Archive for December 30th, 2013

by lizard

It’s probably early enough in the Walsh campaign to take the first real shot in what is sure to be a delightful primary—Report: Lt. Gov. John Walsh improperly used adjutant general position.

I don’t really care how this primary shapes up, so I won’t quote from the article. It’s just politics as usual—and for Democrats in Montana, it’s all about deciding who is going to lose to Steve Daines.

Instead I’m going to wade into some melodrama because I think it says something about what online political engagement is becoming.

Let’s start with Intelligent Discontent, specifically Don’s post about anonymous Republican blogs:

Other than denying women access to reproductive health care, nothing seems to unite Montana Republicans more than their hatred for anonymous political blogs attacking their candidates. They whine and caterwaul and complain about blogs like Montana Cowgirl and the Montana Streetfighter, but not without their typical hypocrisy. Despite their drumbeat of criticism on social media, they’ve repeatedly tried—and failed—to develop anonymous blogs of their own. I think they may just be bad at it.

The implication here is, unlike anonymous Republican blogs, anonymous Democrat political blogs, like Montanan Cowgirl, are good.

Back in July, I took a shot at Montana Cowgirl’s lack of moderation in the comment threads. The conversation that ensued is interesting (if you care about this kind of crap, and I totally understand if you don’t).

Baucus retiring his seat, then suddenly getting tapped for China, has been the biggest political news in Montana. And because there are national implications for control of the Senate, Montana politics is sure to get plenty of scrutiny.

And that’s why I think it’s interesting that Montana Cowgirl—Montana’s premier Democrat mouthpiece with proven chops validated by national media—is becoming such a joke.

Mark Tokarski, a possible victim of cyberstalking by a Cowgirl regular, is trying to make sense of the Cowgirl. Jack Ruby and myself both posted about our nostalgia for what the Cowgirl once was.

I’ve also caught whiffs of nostalgia for Matt Singer and Left in the West, an online forum that actually provided the launching pad for Cowgirl, who was asked to leave because of anonymity issues—meaning LitW decided to no longer allow anonymous posting (smart move, Matt). If I’m wrong on that, please correct me in the comments.

I have also contributed to the nostalgia, remembering online presences who added substance during what now seems like better days.

As evidence that Montana’s online better days are in the rear view mirror, a Cowgirl post titled Choices for Everyone currently has 239 comments, exposing, imho, what a total lack of direction and moderation emanates from Montana’s premier anonymous Democrat blog.

Does it matter? Probably not. Who actually reads this shit, right?

There should be some standards for what we allow to happen on the forums we oversee. Cowgirl is derelict in “her” duties.

There is one comment I remember making at Intelligent Discontent that Don deleted, and he absolutely should have. It crossed a line.

Maybe weekends means overtime the Democrat party can’t afford because Max has’t written any checks yet:

Sen. Max Baucus’ decision not to run for re-election in 2014 leaves the Montana Democrat with more than $4.8 million in campaign money — and no campaign to spend it on.

Baucus has several options for what he can do with all that cash, according to Federal Election Commission regulations. The only real restriction is that he can’t keep it for himself.

He could transfer any amount to national, state or local Democratic committees. He could donate to other candidates — within state and federal contribution limits. He could use some cash to defray travel costs and expenses related to winding down his office. He also could turn his campaign committee into a political action committee.

Baucus’ campaign organization will be closing in the coming weeks. Baucus officials say he intends to support the Montana Democratic Party, Democratic candidates and charities or foundations Baucus believes in.

Will that money get spent on a seemingly doomed campaign for Max’s seat? And if there is some extra cash laying around, please, give it to the Cowgirl. She obviously needs some support.

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