If you read the interview with Politico over the weekend, it seemed pretty clear that Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) is toying with a presidential run. But just what country would he hope to take charge of? BigJournalism.com has a theory, as they also take on the AP’s one-sided coverage of “The Great Nullification Debate” taking place back here in Montana.
Ladies and gents, this ain’t your grandpappy’s Montana. Believe it or not, government is now the number one employer in a bodacious state brimming with natural resources.
He (Gov. Schweitzer) went out of his way to insult the Tea Party legislation and legislators.
Schweitzer told the AP that he has acquired a new “cattle brand” with the word VETO and that a “branding iron” is in the works. “Ain’t nobody in the history of Montana has had so many danged ornery critters that needed branding,” said Schweitzer.
Such an autocratic air and disdain for the democratic process could serve the governor well, if, when his current term expires, he would like to return to Libya (where he once worked) where soon there may be a job opening for his “brand” of leadership.
Meanwhile BigGovernment.com says Montana’s legislators are simply trying to right the ship:
The Associated Press (AP) recently bemoaned the fact that Republicans emerged from the November 2010 elections with a “supermajority in the Montana House.” Which means they now control both chambers in that state. This also means that words like “nullification,” phrases like “states’ rights,” and theories like Thomas Jefferson’s description of the union of states as a “compact” are not only spoken in the legislative halls, they are shouted from the rooftops. (Jefferson’s view on the nature of the union, best set forth in his “Kentucky Resolutions,” is that states do not look to the federal government for the cause of their existence rather the federal government exists because the states chose to delegate certain powers to it.)
In Montana, they are trying to right the ship by restoring a constitutional balance of powers that constrains the federal government’s habit of infringing on the rights of the people.
Rush Limbaugh also called out the Montana AP and pointed out the Obama Administration’s decision not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Newsbusters.org has this:
Gouras’s opening paragraphs read like a press release from an opposition party:
With each bill, newly elected tea party lawmakers are offering Montanans a vision of the future.
Limbaugh: What the hell is going on? We have the president of the United States himself saying, (paraphrasing) “That law doesn’t count anymore, I’m not gonna defend that law, the Defense of Marriage Act.” We have a president of the United States who himself is lawless. We went through this in great detail yesterday. Make no mistake. And it’s not arguable. This is a lawless regime. And so here, the AP in Montana is about to have a conniption fit, they are having a conniption fit because of the Tea Party vision for Montana.
… Well, where are you, AP, on the defense of marriage and this regime simply choosing to ignore laws it doesn’t like? How about when a president ignores various federal court rulings? A federal judge has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. No big deal, we’re gonna keep implementing it.
The New American adds this:
Schweitzer should know better than to label nullification “pretty toxic talk” likely to lead to war. He himself is a big player in a recent example of successful (at least for now) state nullification of federal law. Montana, along with 24 other states, passed legislation opposing the REAL ID Act, which mandates a de facto national identification card, effectively putting it “in limbo,” as Gouras puts it. Schweitzer boasted that his state had won the showdown with the Department of Homeland Security over REAL ID, thereby protecting Montanans’ privacy. What explains his reversal when it comes to, e.g., ObamaCare, which at least 12 states are considering nullifying? One obvious answer: REAL ID was a Bush administration scheme, while ObamaCare is the work of members of Schweitzer’s own party.
While the expected criticism of Montana’s Legislature came in from Academia, the Montana Chamber calls this year’s legislative session the most positive climate in years:
Jon Bennion, longtime lobbyist for the Montana Chamber of Commerce, described the session as the most positive climate he’s seen for business. He said he is particularly pleased with the bipartisan interest in workers’ compensation reform and effort to free business from regulations.
Although both parties trade shots about the other’s inaction on jobs, Bennion said he’s more optimistic than he’s ever been at halftime. But it’s a long way to the session’s end, he cautioned.
Workers’ comp reform tops his clients’ priority list, he said, but rolling back environmental regulations runs a close second.