'Moderate' Steve Bullock Is an Extremist, and a Coward Too
The governor of Montana is finally running for president. Too bad it’s the wrong governor.
Back in 2006, I dreamed about Gov. Brian Schweitzer being elected president and showing off his new Browning handgun to the assembled leaders of Congress just before telling them he expected a balanced budget on his desk by the end of the year. Schweitzer was truly a Democrat who could appeal across party lines because he was authentic, audacious and original. He said what he meant and meant what he said.
By comparison, Steve Bullock — the current governor of Montana who announced his bid for president on May 14 — is 100% baloney. Bullock is presenting himself as a Democrat who can win over (read “fool”) Republican voters in the West and Midwest, and thus broaden the base of his electorate beyond that of a socialist like, say, Bernie Sanders. But that’s not entirely true.
Yes, like Schweitzer, Bullock is a Democrat who managed to be elected governor of my home state twice, but Montana isn’t too particular about who it puts in high office. Witness, for instance, the fact that lackluster Max Baucus was elected senator for six terms with nothing much to show for it except Obamacare. (Thanks, Max!)
Bullock, in fact, is pretty much a typical Democrat — a radical pretending to be a moderate. The case he will be making to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire is that he is better at pretending to be a moderate than most other Democrats, and thus more electable in the general election.
Of course, Republicans are famously deluded by RINOs, those “Republicans In Name Only” who manage to vote like Democrats after securing election by pretending to be conservatives, but less talked about is the endless capacity of Republicans to be duped by Democrats who pretend to be moderates. In keeping with the animal symbolism of RINO, let’s call these manipulative Democrats RAMs. They are “Radicals Acting Moderate,” and somehow the true moderates in the Republican Party never catch on to the trick. If a RAM claims to be for workers’ rights, women’s rights and equal rights, they can always count on the votes of Republicans who never notice that what they wind up with is socialism, infanticide and a kick in the pants.
Bullock is a prime example. Consider the vetoes that the governor wielded in just the last biennial 90-day legislative session that ended in April. Here are a few:
The Campus Free Speech Act (House Bill 735) received bipartisan support and protected freedom of expression in the public areas of Montana colleges and universities. Bullock said no to the First Amendment.
Senate Bill 217, An Act Revising the Taxation of Social Security Benefits, would have increased the exemption for paying taxes on Social Security income to $30,000 for an individual. Bullock said he needed this money from the elderly to help pay for his nanny state.
House Bill 534, An Act Increasing Penalties for 5th and Subsequent DUI Offenses, would have required jail time for drunken drivers convicted of their fifth offense. Bullock said it was well-intentioned, but too extreme. Tell that to the families of the many Montanans who have been killed by drunk drivers.
The Montana Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (Senate Bill 354) said that babies who survive abortions must be provided medical care. But extremist Bullock said the bill had “little to do with the health of infants or women.” Tell that to the baby heroes whose will to live was stronger than the law that gave doctors permission to kill them.
House Bill 146 would have banned the adoption of sanctuary policies by Montana cities or state agencies and would have required agencies to honor immigration detainers issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Bullock said that the bill wasn’t necessary because there are no sanctuary cities in Montana. What he didn’t say is that if he were governor of California, he would have happily signed a bill declaring it a sanctuary state. Remember, RAMs only have to pretend to be moderates in states like Montana, but as soon as they are safely elected, they act just like any other radical Democrat.
So there’s no doubt that Steve Bullock is an extremist, but there’s one other thing you should know about Gov. Bullock — he is a coward, too.
For the first six years he was governor, I was the managing editor of the fourth largest daily newspaper in Montana and probably the loudest voice for conservative principles at any newspaper in the state. But despite repeated invitations from me personally, from our editorial board as a whole, even from individual members of our editorial board who were themselves important Democrats, Gov. Bullock not only never showed up at the Daily Inter Lake to defend his policies; he never even had the courtesy to reply to our invitations.
Unlike Gov. Bullock, I wasn’t born in Montana, but I’ve lived here most of the last 42 years, and one thing I know for sure is that when someone extends his hand to you in the Treasure State, the correct response is to reach back and shake vigorously. For Bullock to steer clear of the Inter Lake’s editorial board — even though he was well aware that we didn’t endorse candidates — suggests to me that he isn’t quite the open-minded, reasonable moderate that he pretends to be. Also, if he’s afraid to face off with the menacing Daily Inter Lake staff … then he may not be the right person to sit opposite the likes of Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un.
The good news is I don’t think this phony has any real chance of being elected president. The bad news is he’s still my governor for another year and a half.