| The Montana Cowgirl Blog has a post up that probably ought to be read. On the heels of Exxon spilling as yet undetermined amounts of crude oil into the Yellowstone river with as yet undetermined environmental impact, the leader of the Montana GOP had a letter posted in the Missoulian calling for Exxon to "stick it" to the city and county of Missoula. Notice please that "stick it" is a euphemism for "to F**k". That's what the Montana GOP wants, according to its head Will Deschamps, is for a business to f**k Missoula.
Here is Deschamps' letter.
There was some discussion at the MCBlog about how Deschamps may regret the timing of his letter given the oil spill. He must be an idiot not to see how that would play in the popular will. Further, he must be an idiot to suggest that Exxon would be better served by hauling their own gas for the mega-rigs, given that the rigs hauling the gas would also need gas. And I speak with a bit of inside knowledge when I tell you driving further for motel rooms in the Summer travel season is a fool's quest. Deschamps call for Exxon to f**k Missoula is pretty idiotic, except that Deschamps isn't an idiot.
The Cowgirl Blog, as did the Montana Democratic party jumped Dennis Rehberg as an accomplice to this heinous tantrum from the Montana GOP. I suggest that the heinous tantrum was precisely the point. The post at the Montana Cowgirl Blog writes:
Rehberg's campaign manager has been going on the radio to say Republicans are going after Missoula voters. Too bad now we know how Rehberg's party really feels about jobs in Missoula
I think the author misunderstood Rehberg's MiniMe (Erik Iverson). The GOP is going after Missoula voters, not to woo them or convince them, but to marginalize them to the rest of the state. It's a tactic written of many hundreds of years ago by Sun Tzu. Divide your opponents and they have no strength. Sun Tzu also wrote, and I would add, turn your opponents into monsters and they have less strength indeed. That's the point. The Montana GOP isn't recruiting disaffected Missoula moderates or Democrats. They are isolating them. They took this cue from the intense disagreement among 'progressives' and they're running with it. I can't blame them; okay maybe I can and do. But it's a good tactic.
That was the point of Deschamps' letter. He wants to separate the rest of the state from the very identity that Missoula holds dear. Missoula is a bastion of liberalism, the bastion of liberalism, and don't any dare to appeal to those false wizards for help because they don't care for you. He's not terribly wrong in pointing that out, just terribly wrong in the implication of it.
If one needs more evidence that this is a concerted attack, then I give you Rob Natelson. He is rather clumsy about his effort, and writes too close to the truth. The GOP doesn't want people to disagree with Missoula. They want people to think that Missoulians are "weird". They want them punished. They want others like-minded to be wary, or distrustful (frankly something that the vocal in Missoula make very easy.) More than anything, they desire the Missoula voice to have little impact in the elections of 2012. If they convince Missoulians what those folk already are desperate to believe, that they are an island in a sea of nasty conservatism, then the GOP's job is already half done. I ask the readers here to keep that in mind.