I went ahead and retweeted that with this little message attached:
I’ve been saying for some time that Denise Juneau needs to take the gloves off if she wants to take Ryan Zinke’s U.S. House seat away from him.
So…what are Zinke’s weak points? What does he view as strengths but which we can turn to weaknesses?
It’d be good to identify these things.
Remember what Sun Tzu said about laying plans:
“To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”
So what opportunities does Zinke provide us with which to defeat him?
Juneau seems to have pinpointed one in a June 20 article on her site called Washington, D.C. Congressman Zinke Votes to Keep Dark Money in Politics.
That article talks about Zinke’s vote for HR 5053, which “allows dark money groups to remain anonymous.”
Juneau tells us this will “benefit special interests,” and I think many people will see this firsthand when they get a bunch of unidentified mailers before Montana campaign mailing rules change in August.
We’re also told that Zinke “started his very own Super PAC,” something that makes it easy for “unlimited amounts of special interest money to go toward his campaign.”
So Zinke’s on the take from mega-corporations and big business groups.
That’s bad, right? I mean, that’s not what we want.
Still, isn’t Juneau taking money from similar groups? I’m not sure, but we did dig into Juneau’s campaign finances back in May and there were some questionable things there.
Despite that, it should be easy to convince the Democratic base to vote for Juneau. Hell, I plan to vote for her.
But damn, getting those swing voters and independents to vote for her is going to be tough.
So keep hitting this dark money angle, as I think it might work…and for God’s sake, clean up your own fundraising.
So what else can Juneau do to hit Zinke hard?
Again, let’s go to Sun Tzu, this time from Weak Points and Strong book:
“Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.”
So…where is Zinke not expecting attacks?
Again, what are his strengths and how can those be turned against him?
You might be able to hit him on his flip-flopping on public lands votes, but gosh, that’s a hard issue for regular people to understand when it gets all nuance-y.
Zinke did spend $545 of campaign funds at a Billings gun store for a fundraising event back in November 2015…and did say he’d give away an AR-15 to supporters.
Really, though…is that going to get those swing voters, maybe some moderate GOPers?
I don’t think so.
Then there’s Zinke’s military service, and his going around and awarding Montana Vietnam vets. Boy, that’s a hard one to hit him on…but could it be done?
Hell, why are we making so many new vets with our ungodly wars in the Middle East?
When the hell is the Iraq War going to end, damn it, and when in God’s name will we finally get out of Afghanistan?
But no, instead all we get from Zinke is tough talk, like Montana needs more veterans it can’t take care of.
Or was the VA doing a good job all of a sudden and I didn’t get the memo?
So yes, perhaps there is a way to hit him hard here. I think so. It's called an isolationist stance, but alas, Hillary's hold on Juneau might preclude that.
I’ll leave you with two more quotes from Sun Tzu, one from the book discussing the Army on the March and the other from the Nine Situations:
“Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat.”
"Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots."