6/13/17: Well, serving of humble pie handed me this morning, I am told the following: “I Heard this afternoon that the congressman pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, sentence suspended, assigned 40 hours of community service, ordered to undergo 20 hours of anger management training, and given a $300 fine. He’s also made a $50K contribution to the Committee to Protect Journalists and apologized to Jacobs.”
My answer, not to deny fault, was to simply observe that the narcissistic personality has a tendency to piss down on lesser beings, and flying into blind rage is but one aspect. I did not say, as it was contrition time, that before we have a Committee to Protect Journalists, we could use some journalists.
Although we have lived in Colorado now for nearly eight years, I still have many ties to my former home state of Montana, and so pay attention to events, weather, elections and all of that stuff up there. One thing that caught my eye, and still has me scratching my head, is this:
There was a special election up there, as former Representative Ryan Zinke had been promoted to the official position as sock puppet for the timber industry, aka Secretary of the Interior. On the night before the election and in Bozeman, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the British Guardian based in Washington, went up to Greg Gianforte, one of two candidates for the seat, and held a voice recorder in his face and started asking questions about the Republican health care bill. Gianforte, as Fox News reporters recalled the event, “… grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!'”
From this story, we know that the election had long been conceded to Gianforte. This is fairly typical of Montana, possibly everywhere, where the “two” parties usually huddle in advance to decide who will hold the available seats. Party designations for candidates are meaningless. Their only task is to keep voters involved in the process., and make it look like a real contest where votes are really counted.
Right away when I saw that story, I suspected the whole event was trumped-up. All we know for sure is there was noise, a broken pair of glasses, and reporters on the scene. I had to wonder why a British Guardian reporter was in Bozeman, Montana for a low-level election to a virtually meaningless office. (William F. Buckley was once asked if he would consider running for House of Representatives. I paraphrase his answer to the effect “Good God no! Not unless I could hold all 435 seats at once!”) We have to wonder why the event happened the night before the election, knowing that Gianforte had already been designated the winner. We have to wonder why it was reported in a high profile manner, and why it is still being harped on in the Montana media.
We learn now that the charges against Gianforte barely rise to the level of misdemeanor, giving the lie to the Fox reporters who claimed above that Gianforte had grabbed his neck, slammed him to the ground and began punching him. That is assault. That could land a man in jail and subject him to a lawsuit and punitive damages. What is going on here? It looks to me like staging, or setting up controlled opposition. Wikipedia has a long list of candidate positions for Gianforte – from abortion to public lands to Mother Russia. He is mouthing the right words, just as Bernie Sanders did in his presidential run for benefit of clueless progressives.
OK, I get it. I am face palming here. The reason for the staged encounter with the reporter was to set him up in the eyes of Montana Democrats as an evildoer. He is now free to do as he pleases in office, as Republicans, given that Democrats now loathe Gianforte and consider him a low-level thug, will support his every move. The incident gives him political cover.
I listen to Rush Limbaugh as I drive about, and long ago came to realize that he does not work for the American right wing, but rather the American “left,” such as it is. For eight years he harped on Obama and Hillary too, calling them leftists and demeaning their every action. The effect of that was to insulate the views of his listeners, reactionary right wingers, that 1) we even have a left wing, and 2) it is personified by Obama and Hillary Clinton. That was political cover, and allowed Obama free range to carry forward with business as usual for eight years, in essence, acting as Bush III.
That is how it is done in politics. If you see it, read it, hear about it, you were meant to see, read and hear about it. Everything is staged.