Each time I ‘talk about the issues’ on this site, no one gives a damn.
Whether it’s discussing our terrible Social Security system, how many rely on food stamps, our overcrowding jails, or even the role of mining in our economy, no one much cares.
When I talk about scandal or rumor or even innuendo, however, people love it.
I know this because I can see how many people read my articles.
- When we’re talking about issues, you don’t read it.
- When we talk about dirt, you eat it up and come back for seconds.
So who’s really to blame here…our media and what they tell us, or what we choose to read or watch…and then talk about?
I bring this up because I continually hear people saying we need to do more to talk about the issues now that Trump won, as if we weren’t doing that already.
So let’s just dispense with this ‘talking about the issues’ and get to the real issue – what’s bothering you.
We’ll discuss that in such a way that we don’t touch on the issues.
I want you to read this, after all.
Are MT Democrats Capable of Sense?
To explain last Tuesday’s cluster-fuck we have to go back earlier and look at who brought those monumental losses about.
It was the ‘leadership’ of the Montana Democratic Party.
We had some good candidates, but without a viable message that people around the state care about, it didn’t matter and it won’t matter going forward.
That’s why Ochenski says things like:
“The time has obviously come for the Democrats to take a hard look in the mirror – and get rid of the stale old plotters and planners in the party that are responsible for one of the greatest losses of statewide public offices in Montana’s history.”
He goes on to say that “Democrats are in deep trouble – and it’s largely of their own making.”
No shit. Big Swede put it well on a Cowturd comment today:
“In the last 8 years you guys have lost 10.2% of Senate seats, 19.3% of House seats, 20.3% of their legislatures, 35.7% of their governorships.
These are the lowest Democratic numbers since 1928.”
Ochenski then gives us a rerun of the debacle surrounding the DNC, how it was Hillary’s time, and the “knife in the back” for Sanders and his movement, a movement that saw record money raised via an average donation of $28.
Ochenski then reminds us of the sleaze and the slime that thrust Hillary upon us here in Montana, both of whom are still in office (unfortunately):
“Here in Montana, despite the fact that Sanders won our primary, the Clinton machine had its allies in the top jobs at Democratic Party headquarters in Helena, aided and abetted by Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock, both of whom continued to support Clinton in open defiance of their constituencies. It was, by all indications, a done deal. The fix was in and good old Bernie was out.
The Democratic Party has lost its way and a wholesale house cleaning is in order. Either that, or get used to being in the minority and watching traditional ideals of the party be further degraded and destroyed. The choice, if they care at all about their base, is inescapably clear if Democrats hope for future relevance.”
I don’t think the Montana Democrats will change at all.
- How could they, and what would that look like?
- Is changing the ‘leadership’ enough at this point?
- What do Montana Democrats even stand for?
I have no idea, aside from that silly response from Nancy Keenan last week about inclusion and respect or some such.
No one gives a shit about platitudes like that.
Give me something concrete that I can put my hands on, something that makes some sense to me.
Tell me what you’re going to do for me, not how you want things to be.
Mostly, we saw on Tuesday how utterly ineffective and unpopular the Montana Democratic message is.
An Aside – here’s a good post on how to start remedying that (hint: it starts with talking about it).
Since Bullock won, however, I don’t see the party changing.
That was their mandate, their sign that voters like what they’re doing.
They’ll ignore the statewide losses, the House loss, and the shellacking in the legislature.
And you’ll let ‘em.
Tester’s Veteran Problem
Just today a big veterans benefits bill went down to defeat in the Senate.
Now, I’m not sure if this is the same bill that Tester introduced about 18 months ago, but I have a feeling it’s pretty similar.
The bill that was defeated today was put forth by Bernie Sanders.
If the leader of the Democratic Party can’t even get the bill pushed through, who can?
I guess the horse-traders Chuck Schumer and Jon Tester, huh?
Both love their Wall Street money and their dark donations. It’s how they’ve remained in power so long, becoming #1 and #2 for the Senate Dems, respectfully.
Remember, Bernie Sanders is now calling himself an Independent again…even though most Democrats around the country are looking to him for leadership right now.
Personally, I believe all Tester’s 2018 challenger needs to do is push down on the open wound that our veterans issue has become, causing Tester a great deal of pain.
For years now we’ve known about a disastrous VA health system, long wait times, and the 22 veterans a day that are killing themselves in this country.
Despite knowing all that, nothing ever gets done.
It’s convenient to blame our do-nothing and GOP-controlled Congress for this.
It’s mighty convenient, but it won’t change anything.
No, I feel the best strategy is always to blame yourself.
Jon Tester should be blaming himself for his failures on veterans issues.
I blame myself for not hitting him harder so that he’ll do that, and perhaps with such an admission, begin to work harder and actually attain results.
Alas, I don’t expect Tester to change…not at this point.
He’ll ride into 2018 on a wave of “veteran support,” most of which will be manufactured for him via his campaign staff, friendly media, and fluff stories that don’t paint the real picture.
When it comes to the latter I’m talking about the NBC Montana story that appeared on Veteran’s Day.
It told us Tester provided “tremendous help in securing” an appointment at the VA for a Superior veteran with “a partially herniated disc, cracked end plate and benign tumors along his spine and liver.”
It’s good that Tester found out about this guy, as he’d been waiting since July 2015 to see a VA doctor.
He finally got a doctor’s appointment in Salt Lake, but he has to go back there for another visit.
Boy, that must be expensive for a man that lost his job due to all the pain he was in.
Remember, that pain persisted for so long because our government wouldn’t keep the promises it made to people that signed up to fight in its oil wars (Iraq & Afghanistan) and its drug wars (Vietnam).
What I find so sad is that veterans like this will continue to support and vote for Tester despite having to wait more than a year for VA care.
They actually think the system is working for them when, after a year of waiting, they get to see a doctor…even if that doctor is 582 miles away from their home.
They’ll really think it’s working for them when Tester begins blasting out his dark money propaganda for his 2018 race.
Tester might win, but we know our veterans will continue to lose.
I called up Jon Tester’s Missoula office today to discuss this issue (the phone number is 728-3003).
Tester’s press secretary was busy and would not take my call.
Perhaps I’ll get a call back but I’m not holding my breath.
One Final Note
The only thing I can think of that came out of the 2015 Legislature that changed my life was the 80 mile per hour speed limit.
Nothing else had an impact on me.
And that’s fine.
I don’t rely on the government to take care of me. I rely on my own two hands, my feet, and my head.
I go out and get work, then I wake up in the morning and go to that job. I do this consistently, and it’s why I’m able to take care of myself.
The vast majority of Montanans are just like me – we take care of ourselves.
It’s not the role of government to take care of me. And if it was…who’d pay for that?
I guess it’d be me, the guy that’s consistently getting up in the morning and going to work.
If you’re looking for government to change your life or make it better, boy, you’ve got a long wait.
The only person that can make your life better is you, and you do that by making good choices and carrying through with them.
Besides the two jobs I have now, I could go out and get two or three more.
I could work 60 hours a week or so, making quite a bit, and getting money saved up.
Do that long enough and you’ve got a down payment for a house. Keep it up even longer and that mortgage is paid off.
I don’t see how government enters into that…except if you’re lazy.
Then it’s about giving you those things instead of having you work for them.
- I didn’t have to go to UM, and I didn’t have to get a degree. I didn’t have to go $31,000 into debt to get that degree, either.
- Nor did I have to get a full-time job to pay off that debt.
- I didn’t have to go to the Western Union in China once a month to send $500 back to my mom so she could put it into my bank account so I could pay off that debt.
But I did.
I did those things.
I got educated, I got work, and most of all, I took responsibility for my actions…or inaction in some cases.
The point is, I make these choices, the government does not.
Government has so little impact or effect on my daily life that it’s not even funny.
They’re hardly in my life at all.
I don’t see that changing, no matter who’s in the White House, the governor’s mansion, or who has the legislature.
If you want to see some real change, start making it happen. You’re the only one that can.