Presidents and majority leaders against The Establishment

Anti-establishment candidate Hillary Clinton

Anti-establishment candidate Hillary Clinton

This morning, Montana state representative and innocent victim of a politically-motivated campaign practices lawsuit Art Wittich (R–Belgrade) tweeted:

Click on that link if you must, but don’t believe what you read. I’m more interested in the implication that Wittich, a former senate majority leader, is somehow not part of the “Helena Establishment.” It seems like he is abusing the term. But Wittich is a colorful speaker, and it’s only Montana after all. Perhaps you would prefer to hear a national figure speak of the establishment—for example, former president Bill Clinton, who told USA Today that his wife is “not an establishment politician.” At the Democratic debate last week, Hillary Clinton agreed:

Well, look, I’ve got to just jump in here because, honestly, Sen. Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment. And I’ve got to tell you that it is …


It is really quite amusing to me.

Clinton added that she would now express her amusement by making the sound voters call laughter, but she was cut off by more applause. The important thing is that she will strike a blow against the establishment by becoming the first woman president, and also the first president married to someone who was president before.

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Art Wittich is in court, and I’m in the New York Times

Art Wittich has no plans to give you a dollar.

Art Wittich has no plans to give you a dollar.

Despite a guest editorial protesting his innocence his accusers’ politics, Art Wittich is still the subject of a campaign finance lawsuit. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl alleges Wittich failed to report significant in-kind contributions from dark money groups during the 2010 election. “My political opponents are pleased that I have been forced to spend time and money defending myself against the thought police in a bogus lawsuit,” Wittich wrote, responding to Motl’s claim that the representative from Belgrade took “the works”—a package of staffing, lease management, direct mailing, and campaign strategy—from the anti-union group Right to Work. This story began when federal agents found a box of documents in a Colorado meth house linking various Montana Republicans to the fined-and-now-defunct Western Traditions Partnership, and it’s gotten weirder ever since. It’s going to be awesome when Rep. Wittich is exonerated of any wrongdoing and we find out he really is the victim of a conspiracy. You can read all about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent.

In other news, I’m in the New York Times Magazine today (on the web, and in print this weekend) with a Letter of Recommendation: Joke Dollar. Those of you who know me probably know about this genius custom already. Now it belongs to the world, and you can look forward to people handing you dollars every time you observe that a mermaid’s pussy smells like land. That’s the joke Sarah Aswell made in the first paragraph, which the Times understandably did not find suitable for its audience. It suited hell out of me, though, ten years ago when she made it and today. Thanks to all you jokers for giving me something to write about in my doddering middle age. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.