I was walking down First Avenue North in Billings, Montana on election night, 1988. At that time I was a loyal Republican. I met a smiling man on the sidewalk. He was smoking a cigarette. I had voted for him that day. His teeth were nicotine yellow. Even then, six feet under in delusional thinking, I thought “This is a cat who swallowed a canary.
Conrad Burns was nothing special. His managers spent many restless nights maneuvering to overcome his latest gaffes. He introduced bills he had not even read, voted sight unseen as instructed by staff. He held native Americans in contempt. He allowed a large building in Bozeman to be named after him for no good reason, a legacy to our corruption.
He wore both a business suit and cowboy hat at once. Neither became him. He was a complete phony.
But to my great surprise, in 2006 he lost out to an ever bigger phony, Jon Tester. Beef on the hoof, Tester squeezed Burns out down at the end of the trough.
Now that Burns has died, it is time to saying something nice about him: He did get his teeth fixed. If Tester sheds a few pounds, I’ll say something nice about him too when he drops.