Just applyin’ your own CODE, pardner

Not so sure the Republican Cowboys want this code after all, pardner.

Jim Peterson, yes, the President of Montana’s 2011 Senate has proposed SB 216… to adopt the cowboy code of ethics as Montana’s code.  Just what does this mean for us?  Well….. not really anything.  Governor Schweitzer has already threatened it with a veto as Montanans really don’t require the legislature’s assistance to enact a code to live by.  Let’s just pretend this does indeed become the “law” of the land though…. we better investigate.

What is the Cowboy Code of Ethics?  According to James P. Owen, author of   Cowboy Code of Ethics, the code of the west was unwritten, but every cowboy knew what it was.  He broke the code into ten principles.  My commentary is in red.

1   Live each day with courage.

Recent examples of courageous behavior in the 2011 legislative session include the six Republicans who broke with the prohibitionist party and voted against Speaker Milburn’s bill to repeal medical marijuana.

2   Take pride in your work

I’ve seen lots of pride in this session but not much work.  Let me rephrase that, not much work at fulfilling campaign promises to create jobs.

3   Always finish what you start

This one is definitely debatable this session.  I’m not sure I want them to finish anything they started.

4   Do what has to be done

Key word here is “HAS”.HAS to be done.  In my opinion, that would include balancing the budget and  finding some way to stimulate the economy.  HAS refers to an immediate NEED.  Do we NEED a frivolous bill to symbolically request that Congress leave the UN?  Do we NEED the Code of the West?  Do we NEED to require couples seeking a divorce 10 hours of costly marriage counseling?  Do we NEED a Montana militia?

5   Be tough, but fair

Fairness generally means conformity of standards….. eeeeek!   Equality.   I’m not even going to get into the repercussions of this becoming our big tough state code.  A recent example (although not even close to where this will eventually be headed) is the committee hearing on Milburn’s medical cannabis repeal bill.  While all 28 repeal proponents were able to tell their sob stories about how marijuana has ruined their tiny little lives, most of the 86 opponents were only allowed to state their names, how to spell them, and their position on the bill… which should have been obvious considering they were considered the OPPOSITION.

6   When you make a promise, keep it.

Damn it! We are going to have to keep going back to those campaign promises, aren’t we?  I guess Montana’s new Cowboy Code isn’t so bad after all.  We can just say, ooops, you broke the code, why on earth are you running for reelection?

7   Ride for the brand.

I think we all can agree we need to define the brand we are a ridin fer.  Is that thar brand the party or the mighty state of Montucky?

8   Talk less and say more.

I’d imagine this is the rule they wish I would have adhered to most often this session.  Voters will say a lot with a stroke of a pen in 2012.  Not a word needs to be uttered.

9   Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

That’s right.  Some things aren’t for sale.  Our souls, for one.  You save yours, I will save mine.

10   Know where to draw the line.

Give up now.  Ask yourself, does this bill create any jobs?  Does this bill in any way, shape or form repair our economy?  Does this bill fix any IMMEDIATE need?  Does this bill fulfill campaign promises to my constituents?

And that concludes my rant.

Did Montana’s GOP Legislators Get the Message? Maybe, Maybe Not

Is Montana's 2011 Legislature Being Led by RINOs?

“This election sent a clear message. America looked socialism in the eye and they said we’re scared.” Mike Milburn, Montana House Speaker.

Indeed.  Why then are Montana Republican legislators being discouraged from associating with  bills seeking to repeal national healthcare reform mandates? Rumors are circulating that Senate President Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo) and Majority Leader Jeff Essman (R-Billings) have asked legislators sponsoring bills calling for  the repeal of Obamacare not to proceed after a legislative analyst suggested the Senate should not be focusing on such legislation this session.

Is it up to legislative analysts to direct our future?  If Attorney General Steve Bullock continues refusal to join other states filing suit against the mandates,  it will have to be addressed legislatively.  Many states are pursuing repeals of the unpopular law which was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.  About the decision, Montana’s lone representative Denny Rehberg had this to say.

“After months of rate increases and service reductions, Montanans continue to wait for true health care reform that lowers costs and increases access.  The sooner that Obamacare is wiped off the books, the sooner we can get to work finding real solutions that benefit Montanans instead of the powerful interests in Washington, D.C.  Most of the folks I’ve heard from will be happy with the decision in Virginia, and are only upset that an independent-minded state like Montana has sat quietly on the sidelines while other states take the fight to the overzealous federal government.  It’s past time for Montana to get in this game.”

We elected conservatives to REPEAL Obamacare, to STOP the growth of the government’s size and scope, to CREATE jobs and STIMULATE the economy.

We did NOT elect republicans to take the pragmatic approach.  We did NOT elect republicans to negotiate deals with radical environmentalists and other liberals in effort to gain leadership positions.  We did NOT elect Republicans to work with Schweitzer.  When our elected officials appease progressives, Marxist ideals increase exponentially.  We cannot abandon constitutional principles under any circumstances.

Moderation is dangerous in today’s world.  The leftists aren’t moderates- they are socialists.  Negotiating with them is a recipe for death of our republic.   Montanans elected conservatives in November to rail against Marxist ideals, not to dilute our principles.  Many GOP legislators were elected not because they were Republicans but because they were not progressives. Montanans aren’t concerned with social issues this time around, our future is hanging by a thread.  Our government has lost its way as legislators have compromised their values in favor of “bipartisan” efforts.

Advice to elected GOP officials:

  • Fiscal  concerns trump all religious agendas.  Accomplish what we elected you to do and you will earn political capital.  Don’t waste our future in mediation with thieves.  If your principles don’t cost you anything, they weren’t worth very much.
  • Stop preaching that we all need to remember why Republicans were elected unless your actions are consistent with your message.  That means you are a hypocrite for sponsoring bills to repeal medical marijuana when Montanans are concerned with fiscal issues.  If you want any credibility, you must counter that proposed loss of 5000 caregiver jobs with creation of at least that many positions.
  • Don’t act like Baucus and Tester.  Both US Senators ignored their constituents and made decisions that will affect Montana forever.  In the process, they made passionate enemies on both sides of the aisle.  Progressives say they didn’t do enough while we say they overstepped the Constitution to advance an unwelcome agenda.
  • Remember that you were elected not to rule, but to serve.
  • Integrity requires courage.  You took an oath.  It does mean something.  Worry more about being respected than about being popular.

The 2011 Legislative Session will reveal if we wasted time helping liberals get elected as Republicans.  Hopefully instead, our efforts will be rewarded with consistent conservative votes and a structurally balanced budget.  Hopefully the rumors are unfounded but regardless, don’t hesitate to call/write/email your legislators.  Tell them you expect Montana to repeal/nullify/opt out of Obamacare.