A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

12 August 2017 — 0906 mdt

Saturday roundup

Montana Democrats reject community outreach delegate proposal. Kelly Kortum, vice chair of the Gallatin County Democrats, Tweeted late last night that the proposal failed on a voice vote. Kortum spoke against the proposal, noting in his speech that the CODs did nothing to bring the MDP closer to operating on the principle of one Democrat, one vote. Later, he read Flathead Memo’s analysis of the proposal.

Tester rightly warns Democrats can’t talk just to the choir

Speaking at the MDP’s convention yesterday, Sen. Jon Tester, who faces a tough re-election race next year, warned that Democrats cannot win if they talk only to Democrats. He’s right. Getting the choir to church is important, as is not inciting the unrepentant and irredeemable to dance with the Devil, but Democrats must pay more attention to those who can be saved with a little love and persuasion. In recent years, the party has concentrated on getting its base to the polls, and has done a rum job of providing other voters with compelling reasons to vote for Democrats. That’s one reason Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. She simply assumed that if the choir was whistled to the voting booth, the party could be spared the bother of wooing the souls that could be saved.

Political persuasion is not pandering. Some Democrats, especially the blue doggies, are experts at pandering. That’s because it’s easy to adopt the opposition’s position on an issue. But persuading a voter to agree with your platform and beliefs is hard. It requires skill, patience, persistence, and the willingness and ability to honor the intellect of the persuadables — and for too many Democrats, that’s become a lost art.

Commissioner Mitchell: clandestine cottonwood killer

Flathead County Commissioner Phil Mitchell admits he killed — without permission — cottonwood trees in a state park next to his land. Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry concluded the amount of damage done qualified Mitchell to be charged with felony criminal mischief. Now Mitchell’s apologizing, begging forgiveness.

He’s also trying to beat the rap, so his apology is of dubious sincerity, and he doesn’t deserve any forgiveness. Not asking permission to take down the trees was not an honest mistake. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he reckoned he could get away with it. In my view, he’s apologizing not because he’s genuinely remorseful, but because he wants the court to punish him with a kiss on his hand instead of a boot in his rear.

On social media, some of his constituents are suggesting that he resign from the county commission. That’s certainly an option. So is community service, such as picking up beer cans along Highway 93. And I would order him to write a 2,000-word essay praising cottonwoods.