FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Tiger Max, Evel Denny, Buffalo Brian and Mini-Max Jon

by PAUL RICHARDS

Montana politics are fun again! It seems like eons since we were amused by bald-faced buffoonery by the likes of former U.S. Rep. Marlenee and former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns.

Sure, we’ve had 35 years of consistently reliable incoherence from U.S. Sen. Max Baucus in his natural mental state. And, the captivating antics of U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, in his alcohol-induced “wild and crazy guy” state.

But, it’s been a full five and a half years since Rehberg visited Kazakhstan, drank six shots of vodka, called the locals “coneheads,” fell off a horse, and broke his ribs. And, a full 27 years since Baucus traded in then-wife Ann Geracimos for now-former-wife Wanda Minge. Pretty boring.

Of course, Baucus has since achieved stardom inside the Beltway for raking in more special-interest money than any other senator. Last year, Baucus raised $12 million, much of it from industries he “regulates,” with 87 percent coming from non-Montanans.

Baucus is also infamous for his staff’s incessant “revolving door” relationship with K Street. Over two dozen former Baucus employees now lobby for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. Was anyone really surprised when Baucus sold us out on health care? But, hey, that’s politics. Again, pretty boring stuff.

In the past, Montanans have cut Baucus a lot of slack, due to his awkwardness and speech impediments. But, Baucus’s inherent ineptitude is now a topic of national discussion, due to his spectacularly disastrous flameout regarding health insurance.

However, to the fickle public, predictable machinations like caving on health care apparently don’t hold a candle to personal proclivities. Who would have guessed that Baucus would pull a Tiger Woods concerning his wife and his girlfriend? But, you’ve got to hand it to Woods. At least, Tiger never nominated his mistress to be head of the PGA Tour.

As for Rehberg, drinking too much, insulting locals, falling off something, and breaking bones is one thing in Kazakhstan, but quite another at home. A boatload of inebriated Republicans revelers roaring their 22-foot-long craft at 4,000 rpm and 40-45 miles per hour straight into the shoreline of Flathead Lake is bound to receive a bit more media coverage.

By doing an Evel Knievel (whose 37 broken bones earned him a revered entry in the Guinness Book of World Records) last August, Rehberg demonstrated with profundity the “cojones” necessary to win the demographically-significant and much-coveted Butte alcoholic vote.

Add to this, our effervescent Gov. Brian Schweitzer bragging that, “No governor in Montana history has sent more bison to slaughter than this governor,” in reference to the senseless killing of more than 2,800 of the imperiled last remaining wild migrating bison in the world.

After his sycophancy before the Montana Stockgrowers Association, “Buffalo Brian” then quickly elbowed his way to be the Last Best Passenger on board the Tester Logging Bill Hindenburg.

For the past couple of years, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has been OK fulfilling his designated role as “mini-Max,” quietly focusing on veterans’ affairs, and subscribing to Baucus’s tutelage that securing corporate cash from inside-the-Beltway lobbyists is of superior import than audaciously standing up for cashless commoners from far-off Montana hinterlands.

But, in pushing a bill projected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for industrial-scale logging of national forests that have NO commercial timberlands, “mini-Max” Tester has now also established himself as worthy of commemoration in the pantheon of politicians. Even the U.S. Forest Service, which never saw a timber sale it didn’t like, had to oppose mini-Max’s largesse for a mere four timber corporations.

In retrospect, 2009 was a great year! “Tiger Woods” Baucus, “Evel Knievel” Rehberg, “Buffalo Brian” Schweitzer, and “mini-Max” Tester – thanks to their selfless toils, Montana at long last regained its rightful place on the national political radar screen.

PAUL RICHARDS a Boulder, Montana area businessman and former member of the Montana House of Representatives, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006. Founder of the Deerlodge Forest Defense Fund, he served for many years as an official member of the Deerlodge National Forest Technical Advisory Committee. He can be reached at: paul@prmediaconsultants.com

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail