What the ISIS Smear Signals About Democrats

by William Skink

I was thinking that maybe I would try to repress my gag reflex and vote for Rob Quist. That thought had been building, but it quickly disappeared when I saw the latest stupid desperate smear of Greg Gianforte, financial backer of ISIS.

Here is Don Pogreba regurgitating this dumb swill from Huffington Post:

A Republican congressional candidate owns a stake in a French-Swiss cement company accused of making payments to the Islamic State militant group in Syria, according to financial disclosures HuffPost reviewed.

Greg Gianforte, the millionaire GOP contender for Montana’s open seat in the House, reported owning $47,066 worth of shares in LafargeHolcim as recently as December. The shares are in an individual retirement account at TWP, a brokerage firm and private wealth manager, on which he and his wife, Susan Gianforte, are listed as trustees.

Narrow-minded partisans taking desperate swipes at larger forces they maintain a willful ignorance towards is hard to watch. Here is the awkward truth: ISIS is a product of US imperialism, nurtured and armed by our Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia, to keep Iran’s influence in check.

But that reality won’t help partisans elect their cowboy poet, so instead we get one of the most pathetic attempts to smear a candidate I’ve seen since, well, the last attempt to smear Gianforte by trying to insinuate he’s some Russian stooge because his investment portfolio has some loot invested in Russian businesses.

Not everyone is going along with this sad, desperate attempt from a sinking campaign in the waning days of Montana’s special election. Here is James Conner:

This is neither a BFD nor a LFD, neither a tempest in a teapot nor a squall in a saucer. It’s just an attempt to smear Gianforte, who has not displayed conspicuous enthusiasm for settling Syrian refugees in Montana, as a funder of terrorists who have beheaded Americans.

It’s dirty politics, opposition research run wild.

Almost everyone with a diversified investments portfolio owns a piece of something that stinks. That’s the price of fiscal prudence. Neither Gianforte nor anyone else orders his investments banker to buy stocks in slimy corporations that bribe foreign officials and finance lunatic insurgencies.

This is the second time Montana’s Democrats have tried to question Gianforte’s patriotism by flagging a dubious stock in his investments portfolio. A few weeks ago, the MDP tried to tie him to the Russians because he owned Russian stocks.

Give it a rest, Democrats. Gianforte’s problem with wealth is not the stocks that he owns. It’s that like Mitt Romney, he’s lost touch with the middle class.

And here is Dan Brooks weighing in:

Montana’s special election is one week away, and the Rob Quist campaign is starting to look like a series of unforced errors. Let us begin with his nomination. Quist was handpicked by the Democratic Party, not by the usual primary system. Somehow, no one in that august political body thought to run a credit check. Pretty much the first story that came out was about the liens filed against their candidate for unpaid property taxes in 2011 and the bill for which he stiffed a contractor in 2001. I can see such problems haunting a popular favorite, but the Democrats chose Quist for his electability. Surely there was some other Democrat in the state who lacked not just political experience but also a debt trail.

Fortunately, the Quist campaign is staffed by experienced operatives from the state party. These old hands know the voters of Montana well enough to find sure ways to distinguish Quist from his opponent—for example, by running the exact same campaign ads. That’s how you win as a Democrat: by acting like a Republican. This principle explains why Quist downplayed his support for single-payer health care and emphasized his support for guns. It also explains why Hillary Clinton is president now. It does not explain why campaign manager Les Braswell accidentally tweeted as The Montana Cowgirl from the Quist campaign account, but we can’t explain everything. He probably got hacked.

Anyway, the Democratic Party is incompetent, even in the last best place. Facing an opponent who just lost a statewide election for governor in which he underperformed the top of his ticket by 20 points, they appear to be headed for defeat. Now is the time to reflect on deep questions. My deepest: In the present economic climate, how is being rich not the biggest obstacle a candidate can face?

This country desperately needs a real opposition party fighting against the rigged economy that never recovered for the vast majority of Americans. Instead, we get worthless Democrats who can’t even muster enough vetting to do a credit check on the cowboy hat they selected to run against a rich guy who just lost his gubernatorial race last year.

Pathetic.

While partisans like Pogreba use ISIS to smear their enemy, Trump is about to arrive in Saudi Arabia, the country that produced the majority of terrorists that supposedly attacked America on 9/11. Then Trump will visit Israel, a country that no one will ever investigate for their meddling in US elections. Then Trump will visit the Vatican.

I can only imagine what will be discussed behind closed doors. Maybe Trump is making sure these religious power centers are ready to kick off Armageddon. What will probably be announced in Saudi Arabia is a massive arms deal that will make American weapons manufactures billions of dollars.

There might be some outrage over this from the fake opposition we call Democrats, but conveniently ignored will be how good Obama was for weapons sales (Mother Jones):

The Obama years have been a boom time for America’s weapons makers. Since 2009, the United States has approved arms deals worth some $200 billion—more than under any other presidency. The deals include sending Apache helicopters to Qatar, “bunker buster” bombs and cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, and Hellfire missiles all over the place. Predicting an increase in weapons sales fueled by the war against ISIS, an unnamed American weapons manufacturing executive told Reuters last year: “Everyone in the region is talking about building up supplies for 5 to 10 years. This is going to be a long fight. It’s a huge growth area for us.”

Fucking Democrats. You aren’t the resistance, you are major part of the problem and your party needs to be destroyed.

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About William Skink

I'm a poet and political cynic living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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25 Responses to What the ISIS Smear Signals About Democrats

  1. Big Swede says:

    Just ordered another case of popcorn.

    Like

  2. James Conner says:

    Exasperated as I am with the Democratic Party, I’m far more dismayed by the behavior the Republican Party, and of some of the right wing organizations attacking Quist. Politics in this country is asymmetrical, both in substance and style, with the Democratic Party practicing center to center-right politics, and throwing far too many pitches under chin, and the Republican Party practicing radical reactionary politics with a throwing heaters at the head viciousness that would have made Joe McCarthy quail.

    I’m voting for Quist. He’s a decent liberal whose had some rough spots in his life, but he’s no Mitt Romney style millionaire who doesn’t understand the middle class.

    Incidentally, I’m less impressed than Brooks by the savvy of the MDP, which has not found a way to win a U.S. House election since 1996, and which in 2016 lost four of five of the major statewide offices.

    The election’s outcome probably depends on the extent to which the conduct of Trump, Ryan, and McConnell, make voters uneasy with sending another Republican to Congress. The GOP’s horrible health care bill, Trump’s firing of Jim Comey, and Trump’s blabbing intelligence secrets to the Russians, are not setting well with the country, and probably account for the narrowing of the polls for Gianforte v. Quist.

    Like

    • Big Swede says:

      I take issue with your last few sentences Jim. The ACA was far worse than what the House has proposed and will soon collapse because no one wants to sign up, it’s too expensive and the deductibles are too high. And besides the bill has to pass thru the Senate so you’re prejudging the final outcome.

      The FBI director serves the executive branch so Trump can replace him for little or no reason.

      There’s no proof that Trump blabbed to the Russians

      Jim, I read read your site daily and am always impressed by your attention to detail but your bias shows when you’re fast and loose with the facts.

      Like

      • ACA was written by the insurance industry, so you should not be surprised that it is expensive and deductibles are high. Attempts to “repeal” have been fake, meant to seal ACA in place, since neither party wants to (or has the power to) get rid of it. That is how politics is done, stage plays. All politicians are fronts for more powerful interests.

        Trump would have not babbled to the Russians as the whole terrorism game is fake too, and therefore there would be no discussion of the matter other than current psyops underway involving participation of US and Russians both. They are allies. I doubt there were any meetings involving Trump, as he has no power and plays no role. He merely reads his lines at assigned functions, like all presidents before him.

        I am always impressed, Swede, by your inattention to detail and your intense confirmation bias, along with the illusion that you consider all sides of any given issue, since you usually miss the upshot and get caught up in flack.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Big Swede says:

          I’ve always been impressed by your insight Mark, especially when investigating faked deaths and unknown twins.

          When looking at your list of replicants maybe you can step it up a notch by unmasking alien beings living in famous peoples bodies?

          Like

        • I just explained politics as it really works to you, a stage show meant to keep you squabbling and distracted. You’re an easy man to fool. Ridicule is merely
          a fallacy of the lowest form, you clown.

          Like

  3. James Conner says:

    who’s, not whose

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eric says:

    A week from today, when the Dems, the party of the rich, will want an autopsy on the Quist campaign, we can break out the cokes and popcorns.

    Like

  5. Steve W says:

    As I recall, both Liz and James Conner were early and fairly enthusiastic supporters of the Democrats’ nominating Rob Quist.

    Now they are both much more critical of their own earlier offered advice. Thanks a lot, flip floppers!

    My advice to political parties is don’t listen to Lizard or James Connor.

    I voted my ballot for Quist because he isn’t gn40, and if we luck out we will have the singingest Congressional Cowboy in the whole country! I think we have the mo. We have a shot at better than gn40 and I’m willing to take it. Since it’s the best I can do.

    I just want to figure out how to punish pundits for their bad advice. We can’t vote Liz and James out. And we can’t give up reading. We just need to recruit some better political writers.

    Like

    • I am sure you can figure out how to punish the messengers, Steve, but what your party can’t figure out is why they keep getting clobbered.

      Like

      • Steve W says:

        Liz, You wrote an opinion piece, not an expository piece, about how, in your opinion, the Dems chose the most electable candidate.

        Now you scold them for having chosen that same candidate, because, as you point out, he wasn’t vetted. Shouldn’t you be scolding yourself as well?

        Like

    • James Conner says:

      My advice is to follow my example and to vote for Quist. I’m amazed you think that advice is bad, and that you want to punish me for it. But if you do want to punish me for it, here’s how: vote for GG.

      Like

  6. steve kelly says:

    Bernie is coming this weekend, right? Last year Bernie rallied Missoula, won the state primary, talking about spending billions to create millions of jobs fixing our crumbling infrastructure. Free college tuition, discharging student loans, universal health care, living wage (with benefits), end the wars for oil, green energy revolution all resonate. Or simply repeat the perennial favorite: “jobs, jobs, jobs,” as Max Baucus was so fond of saying each and each and every campaign he ever ran. Bernie “gets it.” What’s the matter with Montana?

    Like

  7. We chose Quist because we believed that he would do a fine job of representing us. If Rob Quist does not win, the fault lies on us for not learning how to cut through the media noise, not on account of his credit. Media noise just like them repeating the John Walsh plagiarism story every time they had to acknowledge that Amanda Curtis was our candidate- Lee Enterprises, et al even told the John Walsh story this cycle until they were fed more interesting stories to tell.

    Our inability to cut through the noise got us Elsie Arntzen, Corey Stapelton, and Matt Rosendale.

    When will we learn to make it clear that Gianforte would vote with Trump to cut Meals on Wheels, School Lunches and food stamps as well as Medicaid, Low Income Energy Assistance, and Americorp Vista, Rob Quist would oppose those cruel cuts.

    Like

  8. dpogreba says:

    Thanks for reading. I always enjoy nuanced, thoughtful criticism.

    Like

    • JC says:

      …as long as it is from within the echo chamber.

      Like

      • dpogreba says:

        Thanks for the feedback. It’s really helpful.

        Like

        • JC says:

          You wouldn’t know useful feedback if it bit you on the ass. FWIW, U.S. sanctions against Russia for Crimea are counterproductive, as it was our meddling in Ukraine and facilitating the coup that led to the Crimeans desire to leave Ukraine. But I know you won’t believe or acknowledge that as it comes from outside your echo chamber.

          So, this whole “gotcha” form of politics is really undemocratic. And it is McCarthyite. Then again, that seems to be what defines the modern democratic party — it’s unwavering desire to pursue unilateralism and liberal interventionism. For many of us it further cements the desire to run as fast from democrats as possible and look for other political outlets, or become apolitical (your tactics work to suppress voting turnout).

          There are dozens of policy differences between Gianforte and Quist (at least on the surface). Why must one then resort to a 50’s playbook of anti-Russian xenophobia to advance a political candidate? It is desperate, cynical and coldly calculated to prey on people’s fears.

          If anything, this whole scenario depicts just another reason why the democratic party has failed so miserably as of late.

          Like

        • Big Swede says:

          He can’t help it JC.

          “Journalists’ brains show a lower-than-average level of executive functioning, according to a new study, which means they have a below-average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.”

          “The study, led by Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and leadership coach, analyzed 40 journalists from newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and online platforms over seven months. The participants took part in tests related to their lifestyle, health, and behavior.”-Business Insider

          Liked by 1 person

  9. interestedpartyblog says:

    Sackcloth and ashes: exactly what any of us expects from this space. Rave on, you huddled masochists.

    Like

  10. larry kurtz says:

    Despite the feces flinging from this space Quist might actually win. Why any of you live to snivel another day remains a mystery.

    Like

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