If you listened to the Montana GOP’s S.O.T.S. response, or spared yourself 20 minutes of head-pounding boredom and read this weekend’s Chuck Johnson article about it instead, you’ll find that Republican legislators are profoundly lacking in confidence.
While Schweitzer and Montana Democrats point to evidence that Montana’s economy is growing, Republicans are pretty down on Montana.
The improving economic outlook Dems are talking about is also the outlook validated by independent sources. As Mr. Johnson reports:
[E]conomists at the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research are more optimistic about the state’s future economy.
“After enduring the broadest, deepest recession seen in the state in 25 years, Montanans can expect to see better growth arrive in the state economy in 2011,” Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin, the bureau’s director and director emeritus, said in their 2011 Economic Outlook.
So if facts and logic don’t persuade Republicans in the legislature, what’s the deal? Maybe they just need a little motivational self help.
I’m talking about Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker famous for infomercials in which he commands people to “unleash the power within,” (and sometimes use that power to mock him, but that’s a different topic.)
How could Tony Robbins help? First, Robbins would likely try to find out what’s causing the R’s pessimism. After all, the caucus has swollen to the highest number of R’s in recent history. (They also seem to be swelling with self regard, from the head down.)
The pessimism and negative view of the state Republicans appear to share could have negative political consequences. If the leaders of the GOP caucus can’t convince the public that this is a good place to do business, they won’t convince voters that they can they can successfully run the state.
Which means Republicans could be so far gone even Robbins can’t help. He’s got experience motivating millions of people, but GOP legislators and their staff have been successfully unmotivated to step up, make decisions based on facts, science, and research, and do right by Montana for decades.