My favorite President, Ronald Reagan, was once quoted saying, “The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is an ally not a 20% traitor.”
Wisdom like that is missing from today’s Republican Party. In recent years a candidate like Reagan would probably face a challenge from a Tea Party candidate if he ran for public office in Montana.
Today (March 5) the Great Falls Tribune has published a couple of “Montana Soap Box” opinions, one from Republican State Rep. Jesse O’Hara and one from Republican Public Service Commission member Roger Koopman. You can read their views HERE and HERE.
Koopman leads off his piece with:
In Montana politics, some things never change. Like the fact that some Democrats run as Democrats, and some run as Republicans. The latter group call themselves “Responsible Republicans.” I just call them liberals.
In his fourth paragraph, O’Hara writes:
Somewhere along the way, extremists have anointed themselves the arbiters of all things Republican. The failed leadership team of Sens. Art Wittich and Jason Priest, along with their mouthpieces, Jeff Essmann and Edward Walker, illustrated their 10-year plan to purge the party in a series of leaked emails.
Game, set, match to O’Hara.
Several years ago I used to think that O’Hara was a little too extreme, but in recent years the Montana GOP has taken a sharp right turn and now I’ve found myself agreeing with him more.
O’Hara talked about extremists taking over the party and he even got his points across without bringing up how some extremists embarrassed Montana with the “Obama Presidential Library outhouse” being paraded around. Then there was the Facebook post that was supposedly tied to a Montanan that showed a photo of an Obama trap, which was a watermelon under a box that was propped up by a stick with a string attached to it.
Those stunts turn moderates and independents away from Republican candidates – and the moderates and independents are the people today’s GOP needs in order to win statewide races – they are the 20 percent.
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