♪♪ I get a peaceful, sleazy feeling ♪♪

imageI am going to catch hell for using Conner’s banner here and will have to take it down, so enjoy it while it is there. He’ll get all puffy and accuse me of stealing it and write about my conscience should be like his, you know, never steal anything from others. Is what I done here – is that like … plagiarism? Just asking.

Chet Blaylock ran against Marc Racicot for governor of Montana in 1996. He died of a heart attack during the campaign. He was a nice man, and was the reason that I decided to run for legislature that same year. He came to my office one day and asked me to throw my hat in. He did so because I had written a op-ed piece in the Billings Gazette highly critical of Max Baucus. I wrote it as a Democrat, calling Baucus a faux bonhomme, or false friend to progressives. Chet thought that the party needed new voices and that progressives should have a place at the table. Those were different times.

Another man I met that same year was John Bohlinger, a Republican. I took a shine to him, though circumstances are vague. John, a Republican, endorsed me. He was a pariah in his own party even then, a progressive with strong views on unions – that was what made him an R. I could see in him that he was driven by ideals as well as politics. Like Chet, he’s a good person first, politician second.

I was not a great candidate, being wet behind the ears and idealistic and over-certain of my rightness and all of that, and lost to Peg Arnott. She was a Christian conservative and was in politics to do God’s work, and was a good person who had smart advisors. She played the game well. I didn’t care for all the religion and flag waving and all of that, but it sells.

The whole experience left me with that not-so-fresh feeling, however. Just an example, during one of the candidates’ meetings one night, one Democrat gal was critical of a dark-skinned Republican candidate, claiming she was passing as Hispanic. “She’s black!” she blurted out in anger. Another Democrat candidate was Mike Lange, later a Republican state senator and candidate for US Senate, not at all a nice man and apparently at home in either party. The Baucus staff pretended to offer training sessions for us candidates, but all they wanted was to steal volunteers. That whole Baucus show, top to bottom, was a sleaze factory. They gave me the creeps, as they were only about power. Baucus, easily seen as a right-winger, ran a tight ship, devoid of ideals but good at winning elections. It just made me feel creepy, and I had to walk out of the one Baucus training session I attended when it was clear I was only going to be doing doors for Max.

I decided that year that I was not cut out for politics, because politics requires lying. I am not concerned about that, as it is part of being a grown-up. I am just not able to do it well. Marc Racicot was a liar, and a good one, and an honorable man, in my view. I did not like all that he did as governor for right wing causes, but that does not make him a bad person. Blaylock might smile and pat your back as he lied to you, but was a solid man with a strong sense of greater good. In politics, lying is essential to success. You have to hold together coalitions of people who don’t like each other. Lies are the glue. Just is. Deal with it.

My God Democrats are sleazy. Look at this thing with John Walsh.

montana-lt-gov-john-walshFirst, Democrats are the second war party, but they think their wars are better run. They drool all over Walsh because he’s military. I could easily see, months ago, that Walsh was a cloaked right-winger who was being run by the professionals, telling him what to say. He comes across as flat and affected because he is reading a script. (I suspect Baucus stutters in public due to a similar insincerity – different manifestation of the same phenomenon.) There is no substance to the man. He’s military, spends his life following orders, has no original thoughts. Surely others see this?

The plagiarism matter is no surprise. I met people like that in school years. Haven’t we all? He’s an affected man of no substance who wants to move up in the world, has no driving virtues or guiding principles beyond that. He wants a good grade but can’t think well, so he steals other people’s ideas. He does this without even thinking about it, as the end justifies the means. Shallow and mediocre people do this sort of thing and it does not bother them. Since most of schooling is a waste of time anyway, his stupid paper means nothing to me, but the lack of character does. I would not have him over for a barbecue. He’s not a good person.

My God Democrats are sleazy. Just win baby. As with Walsh, there are no guiding principles at work in that party. They are doing everything they can now to save Walsh’s sorry ass. Pogie, predictably, thinks plagiarism is an “academic misstep.” He’s a teacher (itself a troubling thought), and probably gives F’s to his students if they plagiarize. Pogie is shallow and affected as well. His writing reveals this, as it is only about electoral politics and wedge issues, as if he is paid to put out that tripe. There is no depth, no “there” there.

But the guy that really chaps my ass is the blowhard John James Conner (had Terminator on the brain). He’s done a few things that highlight the sleaze among our current Democrats. One, he’s predictably and reflexively working to save Walsh. Two, he has mindlessly bought in to the John Kerry war hero garbage, not understanding that the chosen leaders can manufacture such fake histories. (Kerry was so easily “Swift Boated” because he was so vulnerable.) Three, he dumped on the writers at 4&20 for daring to fail to toe the Democratic line.

That Conner writes about now he has to take 4&20 off his blog roll “in good conscience” makes me want to puke. He’s a Democrat, for God’s sake! Conscience has nothing to do with it. He is punishing other writers for failing to be good Democrats.


Democrats, as I experienced them in 1996, and in my eight years of blogging, are mostly clueless followers and are harmless, like Republicans and like most Americans. But at the head of that party are sleaze balls. I saw them do their magic here in Denver. Dave Sirota ran an excellent morning talk show with humor and guests from all around, but he was critical of John Hickenlooper, Barack Obama and Michael Bennet, all sleazeball Democrats. I knew he was a short-timer, but it still hurt when they took him down. You have to toe the line with Democrats. You have to support them no matter what, or they will fuck you over. They fucked Sirota over. To top it off, they replaced him on that morning show with a woman, Gloria Neal, who is as shallow as a parking lot puddle after a rain storm, but who toes the line. All is swell in Denver’s Democratville. Mediocrity reigns.

Democrats demand to be supported and do not like criticism. They put up shitty candidates like Walsh, elevate them by back room deals, and demand that all praise their fine-tailored clothing even as they are naked. And Democrats praise that clothing. Look at Walsh! He’s obviously a man of low character and intelligence, yet these creepy bloggers like Pogie, Cowgirl and Conner are tripping over themselves to support him. They don’t care about issues. They don’t care about character. All they care about is winning elections. That is sleazy behavior.

4&20 has been taken over by Lizard and JC, and those two guys are putting up thoughtful stuff, but as conceived, Blackbirds was to be a Democrat blog. If the party leaders still regard it as their turf, JC and Lizard will wake up one morning without a venue and the blog will return to the boring, predictable fold. There are currently concerned phone calls among the back room hacks, and it will be an agenda item on a meeting in Helena too. The party will fuck them over if at all possible. Otherwise, they will be marginalized. That’s what Democrats do. Just win them elections, baby. Just win.

I was reading over Conner’s writings last night. I’ve noticed over my blogging years that he regards himself as thorough and objective and highly intelligent. His blog is a bore fest, and he’s Shallow Hal, but most importantly, he’s petty and vindictive. He does not tolerate dissent within the ranks of Democrats. He demands conformity, just like a good soldier.
Most likely aware of the heat he’s getting for his act of “conscience,” and as a deflection. Conner put up a long piece with references going back decades on land grabs. The most recent in my memory was around 1996 or so, not mentioned. But he left Tester and FJRA and Baucus and his old Rocks and Ice bill out of it. Both parties have the same objectives. How to attain them is the only distinction, death by the sword or a thousand paper cuts.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
This entry was posted in American wilderness, Demobats, Democrats, Montana Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to ♪♪ I get a peaceful, sleazy feeling ♪♪

  1. steve kelly says:

    That is the rule: Conform or be prepared to pay a hefty price. And nowhere is that rule enforced more vigorously than in our schools. http://cbldf.org/2012/09/8391/ Most kids learn to submit pretty quickly and remain passive through life. And people still ask “where did our democracy go?”


    • Do you know John Taylor Gatto? He won teacher of the year award for for either New York City or State, and said “fuck this” and quit and began to write about the profession. Book I have beside me is called “Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.” Pogie, a teacher, would be clueless about such notions, as he is part of the problem.


  2. Larry Kralj says:

    The fascism in this counrty is palpable, and for us old guys, it’s damn hard to watch. The GF Spitoon may as well change its name to the Stars and Stripes, the military’s newspaper. Every day now without surcease, we are treated to three or four military articles! It’s sickening.

    And during the course of my job, I spend lots of time just driving around the city. About every fourth or fifth house in some neighborhoods there is a house flying an American flag. In the rich neighborhoods, the flags are flying off shiny new flag poles. In the grungy, inbred ghetto neighborhoods, the flags are grungy and dirty. I just want to scream when I see this. It didn’t used to be this way. We flew the flag ONLY on the appropriate days, flag day and the Fourth. That was it. But now, the christofascist element seems to think that their houses are all some sort of federal building! I want to stop and ask them if maybe they have actually forgotten what country they live in, and hence need to remind themselves!

    And I also want to ask them about their knowledge of their own history. I’m old. I grew up around many immigrants to this country. And they ALL pretty much stated that they and their relatives left the old country because they no longer wanted to be cannon fodder for the ruling elites. And yet now, their offspring view being cannon fodder as the highest good! And patriotic! Truly remarkable! And the cannon fodder of our country are all called “heroes”.

    And here’s the problem I have with walsh. NO hero that I know willing participates in an unjust, immoral, evil war of aggression against a totally innocent country! That’s Nazi stuff. A true hero would not happily slaughter innocents for any reason. And just following orders is not good enough for me.

    Walsh was an horrific choice, and quite indicative of what the Dim party in Montana has become.


    • Larry Kralj says:

      Still one of my favorites, the leader of Tomainia! This should be studied in high school history classes. Charlie was a little too subversive for j. edgar tutu boy!


    • A couple of things, Larry: One, I wonder if it has always been like this, this corrupt, and that I am just become aware of it.

      Two: As with secret affairs and stuff, plagiarism among the political class has got to be common. These are not our best and brightest people. Many are called, but few are chosen. With Walsh, it is obviously a take down, and while Daines is the obvious candidate for culprit, the stunt has an almost Baucus-like sleazy smell about it. Is there some other reason why he might have been taken down?


  3. Big Swede says:

    Actually Mark you’re too nice.

    I would have stolen the banner and changed the title to “James Connor’s Fathead Memo”.


  4. Abe Froman says:

    I quite enjoyed reading this post, it is one of your better ones. Seeing Conner’s duck lips at the top made me chuckle and then it delivered all the way through. I don’t think there is any Baucus – sleezy smell on the take down of Walsh, I believe Walsh was actually probably hand-picked with at the very least the consent and co-operation of the Baucus camp. Most likely a Daines flunky made the discovery but an interesting thought would be if it were a little Schweitzer revenge served cold (for the Baucus camp blackmailing him out of the race). Not that I know anything. Purely speculative.


  5. Rob Kailey says:

    I’m surprised at you, Mark, the surprise I was actually looking for, frankly. It took nearly two full days for you to recognize/admit this was a “take down”. To me that was obvious within 5 minutes of reading about ‘this scandal’. Surely you knew this was coming. If there was anything shocking about it at all, it was the timing. I expected something about the first of September, but the polls moved up the time table, don’t you think? I was hoping for something a bit more biting, like a picture of Walsh aiming a rifle at a puppy, allegations of PTSD induced spousal abuse or some such. But no. We get the mundane, Plagiarism. How God Awful, and Jesus will kick him out of Heaven for it.

    I am also surprised that you spew such vehemence at Conner. I know you both suffer from the gift of the Smug, but I didn’t think you would take it so much to heart. As a somewhat objective observer who never bought into his schtick of being an ‘authority’, I think you’re accusing him of a bit too much. It doesn’t strike me that he ever really defended Walsh or overtly supports him in this dread time of trial, as much as you so desperately want him to. So, for the bulk of your argument, you rely on his role as a gatekeeper given his distaste for 4&20. Think on that. Don’t you think you’re forcing the wrong pegs into the wrong holes just to fit a narrative? It kinda seems so to me.

    I do remain curious about this: you have many times argued very well that the ‘controllers’ punish the dangerous, the honest or the good. You don’t think Walsh any of the above, so I still await your explanation for why he had to be ‘taken down’. Please do elucidate.


    • Well, you place too much emphasis on “controllers,” when all that is needed is gatekeepers. When you have an election between the likes of Daines and Walsh, there’s no need for any interference, as both are defused bombs and no threat to power. If you can control who enters the arena, what happens in the arena is just entertainment.

      But your point, the why … it’s obviously just politics and there’s no great moral victories to be had when both sides are contemptible. Walsh/Daines, again, meh. So I thought, obviously, had to be Daines that made this happen. And then along comes Abe with his Schweitzer “dish served cold” theory, and my ears perk up. That has some meat to it and is, to boot, very funny, especially if true. Very funny.

      You’re right about timing. Generally, things like this don’t happen until after August, when no one pays attention. New products are never introduced in August. That it happened in late July does suggest some urgency.

      That I jumped on Conner as I did? I did so because of what he wrote about Lizard, JC and shit like this …

      There’s no doubt in my mind that the Boeing 777 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile, very little to no reasonable doubt that the launch button was pushed by the separatists, possible with Russian help, and every reason to believe that the shootdown was an accident (but still a war crime).

      He got every detail wrong. But that’s forgivable.

      Lizard and JC’s … arguments verge on hysteria. They don’t trust the mainstream media, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Guardian.

      First sentence is a cheap shot, as neither Lizard or JC demonstrate any hysteria. The second is pedantic, as Conner obviously has his head up the ass of American news (which is why he got every detail wrong above), and doesn’t see a problem with that. Such arrogant ignorance needs to be outed.

      They seem to see a conspiracy behind every sunflower. They hate the United States and its government with a black bile that corrodes their judgment.

      That’s vicious. The conspiracy retread is mindless repetition of a meme and cheap tin foil armor to avoid ever thinking about anything. That’s the American way, you know. Neither JC nor Lizard hate the US. But non-thinking reactionary partisans see any criticism of the US in that manner. That’s reactionary and mindless.

      Still, the guys’ just a mindless hack. No big deal.

      John Kerry is a decorated Viet Nam veteran with a long and distinguished record of public service; a patriot through and through who’s trying to put out the fires consuming the Ukraine.

      He’s also a poor judge of character and a hero worshiper, but again, the American way. Forgivable.

      Once an oasis of fact and reason, [4&20] is now a well poisoned by fury and anti-Americanism. I can no longer in good conscience keep it on Flathead Memo’s blogroll.

      If he had said “I’m an arrogant asshole, and shallow to boot, and so am taking them off my blogroll, or “they hurt my feelings and don’t treat me with the respect I feel I’m owed,” or even “I just want to hurt them somehow and don’t really know how, but Democrats say take them off the blogroll, so I am doing it,” then he’d just be a jerk, a fool, a tool, a loser.

      But the words “in good conscience” tipped the scale for me, as he traversed from arrogant asshole to pompous jackass. That was the tipping point where I thought last night “tomorrow I take down Conner. He’s so worthy.”

      Sorry you asked?


    • Hot Air indeed! So off-point, so unaware of the mountains of evidence accumulated in the last fifty years. Honestly, Swede, if you would take the time to look at the assembled evidence, you too could solve the crime. It is not difficult!

      Read the book Harvey and Lee: How the CIA Framed Oswald, by John Armstrong. There were several people using that name. I have one thing in common with all of them: None of us were in that window that day.


  6. lizard19 says:

    we are all adolescents blowing spit balls in the cafeteria.


  7. I disagree. I see real herding behavior, and think it important not to conform. That’s all it is. Too many sheep.


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