by William Skink
Montana Democrats: Party of the People. That’s what it says under a Cowgirl post titled Adams Backs Bruce in Unlikely Campaign for MDP Chair.
The title of the post speaks volumes about the anti-democratic inclinations of Democrat party politics in Montana. Instead of welcoming competition and debate, the online mouthpiece for the MDP, Montana Cowgirl, is trying to undercut Louise Bruce’s run for chair by bashing Dirk Adams and dredging up the gripes from the last election cycle:
A woman named Louise Bruce has announced that she is running for Chair of the Montana Democratic Party. The announcement was actually made by one of her backers, the former candidate Dirk Adams, who ran for Senate and lost to Amanda Curtis in the shortened Democratic primary. Adams has sent an email out, criticizing the current chairman Jim Larson, and announcing his support for Bruce. He cites her 30 years of organizing and an assortment of other activist work.
Of course the leaders of the party would prefer to keep the focus on Republican in-fighting and avoid any semblance of democracy cropping up within their ranks, lest it be similarly exploited by Republicans. But the way they are going about it—dismissively referring to Bruce’s campaign as “unlikely”—only ensures the Democrat in-fighting will be worse than it would be if competition and debate were embraced, instead of this pathetic attempt to suppress and distract. Here’s more from Cowgirl:
Adams’ email (predictably) trashes the “operatives” and “insiders” that he says control the party. We should remember, however, that Adams has an axe to grind, having convinced himself that “the party” “orchestrated” Amanda Curtis’s nomination, when in fact it was an open election.
We often hear this charge from people who lose primaries, that the fix was in, that the election was rigged in their opponent’s favor by The Party. It’s silly nonsense.
Beyond that, and more to the point, Larson will likely receive the endorsement of both Nancy Keenan (whom Adams praises in the email), and Steve Bullock. Which means that Bruce will be a long shot.
Silly nonsense? Um, no, it’s called politics, where operatives and insiders absolutely control the party, as evidenced by the very Cowgirl post dismissing this woman’s campaign by focusing on the man with an axe to grind.
In this attempt to head off Bruce at the pass, the Democrat insiders that run Cowgirl reference endorsements that haven’t even happened yet, saying it’s “likely” Bullock and Keenan will endorse Jim Larson. I guess we just have to take the anonymous “Cowgirl” blogger at “her” word, no matter how presumptuous it is to be speaking for the Governor.
In the comment section of the Cowgirl post, not every Democrat is falling in-line with this undemocratic attempt to kill Bruce’s campaign. Here are a few highlights:
Turner: My good friend Louise Bruce will make an excellent chairperson. “A woman named Louise Bruce” is an odd way to begin talking about her — as though she’s some obscure figure. Louise is very well known by Montana Democrats and is highly regarded by people of all political stripes.
James Conner: Louise Bruce is a good woman who would make a fine party chair. Conservationists especially should give her serious consideration.
Pete Talbot: In retrospect, after reading a few more comments, the headline “Adams Backs Bruce In Unlikely Campaign For MDP Chair” is disingenuous. Adams should’t be the focus of this campaign and Louise Bruce is still a contender. It’s over two weeks until the convention and things could start getting lively. Democrats should embrace the debate.
Brigham: How has Larson done a good job?
He lost a senate seat Dems have held basically forever. He risked MDP’s tax exempt status with his illegal fraud concerning the endorsement of John Lewis (who was overwhelming rejected by the voters for good reason). Dems underperformed in legislative races during the key first cycle after redistricting. Candidate recruitment in 2016 is a complete disaster, with no viable candidates running against either statewide Republican incumbent running for reelection. There’s no excitement for MDP, it’s just a smaller and smaller group of corrupt stooges plundering the grassroots for profit.
Jim Larson has been a disaster as MDP Chair. His overwhelming corruption is why fewer and fewer voters identify as Democrats. There needs to be serious reform of the MDP, which begins by throwing out the bums who illegally bossed the 2014 primary. The culture of corruption under Jim Larson needs to end.
Throw the bum out!
If Democrats in this state want to win elections they need to move beyond pointing fingers at Republican crazies, put aside unpopular wedge issues that are only popular in liberal enclaves like Missoula, and embrace Democratic principles as it applies to their own party processes.
Otherwise voters will continue staying home, and Democrats will continue losing.