Another wrestler in politics
May 24, 2017 6:30 PM   Subscribe

On the eve of Election Day for Montana's special election for a new Congressional Representative, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte allegedly body slams Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Jacobs previously reported on Gianforte's financial ties to Russia.

Democratic candidate Rob Quist, former member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band and has composed his own campaign song.

Also running is Libertarian Mark Wicks, a rancher.
posted by Grandysaur (412 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Audio of the interaction between Gianforte and Jacobs here.

Gianforte's campaign statement.
posted by Grandysaur at 6:38 PM on May 24, 2017


I said elsewhere that if there's one thing the Republican electorate approves of, it's shoving over a nerd and breaking his glasses. So if he loses, it won't be on this account.
I'm going to try not to follow this race too hard, though. I can't get my heart broken over every proxy war until November.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:44 PM on May 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


also, from the statement: "Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." I mean, is that aikido, or ... ?
posted by Countess Elena at 6:47 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


also, from the statement: "Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." I mean, is that aikido, or ... ?

it's assault, my friend. journalistic assault by a weakling coward who is also a threatening villain, somehow, don't question me about the details or the aikido thing might happen again
posted by Sebmojo at 6:50 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


It's an obscure martial art known as "complete horseshit."
posted by stevis23 at 6:50 PM on May 24, 2017 [80 favorites]


I've been text-banking for the Quist campaign all week. Learned a lot about MT politics. You can register up until and through Election Day! Vote by mail is also widely used, so I'm skeptical that this 11th hour madness will have any effect on Gianforte's numbers :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:52 PM on May 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Allegedly?
posted by chasing at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been doing a lot of GOTV calls, and that's been my experience too: most folks have already voted.
posted by Grandysaur at 6:53 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


And, the GOP should just go ahead and issue the brown shirts already.
posted by stevis23 at 6:54 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


This is the kind of amateur hour stuff I expect from state rep races.
posted by bq at 6:56 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Well, none of the candidates have held public office before, it's totally amateur hour.
posted by Grandysaur at 6:59 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Who are you going to believe, my press statement or your lying ears?
posted by uosuaq at 6:59 PM on May 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


This violence is coming to my country soon, thanks in large part to financing by cruel Republicans.

I really hope Trudeau tells Trump where to stick it tomorrow. If only he was half the man his father was.
posted by Yowser at 7:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


There’s So Much to Learn From the Montana Special Election by Anne Helen Petersen [Buzzfeed]
“Here’s what you need to understand about Montana before all else: It’s a state where 56% of voters backed Trump — but that same election, 50.2% also voted for their Democratic governor, Steve Bullock. In 2012, 48.6% voted for Senator Jon Tester, also a Democrat. Traveling over a thousand miles in the state, I talked to many Montanans who’d voted this way — and were incredibly proud of it. In Montana, the independent voter isn’t a mythical unicorn. It’s a way of life.

Daniel Zolnikov, a fresh-faced member of the Montana House who recently won his third term as a “liberty-minded” Republican, put it this way: “People who aren’t from here think there’s Republican and Democrat, and maybe some Libertarian here. But Montana is filled with independents. People actively try to find a reason to vote across the ticket.” A sixtysomething at a Rob Quist fundraising event echoed the sentiment: “I’ve never voted straight in my whole life.”

Outsiders look at Trump’s double-digit win in the state and quickly dismiss a Democrat’s chance at winning the House seat. But Montanans vote differently: They vote for candidates more than parties, and they vote for people who they feel will do right by Montana and its citizens. That definition of “do right” changes from place to place, but there’s a reason that conversations about religion and abortion are largely absent from this race and many others in Montana, while questions of public lands access, resource management, and the creation of a Montana sales tax come to the fore.”
posted by Fizz at 7:02 PM on May 24, 2017 [25 favorites]


Lead story on CNN right now. Hoping they will air the press conference live.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:03 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Anyone know of a livestream of the Gallatin Co. Sheriff's press conference?
posted by dhens at 7:03 PM on May 24, 2017


God, I've just completely lost the fucking ability to evaluate anything since this motherfucking election. I was like, "Republican congressional candidate assaults news reporter... ....huh [scrolls to next twitter story]"

Like, this is completely fucking insane. Contextualized with other attacks on the media and increasing hate crimes, I should be fucking terrified. I should be moving to Europe. I should be leading a revolution. I should be building an underground bunker or putting up solar panels and planting my own quinoa crop. I should be furious. I should be terrified.

Or.... Maybe this stuff used to happen but I didn't know, or didn't register, or didn't associate it with other bad things happening, or it wasn't covered, or it wasn't as bad as other things happening.

I mean, bad things were happening before the election. So maybe this is the same. Or maybe it's terrible. Trump hasn't been able to make much policy... yet... so maybe things are OK. Or maybe I'm the frog in the pot of slow-boiling water.

And what happened the refugee crisis? And what happened to Syria? And what's happening in Yemen and all the places I don't hear about? And what's happening in private prisons in the US? And are there actually assaults on synagogs? Or were they all just weird fake threats from some Israeli guy? And did you know Facebook was trying to create special marketing campaigns for depressed and vulnerable teens?

I mean, I basically have no fucking idea how to process basically anything anymore. I just keep getting up and going to work and coming home and making dinner and doing the dishes and going to bed and maybe watching some netflix or being on the internet and trying to do some little good here and there.

What the motherfuck is going on?
posted by latkes at 7:04 PM on May 24, 2017 [159 favorites]


Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Facebook page has a live video feed of the Sheriff's conference (but I can't get it to play on my comp)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 7:05 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Facebook page has a live video (but I can't get it to play on my comp)

Looks like they took a brief test video; nothing live at the moment. Will keep an eye on it though.
posted by dhens at 7:07 PM on May 24, 2017


I'm not able to get that or the KBZK stream to play.
posted by lalex at 7:08 PM on May 24, 2017


Chronicle's page isn't working, try here.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:09 PM on May 24, 2017


The press conference was apparently quite short, but this link should have a replay in a moment.
posted by zachlipton at 7:11 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


CNN is waiting for a conference that has already ended. Which is fitting considering how awful CNN is.
posted by Yowser at 7:11 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am beginning to suspect that the Gallatin County, Montana sheriff's office is experiencing heavier than average internet traffic
posted by theodolite at 7:12 PM on May 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


The Gallatin County sheriff didn't know this was his 15 minutes of fame! Turn the cameras back on, dude!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:13 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Why can't I watch live video of a man in a small room in Montana in my cottage on the Edinburgh coast in real time? WTF, Internet? Get with the programme.
posted by Devonian at 7:15 PM on May 24, 2017 [89 favorites]


According to the NYT article, Ben Jacobs went to the hospital for X-Rays. They're going all the way with the medical side, which almost certainly means this whole thing is a slam dunk. Of course, misdemeanor assault in Montana is max $500 and/or 6 months in jail, so we can expect a minor fine and nothing else.

Jacobs is likely to get more in the civil suit for breaking his glasses.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:17 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


At the risk of revealing too much about my real identity, I will say that I've mistrusted Gianforte since years before he revealed any political aspirations, when he was a donor to the university department where I was studying. There were hidden corners in some of the talks he gave, officially about promoting tech business or what it was like to grow Oracle/RightNow from a startup, or whatever.

I only later discovered the Museum of the Rockies (a really excellent local museum) hates him on the down low because he donated a huge chunk of money to a nearby creationist museum that had used it to take one or more important dinosaur fossils away from real scientists.

I was so happy when he lost the other election. I hope this scuppers his political ambitions for good. I hope this encourages other conservatives to take a hard look at their peoples' recent tendency to beat up reporters. I can't believe that's actually a trend. Well yes I can actually, but still.
posted by traveler_ at 7:19 PM on May 24, 2017 [70 favorites]




There's really not much here. He says that he can't really answer questions about the incident, but wants people to stop calling their dispatch center for comment. They're interviewing "the victim" as we speak; he's been released from the hospital. Around four other witnesses were present. There was no arrest at the time "because we did not have all the information."

A reporter asked if the Sheriff "expected the event to get violent." He did not.

They were getting a lot of calls from the national media, but now lots of calls from members of the public expressing various political views about the incident.
posted by zachlipton at 7:20 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Montana allows punitive tort damages for malice. And Gianforte is a rich fucker.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:23 PM on May 24, 2017 [24 favorites]


I watched the video of the presser on FB, and the replay of the FB comments on the livestream was pretty horrifying. On the other hand, that is not surprising for many local news organizations' social media presences, alas.
posted by dhens at 7:24 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


So in accordance with Trump's Razor, I look forward to the 3AM tweet about how Gianforte was absolutely in the right for punishing a loser working for a fake news outlet.
posted by Rykey at 7:25 PM on May 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


The sad thing is that I wonder if this was a calculated move to get the Trump fans vote.

And it'll probably work.

I hate our world.

Seriously, shouldn't the guy lose for this?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Link, dhens!
posted by Yowser at 7:29 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, with vote by mail, a lot of folks have already voted. I don't know that there are provisions for changing your vote after its been mailed.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:29 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


The sad thing is that I wonder if this was a calculated move to get the Trump fans vote.

And it'll probably work.


As a close follower of MT politics and the Gianforte campaign, I can tell you that it was not a calculated move. It was a stupid move by a low-quality human being worried about his election odds and anxious about the future of his party and president. He still has a 50% shot or greater at winning, but he already has the violent asshole vote locked up. And he might indeed lose for this.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:31 PM on May 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


The thing is, it's true that a lot of people have voted early, but it's also true that most voters don't vote in special elections. So the question isn't really whether this will change the minds of the kind of people who vote early. It's whether it will get some people to the polls who otherwise would have sat this one out. And I think it could, and I'd like to think that those would mostly not be people who would vote for Gianforte.

A final, weird factor is that it might just get people talking about the election, which will remind folks to vote even if the incident doesn't actually influence their vote. If someone at work tomorrow says "hey, did you hear that crazy thing about the Congressional candidate punching a reporter?", then you might think "oh, yeah, there's an election today. Maybe I'll stop by and vote on the way home," even if you tune out the actual story.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:35 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


I'm guessing that Gianforte's game plan was to provoke an emotional response from a "liberal elite" and got carried away. This was a provocation gone bad from the Republicans, who are slowly trying to refine the art of DARVO.
posted by Yowser at 7:37 PM on May 24, 2017


So he made his money by flogging his CRM company to Oracle, and throws large donations to creationist museums? And he reacts to media attention by beating up journalists?

If it were up to me, Sulu would already have armed the photon torpedoes and the redshirts would be finishing the edits on lastwillandtestament.doc.

Do the right thing, Montana.



.
posted by Devonian at 7:38 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


The Fox News crew that was in the room speaks out: Greg Gianforte: Fox News team witnesses GOP House candidate 'body slam' reporter
Faith, Keith and I arrived early to set up for the interview in a room adjacent to another room where a volunteer BBQ was to take place. As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.

During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking if him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.
posted by zachlipton at 7:38 PM on May 24, 2017 [150 favorites]


I hope those Fox News people are polishing their resumes, but good for them for being honest.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:41 PM on May 24, 2017 [68 favorites]


I wonder if the FoxNews crew is going to get in trouble for their truthful reportage.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:42 PM on May 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


Grabbing him by the neck with both hands honestly sounds worse than what Jacobs himself said about the assault.
posted by zachlipton at 7:42 PM on May 24, 2017 [62 favorites]


Daaaamn!
posted by Grandysaur at 7:43 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


zach: He was probably so surprised and shocked that he couldn't tell what was happening with any certainty. He may have been literally in shock from the event; you don't have to be terribly injured for that to happen.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on May 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


Of course the Fox News people were the assholes saying get out.

But yeah, hope they have their resumes in order.
posted by Yowser at 7:45 PM on May 24, 2017


My guess is that Gianforte gets a citation issued for misdemeanor assault early tomorrow morning. Though with the testimony of those Fox News reporters that could easily be made a felony were Jacobs injured. Thankfully it doesn't sound like he was besides being very shaken up.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


In other news, Brian Gootkin, the sheriff of Gallitin County, donated $250 to Gianforte on March 23rd.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:46 PM on May 24, 2017 [34 favorites]


zach: He was probably so surprised and shocked that he couldn't tell what was happening with any certainty. He may have been literally in shock from the event; you don't have to be terribly injured for that to happen.

Oh I'm sure. The most impressive part of the tape is how he keeps reporting. He's on tape asking witnesses for their names. Then he's on his cell phone in the ambulance, on MSNBC from the hospital. That's a pro.
posted by zachlipton at 7:48 PM on May 24, 2017 [41 favorites]


sounds worse than what Jacobs himself said about the assault.

he had shock voice though, he sounded both in the audio recording and with Chris Hayes a little later like he was a lot more self-possessed than he was. he had that talking-a-little-too-fast, repeating the same phrases thing going on. he did super super good in terms of being a violent assault victim, but I bet it is a little like getting hit by a car (from my memory of getting hit by a car -- I was being driven into, then I was falling down, then my bag was all the way across the road and I was standing up again, but how did that happen, did I miss something?) you can lose like a tiny amount of time but five seconds is a long time when somebody is basically trying to kill you until he suddenly stops. not because of head trauma or amnesia or anything like that necessarily, it's just kind of wild when you're not expecting it and adrenaline fucks you up a little bit. he may not even remember the strangulating part.

/end of fake doctoring
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:48 PM on May 24, 2017 [43 favorites]


I don't believe this was in Jacobs' own account (emphasis mine):

Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man

WT everloving F.
posted by CommonSense at 7:52 PM on May 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


and I don't know how bad his vision is but if it were me the most traumatic part of it would be having my glasses broken and having to do all this reporting and cop-talking and hospital-going-to without being able to see. seriously.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:53 PM on May 24, 2017 [40 favorites]


I know this gets said ad nauseum but man what a weird timeline we've stumbled into.

I think I died in November and this is hell.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 7:55 PM on May 24, 2017 [49 favorites]


Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man

WT everloving F.
Yeah, an Oxford comma would really help that sentence.
posted by jferg at 7:56 PM on May 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


The Republicans know there are no consequences and that the police are on their side.

Wake up America.
posted by Yowser at 7:56 PM on May 24, 2017 [14 favorites]


To be clear, I wasn't questioning Jacobs' account, and as you folks have noted, there are good reasons for him to have been stunned. What I mean is that Jacobs' version left it at least somewhat open that this was more of a shoving situation, which is obviously completely unacceptable, but two hands around the neck and punching is a whole different league.

How stupid is Gianforte's campaign staff to have put out that statement knowing there were three reporters in the room as witnesses along with an audio tape?
posted by zachlipton at 7:57 PM on May 24, 2017 [39 favorites]


Well, they're working for a guy who physically attacked a reporter on the eve of an election, so maybe not so bright.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:58 PM on May 24, 2017 [18 favorites]


I love this state too much for this shitheel to represent it. If he wins the election I look forward to helping state democrats and our vast number of decent independents who will want nothing more than to humiliate him, to make him into a joke, to hound him out of politics along with this presidency and this incarnation of the GOP. My most realistic hope is that he's reduced to wingnut welfare, selling Super Male Vitality on Infowars or something, all the while wondering what could have been if he hadn't done that dumb thing that one time.

How stupid is Gianforte's campaign staff to have put out that statement knowing there were three reporters in the room as witnesses along with an audio tape?

very
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [30 favorites]


Wake up America.

omg, we're WORKING ON IT
posted by lalex at 8:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [48 favorites]


Wake up America.

omg, we're WORKING ON IT
Actually, I'm trying to go to sleep but keep hitting refresh instead.
posted by jferg at 8:02 PM on May 24, 2017 [60 favorites]


How stupid is Gianforte's campaign staff to have put out that statement knowing there were three reporters in the room as witnesses along with an audio tape?

Well, you can admit it, the day before the election, and get marks for honesty while you lose votes. Or you can lie your ass off and hope to create enough uncertainty to keep voters confused until the polls close.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:03 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


So, this is the timeline in which I hear myself saying, "Good on Fox News for stepping up and doing the right thing" and actually meaning it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:03 PM on May 24, 2017 [22 favorites]


Remember that Fox News are the guys that said "Hey you gotta leave" in that recording. No sympathy for their cruelty.
posted by Yowser at 8:06 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Remember that Fox News are the guys that said "Hey you gotta leave" in that recording. No sympathy for their cruelty.

I assumed that too from the audiotape, but do we know that for certain? One of Gianforte's campaign staff could have been in the room. Also, I guess the Fox News crew might have wanted to get Jacobs out of the room before Gianforte jumped him again. Not to mention that ONE of the Fox people gave that statement; it might have been one of the other two who said, "you gotta leave." If I had seen something that shocking, all sorts of stupid shit might come out of my mouth.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:09 PM on May 24, 2017 [29 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see how the Fox crew's statement means anything other than assault charges.

However little it nets the dude in fines, the punitive damages from the ensuing civil suit won't be trivial.
posted by darkstar at 8:11 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


This is a stunning story and all the details are still emerging. I admit when I first read about it on twitter I thought it was a little overblown because it sounded like a reporter got shoved but now with the crappy campaign statement, the audio, and the FOX reporters' eyewitness accounts plus the fact that the sheriff has donated to Gianforte's campaign this is going to be all over the news tomorrow. I just hope everyone is overestimating the fascist vote.

I have a real hard time understanding why ordinary Americans are rooting for reporters to get punched. Most of American culture has celebrated reporters, from All the President's men to Superman himself. When did the press become the bad guys?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:12 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]




I could see this playing in Gianforte's favor in some states but I really can't see this playing well in MT. This might just be enough to put Quist into Congress, especially with those statements of the camera crew.
posted by Ber at 8:15 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


When did the press become the bad guys?

When right-wing talk-radio blowhards, right-wing opinion columnists, Fox News, etc spent 30 years railing about the "liberal media".
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:15 PM on May 24, 2017 [46 favorites]


Hands around the neck for the body slam, repeatedly punching the victim when he's down, an injured elbow and a broken pair of glasses. Have I got it all? Is that the total recitation of Mr. Jacobs' injuries and damages that we know of right now?

I ask because the financial cost to Mr. Jacobs resulting from Mr. Gianforte's direct behavior is more than the potential fine to the perpetrator if a future charge of misdemeanor assault. That seems unfair, though perhaps Mr. Jacobs can gain satisfaction in the legal sense from a civil suit. What he needs is repayment for the abusively physical method used to interfere with Mr. Jacobs doing his legal job, medical expenses, new glasses, recompense for pain and suffering resulting from that behavior as well as any resulting lost wages. The thing is, in terms of a civil suit, it's absurd that Mr. Jacobs needs to rearrange his work schedule (ordinarily not based in Montana) in order to bring this suit.

Also, having three Fox reporters issue a statement directly contradicting Gianforte is rather delicious...as is the statement that the three have given statements to police.

Just some on the fly observations--I still have a hard time believing the sequence of events even with the witness statements and the audiotape. Hard to believe civility has fallen this far in elections. Outright assault on the media. SMH.
posted by Silverstone at 8:16 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


"So he made his money by flogging his CRM company to Oracle,"

To be fair, I believe he made his money by founding a couple other companies elsewhere, then moved to the Gallatin county area (which is right next to Yellowstone) because it's a very nice place to live if you already have money. (I can't believe some of the vacation mansions I see around here. It's a bit tougher to get by if you're working class.)

But once he got here he kept going, flogged that CRM company to Oracle, and then started having political dreams.
posted by traveler_ at 8:16 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon. . . .

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.


I have a funny feeling it may be Scanlon who told Jacobs "you gotta leave," and I will bet my personal ranch that Scanlon is the genius who wrote the risibly false campaign statement on the incident.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:17 PM on May 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


I think Gianforte knew he is going to lose tomorrow and was told to do the stupidest thing possible so that the loss wouldn't look like it reflected on Trump.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:19 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


In other news, Brian Gootkin, the sheriff of Gallitin County, donated $250 to Gianforte on March 23rd.

Is there a source for this?
posted by dobbs at 8:20 PM on May 24, 2017


Is there a source for this?
Tweet from a WSJ reporter
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:22 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


omfg, Chris Cilizza is beyond parody, this is how he describes this violent unprovoked attack on a member of the free press: "Greg Gianforte just made a massive error on the final night of the Montana special election"
posted by lalex at 8:22 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


You can see the FEC info on the donation for yourself here
posted by CarolynG at 8:27 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wow, Gianforte seems like...a general brute. Saw this noted on Twitter - Gianforte, back during the Pres campaign, jokingly threatening to do exactly what he just really did>
And, during questions at the end of his talk, Gianforte took one from a man who said: “Our biggest enemy is the news media. How can we rein in the news media?”

The man then looked the Ravalli Republic reporter sitting next to him and raised his hands as if he would like to wring his neck.
Also, just in case you didn't get that he's a cruel jerk:
“You know what we’re going to do over the weekend?” Gianforte said. “Donald Trump Jr. wanted bad to shoot prairie dogs. So we’re going to help him scratch that itch a little bit.”
posted by Miko at 8:28 PM on May 24, 2017 [20 favorites]




Is there a source for this?

You can pull the info from the FEC yourself. Brian Gootkin of Bozeman , MT, employed by Gallatin County, donated \$250 to Gianforte's campaign on 23 March 2017.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:30 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I believe he made his money by founding a couple other companies elsewhere, then moved to the Gallatin county area

Fair enough - he made his first handful of millions selling a company to McAfee, which in no way whatsoever makes my skin crawl like I've been dunked in honey and buried in Antsville. Missouri.
posted by Devonian at 8:31 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Oh, Montana.
posted by corb at 8:32 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


> omfg, Chris Cilizza is beyond parody, this is how he describes this violent unprovoked attack on a member of the free press: "Greg Gianforte just made a massive error on the final night of the Montana special election"

To be fair to Chris Cillizza (words I never thought I'd say): he probably didn't write that headline.

To be perhaps slightly less fair, the headline he wrote would probably be even hackier and less aware of the gravity of the situation, because everything's a horse race to that horse's ass.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:32 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Garrett Haake, of MSNBC, who is in Montana, just said he and his team were racing toward Bozeman after hearing the story, stopped at a gas station, and mentioned the assault to a clerk. She responded with something like, "Well, that sounds like my kind of politician."
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:35 PM on May 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


Well, they're working for a guy who physically attacked a reporter on the eve of an election, so maybe not so bright.

Then lied about it, like a child.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:36 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


It makes sense that it was a question about the CBO score that made Gianforte blow his O-ring. For a red state, Montana looks relatively favorably at a humane social safety net (being a mostly white and without a large subaltern underclass to look down upon, the Southern Strategy doesn't work as well on our conservatives). Quist has made "Gianforte is going to take away your health care" a big part of his campaign and it seems to be working pretty well. If Quist goes over the top tomorrow, it's more likely to be because of that than from Gianforte being a monstrous, violent thug.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:36 PM on May 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


This all adds to my suspicion that the assault was a deliberate attempt to curry favour with the sociopathic American voter, of whom there are many.
posted by Yowser at 8:37 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


This all adds to my suspicion that the assault was a deliberate attempt to curry favour with the sociopathic American voter, of whom there are many.

Look, I love to ascribe sinister fascist motives to everybody but Gianforte is dumb. He does not have the capacity for that level of scheming, and if he did it would still be a dumb scheme.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:40 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Gianforte had previously said that he wanted to do what he did tonight. He literally said he wanted to do this, then did it.
posted by Yowser at 8:41 PM on May 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Oh, Montana

We've got a Democratic governor, one senator that's R and the other D. The state went pretty strongly for Trump and Richard Spencer used to live here, but so does Michael Keaton. In short, we're a land of contrasts.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:41 PM on May 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


He sounds pretty genuinely berserk on the audio. If he was acting, it was a Raging Bull level performance.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:41 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


He literally said he wanted to do this, then did it.

Right. He said it because he's dumb and because he wanted to do it. And then he did it, because he's dumb and he wanted to do it. He is not Montana Machiavelli.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:42 PM on May 24, 2017 [16 favorites]




In Montana, the independent voter isn’t a mythical unicorn. It’s a way of life.

I don't really understand the smugness of American "independents." Like, just because you don't belong to a political party doesn't mean you aren't in utter thrall. Just because you do doesn't mean you are.
posted by klanawa at 8:44 PM on May 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


It makes sense that it was a question about the CBO score that made Gianforte blow his O-ring.

It's relevant because he was being two-faced about AHCA. In public he was pretending to be undecided, while in private he was congratulating the Republicans on passing the bill.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:47 PM on May 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Bold choice by the Gianforte campaign to take "I don't even wait. When you're a candidate, they let you do it. You can do anything." as a touchstone for the last day.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:58 PM on May 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


Hey, it worked for the other guy.
posted by Yowser at 9:02 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


In TPM's article on this, it includes a Twitter feed from Buzzfeed reporter Alexis Levinson, who was in the outer room when the event took place in an inner room with the Fox crew.

Levinson reports that it was, indeed, Gianforte's aide who came out of the inner room, following Jacobs, and told him he had to leave.
posted by darkstar at 9:12 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Looks like local media may be covering this in detail with little or no pussyfooting: (series of tweets quoted in full below)
Wow. All local tv stations leading with the entire audio and allegations. Raw. ... Apparently @Bencjacobs emerged from hospital in a sling. Local news also reporting the Denver Fox News details. Literally saying "Gianforte punched the man." Using the words assault and Jacobs being peaceful. Amazing.
posted by maudlin at 9:14 PM on May 24, 2017 [38 favorites]


Of course, misdemeanor assault in Montana is max $500 and/or 6 months in jail, so we can expect a minor fine and nothing else.

How is this completely unprovoked and one sided attack misdemeanor assault?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:15 PM on May 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


If Gianforte wins, we need to seal his entire district in a dome and never let anyone leave.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Answering my own question, but it seems that Montana is pretty easy on assault - the victim has to sustain serious lasting injury for it to be felony assault.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:18 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's Montana. For felony assault, you have to punch a horse.
posted by bigbigdog at 9:18 PM on May 24, 2017 [21 favorites]


if Gianforte wins, we need to seal his entire district in a dome and never let anyone leave.

Hey, that's everybody in Montana. I'm happy to live sealed in the Exile Terrarium but I'll be living on top of a mountain of huckleberries and elk meat that you foreigners won't be taking.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:21 PM on May 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


If Gianforte wins, we need to seal his entire district in a dome and never let anyone leave.

It's the entire state.
posted by theodolite at 9:21 PM on May 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


Uh, right, duh. As penance for forgetting that Montana has one CD, I'll volunteer to build the dome.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Uh, right, duh. As penance for forgetting that Montana has one CD, I'll volunteer to build the dome.

And make North Dakota pay for it.
posted by JackFlash at 9:30 PM on May 24, 2017 [31 favorites]


Hey, it worked for the other guy.

So did the body slam.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:31 PM on May 24, 2017




The Missoulian newpaper rescinded their endorsement for Gianforte. That's a big deal.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:38 PM on May 24, 2017 [47 favorites]


Here's the Sheriff's statement, which acknowledges the campaign donation as well. The county website seems to be down at the moment, so I'm linking the tweet.
posted by zachlipton at 9:44 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Seems like the right thing was done. As terrible as this was it doesn't seem like Jacobs was hurt enough to make this a felony.
posted by Justinian at 9:47 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Missoulian newpaper rescinded their endorsement for Gianforte. That's a big deal.

And how fucking stupid was their rationale for endorsing him in the first place? "[...] we took him at his word that he would set aside his personal beliefs, listen to Montanans and be their voice in the House."
posted by lalex at 9:48 PM on May 24, 2017 [19 favorites]


And how fucking stupid was their rationale for endorsing him in the first place?

Well, basically all major papers in the state are owned by the same conservative corporation, so the paper's supposed stated rationale shouldn't be taken seriously.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:51 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


The standard for felony assault in Montana does look darn high: pretty much either life-threatening injuries or permanent harm. Which, yeah, unless it turns out he did major long-term damage to Jacobs' elbow, it's hard to see how it's not misdemeanor assault based on this.
posted by zachlipton at 9:52 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Missoulian newpaper rescinded their endorsement for Gianforte. That's a big deal.
Sort of. Missoula is the most liberal town in the state, and there's no way Gianforte was going to win there even before this. He got the endorsement only because it's a Lee newspaper, and they lean right-wing.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:53 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I know. Them doing it despite being a Lee paper is what I find important.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:55 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


I have to say...I'm amazed both at the violence of the outburst unleashed on the reporter, AND at the fact that he was actually charged for it. I am somehow simultaneously more naive and more jaded than I realized.
posted by darkstar at 9:58 PM on May 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


I wonder if Paul Ryan will get away with no commenting if this thug wins tomorrow.
posted by Justinian at 10:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


In Montana, can voters change their vote after they've sent one in already?
(Curious after seeing posts about Oregon and NY w/r/t changing votes)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 10:01 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Billings Gazette tweeted that they're also pulling their endorsement.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:03 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Hey didn't Pence just go on a "Get this scumbag elected" tour last week?
posted by Yowser at 10:05 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Would like to remind everyone that Minnesota was run by an actual professional wrestler for 4 years with 0 body slams.
posted by ckape at 10:05 PM on May 24, 2017 [113 favorites]


Pence and Trump Jr both campaigned for Gianforte.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:06 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]




In Montana, can voters change their vote after they've sent one in already?

The Billings Gazette discusses that as they rescind their endorsement:
To those who have voted: Unfortunately, Montana does not allow those who voted early to reconsider and vote again. We're one of the few states that does not. This would seem to be the best reason why we should urge our state leaders to change that law.
posted by zachlipton at 10:08 PM on May 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


In Montana, can voters change their vote after they've sent one in already?

No.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:08 PM on May 24, 2017


I wonder if Paul Ryan will get away with no commenting if this thug wins tomorrow.

Thuggery aside, the fact that we're throwing around "if he wins tomorrow" to refer to the GOP candidate of quite-red Montana's congressional race, in what should be the afterglow of 2016's neofascist revolution, should give us a lot of hope going forward. They're on defense now and even if Montana's lost tomorrow, the drums are pounding in a hundred districts that lean bluer. And Montana'll be close.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:10 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]




Ben Carson: Assault is a state of mind.

[fake]
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:14 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


"Assault isn't just a river in Egypt"
— Ben Carson
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:19 PM on May 24, 2017 [12 favorites]


Polling stations open at 8:00 MT, curious to see what the turnout will be like, and if Gianforte with face the cameras.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:23 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Montana politico friend tells me that canvassers are now playing audio of the Gianforte assault on the doors

Here in B.C., Canada, you are not allowed to conduct election campaigning within 100 meters of polling stations. That said, it wouldn't be illegal to park a sound-truck 100 metres away, and keep playing that audio in an endless loop.

Do similar laws apply in this case? Because that could be devastating.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:24 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Montana politico friend tells me that canvassers are now playing audio of the Gianforte assault on the doors. People changing votes.

Oh man, that's brilliant. Go kids and your techno-magic gizmos and your social media.
posted by fshgrl at 10:24 PM on May 24, 2017 [12 favorites]




The standard for felony assault in Montana does look darn high: pretty much either life-threatening injuries or permanent harm. Which, yeah, unless it turns out he did major long-term damage to Jacobs' elbow, it's hard to see how it's not misdemeanor assault based on this.

The link you posted is not a good summary, as it leaves out the other option: "causes reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury or death in another." (Click through to the actual law to see that line.) I think aprehension is reasonable if someone just tossed you to the ground by the neck and is punching you while you're on the floor (per the Fox reporter's account.)

What the actual practice is beyond my ken, so maybe misdemeanor is indeed appropriate and typical. But certainly the law itself does not actually require permanent damage.
posted by mark k at 10:44 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Gianforte will have plenty of time to answer reporters' questions after he's sentenced to picking up trash on the highway for several weeks.
posted by Brian B. at 10:46 PM on May 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Just can't help but think of a study which came out a few months before the election talking about how, in a survey of Trump supporters/likely voters, the strongest demographic OR personality correlation was "tolerance for authoritarianism".

Feels like a Republic Party trademark right about now.
posted by dreamlanding at 10:48 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Here's a very complete summary from the NYT that says about half the ballots already mailed and ends with Jacobs' plea with another reporter to postpone filing and not scoop his own dispatch on his own story.
As a career reporter now retired, I absolutely love that.
posted by kemrocken at 10:50 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


zachlipton: "Here's the Sheriff's statement, which acknowledges the campaign donation as well. The county website seems to be down at the moment, so I'm linking the tweet."

Is it the Sheriff's office that decides what and whom to charge? In Canada the police only recommend charges and it's the Crown that decides Who and What.
posted by Mitheral at 10:57 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think you meant this link, kemrocken?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just went to check out how the Guardian's website was covering the news. The leading headline?

"Theresa May to tackle Donald Trump over Manchester bombing evidence"

Phrasing!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:04 PM on May 24, 2017 [17 favorites]


Phrasing!

It's come to this. We're gonna need [physical]/[verbal] tags on all headlines along the lines of "X Attacks/Slams/Hits Back at Y on Issue."
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 11:07 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


No statements yet on Greg Gianforte's campaign website, and it still mentions endorsements from The Billings Gazette and The Missoulian (since rescinded as posted above).

If walk-in votes at the Montana polls are not enough for him to win tomorrow, could he still get enough mail-in ballots?
posted by cenoxo at 11:08 PM on May 24, 2017


The Independent Record also pulled their endorsement. That means the revocation of all three endorsements that Gianforte tweeted about this morning.
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 PM on May 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Gianforte cited for misdemeanor assault; Sheriff acknowledges campaign donation (source)
posted by davidmsc at 11:14 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


That seems like the correct decision, based on that law. Nothing about the tape suggests Ben was in fear of his life.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:18 PM on May 24, 2017


Here's the Independent Record's withdrawal statement.
posted by cenoxo at 11:18 PM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm sure the Trump administration will find him a good position in the Justice department, or heck, the FBI still needs a director.

To be clear, this this just the beast unmasked. The republican budget/health plan/whatever is morally no different than this assault, just slower and slightly more polite. Which is enough, apparently.
posted by maxwelton at 11:52 PM on May 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Levinson reports that it was, indeed, Gianforte's aide who came out of the inner room, following Jacobs, and told him he had to leave.

I wonder if that was the same guy who a couple days ago told a different Guardian reporter that he "(didn't) look British" and then engaged in an awkward staredown with him. (Confrontation is around the 7:25 mark.)
posted by non canadian guy at 12:00 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


More and more with all things Trumpublican I am reminded of the line from Richard Linklater's Slacker, "Things are speedin' up here at the end." Has any candidate, ever, broadly promoted his major endorsements the morning before election day and then managed to lose them all by that very same evening? They do say records are meant to be broken but this sort of incredible achievement may already be deserving of its own permanent breakout Hall of Shame exhibit.

(I don't actually see the quote as apocalyptic, more like, things are speedin' up here at the end of the Republican Party. The blackhole and event horizon created and left behind by this ouroboros of evil eating itself ever faster and more ravenously will destroy or damage everything in its path and anything that tries to stop it, but no more. If you're a paying seat-holder on the rocket to the center of the sun, you're headed just where you wanna go, Slim Pickens-style. If you're not on that flight, you just gotta make sure you're out of the flight path, that you do everything you can to get everyone you love off the rocket and out of the flight path--as many people as possible--and then accept the hard truth that some people make journeys to oblivion that are out of our hands. Buh-bye now. May God Have Mercy.)
posted by riverlife at 12:16 AM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Important digression: The Guardian spells it as "he wailed on me" but I am 100% positive it's "whaled on." LANGUAGE NERDS, WEIGH IN. Third option, "Waled on."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:20 AM on May 25, 2017 [18 favorites]


I've always said wailed on.
posted by aubilenon at 12:23 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: LANGUAGE NERDS, WEIGH IN
posted by riverlife at 12:24 AM on May 25, 2017 [27 favorites]


Like I'm pretty sure you whale on somebody until they wail and get wales, but I eagerly await the nerds.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:26 AM on May 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


Chris Hayes also spelled it "wailing" in a tweet, and I have seen complaints, along with complaints about the complaints.
posted by zachlipton at 12:27 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


It was pretty clearly originally "whale on" but "wail on" seems more and more common, likely from people who had only heard it verbally writing it out with the wrong homophone and the error propagating online.
posted by Justinian at 12:28 AM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


that could be like one of those "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters...
WEIGH
IN
and
WAIL
ON

posted by oneswellfoop at 12:29 AM on May 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


Language Nazis Greater Then Actual Nazis
posted by Yowser at 12:33 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Important digression: The Guardian spells it as "he wailed on me" but I am 100% positive it's "whaled on." LANGUAGE NERDS, WEIGH IN.

My greatest ever post was DESTROYED by this. Please, please don't. If you do, Trump wins!!
posted by Chuckles at 12:33 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


"likely from people who had only heard it verbally"

You have triggered my #1 language pet peeve, they heard it ORALLY. (Or even aurally!) "Verbal" encompasses both spoken and written language and it can fuck you up in a deposition. I speak from experience of people being fucked up by such inexactitude in depositions when faced with grammar Nazi judges.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:35 AM on May 25, 2017 [22 favorites]


He was really waling/whaling/wailing on that guy!

I would have said waled, but I suppose that this is good enough for me;

Pap he hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn’t want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around.

-Huckleberry Finn
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:35 AM on May 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


MODS SAVE US FROM THIS INSANITY
posted by Yowser at 12:36 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


MODS ARE PROPAGATING THE INSANITY YOU ARE LOST.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:37 AM on May 25, 2017 [65 favorites]




When a secondary Politics Thread pops up while a Trump Thread is still going strong and the mods don't immediately knock it down, you know it's going to be a wild ride. But then, this topic should become pretty much resolved in the next 24 hours (unless the vote is REALCLOSE), so no big deal. Just so long as they're putting their stuff there.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:45 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also what the hell? I go off the internet for a few days and this is what I come back to?

Everyone always used to laugh about the story of Rep. Preston Brooks beating Sen. Charles Sumner with his cane, but that is the level of politics we are living with today. We are at pre-Civil War level.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:47 AM on May 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


Going to go serious here for a bit. Yeah, I know reporters can sometimes be real asshats, but, regardless, there is ZERO need for physicality.
posted by Samizdata at 12:55 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Everyone always used to laugh about the story of Rep. Preston Brooks beating Sen. Charles Sumner with his cane, but that is the level of politics we are living with today. We are at pre-Civil War level.

There's one difference: Sumner did call Brooksa piece of excrement and dried out encrusted dog's vomit IIRC. So normal stuff. The Guardian reporter, OTOH, was asking a politician about a policy matter of public interest, hardly standard practice at all!
posted by mark k at 1:10 AM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Summer, a radical abolitionist, did call Butler, Brooks's cousin, a rapist, among other things, when arguing against Butler's general depravity and criminality as a supporter of slavery. (Go back and read one of those radical abolitionist speeches on the floor of Congress, they are NOT SHY about calling out Southern slave owners for rape of slaves, which I totally did not know when I learned it in school. It is in basically every speech.)

I sincerely hope that is not the point we're at as a country -- physical altercations and duels in the lead up to the Civil War -- but I can't help being afraid we are. I try to remind myself I know too much about Lincoln, and not enough about presidents who DIDN'T fight civil wars, so I see too many unwonted parallels.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:34 AM on May 25, 2017 [25 favorites]


The correct word is WALED on him, meaning I striped him like corduroy pants. (fake)
posted by msalt at 1:44 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


The asshat is a republican (but again I repeat myself), so I assume he (best southern accent) walled on the reporter: voters would love him, and someone else would pay, for it.
posted by maxwelton at 2:40 AM on May 25, 2017


Why did I make the mistake of looking to see how Trumper hangouts were reacting to this story? Why? I feel both angrier and stupider for having read it.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Hwaeled.
posted by kyrademon at 2:57 AM on May 25, 2017 [23 favorites]


Jueild.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:42 AM on May 25, 2017


Huelled.
posted by schroedinger at 4:06 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Josey Waled [spit]
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:41 AM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I wonder what happens if he does win? The other republican congress people are going to have to either shun him or greet him when he shows up in Washington. Will Ryan shake his hand and welcome him to congress?
posted by octothorpe at 4:43 AM on May 25, 2017


If he can vote with that hand Ryan will shake it.
posted by vbfg at 4:45 AM on May 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


Ex-Rep John Dingle:
All of these things having been said, that body slam is the only substantive GOP response to questions about the CBO score I've seen today.
posted by octothorpe at 4:45 AM on May 25, 2017 [83 favorites]


They will try to evade media questions and equivocate for a bit, until it's "old news"... but yes, they will welcome him. They welcomed Trump.
posted by Roommate at 4:45 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm wondering if Gianforte is going to issue any sort of apology or excuse. I suppose it depends on if he loses or wins. If he loses he can blame it on being under tremendous pressure and if he wins he may not allude to the incident at all or he may joke about it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:05 AM on May 25, 2017


Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

I dimly recall a Harry Truman quotation regarding tolerance for thermal gradients and kitchens.
posted by Gelatin at 5:19 AM on May 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


When did the press become the bad guys?

When right-wing talk-radio blowhards, right-wing opinion columnists, Fox News, etc spent 30 years railing about the "liberal media".


Which they did because the things Republican politicians do look terrible if the voters are told about them.
posted by Gelatin at 5:29 AM on May 25, 2017 [16 favorites]



Pap he hadn’t been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn’t want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around.

-Huckleberry Finn


Huck also uses "sivilised" and "resk" so I'm not sure he's the best authority here.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:01 AM on May 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


The Guardian reporter, OTOH, was asking a politician about a policy matter of public interest, hardly standard practice at all!

Much of the national media did ignore Hillary Clinton's policy proposals, and Trump's ridiculous deficit of same, in favor of BUT HER EMAILS, true, but many reporters do make a practice of asking politicians about policy matters of public interest.
posted by Gelatin at 6:04 AM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm wondering if Gianforte is going to issue any sort of apology or excuse. I suppose it depends on if he loses or wins. If he loses he can blame it on being under tremendous pressure and if he wins he may not allude to the incident at all or he may joke about it.

Win or lose, he's going to have to appear before a judge in the next 2 weeks. If it's a decent judge and he doesn't at least feign an apology, dude could get jail time.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:33 AM on May 25, 2017


A white, male Republican politician on a first offence? I wouldn't be holding your breath for jail time. Maaaaaaybe if he'd killed the guy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:44 AM on May 25, 2017


A white, male Republican politician on a first offence? I wouldn't be holding your breath for jail time. Maaaaaaybe if he'd killed the guy.

I wouldn't have been holding my breath that a republican sheriff would have even cited him for assault, but here we are. Again, depends on how principled the judge is.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:46 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]




National Treasure Charles P. Pierce at Esquire

Now I want an iPhone of Doom.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:30 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


In answer to a query above, most Sheriff departments can arrest and hold for 48 hours (the time can vary). The prosecutors then decide if they want to charge...and what that charge is. In other words, most sheriffs/police arrest on *suspicion* of _______.

Jail can be used to "teach you a lesson." (Ask the 18 year old me--arrested and transported with twelve others to six in a four-bunk cell hellhole for the weekend because sheriffs found one joint in a couch cushion and no one would claim possession--all charges dropped Monday morning)

Probably not too tough in Montana. LA County Jail was a nightmare.
posted by CrowGoat at 7:40 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Apparently Gianforte is a young earth creationist, giving money to the cause. For whatever genetic or cultural reasons, it deeply matters to people like him that they control the narrative of the entire world in a pseudo-scientific way, which often features themselves as the covenant keepers. Old earth denialism is more than just a chip on someone's shoulder, it is possibly a symptom of a larger mental illness with lots of control issues, racial entitlement and hidden aggression.
posted by Brian B. at 7:48 AM on May 25, 2017 [24 favorites]


I realize that this is naive, but I find it hard to wrap my head around a genuine tech guy (bachelors in engineering; masters in computer science) who is a young earth creationist. Like, I can understand how that belief system could appeal to people who were stupid or scientifically illiterate, but it's hard for me to understand how you could buy into it if you were clearly neither.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:53 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


For the record, I am on board with laws that mandate anyone who makes it to 600 years old has to go back to work.
posted by emjaybee at 7:54 AM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


You'd be amazed at the level of compartmentalism that exists in the minds of many engineering types. The valedictorian of my Mech E class told me I should just "drive on it" when my driveshaft was out of alignment and vibrating violently.
posted by notsnot at 7:55 AM on May 25, 2017 [23 favorites]


I realize that this is naive, but I find it hard to wrap my head around a genuine tech guy (bachelors in engineering; masters in computer science) who is a young earth creationist.

Engineer's Disease can make you a young-earth creationist just as easily as it can make you join ISIS.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:57 AM on May 25, 2017 [30 favorites]


WarbyParker bought Ben new glasses. (Twitter)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on May 25, 2017 [23 favorites]


> WarbyParker bought Ben new glasses. (Twitter)

With an assist from "MeFi's Own" Evan McMullin! Is there anything that guy can't do? (Well, besides win the GOP nomination.)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:59 AM on May 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


I find it hard to wrap my head around a genuine tech guy (bachelors in engineering; masters in computer science) who is a young earth creationist. Like, I can understand how that belief system could appeal to people who were stupid or scientifically illiterate, but it's hard for me to understand how you could buy into it if you were clearly neither.

You'd be amazed at the level of compartmentalism that exists in the minds of many engineering types.

Engineer's Disease can make you a young-earth creationist just as easily as it can make you join ISIS.

I can confirm this. I am an extremely well educated tech person, and I used to be a young-earth creationist. That was a hole that took years to dig myself out of, and it wasn't science that dug me out of it, but rather a different religion.

Never underestimate the power of indoctrination and brainwashing.
posted by ragtag at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2017 [35 favorites]


It's the "everyone is a sucker but me" blind spot, which is why con artists can con even smart people. Intelligence is not the same as wisdom. And if you think of yourself as more intelligent than other people, then you are less likely to question your own assumptions.
posted by emjaybee at 8:10 AM on May 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


I'm always impressed(?!) by the conservative fundamentalist Christian guys who are also somehow MRA evolutionary psych guys because women are scientifically inferior
posted by nicebookrack at 8:12 AM on May 25, 2017 [10 favorites]


ragtag: I am an extremely well educated tech person, and I used to be a young-earth creationist. That was a hole that took years to dig myself out of, and it wasn't science that dug me out of it, but rather a different religion.

One part of becoming an engineer is taking on a huge amount of information. If you slow down to think critically about it, you're doomed; you won't learn fast enough to pass your exams. You can't even stop to think about the limitations of engineering math itself, all the fudge factors and approximations. You have to accept received knowledge as it's given.
posted by clawsoon at 8:16 AM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


octothorpe: I wonder what happens if he does win? The other republican congress people are going to have to either shun him or greet him when he shows up in Washington. Will Ryan shake his hand and welcome him to congress?

They will joke about it when they think that the microphones are off, and then we'll get to see the story in the news again.
posted by clawsoon at 8:18 AM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


MT Sen. Daines (R) put out the weakest of weaksauce statements. A sauce more transparent and less viscous than water. But I guess it's something???!??!?

"I have confidence in local law enforcement. I do know Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault and will leave the questions and answers to local law enforcement. I do not condone violence in any way."
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:22 AM on May 25, 2017


When did the press become the bad guys?

Unfortunately, killing the messenger has been A Thing for a while now.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:22 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I sincerely hope that is not the point we're at as a country -- physical altercations and duels in the lead up to the Civil War -- but I can't help being afraid we are.

Ben Jacobs is American from the sound of him, so perhaps it doesn't apply, but a certain British Radio 4 consumer affairs journalist* perfected the art and science of goading hucksters and thugs into attacking him on air. It made for thrilling radio, and was pretty damning of the targeted shyster.

I'm pretty sure Ben Jacobs wasn't looking to be attacked but he certainly echoed the vivid reportage technique developed to cope with these situations eg mentioning everything that happens - "Don't slam your car door on my hand!" "Stop trying to run me over!" "Oh you've just punched me have you, well here I am lying on the floor with blood dripping down my face [spits] that was my tooth" etc. For me, whose media literacy is based on BBC Radio, it was fitting the incident brought to mind nothing so much as a vintage consumer report dealing with out-and-out crooks.

* Roger Cook, Checkpoint.
posted by glasseyes at 8:28 AM on May 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


MT Sen. Daines (R) put out the weakest of weaksauce statements. A sauce more transparent and less viscous than water. But I guess it's something???!??!?

The ranks-closing is fucking baffling to me. I'm not that bright, but even I can see that this is a gift to Republicans. They should be decrying Gianforte in the strongest possible terms. They should be demanding that he withdraw from the race, that he not be seated, that he resign if elected.

Why? Not for any moral reasons. Pff. For tactical ones: If Gianforte loses now, it's not a reflection on other Republicans or on Trump. It's purely because he's a hothead who beat up a reporter. That's not indicative of anything; he's just a bad apple, and now he won't ruin the bunch. *make hand-wiping motion*

And Gianforte doesn't matter anyway. If Quist straight-up wins, the Republicans still have 20 spare seats in the House.
posted by Etrigan at 8:32 AM on May 25, 2017 [17 favorites]


Giving it a charitable read, Daines's statement reads like, "I don't really know everything going on in that shit show, I'm not involved, I don't want to GET involved."

Since they don't have all the facts they don't want to say something they'll have to walk back later, the guy is in the same party, and they'll potentially have to work with them in the future.

So you get basically:
Not my circus, not my monkey but I trust the people that run the circus to do the right thing to take care of the rampaging monkey problem.
posted by VTX at 8:32 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


My father, a reporter in Canada for most of his working life, likes to tell the story of an encounter with the Premier of [province redacted] outside a fundraiser one evening. The Premier and a member of his cabinet were coming out of the event, drink had probably been consumed, and my father was doing his job by ambushing them and asking slightly obnoxious questions about some newsworthy matter of the day. The Premier mutters something to the cabinet minister, quite a large man, who then proceeds to pick my father up bodily, carry him aside, put him back down on his feet and theatrically dust off his jacket.

The pair walked off while my father was still speechless. Simpler, gentler times.
posted by figurant at 8:33 AM on May 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


The ranks-closing is fucking baffling to me.

Party over country everything.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:34 AM on May 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


Why? Not for any moral reasons. Pff. For tactical ones

This argument only makes sense if you assume that the Republicans want power for something. No, they're just bullies. They can't condemn a bully even when it's politically useful for them to do so, because that's fundamentally who they are.

Anyway, the election is going on today, right? Is there somewhere to follow the exit polling and official results?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:38 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Polls close at 8pm MDT.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:41 AM on May 25, 2017


If I am remembering correctly, one of the investigative pieces about Montana politics specifies that Gianforte is Daine's handpicked successor. In that light, the statement is pretty damning. Daine might be trying to publicly wash his hands of Gianforte at a pretty crucial moment.
posted by Slothrop at 8:42 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


CNN:
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Montana GOP candidate Greg Gianforte "should apologize" for allegedly body-slamming a reporter last night.

"There's no call for this," Ryan said, "under any circumstance."

Gianforte was charged with assault just hours before the polls opened in Montana's special election to replace Rep. Zinke, who is now interior secretary.

"If he wins, he's been chosen by the people of Montana," Ryan said.
What a coward.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:42 AM on May 25, 2017 [33 favorites]


Montana has exit polls?

Even if so, they'd be useless as over half the basis have already been cast.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:43 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


What a coward.

Hey, it's better than Duncan Hunter's response: GOP lawmaker on Mont. candidate: Violence 'not appropriate' unless reporter 'deserved it'
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:44 AM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Would like to remind everyone that Minnesota was run by an actual professional wrestler for 4 years with 0 body slams.

True enough. It is also worth noting that Minnesota has been represented in the Senate by two different college-level wrestlers with a combined zero body slams over twenty years.

(The Franken/Dean heckling incident doesn't count because it was before Franken was elected and also not a body slam: “I got down low and took his legs out,” said Franken afterwards.
posted by nickmark at 8:59 AM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Montana has exit polls?

Even if so, they'd be useless as over half the basis have already been cast.


Exit polls are also conducted of people who say they voted by mail (both today and previously in the last couple of weeks). They're integrated into the more standard sort of exit polls.
posted by Etrigan at 9:01 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


An interesting wrinkle is that the governor tried to make this an all mail ballot election. The GOP blocked that. Now they probably wish everyone HAD already voted.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:33 AM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


He'll probably still win. Even if his lead until yesterday was only 6 points or so, that's probably too much to overcome on election day if half to two-thirds of the vote is already in. :(
posted by kyrademon at 9:38 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


In other news, Gianforte has apparently been shooting dogs because he thinks they are plotting to take over the government.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:53 AM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


@kyrademon: Montana has same-day voter registration. All is not lost.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Neither engineering nor computer science actually mean you are good at science. You can effectively be a chinese room taking input and running it through formulas and producing outputs with no real understanding of the scientific process that produced the formulas in the first place.

Using science is incredibly different from producing science.
posted by srboisvert at 10:26 AM on May 25, 2017 [17 favorites]


When did the messengers become the bad guys? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:40 AM on May 25, 2017


Neither engineering nor computer science actually mean you are good at science. You can effectively be a chinese room taking input and running it through formulas and producing outputs with no real understanding of the scientific process that produced the formulas in the first place.

Using science is incredibly different from producing science.


And yet, in a way, this capacity is part of what makes us intelligent beings.
posted by clockzero at 10:57 AM on May 25, 2017


I know this gets said ad nauseum but man what a weird timeline we've stumbled into...I think I died in November and this is hell.

November, 1963.

Also, I'm going with Huck Finn.
posted by mule98J at 11:08 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am curious to know about Gianforte's home life. Does he beat his wife? If you'd attack a reporter, by attempted strangulation, you've done that sort of thing before. He's also rather old to be acting out in this way. Either he's been doing it all along or he's suddenly had a psychotic break. Either way the man's unfit for office.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:14 AM on May 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


And Pence has gone to ground, most likely to avoid press questions about the Bozeman Berserker.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:17 AM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Just went the 20 miles to my nearest polling station and voted for the one who isn't a reprehensible violent criminal. Win or lose, Gianforte's made himself into a clown and an embarrassment to the GOP and to the state he wants to degrade.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:56 AM on May 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


SPECIAL ELECTION: MISSOULA VOTERS ASK FOR NEW BALLOT AFTER GIANFORTE INCIDENT

The phones began ringing at the Missoula County Elections Office early Thursday morning with people looking to change their vote or receive a new ballot for today’s special election, which will determine who holds the state’s at-large seat in the U.S. Congress.
“We’ve been getting dozens of calls this morning, starting at 7 a.m., in light of recent events,” Missoula County elections supervisor Rebecca Connors said early Thursday. “I don’t think the calls would have happened if we didn’t have the situation that unfolded last night.”

A CNN news crew arrived at the elections office early Thursday and planned to live stream coverage from Missoula of Montana’s special election between Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist.

Nearly 40,000 Missoula County residents have already voted absentee and did so before the alleged assault occurred Wednesday afternoon in Bozeman. Several dozen of those voters on Thursday morning called the elections office wanting to change their vote.

However, Connor said, doing so is not possible.

posted by Jalliah at 11:59 AM on May 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


OMG, I'm beginning to feel like the guy might actually lose. Is this a smidgen of ... optimism that I'm feeling?

Nah, it's probably just indigestion. If 2016-17 has taught me anything so far, Lucy will *always* pull the football away. But it's interesting that "violently assaulting a reporter with live audio and Fox News witnesses" might be where the line is drawn for some fraction of GOP voters.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:08 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Arm the Press.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Here's the response of Jennifer Fielder, a local (awful, militia-affiliated) state senator. This takes the cake for despicable elected GOP responses so far:

"About the Gianforte altercation with the liberal reporter... I would like to see an investigation into the 'agitator training' leftist 'journalists' receive. Good journalists are respectful, but I have noticed a definite trend in agitator tactics being used by liberal operatives acting as reporters. They intentionally try to blindside you, push a predetermined adversarial narrative, persist with badgering questions (often about material you havent even seen yet), rudely interupt and intrude into your personal space, and whatever else they can do to provoke a controversial response. Guess Ben Jacobs got more than he bargained for when he decided to tangle with Greg Gianforte!"
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:12 PM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Arm the Press.

The pen is mightier than the sword. Eventually.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:13 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]




Face it: The body-slammed reporter did just what you would have done
“What kind of a wuss files charges over broken glasses?” wondered the Daily Caller’s Derek Hunter; in reply to audio of Jacobs’s assault, Town Hall’s Kurt Schlichter tweeted, “I’ll go find a breeding kennel if I want to listen to bitches.” Longtime conservative know-nothing Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, asked, “What would most Montana men do if ‘body slammed’ for no reason by another man?”

...

The insistence that he spit out a cool one liner and saunter off like he’s Raylan Givens, however, exposes his right-wing critics as having virgin hands. Physical fights aren’t choreographed performances; they’re painful and bizarre and usually unexpected, and anybody who’s ever genuinely thrown down could hardly blame Jacobs, a reporter, for being momentarily stunned and then heading in for medical treatment and contacting the authorities. That Jacobs did so isn’t everything wrong with America; that a bunch of middle-aged pundits logged onto Twitter to strut their toughness in 140 characters or less isn’t either, but it’s closer to the problem than Jacobs ever has been.
posted by indubitable at 12:20 PM on May 25, 2017 [25 favorites]


Politicians react to Gianforte's alleged assault of reporter
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock released a statement Thursday morning, criticizing Gianforte.

“It is unsettling on many levels that Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a journalist and then lied, refusing to take responsibility for his actions. Yesterday’s events serve as another wake up call to all Montanans and Americans that we must restore civility in politics and governing, and demand more from people who hold the public’s trust,” Bullock said. “One thing is clear: no matter what happens today, the actions of Gianforte do not reflect the values of Montana or its people.
That would seem to disqualify a guy from being a representative of Montana, wouldn't you say?
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:30 PM on May 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


I'm always amazed when people are just minding their own business and someone comes up with a harpoon and just starts whaling on somebody.
posted by bigbigdog at 12:31 PM on May 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm always amazed when people are just minding their own business and someone comes up with a harpoon and just starts whaling on somebody.

I haven't seen this much whaling in government since Congressman Ahab.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:32 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Call me Ishmawhael
posted by kirkaracha at 12:36 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen this much whaling in government since Congressman Ahab.
it took 12 hours to get to the first Moby-Dick-related joke. good self-control, MetaFilter. (I was holding my tongue to call the violent candidate Moby Dickhead)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:36 PM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


> whatever else they can do to provoke a controversial response.

WINGNUT LEXICON WATCH: Misdemeanor assault now falls under the umbrella of "controversial responses." I suppose if Gianforte had shot Jacobs, things might have escalated to a "bold statement of principle."
posted by tonycpsu at 12:37 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


“What kind of a wuss files charges over broken glasses?” wondered the Daily Caller’s Derek Hunter

This is really going to shock everyone, but Derek Hunter thinks it's perfectly okay for a cop to shoot a black person for shoving him.
posted by Etrigan at 12:44 PM on May 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


Note to self: bring harpoon to next whaling event.

I don't understand how, with the volume of expository phone camera footage that exists of every event it seems, there's no video footage. Especially since it was a press event. Did I miss the footage?
posted by bendy at 12:53 PM on May 25, 2017


can we kill the whale tangent pls
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:05 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Open whaling season on whale tangents.
posted by riverlife at 1:12 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]




Who knew the Onion had so many BDSM enthusiasts on staff?
posted by nicebookrack at 1:28 PM on May 25, 2017


From Hell's heart, I stab at the whale tangent
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:48 PM on May 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


@PeterAlexander: NEW: Source close to Gianforte campaign says it's raised $100K+ online in last 24 hours -- most of it coming after reporter "body slam."

"I'll take 'What's wrong with this country?' for $100,000, Alex"
posted by zachlipton at 1:56 PM on May 25, 2017 [32 favorites]


Did I miss the footage?
The press that was in the same room was still in the process of setting up their cameras.
posted by soelo at 1:57 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


> @PeterAlexander: NEW: Source close to Gianforte campaign says it's raised $100K+ online in last 24 hours -- most of it coming after reporter "body slam."

I'm generally opposed to terrorist watch lists, but one must exist, this donor list would be a good start.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:03 PM on May 25, 2017 [19 favorites]


So, a GOP politician, indignant at being aggressively questioned by the press, violently attacks a reporter, and the bootlicking bully lovers come out of the woodwork to reward him for his thuggery.

Sounds about right.

If anyone ever asks you "How could it happen that violent, rights-shredding authoritarians gain popular support" you can direct them to this story.
posted by darkstar at 2:06 PM on May 25, 2017 [20 favorites]


I'm curious about how much Quist raised, though. I sent him $10 last night, not that I think it will make that much difference at this late date.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:24 PM on May 25, 2017


Overall he raised $5M, and he's outraised Gianforte by a significant amount, to the point that the only reason that it even looks close on paper is because Gianforte dumped $1M of his own money in his campaign. Now, his side has had more money overall, but that's because of all the dark money that was dumped in.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:45 PM on May 25, 2017


The former Endorsements page on Gianforte's campaign website has been replaced with title "Page not found" and a "Montana Moments – Join the Team" form.

He's gone to ground since Wednesday night with nary a peep.
posted by cenoxo at 4:06 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Ben Jacobs has put out a video discussing the events of the last 24 hours.

Meanwhie, Missoula-based KECI refused to air the recording and framed this as a "he said, she said" despite the witness accounts and the tape. They also didn't bother to mention the accounts of the Fox News reporters in the room. The station, unsurprisingly, is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which frankly requires its stations to air GOP propaganda.
posted by zachlipton at 4:30 PM on May 25, 2017 [13 favorites]


Hwaeled.

Whan that Jacobe with his smartphone oot
Asked the querie about the CBO's troot
And prodded Ben for a response detailed
Ben promptly then onto Jacob hwaeled.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:37 PM on May 25, 2017 [27 favorites]


Thus endeth the hwael lesson.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Why did I make the mistake of looking to see how Trumper hangouts were reacting to this story? Why? I feel both angrier and stupider for having read it.

I am too scared to look up the results/updates...
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 5:39 PM on May 25, 2017


I hate elections that take place in or close to my own time zone, where I can't just confidently have the answers by dinner.
posted by corb at 6:04 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Looks like no results yet: NY Times live election results page

Well, it was 6:54pm Mountain Time when you posted that. According to your link, "The first results are expected around 10:25 p.m. Eastern = 8:25 MT.
posted by msalt at 6:09 PM on May 25, 2017


Try being *east* of the elections you're interested in, by 8 hours. I'm a night owl by nature but geeze.
posted by nat at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]




"And his work life! I have to imagine that there are a lot of ex-RightNow (Gianforte's former company) employees reading the news right now and nodding "yep, sounds about right.""

Not so much, actually. I know quite a few ex-RightNow people and they almost universally have good things to say. (Also mostly got out of dodge after the sale to Oracle, now there's a dark reputation.) It's the people who have been involved in the political scene that are very much saying "sounds about right".

So yeah, people can show very different faces of themselves from place to place.
posted by traveler_ at 7:02 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Results are starting to come in now.
posted by kyrademon at 7:10 PM on May 25, 2017


Do the results coming in include vote-by-mail? Or do those come in all at once?
posted by lalex at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2017


Ugh, early commentary on the results isn't great and I don't know if I can handle another soul-crushing election result.
posted by lalex at 7:17 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


The results on the tv in the bar in Bozeman have Quist up 48/45 so far.
posted by Grandysaur at 7:20 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


The results on the tv in the bar in Bozeman have Quist up 48/45 so far.
That's true, but Missoula came in first.

People really need to stop getting their hopes up. It's really unlikely that Quist is going to win this, which doesn't mean that we won't win other elections that are less of a longshot.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2017


Going back down - Quist is still up, but it's now separated by only .9%
posted by corb at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2017


I WILL NOT NOT GET MY HOPES UP
posted by Grandysaur at 7:23 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


People really need to stop getting their hopes up. It's really unlikely that Quist is going to win this, which doesn't mean that we won't win other elections that are less of a longshot.

You are absolutely right. I didn't even expect Quist to win! The politics are gettin' me down, man.
posted by lalex at 7:26 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


I don't expect Quist to win but I hope fervently that Gianforte is a deep embarrassment to everyone who voted for him.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:28 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


If you watch betting markets they've got Gianforte up around 95% based on initial results.
posted by Justinian at 7:29 PM on May 25, 2017


The world is watching and bring reminded that America is a country with almost limitless cruelty.
posted by Yowser at 7:29 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


So what happens if Gianforte wins and then gets censured or removed or jailed? Another special election?
posted by corb at 7:29 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


So what happens if Gianforte wins and then gets censured or removed or jailed?

He becomes a hero to a certain segment of the population, like Preston Brooks.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2017


I would not lay bets on censure or removal, not with this House, and I doubt he'll get jailed for misdemeanour assault.
posted by maudlin at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Censured? We'll be lucky if the House Rs don't give him a medal.
posted by Justinian at 7:32 PM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Even if Quist does not win, a close race when a Republican landslide might be expected should put the Republicans on notice that they are not as popular as they think they are - and put wind in Democratic sails. (Unless, that is, the Democratic leadership says "welp, we lost, we're only spending money and effort on safe seats" and sails the Failboat into the sunset.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:33 PM on May 25, 2017 [14 favorites]


It felt weird listening to All Things Considered today and hearing equal/majority air time given to Montanans who believed Gianforte was correct and justified in "standing up for himself," and/or straight-up denied that he assaulted a reporter, and then Ari Shapiro summed the whole thing up as Gianforte "getting into a scuffle" with a reporter," so we/they are probably doomed.

Impressive levels of false equivalence given an audio recording, the statement of the alleged vicitm and the direct reporting from a different and independent news crew. Was there mention of these things?
posted by jaduncan at 7:34 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


So what happens if Gianforte wins and then gets censured or removed or jailed?
He's not going to be censured, removed or jailed, corb. He's already being lauded as a hero who gave a "snowflake" liberal journalist what he had coming.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:38 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Was there mention of these things?

Here's the transcript, judge for yourself.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Welp back to that low grade nausea over the goddamn Republic we go, then. Goddamnit.
posted by corb at 7:40 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah, Pod Save America today had a whole bit about the deafening silence from GOP leadership over Gianforte's behavior. They aren't going to say shit about shit. He's got an R after his name, he's on their team, and that's all that matters.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:44 PM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I fucking hate everyone.
posted by corb at 7:45 PM on May 25, 2017 [21 favorites]


I should clarify, that was just gut reaction. I hate fuckers who aren't willing to admit what the right thing is and keep some goddamn moral integrity. I hated it when I thought Democrats were doing it and it doesn't magically become better when it has an R in front of it. I hope they all lose their seats and can't get a job as dogcatcher.
posted by corb at 7:46 PM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


I fucking hated everyone before you were born, corb. Welcome.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:46 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I don't know if this contest or the Pens/Senators game is giving me more anxiety.
posted by octothorpe at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Paul Ryan wouldn't know moral integrity if it took him out for dinner and dancing.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Maybe this is a good time to point out that the previous incident was when some random Republican accused a British Guardian reporter by saying "You don't look British" no points for guessing what the reporter looks like.
posted by Yowser at 7:50 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


my name is Greg,
and wen im sad,
or wen Ben Jacobs
makes me mad,
or CBO scors
dont seem rite,
i do not wate.
i start a fite.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2017 [43 favorites]


It was a long shot to begin with.

The worst part is that it's gonna be open season on journalists. Every small-town politician who ever wanted to tell that little liberal asswipe from the paper he's getting that recorder right down his fucking throat has something to aspire to: Congress.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:57 PM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Just in case anyone else was holding out hopes for a possible runoff (and thus, more time for the assault to affect the outcome), for statewide elections in Montana:

"The individual receiving the highest number of valid votes for any office at an election is elected or nominated to that office."
Oh, well.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 8:07 PM on May 25, 2017


From 538's live blog coverage of the race:
DAVID WASSERMAN 10:44 PM
I’m coming up with the same kinda range as Nate. The truth is, we’ll never really know where the race stood yesterday, only a messy combination of where it stood pre- and post-slam. That said, I think a 4-8 point Gianforte victory would still be a good sign for Democrats nationally, considering they haven’t come that close in a Montana House race in two decades.

NATE SILVER 10:47 PM
Dave, I agree that a 4-8 point win for Gianforte would be consistent with somewhere between a pretty good and a very good political environment for Democrats. Which … maybe is about what we ought to have expected given the results of other special elections so far? It wouldn’t change my priors all that much, in other words, although my priors are that Republicans face a lot of vulnerability in 2018.

HARRY ENTEN 10:51 PM
Definitely agree with Nate and Dave that a mid-single digit win by Gianforte would be consistent with a good environment for Democrats nationally. Many Democrats still seem to want a big win in a special election in the opposing party’s territory, though. Republicans got it in 2010 with Scott Brown defeating Martha Coakley in deep-blue Massachusetts. Democrats may get that at some point. (Georgia 6, I’m looking at you.)

But Democrats don’t need that win, either. They never notched a marquee victory in a Republican-leaning district in the 2006 cycle. They lost in Ohio 2 and California 50. Still, they were outperforming the presidential lean in pretty much every district that held a special election that cycle. That’s what has happened so far this cycle, and it’s what appears to be occurring tonight.
So, yay? It would feel much better if the idiot bully who beat up a reporter lost today, and it will feel awful if he doesn't, but a) it happened yesterday in a state where many votes had already been cast, and b) it sounds like even a win by Gianforte could be a good sign for Democrats, depending on the margin.
posted by booksherpa at 8:07 PM on May 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I will, of course, be disappointed if Gianforte wins, but there are worse things in the world than Paul Ryan being both spooked by the margin and saddled with the titles of "guy in charge of caucus that assaults reporters" and "guy pushing healthcare bill so shitty people would rather commit assault than defend it."
posted by zachlipton at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


If Gianforte wins by 6% or less I'll consider it a victory, and will expect around half the state to hound and humiliate him and surround him like so many white blood cells around a foreign body until we collectively squirt him out of our government with a gush of democracy gleet in 2018. Which is just around the corner. Not enough time for him to do much damage to the country but plenty of time for him to further damage and degrade the GOP.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:14 PM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


The more frustrated and frustrating the Trump admin becomes, I think the more likely it is that fascists will support local goons like Gianforte.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:15 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Gleet is a word my cohort were very fond of in high school. Excellent word choice.
posted by Windopaene at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is a good time to point out that the previous incident was when some random Republican accused a British Guardian reporter by saying "You don't look British" no points for guessing what the reporter looks like.

Good evening, everyone. MeFi's own CommonSense here, proud to have been a posting-capable member for a smidge over a decade, and proud to help fund MeFi on a monthly basis. Would you mind if I take a moment to share my thoughts with you on this sort of thing?

I'm a brown guy, albeit light brown — enough so that when I was growing up in a far less South Asian-populated USA, I got lots of people wondering "what I am" and inevitably guessing wrong. (You name it, I've heard it. Greek, Italian, Latino, Filipino . . . pretty much anything but Indian.) But certainly dark enough to be "suspicious" to a horse's ass like the one in the clip that Yowser is alluding to in his/her comment. (And if you haven't seen that video clip, it's a must-see. SERIOUSLY awkward.)

Watching that clip really hit me on a visceral, gut level. I haven't been in situations like that too often, but I've gotten really close. I've been right on the EDGE of being in situations like that more times than I care to count. I've danced right around the edge of White Male Fragility pretty much all my goddamn fucking life, but it's so rare that I see it on full display like this.

Make no mistake, the "you don't look British" asshole is also quivering and feeling scared on the inside, too. This is something I only know NOW, but it took me until a year or two ago — and mind you, I'm 42 years old — before I figured this out. Until that time, I let this kind of shit scare and intimidate me. These motherfuckers only do this because they know it's effective, never mind the fact that their whole house-of-cards ego could crumble at any moment, too.

I've dealt with fuckers like this all my life. I've been asked if I speak English by people who can't even construct a goddamn sentence, while I hold a Journalism degree from one of the nation's top J schools. (Which is not to say I wasn't phenomenally literate — if I may say so myself — well before I even went to college.) This kind of dirty bullying keeps happening because it works. Maybe not 100% of the time, but 90-something percent. And that's more than good enough.

The scared, hateful little children that still populate so, so many dark corners of this republic are having their moment now. Not just because they feel legitimized by the current administration, but also because this is their proverbial dead cat bounce. They're losing "their" country — except that we all know it was never theirs, unless they've got 100% Native blood. (And they don't, because if they did, they wouldn't be advising a Republican't carpetbagger asshole in Montana.)

It took me until my 40s before I really understood it: The modern white American male is not at the top of the food chain. He's a loser. He is losing what was never "his" country to begin with, a country he got only through incredible, incomprehensible violence. The country's foundations rest on a ramshackle foundation of white male fragility, and if you poke at this hornet's nest enough, it explodes in an angry but impotent rage.

Like some dipshit in Montana saying "you don't look British." Because while you have the English accent, you had the audacity to also be brown and have a command of the language — their language — that they can never hope to achieve.

I genuinely admire the patience of that Guardian reporter in that clip, because I don't have that. I would've lost all composure and embarrassed myself. I'm too old for this shit, and I have a wife and a two-year-old daughter to whom I owe a world that she can go forth and excel in. And I'll be goddamned if I will allow pissants like this to block her way forward.

So that's how I console myself. I remind myself that these fuckers are little babies, crying because this is it. The final curtain's about to go down, and their time in the light is long gone. But ohhhhh, boy, will they make it difficult and awkward for the rest of us as they refuse to leave quietly.
posted by CommonSense at 8:18 PM on May 25, 2017 [60 favorites]


(Unless, that is, the Democratic leadership says "welp, we lost, we're only spending money and effort on safe seats" and sails the Failboat into the sunset.)

I mean, these are still Democrats we're talking about.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:20 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


The good news is that Gallatin and Missoula counties, two populous blue counties, have only reported their early ballots at this point.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2017


Mod note: Sports do not go here. They go elsewhere. Go, sports, go.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:00 PM on May 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Opportune time for this link I suppose: WaPo—If Gianforte wins in Montana, the House likely has no choice but to welcome him

In theory, he could be seated and then expelled by a two-thirds vote of the House, but don't hold your breath.
posted by zachlipton at 9:03 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


538 is calling it. 50.5% to 43.7% with 70% reporting.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:06 PM on May 25, 2017


is this where incumbent house GOPers start working on their reporter body-slamming skills?

we're so doomed
posted by localhuman at 9:10 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ahhh, forget it, Jake, it's Montana.

The fact that Quist even had a shot here is still a feather in the cap of all decent people everywhere.
posted by CommonSense at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


"I will, of course, be disappointed if Gianforte wins, but there are worse things in the world than Paul Ryan being both spooked by the margin and saddled with the titles of "guy in charge of caucus that assaults reporters" and "guy pushing healthcare bill so shitty people would rather commit assault than defend it.""

The ACHA: The bill so great, its own supporters want to punch people in the face.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:16 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


If Gianforte wins by 6% or less I'll consider it a victory
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:14 PM


[Gianforte wins by 6.3%]

God damn it. Glad at least to have 44% of my fellow Montanans in the realm of sanity and since I'm feeling charitable I'll toss in the 5.9% who voted for the libertarian candidate instead of the literal violent monster and that makes almost 50%, which...still sucks
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:20 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of partial to "The bill so great, its own cosponsor breaks down in tears thinking about what it might do to his loved ones with pre-existing conditions were he not a rich and powerful multi-millionaire with other rich and powerful multi-millionaire friends."

But I guess the punch people in the face one looks better on a bumper sticker, so let's go with that.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:22 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Not sure where this registers on the scale of Disheartening Information right now, but here's a note, via Matt McDermott on Twitter, about superPAC money vs. DCCC money funding the campains in Montana. The graph is truly bonkers. Citizens United continues to undermine the will of the citizens.
posted by witchen at 9:30 PM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Is this the timeline where Quist rushes onstage at Gianforte's acceptance speech, picking him up and bodyslamming him into a paralytic coma and so claiming the seat?
posted by riverlife at 9:33 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


And the New York Times is calling it, with 77% of precincts reporting:

Gianforte with 50.6%
Quist with 43.5%
Wicks with 5.8%
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:35 PM on May 25, 2017


I'm bummed that Quist probably won't win because the people of Montana deserve better representation than Giantforte and because a single legislative vote can make a huge difference.

However, consider that Quist is running quite a bit ahead of Clinton. Even in quite a few heavily R counties, he's getting 5-10% larger share of the vote. In Missoula county, he ran 10% ahead.

A massive amount of money was spent in this race, just to hold the election close. Quite a lot of time remains for the Republicans in Congress to further piss off their constituents before the next election.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 9:38 PM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


No, it's not that timeline, because that would make Quist a fascist and a Republican, and a literal purveyor of political violence.

And none of these things is Mr. Quist.
posted by riverlife at 9:41 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ugh, if the CBO score had only come out earlier… and consequently Gianforte had been on edge earlier… and Jacobs had been able to ask the question earlier… well, it might have been different.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:42 PM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I do hope the context of the AHCA isn't lost to history when people remember this one. It wasn't just a candidate assaulting a reporter; this is very explicitly a story about a candidate who tried to play both sides by not taking a public position on the bill (while being caught on tape telling Washington lobbyists he supported it), then resorting to assault as soon ash is excuse didn't hold up anymore and he was pressed on the question.

This wasn't just random anger or even a random assault on the press. It was directly linked to a persistent refusal to answer whether he would vote to take away millions of people's health insurance.

He doesn't deserve to go down as "the Congressman who assaulted a reporter." He'd better be known as "the Congressman who assaulted a reporter rather than take a stand on his constituents' health."
posted by zachlipton at 9:49 PM on May 25, 2017 [43 favorites]


The results went about as expected. The university towns of Missoula and Bozeman went Democratic as well as the legacy union towns Butte and Anaconda. The state capital, Helena, with lots of college educated professionals, was marginally Democratic. The rest of the state, including Great Falls and Billings, went red.
posted by JackFlash at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Do we have stats on how the Election Day vote broke vs the early voting?
posted by corb at 10:46 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


WaPo – Republican wins Montana election one night after being charged with assault:
In Missoula, where Quist rallied with his voters, Democrats looked for the bright side. Matt McKenna, an adviser to the campaign and a longtime Montana politics insider, noted the ugly tenor of the race, starting with anti-Quist ads the first day of the campaign.

“This is the first day of the end of Greg Gianforte’s political career,” said McKenna. “It may seem like he got away with this because so many people already voted, but they will deny him the prize he really wants which is the governor’s office. He could go to jail. He still has to be arraigned.”
The race goes on.
posted by cenoxo at 10:48 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


The prize he wants now isn't the governor's seat.

It's Tester's.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:50 PM on May 25, 2017


This is so disgusting.
posted by goofyfoot at 11:21 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Final numbers look like they'll be around 6.3 or 6.4% for Gianforte. Disappointing given yesterday but that's still a warning sign for Republicans going forward.
posted by Justinian at 11:56 PM on May 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


He could go to jail.

Pretty sure he's not going to jail.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:56 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


What the everloving fuck is wrong with the people of Montana that they will gladly vote for a man who beats down someone - while being recorded and in front of witnesses - for asking an innocuous question about healthcare.

I just don't get this. America looks bizarre from the outside right now.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:27 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


The majority of people voted before the incident but that's no excuse; it should have been obvious this was not a man fit for office.
posted by Justinian at 1:33 AM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not going to jail, not even close to that. I'd be surprised if he even sees a fine for this. Of course, Jacobs and/or The Guardian will (should) sue in civil court, but that's a question mark at best.
posted by zardoz at 3:21 AM on May 26, 2017


America looks bizarre from the outside right now.

It looks just as bizarre from the inside, believe me.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:24 AM on May 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


I guess it makes sense. If a politician who brags about sexual assault can become President, then why not elect a Congressman who physically assaults a member of the press.
posted by Fizz at 3:32 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


3:30 am on the West Coast and the results all in, save for the last eight precincts in Glacier County, which, though sparsely populated, is hella blue. The gap has now closed to 6.1 points.

It's disappointing as hell, but for tonight, I'm going to put my faith in Nate Silver and call the tight margin a good sign for the future.

Just for tonight, though. Tomorrow, I'll start freaking out again.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:08 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just in case you thought Republicans cared about people literally assaulting anyone.

Goddamn it.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 4:20 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


If I see anyone bitching about "PC culture" I will be on them like white on fucking rice.
posted by PMdixon at 5:29 AM on May 26, 2017


Matthew Yglesias, Vox: Winning narrowly in a safe red seat is a bad sign. I wish Quist had won, but Gianforte underperformed despite the win. Democrats should not give up trying to flip red seats.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:58 AM on May 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


Whatever a few annoying centrist pundits on Twitter say, this is a sad result. Quist did better than anyone could expect, given the difficulty of winning that seat and the massive difference in spending between the candidates, but it still wasn't enough. I hope the lesson here is not that left-wing populism is a losing election strategy and a bad set of policies, but that it isn't a magic bullet.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:17 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


The magic bullet is, as always, an extra $4M in spending from superPACs.

We need to take a serious look at this, and how Democratic candidates have any chance of obtaining that kind of money.
posted by witchen at 6:24 AM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Sarah Vowel, like many of us, feeling a bit defensive.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:27 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


If you had access to a time machine and were a betting person, I'd bet you his conservative support would have been greater if the assault had happened earlier.

I mean, seems like an irresponsible use of a time machine, but it's your money.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:33 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is the real-life beginning of Far Cry 5, isn't it?
posted by zakur at 7:04 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


What this reminds me of is the unprovoked beating of anti-slavery congressman Charles Sumner by pro-slavery congressman Preston Brooks in 1856. Brooks almost killed Sumner and certainly was not afraid of doing so - and one of his cronies stood off help at gunpoint so that Brooks could continue - but stopped when he broke his stick. Here is a political cartoon about it, entitled "Southern Chivalry".

Brooks was widely applauded in the slave states and people sent him replacement canes - for almost murdering a fellow legislator in front of witnesses. Sumner's anti-slavery views were considered provocation enough for, essentially, murder.

So this isn't new, and it could be worse.

We're in the fire now but we have to keep fighting.

Last night I was thinking about all the left-wing people who have been imprisoned and killed. I was thinking about what it must have been to be arrested and to die without hope as society fell apart - how you'd think that the right had won. But that's not what happens. The struggle continues and we have our victories - you might even say that we have all the victories, since the idea of democracy is universal now even if the practice isn't. The possibility of democracy always exists now and can never be extinguished, and our rulers can never again sleep easily.

It must have seemed like a pretty terrible hour when Brooks beat Sumner, and it sure was a harbinger of worse to come for many people. But it also augured the end of slavery. Brooks didn't beat Sumner because he felt sure that slavery would last for a thousand years; he beat Sumner because anti-slavery forces were strong and dangerous.

These times are utter garbage and I wish I didn't live in them, but we've got to keep fighting while we're above ground.
posted by Frowner at 7:17 AM on May 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


Me at 3:08 PM yesterday: OMG, I'm beginning to feel like the guy might actually lose. Is this a smidgen of ... optimism that I'm feeling? Nah, it's probably just indigestion. If 2016-17 has taught me anything so far, Lucy will *always* pull the football away.

Well, I guess I'm learning. :(
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:41 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is maddening:
Vicki and Mike Hampson of Helena said the alleged assault wasn’t enough to change their minds. They also said they understood Gianforte’s position on health care, despite his refusal to answer a reporter’s question about proposed health care legislation Wednesday. They have a daughter with a pre-existing condition and said they didn’t think he would vote to take away coverage from people who are already sick.
Gianforte already congratulated his Republican Congressional buddies when there passed the AHCA. IT TAKES AWAY COVERAGE PROTECTION FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. How can they "not think" he'll vote for that?posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:15 AM on May 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


What this reminds me of is the unprovoked beating of anti-slavery congressman Charles Sumner by pro-slavery congressman Preston Brooks in 1856

Me too. And then they had until 1861 / the election of 1860 until war actually broke out. But things move faster now. Much faster.

But I've been wondering how a civil war would actually work now, today, with modern weapons, infrastructure, surveillance, and the fragile nature of cities. I mean, to borrow a point from another Mefite, look at what Sandy did to NYC: utterly crippled it. And we're a major port!

Plus, you know, nukes. And the military is um not gonna be on the sides of, for the sake of brevity, the blue states. And water! I mean, California, Arizona, and Colorado almost went to war over water already.

I mean, how does all of that work?

Does anyone think that if/when we get to the point of major (inevitably violent) demonstrations calling for impeachment or (equally likely) protesting elections shenanigans, this administration would hesitate to use deadly force, or to treat those protestors as "enemy combatants?"

So on the one hand, I feel like these are all insane thoughts. On the other hand, I can't find a logical, rational way out. If we're steaming towards Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo, what does that look like? I'm not sure it doesn't look like a straight up fascist coup, tbh, but really I have no idea.

Nothing is real, anything is possible, the future is...probably going to be very volatile.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:16 AM on May 26, 2017


Anyway, congratulations to Greg Gianforte who is headed to Washington where I am sure he will make a huge impact
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:22 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


How can they "not think" he'll vote for that?

They are _good_ people who deserve government-provided services. Republican politicians will take away government-provided services from _bad_ people. It's completely different.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:23 AM on May 26, 2017 [6 favorites]




Gianforte already congratulated his Republican Congressional buddies when there passed the AHCA. IT TAKES AWAY COVERAGE PROTECTION FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. How can they "not think" he'll vote for that?

I know, it makes no sense to me, either! "Surely the leopards won't eat MY face!"

I surmise that it's partly sunk cost fallacy - people who have identified as Republican for some time and made it part of themselves, like being a diehard sports team fan, have invested so much in their "Team Red" identity that they can't or won't give it up in the face of evidence that it's not beneficial to them.

Another contributing factor, I think, is the idea that all politicians are dishonest and will lie and say anything to get elected and then promptly and blithely renege on all their promises. The leopard is just saying he'll eat your face in order to get elected, but once he's elected, he'll forget or renege and your face will be intact.

Sunk cost is a quirk of human nature, but cynicism and distrust of politicians and politics is absolutely corrosive to democracy, not part of human nature, and needs to be combated.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:24 AM on May 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


I'm thinking about sending Gianforte a postcard thanking him for revealing to the world what thugs Republicans actually are, but it seems like a waste of a postcard. On the other hand, I might get a kick out of sending one of my Women in Science postcards to that particular asshole.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


The "sunk cost fallacy" is about the belief that outcomes will be better if you stay the course. I think a lot of Republicans are experiencing the "sunk honor accuracy" where they accurately believe that publicly acknowledging that they've been supporting terrible people promoting terrible policies on the basis of terrible reasoning would be a painfully embarrassing process, so they try to ignore it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:29 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Imagine spending your whole life supporting America First only to end up putting Russia First.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:30 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is the real-life beginning of Far Cry 5, isn't it?

What's that, you say? Far Cry 3/4 mechanics except you shoot lots and lots of shitbag anglo dudes that you've othered to hell and back? Quiet, sir, and accept my currency. Please lord let someone mod it to put magahats on all the shitbag whitebros
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:33 AM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


So while trying to explain to various Facebook friends that they shouldn't freak out too badly about this loss, the question came up of which states that allow early voting also allow a change in vote.

It seems Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania allow voters to go in on election day, invalidate their previously mailed-in ballot, and fill out a new provisional ballot. But CO and OR (according to their SOS websites), and possibly relevant for this election MT, don't. I couldn't figure out about Washington or the many other states that have at least some vote-by-mail setup.

And it's be sort of nice to see a comprehensive listing; in general it'd be really nice to see a comprehensive "here are your voting rights by state" list including details like this. Do any of you know where to find one?
posted by nat at 8:48 AM on May 26, 2017


> It seems Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania allow voters to go in on election day, invalidate their previously mailed-in ballot, and fill out a new provisional ballot.

Not sure about the other states, but PA only allows early voting in absentee situations.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:58 AM on May 26, 2017


What this reminds me of is the unprovoked beating of anti-slavery congressman Charles Sumner by pro-slavery congressman Preston Brooks in 1856. Brooks almost killed Sumner and certainly was not afraid of doing so - and one of his cronies stood off help at gunpoint so that Brooks could continue - but stopped when he broke his stick. Here is a political cartoon about it, entitled "Southern Chivalry".

Brooks was widely applauded in the slave states and people sent him replacement canes - for almost murdering a fellow legislator in front of witnesses. Sumner's anti-slavery views were considered provocation enough for, essentially, murder.


Yep, and also the State of Florida named a town after him in 1856.

I too, have thought about the parallels between the Gianforte assault and the Sumner assault. This normalising of violence (see also the Erdogan bodyguard attacks) should be unimaginable in 2017, and yet here we are.

What will it take for *any* Republican in political office to stand up and do more than just weakly denounce such behavior?
posted by jeremias at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2017


Matt Yglesias offers some interesting perspective.

Which is to say that Democratic candidates beat projections in Montana (and, needless to say, Georgia) by more than the margin by which Paul Ryan is currently projected to keep his seat. Granny Starver is pretty damned vulnerable next year, in other words.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:02 AM on May 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


(Sorry, I misread the Georgia part of that. The runoff hasn't been held yet.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2017


I hope Jacobs and The Guardian sue the everloving shit out of Gianforte over this
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:30 AM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Also I get that people keep talking about how we have to take the high ground and keep trying to beat them at the ballot box, but we've seen a lot of escalation in violence coming from the right wing over the past weeks, on top of the fresh simmering bile of white hatred that's become acceptable over the last 2 years. Being told that we have to be morally strong and keep our heads up and this will pass and the arc of the universe and whatever else is not good enough anymore. Republicans have long since proven that they will never be decent or good if it gets in the way of holding power. Since their violence has no consequences, at this point I'm honestly disappointed that Richard Spencer has only been punched.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:42 AM on May 26, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure what you propose doing to Richard Spencer, but I guess I'm not totally sure how you see it helping. I'm not ideologically opposed to violence. I just don't understand what it would accomplish other than escalating and getting more people hurt and killed.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:45 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hey friend I'm not proposing anything, I'm just disappointed.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:45 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, at least where I live, a lot of people showing up in-person to protests are middle-aged-to-elderly women, and they're (we're) going to get chased away if every political action becomes some sort of pitched battle. Given that we seem to be having some success in stopping terrible legislation, that seems like a bad strategy. I think we need to contend with the possibility that there's going to be more right-wing violence at protests, but I don't think we need to try to provoke it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Look, I have a condition that means if I get hit in the head it's basically game over. If it comes down to street violence, I'm probably literally dead. But of the two major sides in play, one of them is actually totally okay with hurting and killing people both individually and as demographic groups. If the AHCA passes, my partner's life is pretty much fucked with no real solution in sight, and I'm far from the only person with a story like that. That is violence. What Greg Gianforte did is violence. What Richard Spencer preaches is violence. We don't have to provoke it, because it's already there.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:59 AM on May 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Not sure about the other states, but PA only allows early voting in absentee situations.

That's the case in Michigan as well.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:04 AM on May 26, 2017


Don't punch Nazis unless punching Nazis is likely to be a winning strategy.

That means gaming out instances of violence rather than using a moral rubric, for those of us who are not categorically opposed to all violence (which I would hope includes social violence).

But I think one thing that everyone has to think through now is how we're going to respond to violence in the moment. That's the knife edge. What are people going to do when they're in a room when the next Gianforte starts beating on a reporter? What are people going to do if we're at a protest against white supremacists and they hold us at gunpoint? What happens when we don't bring the violence but are forced to confront it?

In a way, it doesn't matter what we think about bringing the violence - it's already been brought. We can decide that we won't escalate, but what does that actually mean? Is it escalating if we physically stop the next Gianforte? It will probably be considered escalation by the right, but does that mean we just let them beat up reporters? It's all good fun if we're just talking about the occasional punch, but Gianforte was practically strangling the guy, apparently, and could easily have killed him if he'd knocked him onto his head. Brooks could have killed Sumner very easily and he had an armed assistant to hold off help.

I think we're asking the wrong question right now if we're asking about whether we should use violence.
posted by Frowner at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


But I think one thing that everyone has to think through now is how we're going to respond to violence in the moment. That's the knife edge. What are people going to do when they're in a room when the next Gianforte starts beating on a reporter? What are people going to do if we're at a protest against white supremacists and they hold us at gunpoint? What happens when we don't bring the violence but are forced to confront it?

This, right here.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:15 AM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Again: I don't understand what you are actually calling for. Trump is coming to give a speech here next week, and I'm planning to participate in a mass walk-out and protest. Do you think I should be punching the MAGA-hats? I am a small woman, and I don't think I would be very good at punching anyone, but is that what you think I should be doing? Truly: I have registered that The Left is disappointed in me and thinks I'm doing it wrong, always, no matter what, but what exactly do you think I should be doing? And extra bonus points if the answer is not "stay home, because politics is for the manly young punching men and not for boring old women like the people who are actually showing up and protesting shit."

I really don't need to be convinced that the AHCA is an atrocity, by the way.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Truly: I have registered that The Left is disappointed in me and thinks I'm doing it wrong, always, no matter what, but what exactly do you think I should be doing? And extra bonus points if the answer is not "stay home, because politics is for the manly young punching men and not for boring old women like the people who are actually showing up and protesting shit."

I'm not attacking you, and if you read my comment you'll see that punching people isn't an option for me either. I don't know what we can do, but I'm afraid that they're going to kill us and nobody will stop them.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:20 AM on May 26, 2017


"Men are afraid women will laugh at them, women are afraid men will kill them, and oh yeah men are afraid men will kill them too."
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:22 AM on May 26, 2017


Another thing: it breaks local coalitions if there is a situation where right wing and/or police violence begins and everyone abandons the victims to their fate.

I will not bore you with semi-examples, but I can tell you that it will be a big problem if, for instance, organized right-wingers descend on a crowd and either attack at random or pull out [brown/visibly queer/well-known activists/reporters/etc] and the crowd scatters. Or if organized right-wingers attack radicals, in public or in their homes, and liberals respond by distancing themselves from the radicals and implying that they brought it on themselves.

These are things that have happened and can happen again and at larger scale with higher stakes.

How to handle those things so that debating them or disagreeing about them doesn't take up all the air in the room or shatter coalitions?

It's bad, bad, bad news that Gianforte was elected - it doesn't matter that it was foregone because of the absentee votes, because what is happening now is that a man who choked and knocked down a reporter is going to Washington. This is going to escalate physical violence against not just the left but liberals - it's not like the reporter was some kind of black clad anarchist. And not just by the Yiannopouli of the world but by people who have serious jobs and actual political appointments.
posted by Frowner at 10:29 AM on May 26, 2017 [11 favorites]


The figureheads and representatives of the American right are prepared to either perform or condone violence against literally anyone that isn't actively sucking up to them. That's the most important takeaway message from this incident.

How you respond is up to you, but we all need to face up to that fact now.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:07 AM on May 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Sweet Jesus, I am on the road and so I do not have the ability to explain at length the tactical reasons why escalating going to Civil War are a bad idea, but suffice it to say that urban metropolises are a target rich environment, and very difficult to defend. It would be a bloodbath the likes of which you cannot imagine.

Frowner's question is a much more important one. Not what will you attack, but what will you defend? I will do violence to defend, because it is critically important that political violence not emerge as a valid tactic. I will physically defend even the assholes and the idiots hawking newspapers. A political assault on one is an attack on all.
posted by corb at 11:37 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


it is critically important that political violence not emerge as a valid tactic

For us, you mean.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Or, what the fuck do you think "Don't Tread on Me" means in today's context?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2017


If political violence emerges as a generally valid tactic, say goodbye to any meaningful protection of any kind of minorities.

(I've decided that while I'm 100% OK with sucker punching Richard Spencer on camera, I personally am so unlikely to ever be in such a morally clearcut situation that I'm probably safe ruling out initiating violence. To Frowner's point, it's much more important to be willing to take a punch for someone else than throw one)
posted by PMdixon at 1:42 PM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


The story of Greg Gianforte, a fiend who just wiped out a Democrat in a congressional race about ten minutes after being charged with assaulting a reporter, is déjà vu all over again.

How low do you have to sink to lose an election in this country? Republicans have been trying to answer that question for years. But they've been unable to find out, because Democrats somehow keep failing to beat them.

There is now a sizable list of election results involving Republican candidates who survived seemingly unsurvivable scandals to win higher office.

The lesson in almost all of these instances seems to be that enormous numbers of voters would rather elect an openly corrupt or mentally deranged Republican than vote for a Democrat. But nobody in the Democratic Party seems terribly worried about this.

posted by growabrain at 1:51 PM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


After the success of the Malheur occupation, political violence and the threat of violence was entirely validated as a tactic for the right, and recent events like Berkeley and Boston have confirmed that these movements, doughy and unprepared as they might seem, understand the power that violence gives them. As I've said, I'm not in a position to either take or throw a punch, but right now some amped up MAGA-hat with way too many guns is dreaming of using them on someone like you or me. There's a real big difference between advocating violence, which I'm not doing, and acknowledging it, which I am.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


PMdixon: "If political violence emerges as a generally valid tactic, say goodbye to any meaningful protection of any kind of minorities.

(I've decided that while I'm 100% OK with sucker punching Richard Spencer on camera, I personally am so unlikely to ever be in such a morally clearcut situation that I'm probably safe ruling out initiating violence. To Frowner's point, it's much more important to be willing to take a punch for someone else than throw one)
"

Black people get shot in the back and you say this? Do minorities currently have any meaningful protection of any kind?
posted by TypographicalError at 2:00 PM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


After the success of the Malheur occupation, political violence and the threat of violence was entirely validated as a tactic for the right, and recent events like Berkeley and Boston have confirmed that these movements, doughy and unprepared as they might seem, understand the power that violence gives them

No. I mean, I get that it seems like it - I really get it! Violence is on the rise everywhere! But I cannot stress and emphasize enough the difference between the rise of extremist violence, and the normalization of violence as a valid and unremarkable political tactic. The first is already here, and it is really fucking dangerous and must be addressed. But it is not the same as everyone collectively agreeing that violence is just here so we may as well do it.

Violence works as a tactic for extremists, because it's the only way anyone cares about their shitball views. But we cannot push it as a tactic for anyone else, because there are a lot of vulnerable people for whom violence isn't just "oh ugh" but actively a danger to their lives.
posted by corb at 2:13 PM on May 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


The lesson in almost all of these instances seems to be that enormous numbers of voters would rather elect an openly corrupt or mentally deranged Republican than vote for a Democrat. But nobody in the Democratic Party seems terribly worried about this.

No, the lesson here is that, once again, Matt Taibbi seems constitutionally unable to actually read up on the situation before breathlessly pontificating. When 70% of the vote total predates the incident in question, it's hard to argue that they were intending to vote for someone who assaulted a reporter, especially when reports of people crashing county office phone lines requesting to change their vote were heard across the state.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:18 PM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Just to make life even worse: https://twitter.com/funder/status/868142498450989058

"Montana Congressman-Elect Greg Gianforte was just reported to the FBI for his financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies."
posted by mephron at 2:20 PM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


But it is not the same as everyone collectively agreeing that violence is just here so we may as well do it.

Nobody is saying this but you.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:25 PM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I think that when discussing political violence it's important to specify exactly what we mean and distinguish among different situations. Not because some types of suffering are okay and to be expected, but because we're trying to talk about specific situations and how to deal with them, also how they interrelate.

So for instance, it's stupid to say "we're starting to see political violence in the US!" as if police shootings, attacks on immigrants, the prison industrial complex, etc are not all violence, and as if no activists have faced physical violence from the right until now.

However, it would also be bad to be unable to talk about how the use of political violence changes in kind and prevalence. "Social violence already exists, so it's pointless to talk about an uptick in new kinds of open political violence" is not where we want to go.

We're seeing a move from "political violence must be masked (by making it part of policing, for instance) and conducted primarily against marginalized people who are easily discredited" to "political violence can be conducted openly against people who would previously not have been subject to attack". We're moving from "you can get away with violence against people if they are sufficiently marginalized" to "you can get away with violence if you're a right-winger because there is no political or legal check on the right".

Political violence isn't just a role-call thing, either, where what's happening is that white liberals also are being added to the list of people who can be subject to rightist violence. It's...some mathy word meaning that when some violence can be enacted against people who were safe from it before, the amount and nature of violence that is allowed against more marginalized people will get even larger. If you can beat someone who has some social power in front of witnesses and face no consequences, what can you do to someone who has very little social power?

So I feel like we can't just veer off into "well, now you're experiencing what marginalized people have experienced all along, suck it up". What's happening is a general worsening for all, not just "things stay shitty for some people and new people also have shitty experiences".

I feel like there's two slightly different tasks here - one is to situate new rightist violence alongside ongoing, "traditional" rightist violence so that we're not under any illusions about how great things used to be, and the other is to have a material understanding of just what political realities are shifting in the moment so that we can plan accordingly.
posted by Frowner at 2:26 PM on May 26, 2017 [29 favorites]


Political violence isn't just a role-call thing, either, where what's happening is that white liberals also are being added to the list of people who can be subject to rightist violence. It's...some mathy word meaning that when some violence can be enacted against people who were safe from it before, the amount and nature of violence that is allowed against more marginalized people will get even larger. If you can beat someone who has some social power in front of witnesses and face no consequences, what can you do to someone who has very little social power?

The ratcheting-up of already disproportionately violent outcomes.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:30 PM on May 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


I regret that I have but one favorite to give to Frowner's excellent commentary.
posted by corb at 2:36 PM on May 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Connor Wroe Southard, a Wyoming native and DSA-affiliated blogger, relates this election to the history of the Mountain West:
It’s always been this way, sadly. The real paradigm for Mountain West politics has nothing to do with the triumph of “independence” and other beloved right-wing talismans projected onto former frontier states. We are now dependent on outside largesse in real terms, and ever since white settlement, we have been defined by extraction and outside exploitation. (Samuel Western wrote a great, short book on the irreconcilable conflict between Wyoming’s self-image and its economic history.) The examples are endless, but one in particular tells you all you need to know about the contradiction between Western myth and reality.

The Johnson County War was one of America’s most open class wars. Cattle barons (some of them literal barons — most had aristocratic roots on the East Coast or in Europe) and their hired guns invaded Northeastern Wyoming to extralegally kill and drive out smaller settlers. Despite the intervention of federal troops to stop the bloodshed, the aristocrats pretty much won. As feudalistic as this sounds, it happened right as Wyoming gained statehood in the early 1890's. And the organization behind it, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, remains a force in Wyoming politics to this day.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:45 PM on May 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


Apparently we may need to start dealing with this and figuring out our tolerances all a lot faster than we thought - from the politics thread, the news out of Portland, OR is that three people trying to defend two Muslim women from harassment were actually stabbed, two fatally.
posted by corb at 8:17 PM on May 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Despite the horrific nature of the Portland stabbing, I would caution against extrapolating from a single event to say that the pace of this is accelerating. Right-wing terrorists have certainly been emboldened by the Trump presidency, but the way to defeat them is not to react with fear or to seek vengeance anytime we hear of a tragic attack like this, but to work to correct the mistake that America made last November so that the Nazis don't have a standard-bearer in the White House encouraging them to come out of their holes.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:38 PM on May 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


The killer in Portland, Jeremy Christian, was one of the various "free speech rallies" members.

First blood has been spilled in the race wars.
posted by Yowser at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


You must be joking. First blood in the race wars were spilled in this country hundreds of years ago.
posted by phearlez at 9:21 AM on May 27, 2017 [5 favorites]


Fair enough. This feels like a civil war coming to me though.
posted by Yowser at 9:28 AM on May 27, 2017 [3 favorites]


Ed Pilkington, Guardian: Montana assault breeds 'frightening' talk of violence against journalists
Lucy Dalglish, dean of the journalism school at the University of Maryland, said she had seen nothing like the Montana assault in almost 40 years in the news business. “To have a professional politician beat up on a reporter – this is the kind of thing you would see in a totalitarian state. This is not America.”

Dalglish said the most shocking aspect of it was that public commentators and ordinary Americans were willing to argue openly that violence against journalists was acceptable. “That’s even more frightening than the horrible event in Montana – we are living in an America in which people are prepared in public to express the view that this was okay.”
AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:41 AM on May 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


You must be joking. First blood in the race wars were spilled in this country hundreds of years ago.
I mean, that, but also this happened on the campus of the University of Maryland last week. And there have been several instances of violence against Indian Americans. And we need to stop treating this stuff as "isolated incidents," because it's not.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:02 AM on May 27, 2017 [8 favorites]


Jesus god, that Maryland thing.

I feel like what's happening is that people who are mentally stable and fully in control of themselves are promoting violence against POC, journalists and the left and using that promotion to make money and gain fans among white men, and what's happening is that sometimes white men like the BLM shooter in MPLS or the shooter in California go out to commit violence clearly intending to hide what they did and get away with it, and sometimes white men who may or may not be mentally ill go out to commit violence without caring if they get away with it. In a better society, the court system would be able to evaluate these people. I feel like mental illness probably does play some role in some of these attacks, but it also seems exactly like people are saying upthread - the one place where we as a society absolutely should be able to intervene is to stop the Trumps, Yiannopoulouses, Breitbarts and others who are inciting white terrorism. Other personal causes for what people do are hard to parse, but we can absolutely identify the social cause, and it is these white men gaining power and making profit off of inciting racial terrorism.
posted by Frowner at 10:13 AM on May 27, 2017 [6 favorites]


It's stochastic terrorism. The SPLC sued Terrible Tom Metzger into the ground. We'll see what they do with the likes of Yiannopoulous and McInnes.
posted by Yowser at 10:20 AM on May 27, 2017 [4 favorites]


I thought this was a joke when I saw it on Twitter but apparently not. The NYT ran a piece on this assault that was originally titled: Is It Wrong to Body Slam a Journalist? These Days, Opinions Vary. Check out the correction at the bottom of the linked article. Un fucking real.
posted by great_radio at 12:32 PM on May 27, 2017 [1 favorite]




The lesson in almost all of these instances seems to be that enormous numbers of voters would rather elect an openly corrupt or mentally deranged Republican than vote for a Democrat. But nobody in the Democratic Party seems terribly worried about this.

What matters is that less people in the Republican party are worried about it, exposing a root problem, which is good. The religious brainwashing that most people have endured for millennia is coming apart. Although it is looking to survive in politics, schools and media, it is rejected in the wider world they don't control and it isn't yet prone to destroying everything (as ISIS is prepared to do). However, people who don't ever go to church are still voting for issues out of a sense of guilt and compulsion, because they have not recovered from the influences that supplied an order to everything, where they see themselves clearly. Otherwise comfortable people will freely complain of emotional uncertainty and sometimes adopt substitutes for devotion that supply the same level of guilt and self-righteousness. When an election rolls around, their multi-generational and often subtle indoctrination, based on obedience to cultural tradition, is triggered by certain issues about life, death, sin and punishment. Then they pause, not knowing what to do when the issues are selected and framed for them (usually by a crass hypocrite who knows how to spread hypocrisy). Then those voters find a reason to avoid unity in their own interests and the rest is history.
posted by Brian B. at 9:04 PM on May 27, 2017


MAX train stabbings echo vicious 1988 Portland murder when city was 'skinhead capital'

These events are so shocking in part because we remember very clearly how bad things can be, and many of us have only seen an improvement from this over our lifetimes.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:59 AM on May 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


Ben Jacobs' busted glasses will also be heading to DC.
posted by ckape at 11:43 AM on May 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Lauren Gambino & Julia Carrie Wong in The Guardian, June 2, 2014 — Press groups ask Congress to investigate Greg Gianforte over body-slamming reporter:
A coalition of press freedom organizations have asked Congress to investigate the alleged assault of a Guardian reporter by newly elected Republican congressman, Greg Gianforte, on the eve of the state’s special election.

Free Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, Pen America and Reporters Without Borders on Friday filed a complaint with congressional ethics officials asking that Gianforte be disciplined for allegedly attacking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

“A member of the House hasn’t physically assaulted someone this severely since the civil war, and we are unaware of any historical precedent for a lawmaker beating up a reporter,” Gabe Rottman, Pen America’s Washington director, said in a statement. “While Rep Gianforte’s apology was necessary, it was hardly sufficient. Amid a climate of escalating hostility toward the press, it is essential for the House to send a clear message to its members and to the nation that hostile treatment of the press will not be tolerated or ignored.”
Per Gianforte's first post-election interview with Mike Dennison, MTN News (KTVH Helena, MT), June 2, 2017:
The Gallatin County sheriff’s office cited Gianforte for misdemeanor assault. He has until next Wednesday [June 7, 2017] to appear in county Justice Court on the charge.

Gianforte told MTN News Friday that he’ll announce his plea next week.

The incident with Jacobs garnered intense national news coverage last week, as did the election. Until Friday’s interview with MTN News, Gianforte hadn’t talked to any media since the May 24 altercation.

When asked why his campaign’s statement after the altercation appeared to blame the reporter, Gianforte said he’d rather focus on “taking responsibility for my actions, and that’s what I’ve done.”

He also said he’d like to see “a return to more civility (in politics), on both sides, honestly.”
Montana's Flathead Beacon June 4, 2017 has more:
Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said Gianforte’s attorneys and Jacobs are discussing a date for Gianforte’s court appearance. Jacobs requested to be at the hearing, Lambert said.

Routine misdemeanors are usually handled by the Gallatin County Justice Court, usually three times a week. But Lambert and court officials said defendants can petition the court to deviate from the usual process — saving Gianforte the ignominy of having to stand in line with other alleged offenders to take his turn before a judge.


Lambert said he was first contacted by one of Gianforte’s attorneys as voters streamed into the polls during the May 25 election. He also spoke with Jacobs at length, he said.

“I’ve been in some lengthy discussions with an attorney on Mr. Gianforte’s behalf,” Lambert said. “They have been very cognizant of Benjamin Jacob’s desire to have input at sentencing. We’ve talked about the fact that we need to make sure how much restitution is owed.”
The county attorney doesn't sound like there's much question about guilt, just haggling over the final details.
posted by cenoxo at 7:56 PM on June 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


MTN News (KTVH Helena, MT), June 6, 2017 — Gianforte files for extension in assault case:
BOZEMAN – Greg Gianforte, Republican Congressman-elect, filed a 2-week extension in Gallatin County Justice Court Tuesday afternoon for misdemeanor assault charges.

Gianforte’s legal team of Bill Mercer and Todd Whipple filed the extension, asking the court to set a specific date. “This motion is made for the reason that the parties are currently exploring a settlement,” the court document stated.
...
Gianforte has also filed his first paperwork for re-election.
posted by cenoxo at 9:46 AM on June 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost): INBOX: Rep.-elect @gianforte (R-Mont.) issues "sincere apology" to @Bencjacobs, will make $50K donation to @pressfreedom

Seems truly contrite, but I no longer trust #FuckingRepublicans.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:26 PM on June 7, 2017


Seems truly contrite, but I no longer trust #FuckingRepublicans.

Yeah, maybe I'd believe his contrition if it hadn't taken more than a fortnight. I'll bet right now that whoever wrote that letter made more than $50K for it.
posted by Etrigan at 1:54 AM on June 8, 2017 [4 favorites]


Holly K. Michels and Jayme Fraser, The Missoulian, June 7, 2017 — Greg Gianforte apologizes to reporter, donates $50K to nonprofit as part of settlement [summary]:
  • Gianforte agreed to a civil settlement with Ben Jacobs to avoid a potential lawsuit
  • Issued a written apology [letter PDF] accepted by Jacobs*
  • Promised a $50,000 donation to non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Jacobs will not receive any monetary or other restitution [General Release PDF]
  • Admitted that Jacobs "did not initiate any physical contact with me."
  • Did not explain why his campaign spokesman originally blamed Jacobs for provoking the attack
  • Will negotiate a plea with the state regarding his misdemeanor assault charge
  • Jacobs does not object to Gianforte entering a "no contest" plea
  • Gianforte could appear in court any Monday, Wednesday or Friday by June 20, 2017
  • *Jacobs' email statement:
    “I have accepted Mr. Gianforte's apology and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions and statements," he wrote. "I hope the constructive resolution of this incident reinforces for all the importance of respecting the freedom of the press and the First Amendment and encourages more civil and thoughtful discourse in our country."
    posted by cenoxo at 1:56 AM on June 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


    I don't think anyone should be able to settle a criminal matter by settling with the victim. This isn't a tribal, blood-money culture; we value rule by law.
    posted by msalt at 10:40 AM on June 8, 2017 [7 favorites]


    In theory, the plea he's negotiating with the state has nothing to do with his settling the civil matter with the victim, and blood money is playing no part in the criminal proceedings.

    In theory.
    posted by clawsoon at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2017 [3 favorites]


    Eh, I'm of two minds. Restorative justice is a thing and often better for victims than prison would be. On the other hand, what about all the people who didn't have 50k to donate?
    posted by corb at 3:37 PM on June 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


    Didn't I read that Gianforte raised over $100k within a couple of days of the attack from his bootlicking supporters excited by the assault?

    Really puts that $50k "contrition" in perspective.
    posted by darkstar at 7:27 PM on June 8, 2017 [9 favorites]


    Holly K. Michels, The Missoulian, June 8, 2017 — Gianforte to appear in court Monday to plead no contest to assault charge:
    Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte is expected to plead no contest to a charge of misdemeanor assault at 10 a.m. Monday [June 12, 2017] in Gallatin County Justice Court.

    Gianforte's attorneys filed an unopposed motion Thursday for the Monday appearance. The Gallatin County Attorney does not oppose the motion.
    ...
    Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said he could not discuss how Gianforte would plead, but the request that sentencing be held at the same time as the arraignment is an indication.

    The no-contest plea has no outcome on sentencing. A judge can consider Gianforte's apology to Jacobs, as well as his donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists, when considering sentencing, Gross said.

    In Montana it is unusual for someone — especially first-time offenders — to get any kind of significant jail time for misdemeanor crimes.
    posted by cenoxo at 9:40 PM on June 8, 2017


    Gianforte is quite the doppelgänger for Michael Gaston
    posted by LizBoBiz at 3:45 PM on June 12, 2017


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