The Flathead Memo has great stuff on it and broke the story as far as I know, and the Associated Press has quite a bit up too. Montana Cowgirl has good reporting on it, and several of the TV news stations are now picking it up as well.
So what happened? It appears at least three top university political scientists sent out partisan mailers in a non-partisan race to gauge a partisan response.
Many others have already described the idiocy, ignorance, incompetence, and just plain old arrogance of these people, so I won’t get into it too much here. I would like to introduce you to the clowns, however.
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You can see that these guys really do look like a bunch of clowns, or at least just a few years removed from that drunken frat guy passed out on your lawn. Let’s start with the list on Stanford’s DIME site, which stands for Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections.
I do know that this is what they look like, and this is what their profile pages say on the university websites. Let’s start with the pair at Stanford first, and then the kid from Dartmouth:
You’ll also notice that each and every one of these profile pages has been updated since this evening or at least today. Interesting, huh?
It’s clear that these guys are idiots, just from this mailer. That guy Bonica’s profile there reads like stereo instructions. I don’t know how they get into universities like this. Weren’t Stanford and Dartmouth supposed to be good? They sure cost a lot - $62,801 a year for Stanford and $43,782 a year for Dartmouth. I guess that money’s going so these guys can get paid. Hmm…glad I didn’t go there.
It’s no surprise that we don’t have much respect for California folks or those East Coast-types, but gosh darn, we’re not stupid just because we don’t have a lot of people or money, like Montana Cowgirl said nicely earlier tonight.
Overall, you get the sense that Montana is being used, and maybe even these guys are being used. Hopefully someone steps forth and talks. I also hope the national media hounds get a piece of this and report it.
The Importance of Montana’s Courts
The U.S. Supreme Court already fucked us over once with Citizen United in 2011, the decision that allowed corporations and political groups to spend as much as they want here, overturning a Montana law that said they couldn’t, one that dated way back to the copper mining days of the early 1900s. Back then corporations controlled us, and they’re almost able to do so again.
There are few speaking out against this. It was very, very disheartening tonight not to see this reported in the Missoulian, which means a lot of people will wake up tomorrow and perhaps go through another day of not hearing about it.
Maybe that’s good – the Streisand Effect could come into play where they’d hear more about it now than otherwise. There may have been 100,000 mailers going out, but now the 1.013 million people in Montana could hear about it. I bet about 250,000 or so may have already.
In that regard this nefarious scheme and conspiracy has worked. I’ve no doubt some backroom with smoke and mirrors was utilized to hatch this misbegotten deed, and I bet that same room is full of laughter now as the fat cats and swindlers and run-amoks have their day.
All we can really do is wait to see what happens tomorrow. Like a brushfire this one happened quickly and took everyone by surprise. There’s no stopping it and all you can do is let it burn and burn and hope it goes out while you get people on the other side of it. Right now everyone’s rushing around trying to find the highest hills they can to survey the damages and extent of the blaze, but it’s difficult, mightily so. I think its still burning and will continue to do so for days, and the smoldering embers of this could last much longer, perhaps even after election day.
Litigation could stop it, perhaps. I don’t know what can stop it. Maybe it’s too late and these races are lost to us, the corporations having taken their plunder and run back East with it. For even if they don’t win this round and the authorities stop them, they’ve already proven that what futile laws we have aren’t enough, for we can only react, not act before. But then, how do you act before something like this?
It’s a different game here, like 3D chess or something with moving pieces and rules that are written after play begins. All you can really do is sit back and see what tomorrow brings, and hopefully that’s some legal actions, national attention, and perhaps if we’re lucky, a clearer idea of how voters view this and will act because of it.