Grabbed by the Short Hairs

For slightly over half of the voting electorate this Thanksgiving promises to be anything but as they continue to gag on the bitter vetch of an impending Trump presidency. Not since the election of Andrew Jackson have the American people have elected a non-establishment candidate as president of the United States. The pundits began talking about the turnout of the white working class long before election and the discussions continue as the “establishment” attempts to figure out what the hell happened. In fact, what happened is very easy to define. The “working class,” because more than just white people elected Donald Trump president, figuratively grabbed the “establishment” by the short hairs!

A large part of the establishment especially for the Democratic Party has and remains the established leadership of organized labor. Since the 1930s rarely has labor strayed from the side of Democrats and as a consequence we constantly hear how together they created the middleclass and ushered in a period of prosperity heretofore never seen or replicated. And then the wheels came off the bus.

bayonenetThe Democratic Party became the party of every special interest regardless of the impact on working class America and “killed their populist soul”. Party bosses and union bosses, firmly joined at the hip, continued to tout the undeniable and unbreakable bond between the two. Meanwhile, the Republican Party played a long game tapping into the cult of masculinity that carries strains of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian little “d” democracy that any man could and should rise on his own merits. It’s a message that still resonates strongly among the working class, union and non-union.

By the time Montana held its primary in June Clinton was already the presumptive nominee but she still lost to Sanders by almost 10,000 votes. Union leadership in Montana followed the lead of their nationals endorsing Clinton well before the primary with the same old tired saw, “it isn’t perfect but better than the alternative.” At the same Trump garnered almost as many votes as Clinton and Sanders combined. The writing was on the wall despite dire warnings about the demise of organized labor under a Trump presidency.

animal-farm-poster-st4-for-webNow that the American working class has the attention of the party elites it will be interesting to see how they react. The Republican leadership in congress will only have two years to prove their worth before the mid-term elections. In the meantime, Democrats will need to roll up their sleeves and acknowledge that class, not ethnicity, is very much a part of the groundswell of discontent among workers—white collar, blue collar, union, non-union, pink, or precariat—workers matter. And unions, they need to pay attention to their base or Trump and his minions will finish the unraveling of organized labor that began with Reagan.  This isn’t your daddy’s industrial union anymore.

The soul of America rests on who wins the battle for the working class. Let’s just hope working class America is “man” enough to take their medicine…four years of President Donald J. Trump.

T-Bone Slim – “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.”

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Wash, rinse, repeat is the same old mantra of the Montana Democratic Party.

The 2016 election cycle dredged up the repetition of all the same old tricks, same old props, and worst of all, the same old players trying to sell the same old believers a worn out message.  Montana Democrats had a similar opportunity as those working the national agenda: continue down the path of established monotony and defeat or break away from pat_on_the_back1the loop and embrace a future of change.  But to change requires self awareness and most of all, courage.  The Democratic Party, on a national and state level, has once again proven it lacks both.

The failure of the party is today and much worse the failure of the party is tomorrow. That failure is in between the lines of a message of defeat.  In reality, Steve Bullock may very well have had the road plowed for him by Tim Fox as moderate Republicans playing the long-game were willing to see four more years of Bullock then a nice eight year stretch of control of the Executive and Legislative branches under presumptive nominee Tim Fox.  For some reason the Democratic Party , the party of the people, fails to grasp the concept of the long-game and continues trumpeting the worth of a goalie at the expense of not playing any offense.

Instead, resources were squandered on Denise Juneau in an unquestionably ill fated race where the choir was consistently spoon-fed the notion that this race was a dead heat when in fact it was dead on arrival.  This is in no way meant to be disparaging of Denise Juneau as a viable candidate.  She has earned her stripes in two state-wide races proving she can win in Montana, but pant-suit nation just doesn’t/didn’t resonate for most Montanans. We can only hope that she is not done in or with Montana politics.

Perhaps the most devastating losses in the Tier B elections occurred with the defeat of Jesse Laslovich for State Auditor and Melissa Romano for Superintendent of Public instruction.  Both of these candidates represent the future of the Democratic Party in Montana.  Their loss will reverberate through the political strata of the Montana Democratic Party but those affected most will be the citizens of Montana.  Had either of these two prevailed, they may well have pulled the other across the line.  Instead, Montana’s Tier B races were a disaster and the effects have created the opportunity to permanently change Montana to a state unrecognizable from today’s beauty and grandeur.

It is difficult to expand on George Ochenski’s  accurate depiction of what’s gone wrong and without naming names, who’s to blame.  The Party establishment is to blame.  The stench and decay of November 8th still overpowers anyone within 100 miles of Helena. Shaking out the sheets, as Ochenski suggests, just won’t do.  It’s time to clear and then raze the house.  The Party has done us no favors and  has left us with a bleak future.  As the saying goes ‘when you’re in a hole, stop digging’.  Today’s party leaders can lug the guts to the neighbor room.  The courageous will embrace the future and take over without you.


‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’