The budget battle: much ado about nothing

by Jay Stevens

Apparently the House GOP’s six-pack of budget bill has irked the Good Guv’s budget director, David Ewer. (Rightie “Montana Headlines” has an amusing blow-by-blow account of the dust-up.)

There’s also been a lot fuss in the blogosphere – right, left, center – about who’s playing who, which party has a better strategy, some speculation over Speaker Scott Sales’ disappearance in the debate, etc & co, what the budget battle means for the political future of Mike Lange, rumored to be eyeing a match against Baucus. (And could we imagine two less charismatic candidates?)

Methinks perhaps there’s a bit too much fuss about the budgetary six-pack.


For this simple reason: the House Republicans do not have enough votes to pass their six-pack of bills. If the Democrats oppose the bills – which they should – House leaders will need the support of Constitution party member Rick Jore and the reactionary anti-government crowd in their own party, who all dislike the idea of increasing any government spending. House leaders have already threatened to further cut back spending in their bill in order to get the paleo-conservatives aboard – but any such shift will further alienate moderates and end whatever hope a Republican budget would have in the senate, let alone on the Governor’s desk.

And that’s not accounting for the public relations disaster a scaled-back fiscal-extremist budget would be to the Republican party in the state. Remember, most voters like good government, at a reasonable cost, not an apparent sabotage of the programs they like and that work.

Make no mistake, Montana Democrats are in the driver’s seat in the state budgetary process.

There’s been some touting of the Republican party’s shift to the right in recent state politics, as if that meant a new and dedicated sense of unity and mission. There’s been some crowing that the Republicans’ response to Schweitzer’s budget was completely unexpected, and surprised overconfident Democrats.

I admit it was hard to predict that House Republicans would choose such a contentious, time-consuming, and ultimately hopeless means to tout their ideology in the legislature. In the end, of course, it will be that ideological stubbornness that sinks the GOP in this budget battle.

  1. noodly appendage

    David Ewer’s got a record of accomplishment and credibility. He’s the ace of trumps for the Governor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,675,912 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,737 other followers

  • March 2007
    S M T W T F S
  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: