Change.No, Pat Williams

by lizard

There is a bit of MT Democrat wagon-circling going on right now that initially had me puzzled. Why was there suddenly a petition popping up on my twitter feed to confirm Pat Williams as a Regent?

To understand, you have to know what the streets are saying (MT_Cowgirl*link no longer works, see my comment below):

Word on the street is that legislators who would rather sweep the Missoula rape scandal under the rug are working behind the scenes in the Montana Legislature to block the confirmation of a member of the Board of Regents who has been outspoken about the need for change.

Former Democratic Congressman Pat Williams, a long-time champion of women’s rights in Montana, has been an outspoken advocate for addressing the way women are treated.

That apparently upsets the good o’ boys network.

Hmmm, it wasn’t that long ago I recall reading, in the New York Times, about the concern Pat Williams had with how the football team was being negatively impacted by the behavior of “knuckleheads”, a term former 4&20 contributor Pat Duganz tore apart in this post.

Here is the offending quote:

“I’m very sorrowful one of the premier universities in the Rockies has been scandalized by a few knuckleheaded students,” said Pat Williams, a former United States congressman and a member of Montana’s Board of Regents. “The football team has been terribly hurt by this.”

For those who would like to forgive this quote as a media misstep, I’d suggest also considering the outburst “This thuggery has got to stop”!!!.

As I was re-reading Duganz’s post, this comment from Virgil Kane caught my eye:

The Board of Regents, who are making up cute names for two year schools, the equivalent of classifying belly bottom lint, have assigned another clubhouse member, Missoula Good Ole Boy And Regent/Commissioner Clayton Christian to “get more involved”. He has been involved, right up to his eyeballs, for years with Foley, and Dennison, and Engstrom. And that sweet deal where he moved from unpaid Regent to highly paid Commissioner, without a search, that should give all a warm feeling of confidence about his ethical compass. Any FOIA request should include the new, well-compensated Commissioner in their search. An independent Commissioner without conflicts would have been all over this months ago.

It’s a real feather in the cap of 4&20, and a sign of their independence, that they’re commenting about this at all. This scandal reaches into the inner circle of the old line Democrats’ clubhouse. We on the outside can only wonder how many it encompasses.

There’s also this anonymous comment:

The idea promoted here, that Pat Williams doesn’t understand the seriousness of rape, is absurd. This post is exactly the type of thing which, by association, discredits all progressives. Duganz, why don’t you find something else to focus on? There happen to be very real issues that should arouse anger and action among reasonable folk. For example, conservative are actively, and quite literally, taking steps to nullify existing rights for women. Let’s address those real issues; not this imagined nonsense. This post is a disgrace and a hindrance to all progressive blogs.

My personal opinion is old people in good positions to retire comfortably, should. Make room for other talented people. Which brings up the question, are there other talented people?

  1. d.g.

    Irrespective of the appropriateness, aptness or timing of Williams’ latest attention-seeking remark, I’d like this pedantic fool to undergo the exact same level of grilling received by the infamous streaker and, more particularly, the “rape nation” sign poster.

  2. lizard19

    apparently, the cowgirl took down the post about Pat. curious.

  3. lizard19

    now, MT_Cowgirl has a new post about Pat Williams up here. the stated support for Williams is even more clear in this post, as evidenced by this comment:

    Anybody opposing Pat for the regents board is a fool. There isn’t anybody more qualified to sit as a regent than Pat Williams, period.

    so, why the need to support Williams?

    …the word on the street is that there is a plot being hatched by GOP legislators to try to take him down, or at least to try to bruise him during his upcoming confirmation hearing. This grows out of a silly episode from a month or so ago, when somebody in Missoula, upset at Williams’s use of the word “thugs” to describe the football athletes who have been implicated in campus rape cases, began a petition drive to oust Williams. This is pettiness at its finest.

    that Pat himself was acting as an apologist for the football program in May of last year has apparently gone down the memory hole.

  4. Buzz Feedback

    This feels like everybody trying to protect their particular sacred cow. The usual suspects circling the wagons around Williams, and the jock sniffers freaked out about a bad word about the football team. Charming.

  5. Pogo Possum

    Pat Williams has a lot more problems than just angry Griz fans and the CowGirls’ plotting GOP Legislators.

    In the past two weeks I have heard from both GOP legislators and Missoula based Democratic insiders reporting that Bullock told them personally he is not going out of his way to give Pat support and sees this as an opportunity to make his own pick for the Board of Regents.

    While I suspect that Bullock may give some half hearted lip service if pressured, don’t look for any strong efforts from the Governor’s office to help Pat.

    I wonder if the CowGirls’ statement that “anybody opposing Pat for the regents board is a fool” is actually a challenge aimed squarely at the Governor’s office and Bullock’s lack of public support for Pat Williams.

    • lizard19

      interesting speculation, Pogo. it would make sense for Bullock, and it would be good, IMHO, to get a fresher perspective on the BoR.

      to answer my own question, there are talented people in this state.

    • lizard19

      I just read the comments at cowgirl. you’re riling ’em up, Pogo. I especially liked when someone mentioned “black helicopter” about your, I guess, “wild” speculation. that made me chuckle ;)

  6. Pogo Possum

    Update – Governor Bullock refuses to support Pat Williams’ confirmation to the Board of Regents.

    “Bullock told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he is not going to intervene, saying it will be up to Williams whether he wants to continue in the job.”

    Looks like Bullock is throwing Pat Williams to the wolves/Griz

    PS: My condolences on the loss of your dog, Lizard. I lost mine years ago and it was like losing a member of the family.

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