Always a class act

by Pete Talbot

The tackiest thing I ever saw at a Montana Democratic Party Convention, and I’ve been to a bunch of them, was a little dog that had Judy Martz written on a tag hanging from its collar.  It was sitting in a woman’s lap.  This was from Gov. Martz’ famous line, “I’ll be a lapdog for industry.”

Classy?  Probably not.  Amusing?  Yeah, somewhat.

Compared to the bullet-laden outhouse referred to as the Obama Presidential Library that is gracing the Montana Republican Party Convention here in Missoula, the little lapdog gag seems pretty innocent.

Also included in the outhouse were a fake Obama birth certificate stamped “Bullshit” and “For a Good Time call 800-Michelle (crossed out), Hillary (crossed out) and Pelosi (circled in red.)”

I like to think I have a sense of humor.  This is not humorous. Remember when President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley? Pretty funny stuff, right?  That’s the level of this joke.

Even party chairman Will Deschamps said, “Some of that stuff is not real good taste” — although he went on to say, “It’s not something I’m going to agonize over” and dismissed it as “a sideshow.”  Who are these people?

Is the general public even paying attention?  It keeps clamoring for bipartisanship in our elected officials.  How do you compromise with people like that?  I sure hope the voters remember this crap when they go to the polls in November.

UPDATES: John Adams at The Lowdown, has more detail, and photos, of the scene outside the GOP convention.

Adams also reports that Montana Republicans removed the “homosexuality is a crime” plank from their platform although their support for “traditional marriage” remains in the language. This is still a smart move if the party wants to attract younger voters into the fold. Kudos for bucking the far right on this controversial, for the GOP anyway, plank.


  1. Pogo Possum

    Pete, here are a few things the Missoulian article didn’t mention.

    Someone parked the outhouse in the Hilton Hotel parking lot at the beginning of the Convention but it was quickly moved off of the Hilton Hotel property across the street after the Hotel management received complaints from GOP convention attendees who wanted it removed and didn’t want it associated with the GOP Convention. People repeated GOP Chairman Will Deschamps comments that it was in poor taste. The anti train protesters and the Democratic trackers with video cameras who tried to sneak into the convention were also told to vacate the Hotel property and they set up shop off Hotel property near the outhouse.

    Most Republicans remember the dog incident at the Democratic Convention and remember the chuckles of Democrats knowing that it was also referring to Judy as a B**ch. Judy put up with a lot of subtle and direct sexist references and attacks that Democrats either cheered on or conviently ignored.

    • Turner

      Dog incident? I was at the Dems convention and saw nothing of the sort happen. A woman with a dog in her lap? That would’ve been easy to miss. Why would Republicans “remember” something that supposedly happened at the Dems Convention? This sounds like a made up thing. Besides, who even remembers Judy M. these days?

      • Turner

        Never mind. I see now that it was Talbot who saw the dog thing. And it must’ve been a long time ago. I didn’t think a Republican would see something like that in a Democratic convention.

        The incident in no way approaches the coarseness of the outhouse stunt.

  2. KC Whistle

    Then there is the D woman from Bozeman who attacked Mrs Rehberg yesterday, after spending most of the debate being disrespectful of everyone in the room. Yeah, let me know when you are critical of your side first, then you can examine the mote in your neighbor’s eye, Pete. Otherwise it’s just putrid partisan politics as usual.

    • petetalbot

      ” … it’s just putrid partisan politics as usual.” says KC. Hey, buddy, I’m just repeating what I read in the paper. And I can be critical of my “side.” My “side” just doesn’t seem so vitriolic — at least not at our conventions.

      Pogo, I appreciate your contribution to this conversation.

      • petetalbot

        One other thing, Montana GOP: this is just really bad press for you folks. The story is already making the circuit. If you want to appeal to the far-right nut cases, keep it up. Not such a good idea if you want to appeal to moderates and independents.

        • KC Whistle

          Nothing from either party for
          Moderates or independents at the debate, not with each guy voting with his party more than 90% of the time. But your concern for the GOP is very convincing., Pete.

  3. Pogo Possum

    Pete – Every party has its share of regular members and interlopers who too often display poor manners, immature behavior and make disrespectful comments towards the opposition. I have seen it in blogs (Cowgirl is a good example), letters to the editor, street side demonstrations and even Conventions. Each side thinks the other is worse while each side is just as guilty.

    As someone who has attended quite a few GOP Conventions, I can tell you that this year’s Convention was the most heavily attended and most enthusiastic one I have ever seen. People were energetic, dedicated and optimistic about this November.

    While some of the Democratic blogs are still grousing about their candidate losing, I saw complete unity at the GOP Convention. Losing primary candidates in all the key statewide and legislative races either sent word or showed up and enthusiastically endorsed the winners. Ken Miller, Jim Lynch, Jim Ohare and Neil Livingstone were gracious and sincere when they endorsed Rick Hill and worked the halls pledging their complete support. Corey Stapleton sent word through others that he was on board and would lend his support.

    Democrats who have been predicting division and lack of cooperation after a heated primary are going to be surprised. While the Lazlovich supporters are still grumbling about the Bucy Bots, Jim Shockley’s supporters were picking up Tim Fox yard signs, writing checks and volunteering their homes for fundraisers.

    Montana Republicans, fired up by the 50,000+ more GOP voters than Democratic voters who showed up at the polls in the Primary, are looking forward to November.

    • KC Whistle

      D outnumbered R 4 to 1 at the debate. D had the whole event very well organized. Bad timing because of the convention, or lack of Rehberg organization, or lack of county organization, or maybe lack of enthusiasm about the candidate? Interesting that the convention was all warm and fuzzy because Stapleton was banging on Hill pretty hard. I guess its party über alles in this high dollar, high stakes election. I think it will come down to GOTV, the party faithful vote, and moderates and independents will be marginalized and will stay home.

  4. Pogo Possum

    There is plenty of stupidity going on in both parties, Pete. NBC is reporting this:

    “After the debate, a handful of witnesses tell us they saw an altercation between Mrs. Rehberg and an attendee, in which the attendee pushed Mrs. Rehberg. Rehberg’s campaign confirmed the incident and say the Rehbergs left immediately afterwards.”
    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/31198792/detail.html

    I think it is unfair to view the person(s) responsible for outhouse prop or the person who shoved Mrs. Rehberg as representative of their respective parties.

    Finally, thanks for the comments over at MtCowGirl, Pete. That site and many of the immature regulars there often do disservice to the many professionally minded and respected bloggers who contribute meaningful comments and insight. The quote from the movie Contagion could be the best description of CowGirl I have ever seen: “Blogging is not writing. It’s just graffiti with punctuation.”

    • Pete Talbot

      Of course, I’d like to know more detail than is presented in the NBC story but this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

      • KC Whistle

        Well Pete, that’s pretty close to criticism of your own. (And yes, it was idiotic for the candidates not to denounce the outhouse.) But back to the debate. The woman was obnoxious throughout the debate, left early shouting rudely, to a angrily objecting audience of both parties, and then went out and, according to this report, and the reports I got, assaulted Mrs Rehberg and at least one other person.

        I’m not jumping to any conclusions. I know who the person was, who they were sitting with, and what their signs said.

        All your conclusions, whether you jump to them or not, are uninteresting, Steve.

        • Steve W

          I don’t know who the person was allegedly and I don’t know who you are, so I’m not sure why I should care.

          Perhaps you can fill us in since you claim to have all the details?

          Don’t be coy, fictitiously named KC person.

          • People have a right to be anonymous around here and not be attacked for it.

            NBC reported the story. That should be enough to demonstrate that it happened, as they are a legitimate news agency.

            Finally – any lawyer will tell you this – do not ask questions to something you don’t already know the answer – especially if you might get an answer you don’t want to hear.

            In other words – do you really want the details? I can give you her name. I have it.

            The fact is that Mrs. Rehberg was assaulted (the term may technically be battery) by a supporter of the Democratic party. That supporter was drunk and had spend significant time during the debate yelling out at Rehberg (ironically, the day after the president was interrupted on the lawn of the white house.) If we’re going to call out Mr. Outhouse here for being obscene and disgusting and as being representative of the GOP, then Democrats better damned well be open to accepting the same description for their own people that don’t ascribe to the basic tenants of common decency.

            • Concur: Democrats shouldn’t behave like this, and the Democratic Party should denounce those who do.

              • Pete Talbot

                I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Steve W

      “After the debate, a handful of witnesses tell us they saw an altercation between Mrs. Rehberg and an attendee, in which the attendee pushed Mrs. Rehberg”

      Pogo, i’m not sure where you get Democratic Party member out of that. You may be jumping to conclusions here.

      If I were to jump to conclusions I’d guess that the attendee was some Republican staffer who is having an affair with Rehberg and his wife and girlfriend don’t like each other.

      I mean as long as we are jumping to conclusions they might as well be interesting ones.

      • KC Whistle

        http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/19/dem-activist-slugs-gop-congressmans-wife-with-campaign-sign/.

        In case anyone wanted details.

        • petetalbot

          Ah yes, the Daily Caller. Here’s how the Billings Gazette describes that august publication: a news site founded by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. The Daily Caller made the news last week when its reporter Neil Munro heckled President Obama during a White House press conference in the Rose Garden.

          The Daily Caller is also the site where Denny Rehberg gets all his news — like the drones that are spying on Montanans.

          • KC Whistle

            The details as to “whom” are accurate, Pete. I’m not vouching for everything the site says. for example “slugged” is an exaggeration. And the voices on the tape were of the women involved .

  5. Paul Sopko

    A classic case of the pot calling the kettle black Peter. Both parties are guilty of the same disrespect. Lets talk about some real issues.

  6. The bullet holes were painted on, not shot through. They have bristles, not bullets. I thought these guys were 2nd Amendment stalwarts, not paintball sissies.

  7. My only observation on the convention is that the Republicans are the only ones talking about Barack Obama – while all of the Dems are eerily silent –

    • Steve W

      Eric, how many Democrats did you invite to speak at the Republican convention? And were all of them silent, eerily?




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