Twice in the last two days, the Republican president of Montana’s Senate has broken down and sobbed during a session of the Montana Senate because he was unable to muster enough votes for his preferred bills. (March 22, 23, video not yet available) Far right wing-nut Republicans are deserting him, weakening his grip on his own caucus and making it difficult for him to keep his ship floating.
This is not John Boehner-type crying, the kind where you start tearing up when someone shows you an American flag. This is crying from stress.
His double-meltdown comes immediately on the heels of a new Lee Newspapers poll showing that over 60 percent of Montanans disapprove of the job that the GOP-controlled legislature is doing. Such a poll result didn’t surprise too many observers, because Montanans have been reading lots of articles lately about all the kooky stuff the GOP has been doing in the statehouse. But when you seek to become the leader of a glorious revolution, and it all goes to pot under the weight of bills that authorize spear hunting, militias and secession, it must certainly create stress on the leader.
You could easily feel for him, the poor guy, until you remember what his grand plan was for the state when he took the job: cut everything in sight, even though the state has a $300 million dollar surplus. Cut meals on wheels, which brings food to elderly disabled people; eliminate all family planning services in Montana; eliminate most all subsidies for healthcare for the poor, and so on.
It’s the new playbook from Republicans nationwide. Cut services for the neediest, no matter what the services are and no matter what the financial shape of the state government is. But for some reason, the emotional Peterson’s soft side hasn’t ever been stirred up by any of these constituents who need a little help from society, from people who have a little more to give. He has been more than happy to say no.
Peterson was also happy to ride a wave of right-wing lunatics to an election victory and also to his new perch as Senate President, by telling teabaggers, that he was one of them, that he would slash and burn government, that liberals have destroyed the universe, that Obama sucks, and so on.
At first Peterson rode the horse happy and proud, but now the the animal has bucked him off and bolted, and Peterson is sitting in the dirt having himself a cry.