And I feel great about this picture of Denny Rehberg, courtesy of Steele Williams.
I do not feel good about my ability to meet today’s deadlines, and I was awaked at 3:15 by my neighbor’s favorite album, Repetitive Bassline Jams 4. So instead of reading my stupid opinions in this blog, how about you read MSOs in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent? It’s about Dennis Rehberg, our erstwhile congressman who lost his bid for the Senate in November and subsequently complained that Montana voters “bitch and moan” without ever changing anything. He is a rascal. He is also likely to become a lobbyist, so we shouldn’t feel too bad about losing his public persona. Teaser: on a diplomatic visit to Kazakhstan, he called the locals “coneheads” and fell off a horse. Rumors that he drank a dozen shots of vodka first are not substantiated.
Fascism is one of those ideas you hear about all the time that no one can cleanly define. Perhaps that’s why it has become to American politics what “ironic” is to popular music. It’s notoriously difficult to teach to kids—here I mean the historical-political concept; it turns out children learn to actually do fascism really quickly—and yet, since it caused the war that ushered in the modern era, it comes up a lot. So fascism is a real problem. The best way to explain it is to note that all fascist governments are different, but they invariably have a few features in common: aggressive nationalism, authoritarian social structures, consolidation of governing power. And let us not forget the George Harrison of fascism, close cooperation between government and industry.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, seen here on school picture day
Is this the face of a machine politician who unquestioningly executes whatever obscure directives party apparatchiks give him? Um, yeah—now that you mention it, it kind of is. Especially if you mention it along with the news that Scott Walker appointed 27 year-old college dropout Brian Deschane to a $65,000-a-year supervisory position in the Wisconsin Bureau of Licensing and Regulation. Deschane has no management experience, only a short history of full-time employment and two drunk driving convictions, but he is the son of Jerry Deschane, head of the Wisconsin Builders Association, which sent Walker over $120,000 in contributions during the 2010 campaign. Two months after he was hired at L&R, Brian Deschane was promoted to a supervisory position in the Wisconsin Commerce Department, where he got a 24% pay raise. Then a bunch of articles came out about that, and Walker demoted Deschane to his earlier job. He’ll also be in charge of Walker’s exploratory team for the 1882 election.