I 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.
First, 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.