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Republican Greg Gianforte Wins Montana House Seat Despite Assault Charge

Gianforte Victory

Notwithstanding an election eve encounter with a reporter that resulted in a misdemeanor assault charge, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte ended up winning yesterday’s Special Election in Montana to fill the vacancy left by Ryan Zinke when he became Secretary of the Interior:

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Greg Gianforte, a wealthy Montana Republican who was charged with assaulting a reporter on Wednesday, nonetheless won the state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives on Thursday, according to The Associated Press, in a special election held up as a test of the country’s political climate.

Mr. Gianforte, 56, was widely seen as a favorite to win against Rob Quist, a Democrat and country music singer. But he seemed to imperil his own candidacy in the final hours of the race after he manhandled a journalist for The Guardian.

Addressing the altercation for the first time late Thursday night, Mr. Gianforte apologized to the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, by name, acknowledged he “made a mistake” and vowed to the state’s voters that he would not embarrass them again.

“You deserve a congressman who stays out of the limelight and just gets the job done,” he said to a group of supporters at a hotel in Bozeman, who repeatedly yelled out that they forgave him.

Voters here shrugged off the episode and handed Republicans a convincing victory. Mr. Gianforte’s success underscored the limitations of the Democrats’ strategy of highlighting the House’s health insurance overhaul and relying on liberal anger toward President Trump, at least in red-leaning states.

“Montana sent a strong message tonight that we want a congressman who will work with President Trump to make America and Montana great again,” Mr. Gianforte said in remarks shortly after he was declared the winner.

Mr. Gianforte’s capture of the seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spares his party the short-term pain of losing a reliably Republican seat in Congress, but at the cost of having the newest member of the House majority arrive in Washington under a serious legal cloud.

Mr. Gianforte still faces a misdemeanor assault charge that will require him to appear in a Montana courtroom next month. Republicans in Washington indicated that they were unlikely to block him from taking office, despite the possibility of a criminal conviction in the coming weeks.

According to an audio recording and the account of a Fox News reporter, Mr. Gianforte flew into a rage and battered Mr. Jacobs after Mr. Jacobs asked him a straightforward question about the health care bill passed by House Republicans this month.

Mr. Gianforte faced mounting public demands on Thursday from Republican leaders, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Steve Daines of Montana, to apologize.

For Democrats, their failure to notch a win, or even come close, raises pressure on their nominee to score a victory in a special House election next month in Georgia, where the party has spent heavily in hopes of capturing a Republican-held seat.

Even before its ugly conclusion, the race in Montana, a state that has long mixed conservatism with populism, had evolved into an early referendum on Mr. Trump and the Republican health care bill.

Republican groups, concerned about the growing backlash to Mr. Trump, poured more than twice as much money into the race as Democrats. The spending was initially a precaution. But Republican officials grew nervous after Mr. Quist, 69, caught fire with progressive activists, who eventually helped him raise over $6 million, narrowing the funding disparity in the race.

While Mr. Gianforte vowed to work with the Trump administration and campaigned with both Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Quist focused his campaign in its final weeks on the unpopular House health care bill. He hammered Mr. Gianforte for telling a group of Washington lobbyists he was “thankful” the bill had passed while suggesting to Montana voters that he would have opposed it.

But while backlash against the bill may have helped Mr. Quist modestly narrow the gap against Mr. Gianforte, it was not a cure-all for a candidate with a messy financial history running in a state Mr. Trump had won by more than 20 points.

According to the results posted at the Montana Secretary of State’s website, Gianforte won 50% (189,475 votes) to Quist’s 44% (166,483 votes) while Mark Wicks, the Libertarian Party nominee, won 6% (21,509 votes), with roughly 54.1% of the state’s ~700,000 registered voters casting ballots either yesterday or during the early and absentee voting period. This contrasts with last November’s Presidential election in the state, which Donald Trump won by more than 20 percentage points and 100,000 votes and the Congressional election last year, which Zinke won by 16 percentage points and more than 80,000 votes. Viewed from that point of view, the race was closer than it should have been for an ostensibly red state like Montana. As I noted on Wednesday, though, Montana has elected Democrats to statewide positions in the recent past, most notably the U.S. Senate in the person of Jon Tester, who has held office since 2006, and the Governor’s office, which has been in Democratic hands since 2004.

Notwithstanding those Democratic wins in the state, though, Montana has only gone Democratic on one occasion since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide, and that happened in 1992 when Bill Clinton managed to pull off a narrow win in what ended up being a three-way race in a state where Ross Perot had one of his best showings in that election. In recent years, though, the state has become increasingly Republican in recent years, as reflected in the fact that Zinke had held his seat since 1994 and Steve Daines won the state’s other Senate seat, which Republicans had not held since losing it in the Election of 1912. Additionally, as I noted yesterday, it is estimated that as much as 65% of the people who voted yesterday had voted early or voted absentee so their votes were locked in long before the news of Gianforte’s attack on Jacobs broke late in the day on Wednesday. Finally, reporters interviewing voters headed to the polls yesterday found little evidence that the incident with Jacobs had turned many people away from supporting Gianforte if they were already inclined to vote for him. Indeed, sadly, in many cases, it seemed as those supporters actually liked the fact that he “stood up” to the media the way that he did. For example, late in the day, Buzzfeed’s Alexis Levinson reported late in the day that she had yet to see any evidence that the incident had changed the mind of any of the voters she talked to at the polling places she visited. Taking all of this together, this was always an uphill battle for Democrats, and while the margin of victory was smaller than what we saw for either Trump or Zinke six months ago, it always was.

For his part, Gianforte did end up addressing the incident with Jacobs in his victory speech, offering an apology:

Shortly after winning the race for Montana’s lone congressional seat, Greg Gianforte apologized to the reporter he was charged with assaulting a day before.

The Republican candidate’s campaign was rocked after he was cited on misdemeanor assault charges for a Wednesday altercation in which a reporter for The Guardian newspaper, Ben Jacobs, claimed Gianforte “body-slammed” him, an incident caught on audio tape and witnessed by other journalists.

(…)

“When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it,” he said at a victory party in Bozeman, Montana. “That’s the Montana way. Last night I made a mistake and I took an action that I can’t take back and I’m not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I am sorry.”

“I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I am sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs,” he said.

The comments served as a sharp reversal for Gianforte and his team, who remained mum on the subject for most of Thursday, and who shortly after the incident released a statement calling Jacobs’ actions in seeking to interview the candidate “aggressive.”

“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave,” Gianforte spokesman Shane Scanlon said.

He added: “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

Jacobs had called for an apology from the GOP candidate during an appearance on CNN earlier Thursday.

“[Apologizing] would be the civilized thing to do when one adult acts — physically assaults someone else, an apology would be in order,” he said early Friday morning, adding that physical altercations were “not an appropriate way for human beings to interact with each other.”

I haven’t seen a response from Jacobs either in the press or on his Twitter feed yet this morning, but it’s early as I write this and Gianforte’s victory speech last night occurred late at night so we may get a response later today. In any case, notwithstanding the apology, Gianforte will still be required to appear in Court regarding the charge in early June. Assuming he’s charged under Montana’s misdemeanor assault statute, he faces a fine of up to $500 or up to six months in jail or both. Realistically, unless he has a prior criminal record it’s likely that the most he will get is a fine of some kind or, perhaps, a plea arrangement that would wipe the charge from his record provided he maintains a clean record for a certain amount a time, which is not an uncommon outcome in cases like this when a Defendant accepts responsibility for their actions. In any case, as I noted in yesterday’s post, even if Republicans were inclined to try to bar Gianforte from taking his seat, there is nothing legally that can be done about it. Even with a guilty plea and a criminal assault conviction hanging over his head, he will be the next Congressman from Montana and he will most likely be easily re-elected in 2018 and for as long as he chooses to hold onto the seat.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. SenyorDave says:

    I guess for Gianforte the “Montana way” is to make up a story about the incident, and only accept responsibility when you discover that someone else saw the incident and your phony account is revealed to be a sham.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  2. MarkedMan says:

    A liar and a bully. Not just limited to the top leadership of the Republican Party

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    “And now that Fox News crew that didn’t back up the Gianforte campaign statement on what happened needs to be fired and beaten!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  4. Hal_10000 says:

    inally, reporters interviewing voters headed to the polls yesterday found little evidence that the incident with Jacobs had turned many people away from supporting Gianforte if they were already inclined to vote for him. Indeed, sadly, in many cases, it seemed as those supporters actually liked the fact that he “stood up” to the media the way that he did.

    Tribalism. If a Democrat beat the crap out of James O’Keefe, they would demanding that Democrat’s head on a spike.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  5. Pch101 says:

    I feel encouraged that behavior that would cost you your job as a cashier at a 7-11 won’t keep you out of elected office.

    OK, so “encouraged” wasn’t really the word that I had in mind.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  6. Franklin says:

    @MarkedMan: Yup, a large faction of Republicans fully supports bullying. Bullies are winners, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. pylon says:

    Gianforte is a rich, rich man. Mr. Jacobs may soon obtain part of that wealth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. Modulo Myself says:

    @Hal_10000:

    James O’Keefe is a horrible guy who sets people up. I would question the judgement and temperament of someone who decked him in the same way that I would someone who punches a neo-Nazi or the corpse of Andrew Breitbart. But Democrats weren’t thinking about punching people who asked about the CBO score in 2010. It’s absurd to think there are parallels. This is no different than attacking someone because they were wearing a veil. He’s just a dumb bigoted goon, and he was elected because of that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Well, that’s kind of my point. Body-slamming a normal journalist is OK if its “their” guy. But punching a slimeball pseudo-journalist is bad if he’s “our” guy. I can **maybe** understand voting for Gianforte despite the bodyslam if you think the other guy is terrible or if you think this was a momentary lapse of reason or something (and if he’d apologized before the vote). But it’s political tribalism of the rankest sort to try to justify such behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  10. MBunge says:

    @Modulo Myself: It’s absurd to think there are parallels.

    It’s very hard to get anywhere if you have to keep explaining basic concepts to adults like they are children. It’s not about parallels. It’s about principle. Either violence is ALWAYS wrong in a political context or it isn’t. We have just seen a significant portion of the Left endorse, wink at or shrug their shoulders at political violence up to and including both the threat of and actual mob violence to suppress speech. What you allow for yourself, you cannot intellectually, emotionally or spiritually support denying others.

    Which isn’t to say that Gianforte is somehow a result of or reaction to the adolescent “punch a Nazi” nonsense. The collapse of standards on the Right has been going on for a long time independent of anything happening on the Left.

    And I continue to be amazed at how wrapped up in denial the media is about how despised they are by a very large chunk of the public. I mean, it’s not even like they see themselves as the “good guys,” so of course the “bad guys” are going to hate them. They expect the “bad guys” to love and respect them.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 25

  11. Modulo Myself says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you think a politician losing his cool at normal questions from a normal reporter from the Guardian is fine you are in a tribe that corresponds to authoritarians and fascists. The fact that you find it vile that authoritarians and people who ask authoritarians questions are in separate tribes or whatever is really irrelevant. In fact your bankrupt fixation on tribalism seems designed so that you can miss what’s going on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  12. Modulo Myself says:

    @MBunge:

    Either violence is ALWAYS wrong in a political context or it isn’t.

    We live in a country where people blather about paper documents forged out of a violent political revolution, so I assure you that this an idiotic way to consider what’s going on now.

    In fact, I’m going to take a wild guess and say the most of the right-wing loves the idea of violence and hates the idea of being spoken back to, and that the few dimwitted anti-fascist college students who are terrorizing the days and nights of the 80 million retirees watching Fox are just picking up on this. Milo or Coulter have access to free speech, which is why everybody knows how awful they are. I mean the basic argument is that a guy who says the slur ‘tranny’ and the trans person who punches him in the face are basically two tribes separated by their own prejudices. It’s demeaning to even consider this as a human.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  13. Modulo Myself says:

    The right-wing and Fox have taken the worst prejudices of the dumbest Americans and translated them into an ideology that works hand in hand with the greed of the worst of the rich. Some idiot sitting in a restaurant in 1987 who sees a guy with long hair and an earring and says a few homophobic slurs is now the party of Trump and the GOP in 2017.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  14. Pch101 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    most of the right-wing loves the idea of violence and hates the idea of being spoken back to

    They’re the overseers at the plantation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  15. Gavrilo says:

    Remember kids, when dastardly Republicans try to curtail early voting it’s ONLY because they want to disenfranchise black people. Early voting is ALWAYS a wonderful idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  16. al-Alameda says:

    Frankly, I’m surprised that the reporter wasn’t accused of assault. Besides, this is Montana, a deeply Red State.

    Republicans are a minority party that runs the entire federal government now and they’ve drooling out of the sides of their mouths at the prospect of, the great opportunity they have now, to begin rollback of social programs, environmental and commerce regulations, and cutting taxes to benefit the wealthiest Americans.

    They have the votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @MBunge:

    We have just seen a significant portion of the Left endorse, wink at or shrug their shoulders at political violence up to and including both the threat of and actual mob violence to suppress speech.

    That’s just complete BS. If your opinion is based on nonsense, then your opinion is nonsense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  18. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    The more words that you use, the less that you have to say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  19. Pch101 says:

    @Gavrilo:

    You’re a strong contender for today’s Strawman of the Day award.

    If I were you, I’d start preparing your acceptance speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  20. Hal_10000 says:

    Here’s the thing. I kind of understand a bit of the hostility to the media. Ever since Trump was elected, everything he does seems to get blown up to DEFCON 1. We routinely have frenzies over things that turn out to be routine (adjustments to Russia sanctions) stuff his predecessors did (loyalty day), stuff that’s wildly misrepresented (Ivanka raising money for a World Bank cause) or stuff that’s just not true (presenting a bill for NATO cost to Merkel). We have calls for impeachment over the Russia business when, at this point, we don’t even know how much there is to the Russia business. So, yeah, I get it. I’ve imposed a 12-hour moratorium on commenting on Trump outrages because the news cycle is dizzying.

    But …

    A hostile media is not exactly unprecedented. It’s healthy. A lot of the stuff he’s doing *IS* a big deal. And the Trumpaloos have gone to the opposite extreme of regarding any news that isn’t worshipful as fake and biased. And even if the media is biased, this does not justify inflicting violence on a reporter asking a politician a fairly routine question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  21. SenyorDave says:

    @Hal_10000: Not to mention that the POTUS actually tweeted this in February:

    “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” he wrote.

    Inexcusable in any context

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  22. Hal_10000 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Yep. Trump didn’t start the media thing, but he has made it a lot worse. We’ve seen Presidents spar with the media. We’ve seen Presidents who had enemies in the media. But this is beyond that, even worse than Nixon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  23. Paul L. says:

    Enjoying people who excused Bob Etheridge because they were Republican Trackers. Now Outraged.

    sticking a camera in somebody’s face and demanding they answer a question is hardly a form of reasonable political debate, and perhaps not the best way for a constituent to interact with his or her Congressman. I

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If a Democrat beat the crap out of James O’Keefe, they would demanding that Democrat’s head on a spike.

    And his fellow Dems would hand him over and from that moment on, they would avert their eyes in shame and never speak of it again.

    I do not condone bodyslamming reporters. But I’m also “sick and tired” of the mindset that invites and accepts abuse if there’s some kind of upside to it. There is no upside to being the victim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. JKB says:

    “The politician creates a powerful, huge, heavy, and unstoppable Monster Truck of a government,” P.J. O’Rourke writes in his new book, How the Hell Did This Happen? (Atlantic Monthly Press). “Then supporters of that politician become shocked and weepy when another politician, whom they detest, gets behind the wheel, turns the truck around, and runs them over.”

    Vroom, vroom. Turns out not just government, but the Left created a hostile electoral process that has now resulted in this when others have taken their pink slip.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 20

  26. Pch101 says:

    @JKB:

    The Republican Party: Because Everyone Is Personally Responsible, Except for Us™

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  27. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    the Left created a hostile electoral process […]

    You are an undeniable comic genius; I admit it. I hope you’re here all week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  28. James Pearce says:

    Food for thought from Brian Beutler:

    “…because of Gianforte’s victory, conservative candidates across the country know they can abuse reporters, lie about it, use political violence to raise money, and find safe harbor in the Republican cloakrooms of the United States Capitol.”

    And this:

    In truth, everything that’s happened in the past year or so has conditioned conservatives to believe they will face no consequences for poor or unprincipled behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  29. Kylopod says:

    Nearly a decade ago I wrote a blog post called “The Macho Right,” where I argued that a significant portion of the right views its “conservatism” as little more than an expression of raw masculinity. Whether the issue is guns, the death penalty, criminal justice, torture, military force, or government relief for the poor and needy, the ultimate point is to prove how big a tough guy you are and that the other side are limp-wristed sissies.

    Trump is, of course, a perfect example of this type (“bomb the sh!t out of ISIS”), but he’s hardly the first. This sort of mindset has been pervasive in right-wing culture for decades. And let’s be clear: there is no equivalent on the left–none at all. Zero. Zilch. I’m not saying there aren’t elements of intolerance on certain parts of the left, or that a liberal would never physically assault anyone. Far from it. But there is no “Macho Left”–no culture that cheers on mindless, testosterone-fueled violence and coughs at empathy as a matter of principle.

    So, yes, this “body slam” incident isn’t just some bizarre little story, it is indicative of the values of the larger conservative culture–not just the fact that it happened, but even more the realization that a lot of Republican voters almost certainly were saying “Hell yeah!” when they heard about this. Anyone who doubts it hasn’t been paying attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  30. john430 says:

    Republican Gianforte acted like a jerk and has apologized. Democrat Maxine Waters is an idiot and doesn’t even know it. Even-steven in my book

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  31. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    Is the crime of being an uppity Negro a felony or a misdemeanor?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  32. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    there is no equivalent on the left–none at all. Zero. Zilch.

    Maybe there should be?

    @john430: Oh, God, what a snowflake. What did Maxine Waters do to hurt you, and why should we care?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  33. al-Alameda says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Here’s the thing. I kind of understand a bit of the hostility to the media. Ever since Trump was elected, everything he does seems to get blown up to DEFCON 1.

    To be fair, Trump himself, and the entire radical right alt.establishment he has embraced and brought into this administration, has labeled most news coming from the real-news-establishment as fake news. So, the hostility is baked in, and it’s reinforced every day by the rightwing conservative media establishment. The hostility is clearly intended to: (1) keep the Republican base angry and motivated, and (2) intimidate the real-news-establishment from covering the Trump administration’s travails.

    I see nothing of the current reporting on the activity and business of the Trump Administration that is wrong or undeserved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  34. al-Alameda says:

    @john430:

    Republican Gianforte acted like a jerk and has apologized. Democrat Maxine Waters is an idiot and doesn’t even know it. Even-steven in my book

    Besides your sensibilities, who did Maxine Waters assault?

    Also, for every Maxiune Waters you consider to be an idiot, there are five to ten such person in the Republican House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  35. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Only a dirtbag like you would drag race into the thread.

    @James Pearce: Personally, nothing. What did Gianforte do to you? Turned you on, no doubt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  36. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    Maybe there should be?

    And how would that work? Let’s see…

    “We gotta tax the sh!t out of the rich.”

    “You don’t have the balls to protect patients with preexisting conditions.”

    “Only a wuss would deny global warming.”

    “Real men don’t cut benefits for working mothers.”

    …Nah, doesn’t work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. James Pearce says:

    @john430:

    What did Gianforte do to you?

    Absolutely nothing.

    Your party elected a clown to represent MT in the House and a jackass to occupy the White House and it . Cumulative effect on me: None.

    Was it worth it to sell your soul for nothing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    Nah, doesn’t work.

    Yeah, it does.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJXznk6cFk0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    It’s funny that you think that Maxine Waters, who has never assaulted anyone, needed to be mentioned in this thread.

    Actually, “funny” isn’t quite the word for it. But of course, you aren’t a racist or anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  40. teve tory says:

    Mona Charen wrote an article at national review called Stop Making Excuses for Greg Gianforte’s Assaulting a Reporter.

    Most of the comments, of course, don’t just excuse, but praise, Gianforte for kicking that liberal reporter’s ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. teve tory says:

    The apotheosis of the Southern Strategy–the GOP is completely transformed into racist violent white trash idiots voting to get reamed by their Randian masters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. teve tory says:

    Right Wing Defends Gianforte’s Violent Assault on Reporter

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2017/05/26/right-wing-defends-gianfortes-violent-assault-reporter/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Moosebreath says:

    @teve tory:

    So do the elected Banana Republican politicians. For example, Texas Governor Abbott:

    “After signing a bill to reduce handgun license fees on Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) fired some shots at an indoor shooting range.

    He then held up his target sheet and quipped, “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters,” according to the Texas Tribune.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. MBunge says:

    I think we need a study to determine the difference between Trump Derangement Syndrome and early onset Alzheimer’s, because both appear to cause massive memory problems. Examples of Left-wing political violence and the limp response to it by liberals and Democrats are literally just a few months old, yet quite a lot of the witless around here have already forgotten. And those were not cases of one guy losing his temper. They were organized mob violence.

    This is not going to end well for anyone.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  45. Tom M says:

    @MBunge:

    Name one.
    (difficulty factor: a real one)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Matt says:

    @Tom M:Mbunge has been ranting about something called an antifa/punch and “punch a Nazi” lately when talking about how horribly violent the left wingers are in this country. So my assumption is that those are somehow connected to his/her claims.

    I would like him to explain what the antifa/punch thing even means. If Mbunge has time I’d also like to know who was holding the “punch a nazi” event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. Pch101 says:

    If Trump loves the poorly educated, then he must be having a passionate affair with Bungester.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: Well no, there is no equivalent because the Left has embraced its inner feminine. Meaning it engages in fwckery of a more subtle, less overt nature.

    The Left is trying to grab hair while Right is swinging bare knuckles. Which tribe is going to appeal more to men?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  49. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: That’s actually better than you think it is. Coming out of Joe Biden’s mouth those lines would be magic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Andre Kenji says:

    Dilma Roussef, Lula, Cristina Fernandez, Rafael Correa, Hugo Chavez, all of them faced a hostile press. All of them lived in countries where a few families owned conglomerates that owned most of the large newspapers and TV stations, and these families used this large economic power to attack these leaders.

    The market for newspapers and TV is pretty competitive in the United States – all of the most important national TV stations are owned by public companies, that have to answer to stockholders. That makes very difficult for owners to meddle in the news coverage for short political gain. They risk losing viewers and readers, and then losing market share for someone else.

    Ironically, the few owners that are meddling in political coverage are doing that to support, not attack, Donald Trump. Trump has a f* channel with 24/7 favorable coverage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. James Pearce says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    The Left is trying to grab hair while Right is swinging bare knuckles. Which tribe is going to appeal more to men?

    This.

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m a liberal activist and I’m here to help you.” Prepare, at that point, for defeat. And hey, I fully expect a bunch of downvotes for this, but there’s a lot of damsels in distress and no cavalry.

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  52. john430 says:

    @Pch101: You’re the Klan type race-baiter that always interjects race into an issue. In this case,-Maxine Waters’ skin color could be green with pink polka dots and she’d still be an idiot. There, now you can accuse me of being an anti-greenskinned, polka dot person. Your clown car is waiting outside.

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  53. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    Maxine Waters had nothing to do with this topic.

    You chose to drag her into it, and we all know why you did.

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  54. James Pearce says:

    @john430: No disagreement on your assessment of Pch101….but seriously, why are you talking about Maxine Waters? Is there some point you’re trying to make? If so, what is it?

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  55. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: There’s a point, but only dogs can hear it.

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  56. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    There’s a point, but only dogs can hear it.

    Sure…certainly a possibility. But I think a different dog metaphor is at work.

    Rather than being a signal only dogs can hear, I think his comment is actually Pavlovian. That’s why I’m curious whether John430 has an actual reason to dislike Maxine Waters and if he has the ability to explain it rationally.

    Is this just a conditioned response to her being a Democrat and/or black lady? Or is there a brain cogitating in there?

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  57. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    I can only hope that “Grewgills” read your treatise in denial there.

    If John8675309 burned a cross, you’d say that it was some sort of summer beach thing and we shouldn’t question his motives. You work very hard to keep your head inserted in a dark place.

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  58. john430 says:

    @James Pearce: Nah, have nothing personal against her per se. She was just the first Democrat idiot that came to mind. I could have picked on former Democrat congressman Anthony Wiener but he’s tiresome and is going to be put where his ilk need to be put… In jail. Wonder if Hillary thinks Wiener’s punishment is part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy?

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  59. James Pearce says:

    @john430:

    I could have picked on former Democrat congressman Anthony Wiener

    That would have been a muuuuuch better, effective choice. For one, he’s a legit scumbag. Sure, he’s been drummed out of office, but Wiener’s still a hero to some people because of his tirades. Maxine Waters…I mean, c’mon. She didn’t beat anyone up or send lewd pictures to minors. If she’s a scoundrel, it’s not because she’s a Democrat from Southern California.

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  60. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    Is this just a conditioned response to her being a Democrat and/or black lady? Or is there a brain cogitating in there?

    I have no interest in attempting a psychoanalysis of John430 specifically, but from past experience with right-wingers, they have a set of grievances concerning party, race, gender, and other matters that are wrapped up together in such a way that they have literally no conscious awareness of being racist, sexist, etc. On the contrary, to them it’s the left that’s guilty of all those things; they’re simply reporting the facts.

    This mindset is perhaps best exemplified by Glenn Beck’s remark that Obama possesses a “deep-seated hatred of white people.” From the perspective of Beck and his followers, that doesn’t count as a racist remark since he’s simply identifying a black radical. Is it racist to say Louis Farrakhan hates white people? And if a black person comes along–say, Herman Cain–saying exactly the things they want to hear, they become his #1 fan, and of course that fact alone absolutely and conclusively annihilates the accusation that they’re racist (or as Sean Hannity puts it, “demolishes the false scurrilous lie that conservatives do not like minorities.”) The fact that they don’t apply the same logic to their own accusations of racism on the other side (after all, it’s fairly well-known that Obama has got plenty of white friends, works with white people, and has been literally surrounded by white people his entire life) somehow escapes their attention.

    One group that serves as a particular boogeyman in right-wing media is the Congressional Black Caucus, but it’s hardly the only one. They also love to hate Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros (and his Jewishness has got nothing to do with it!), Hillary Clinton (same with her femaleness!), Bill Clinton (the “first black president”), the New York Times…and on and on and on. With that large a hit list, it’s no wonder they’d be baffled when you say it’s only because Waters is black. They’ve got so much more on their plate.

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  61. wr says:

    @James Pearce: Nice to see that in Pearce world, there is still no such thing as racism, except for the massive discrimination that exists against white men.

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  62. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    from past experience with right-wingers, they have a set of grievances concerning party, race, gender, and other matters that are wrapped up together in such a way that they have literally no conscious awareness of being racist, sexist, etc.

    It’s more than that. The right-wing has redefined terms such as “racism” so that they have a completely different meaning. In this case, their definition of “racism” is the exact opposite of what it actually is.

    You can’t understand what right-wingers are saying without a bilingual Reactionary-English dictionary to decode it. War is peace, freedom is slavery, bigots are deep thinkers, civil libertarians are racists.

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  63. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    The right-wing has redefined terms such as “racism” so that they have a completely different meaning. In this case, their definition of “racism” is the exact opposite of what it actually is.

    Yes–in part the right-wing media have engaged in an Orwellian redefinition of terms. But this wouldn’t be possible if not for the larger truth that a lot of whites in this country have long possessed a deep-seated ignorance of the complexity of racism, and it makes them especially vulnerable to this type of propaganda. Talking to a lot of right-wingers here and elsewhere, I get the feeling they view racism sort of the way I viewed it in 3rd grade: as some concrete doctrine that people either accept absolutely or completely reject. Just look at the Hannity quote I cited before. I’m not going to speculate on what Hannity personally understands (he’s part of the right-wing infotainment complex), but he’s playing to a crowd that knows nothing of tokenism, subconscious prejudice, institutional bias, self-hatred, or just the way bigots have always compartmentalized (i.e. disliking minorities in general while making exceptions for particular individuals they like, by thinking of them as exceptions to the rule). To you, me, and most of the commenters here, this stuff is Racism 101, but there are a lot of people out there who are utterly unaware of any of it. That may sound astonishing, but it’s true. I’ve encountered it over and over.

    With this caricatured understanding of the very nature of bigotry, everything flows from there: anti-black racism is a thing of the past and a product of the “Democrat Party” anyway; the ultimate solution to racism is to promote colorblindness; since liberals don’t advocate colorblindness, it follows that they are the true racists, just as they were a half-century ago; “racism” is just an insult liberals throw around to shut down thought; being unfairly accused of racism is just as terrible as being its victim; the SJWs are nothing more than the modern incarnation of the Klan, because both after all are engaged in “race-baiting”; and so on.

    I am not sure of the best way to combat these perceptions. There is a lot to unpack (particularly the misleading propaganda about Dixecrats as the forerunners of the modern Democratic Party, which is really just deceptive pseudohistory), but at bottom it’s based on an unfathomable level of ignorance. It’s like when a creationist says “If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys today?” The ignorance is a closed circle: you can’t educate those who don’t think they need to be educated, and who take comfort in their erroneous beliefs.

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  64. john430 says:

    @Pch101: LOL! The dildo speaks. Unfortunately its all just post modern bullshit. You must spend days looking for mirror-like justifications for your garbage postings. Get a life and go out into the real world. You live in a perverted bubble.

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  65. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    Which one are you, Beavis or the other guy?

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  66. Gerry W says:

    Seems like a fine Lad. Slight tussle with some paid actor from a foreign rag. Need more like him in Congress, should do well, best of luck.

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