Archive for June 17th, 2013

by lizard

Jan Brewer rolled up her sleeves and shoved through medicaid expansion for her Arizona constituents. Instead of wagging that bony finger in disrespect of the president, she saw the critical need of her state and directed her hand to the more honest work of expanding access to health care for around 300,000 Arizonans.

Montana, unfortunately, does not have a comparable force willing to battle its own party to do the right thing. And with people like Jennifer Fielder getting voted into the vice chair position within Montana’s GOP hierarchy, well, the political landscape of ascendent right-wing extremism is fertile for more ideological fuckery deployed in callous disregard for the desperate need of tens of thousands of Montanans.

If one is politically invested in how this trend could benefit Montana Democrats, the worse they get, the better, as illustrated by this tweet from Don Pogreba:

I, for one, am THRILLED that the MT GOP is embracing its reactionary fringe. That tent’s getting smaller and smaller. #mtpol

In terms of voter turn out, both tents are small. If Montana Democrats only focus on what’s good for Montana Democrats, and celebrate how a significant movement on the extreme right is continually becoming more politically successful, then those celebrated trends will continue.

I know there is broad, bipartisan disgust in this state about our legislature’s failure to expand Medicaid to 70,000 Montanans. How could there not be? There is no sane, fiscally conservative argument for doing so. It really is, as Krugman puts it, a product of spite.

I believe there are conservatives without spite in their hearts; conservatives who don’t see denying health care to their neighbors as a political victory.

Jan Brewer saw the light—who cares if it was only for the shine of her political legacy as she terms out. She clearly saw the public benefit to her constituents, and did the right thing.

Is that really an impossibility for conservatives here in Montana?

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