christs”? Do any D’s want homosexuals put in jail or exterminated? Do any D’s argue for guns in bars? Do any D’s believe that evolution and global warming are not fact?

          Virtually all the ignorance and bigotry is on your side. What you don’t realize (how could you?) is that you’re being manipulated by big corporate interests (ALEC et al) to work against constraining them in any way. That’s what is really behind all this bs about small government and anti-regulation.

          The Tea Party was created by a handful of billionaires to help them continue to rip off tax-payers and multiply their wealth. They have used racism and commie-baiting to get the less than astute to work for them.

          And they’re laughing at you. You fell for it and they love it.

  8. The report to which Cowgirl links is available in an oddball format — Tableau Public — that’s not available for Macintosh computers. It takes forever for the report’s page to open fully. And the report is not available as a PDF for downloading. There may be some valuable data in this report, but for all practical purposes it’s inaccessible for Mac users such as myself. I will NOT be adding the IREHR to my blogroll.

  9. Alaska is the state with the lowest population density, 1.3 persons per square mile. Wyoming is next, with 6, and Montana is third with 7.

    This makes me wonder whether population density is inversely proportional to political density.

  10. John Steinbeck said of Montana, “It seemed to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana. Its people did not seem afraid of shadows in a John Birch Society sense.”……..If you know anything at all about Montana history, and it seems so many don’t, you would know that our history is one of people pulling together for the greater good of all, which is the direct opposite of Tea Party values. Our history is of people helping our neighbors in need while respecting each others private lives, again opposite of Tea Party values. Our history is of people fighting corporate greed and wage slavery through strong Unions that bring Democracy to the workers, again opposite of Tea Party values. Our history is one of using our Government (that is you and I and OUR tax money) to make the lives and future of our people better for all, just think Fort Peck Dam, public schools, fire departments, etc. while the Tea Party just hates it when we pool our money and muscle for the common good. Montanans have never bowed down to the Corporate elite, but the Tea Party’s ideals and actions support in every way possible the corporate take over of America ie, cutting taxes (always for the rich only), poisoning our water, food and air by cutting regulations (for corporate profits only), dividing the workers (to benefit corporate profits only) and the end of our free Democracy by suppressing the vote. Being a Corporate tool and scared of shadows like the modern Tea Party (and most FOX viewers)… not, and has never been a part of our Montanan History, Montanans have always been brave and socially minded. In fact Montana had a robust Socialist Party for much of our history, and a champion of world peace right in the GOP, the pacifist Jeannette Rankin. Our history also never included worshiping the “Free-Market” as GOD above all else like the Tea Party does for the sole benefit of the corporate elite, just look at our anti-corporate control campaign laws that lasted a hundred years (1912-2012). The Tea Party talks of freedom and liberty while readying our shackles so we can serve Free Market Capitalism. The Tea Party folks need to read the Preambled to the U.S. Constitution, it spells out in no uncertain terms exactly why our Founding Fathers wrote it and what they believed in….and it is all and everything that the Tea Party is against in ideals and actions. The actions of the Tea Party only help the top 1%, every single time, to the detriment of the rest of us and even themselves all in the name of “Liberty”.
    Bertrand Russell said-
    “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

    • You should read Montana: High, Wide and Handsome” by JK Howard if you like history. Montana’s a pretty corrupt place, always has been.

    • Right on, Kevin.

    • Kevin keep posting,
      Inequality is one
      Of the drivers of
      Long term cycles
      In Montana also USA history!

      And darkly appears
      As the dollar driver of
      Tea party policies of
      Central party planning
      And placing their people
      In positions of public power!!

      Time to see Posts from around Montana!

      Time again to pull together!

    • Wow! How many lies can you put in one post! This must be a record! Ooooooohh, boogie men, boogie men! They eat babies! They want us to drink filthy water! They want our children to be slaves! They run around shooting puppies with assault rifles! Grandma over there is a boogie man, let’s string her up because she cares about our grandchildren! Ooooohh! Help us! Save us from the murdering Tea Party! They kill millions of us poor defenseless little people every day!

      Could you please get stupider? Your characterizations are an absolute joke, worthy of nothing more than pity and laughter.

  11. Ahh, the left in their neat little social inequality box blame the tea party and their not in my back yard mentality. As usual pawns in a system they cannot possibly understand rehashing argument they heard on Fox news and MSNBC. Are there any decent free minds left in Montana? Lets quote Bertrand Russell out of context and that makes us intelligent. Please people, have one thought about a reality out of your own blue red ideology today, it will blow your mind to step out of that neat little box, the ones responsible for our inept system of politics.

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