Thursday, November 10, 2005

Apologia

So here I am, acting as Al Garver's apologist again.

As I've said before, I had no horse in this race, and I doubt that it will much matter in the long run who won. But the worst thing about this troubling election was that so many people let Garver's religion influence their thinking. I heard from an amazing number of people who thought Garver was out to lead the city down the road to conservative Christianity.

Trouble is, I heard the guy speak on a number of occasions, interviewed him at some length and talked to him quite a few other times. I never once heard even the slightest hint that theocracy was anywhere in his political ideology. It was a slur, pure and simple, as far as I could tell.

Someone told me that a lot of people were saying they would leave town if Garver were elected. "Good," I said. "Good riddance."

Fitness for office should not be judged on the basis of religious affiliation. It isn't constitutional, and it isn't right.

I never heard Tussing suggest anything about Garver's religion, by the way, so I'm not blaming him. And while I'm not terribly happy about having a mayor who dislikes my newspaper, I can live with that. All things considered, it's better to have a feud with a mayor than with a police chief.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

It wasnt religion per se that bothered people.

It was the far right wing evangelical, Born Again Christian Coaltion, Focus on the Family connections that bothered people.

I was originally a Garver supporter, I changed my mind after elarning more about him and voted for Tussing.

Anonymous said...

I have always felt that religion is a very personal, private matter. Al should have kept it private unless he was pandering to the religious fanatics.

M Fox said...

I don't think Ron dislikes your paper, David. I just don't think he likes your obvious preference in the race. I know you don't think it was evident, but you picked the winner so early on for flimsy reasons and you bristled at questions directed to him for some strange, unknown reason, and then when Tussing wins, you sluff it off to page three and put a boring Eastern Montana Tour piece on the front page? Hmm. Wonder where the story would have landed if Al won? Guess we will NEVER know the answer to that one.

M Fox said...

I particularly enjoyed the first paragraph of your story on the race, Dave. Overall, I thought it was a good story.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Approval from Merry Joke Focks! How do you rate??!

Anonymous said...

Well, Dave, where to start? Where to start? FIRST of all, some of us "Christians" do NOT think that conservative christians are all that CHRISTIAN!, that is if you think of Christians as having anything to do with Christ! Christ did NOT preach hate! CC's do. Christ did NOT preach inequality! Cc's do. Christ did NOT preach intolerance and bigotry! CC's do. Christ did NOT align himself with greedy corporate masters! If anything, He did the opposite! CC's do. Christ preached peace, NOT endles war! CC's do. And Christ preached justice (social, spiritual, financial) for ALL! CC's preach the exact opposite! So, by calling himself a "christian conservative", Big Dumb Al chose to align himself with everything that many OTHER Christains find loathesome! And rightly so! So, yeah, I guess it WAS kinda about religion. AND all the things that our country is supposed to stand for! And let's be real for a moment, shall we, Dave. A guy who campaigns for Deeny Rheburp and uses attack methods himself is NOT really a Jimmy Carter type fundi now, is he?! Garvage got EXACTLY what he deserved! And the fact that a conservative community like Billings is the one that gave it to him indicates a real backlash against these so-called "christians"! God truly does work in mysterious ways. Peace.

Anonymous said...

And just a week ago, Larry would have had Al's baby by the sound of it.

The course of true love never did run smooth did it, eh Lar?

Eric Coobs said...

I thought your coverage was fair.

The Chief had a strong organization, lots of money, good name recognition, traditional Democrat support in the form of Unions & Conservation groups, and a surprisingly effective negative attack during the last few days.

That's why Al Garver didn't win, it had nothing to do with the fact that Al is Christian!

I've heard it said that the Chief was hurt also by the negative attacks, but in the recent past elections that has not been the case, so I do not believe it this time either.

I wish the Chief well, as I fear he's got an uphill battle ahead of him downtown.

Anonymous said...

APOLOGY ACCEPTED! Look, as one who doesn't live in Billings, the entire city of Billings should apologize to the rest of the state for fielding two of the most repulsive characters to run for mayor. ANYWHERE! Sheesh! Maybe the mayor should just be appointed by the city administrator, and vice versa! Save Billings a whole lot of trouble and embarassment!

Anonymous said...

"Go ahead, Billings, MAKE MY DAY!" "This a $160,000 settlement, the largest settlement in the city's history! And it's pointed right at your head! Are you feeling LUCKY, punk? I just might sue your asses again! So, go ahead. MAKE MY FREAKIN' DAY!"
p.s. and next time, I just might shove that camera up that fella's heiney! I DESERVE to be compensated, and compensated nicely for my surly personality. After all, it's GOOD to be chief....er, I mean mayor!!!!!

Anonymous said...

any battle will be between the City Council and the electorate. If the council feels the need to challenge the will of the people and the outcome of an election, it will be a battle royale. Taxpayers should pound them into the ground if the council wastes even one tax dollar on trying to circumvent the decision of a certified election.

Jim Larson said...

Both candidates had some warts, and both had problems complying with campaign laws, but we could have been faced with a far worse choice.

Our mayoral candidates were remarkably more attractive than the 2004 presidential candidates.

Mark said...

They could settle this problem pretty quick - both sides tear-up their settlement agreement, and Tussing write a check to us for $160k.

Anonymous said...

Larson, it's OK to post something stupid. But at LEAST substantiate your stupidity! Give us some specifics as to how these candidates were better than say Kerry, or forever appear to be stupid!

Anonymous said...

And, Dave, heck no, there's NUTHIN' wrong with a nutcase, wacko, inbred christeean conservative! I mean, just look at pat roberston's LATEST pronouncement from on high. He said that God will probly seek vengeance on Pa. for voting against all the nutcases who were in favor of teaching "intelligent design" in the schools! Nope! Nuthin' too nutty bout these folks! Heck, EVERY city needs an Al Garvage type to let them know what to include in their science curriculum! Oh, and what the consequences will be if they piss off God REAL good! Hey, maybe Pastor Garvage can tell us just WHAT'S gonna happen to Billings now that they didn't follow god's will and elect big al!!!

Anonymous said...

Larry puts the "lar" in bipolar.

;)

Anonymous said...

Easy to criticize, hard to refute! But hey, that's pretty much the rightwing motto! Let's see instead of cheap shots, a point by point rebuttal. (that'll be the day!)

Anonymous said...

www.prweb.com/releases/2005/8/prweb274092.php


Who are the wackos in this picture?? You can bet Big Alvin would be right in there!

Jim Larson said...

Dear anonymous,

Come by the Outpost any time and tell me to my face that I'm stupid, you cowardly piece of garbage.

Jim Larson said...

While Bush was completely inarticulate during the 2004 campaign, Kerry uttered convoluted phrases that inspired no one. Candidates vying for executive offices need to be able to lead, and leadership requires the ability to inspire. Neither Bush nor Kerry possessed that attribute.
Both Garver and Tussing were articulate, and neither was afraid to say what he really thought.

Anonymous said...

Well, there you go. You finally substantiated it! If ya want to be a pundit, jimmy, ya gotta do better than that! ESPECIALLY if ya want to kick everyone's ass who thinks your writing could at times be "stupid"! The line could be ENDLESS!

Anonymous said...

P.S. and, jimmy, another thing. if ya really want to be a pundit, GET YOURSELF A THICKER SKIN! ya see, you've got yourself a pretty inflated opINion of yourself. and i hate to say it, BUT IT SHOWS! ya just don't strike me as a fellas that's been around much. hard to be a pundit if ya don't know the stuff from shinola!......oops! did i just call you shinola too? sorry. guess you'll just have to kick my ass twice!!!!

Jim Larson said...

Thanks for the instruction. You're right about me not making it as pundit. I'll stick to straight reporting from now on.

Do you have a name, or are you just too dumb to log in as any thing other than anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Just too damn dumb I guess, jimbo! For David:

"Christianity is a worthless, dangerous, Satanic religion. Christianity is likd a virus; it affects the mind. Maybe even a better analogy is it is a cancer that destroys the body it affects. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body. And how's this analogy: The Bible is simply software for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings."

No hatred here, right? Who said this, Osama? Well, nope! Just substitute Islam and the Koran in the appropriate places, and you have what was said a couple a nights ago on Fox by a good, "christian" fellow, james corsi! So, David, the hatred from "christian conservatives" is palpable! To deny it is to condone it! I can't do that. How can you?????

Anonymous said...

A candidate for mayor buys an ad in your weekly paper during the primary but opts out of buying one for the general election. Suddenly that decision is deemed a "feud?" ha ha! I'd deem it hype. By that definition, the same candidate would have a feud with the hand held edition of the Billings Gazette, Fox TV channel, the billboard companies and several radio stations. I would imagine if he had the $$ to buy ads everywhere, he would have, except for maybe MNA.

Jim Larson said...

The customer specifically said that he was not buying the ads because he felt that he had received unfavorable coverage in the Outpost.

That doesn't constitute a feud, but it does constitute a boycott based on the editorial content of the paper.

Jim Larson said...

Well Larry, we've called each other dumb, stupid, garbage, crap and conceited. I feel better, how about you?

I'm from Great Falls as well.

Jim Larson said...

Brad Molnar stopped by the paper yesterday. He noted that running for mayor probably did not violate Tussing's agreement with the city, but that getting a paycheck for serving as mayor would violate the agreement.

Anonymous said...

Brad Molnar? Speaking of Sea Lawyers, what happened to Robert G Natelson's column?

David said...

Anonymous,
Natelson is on sabbatical in England.

Anonymous said...

John Gibson was on Bull O'Lielly's show The Sphincter last night to promote his new book ( and I'm NOT making this up), The war on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought! (actual book title!) Now, is it any WONDER that a candidate calling himself a "christain conservative" just MIGHT raise a few eyebrows AND concerns amony voters?! I mean, friggin' REALLY, where is the evidence that ANY FRIGGIN' ONE wants to ban Christmas?? Christian conservative is a title that has becom synonymous with fruticake! Hey, maybe I'll write my OWN book for the fruitcake crowd. The Plot to Ban Fruticakes At Christmas!! Maybe I can get an interview on The Sphincter too!!

Anonymous said...

God Save the Queen.

Anonymous said...

God bless our queer old dean!..oops! I mean our dear old queen!....and jimbo too! He's had a bit of a rough go of it here lately trying to play with the big boys! Semper Uber!

Anonymous said...

I wish I was on sabbatical in England. Bangers and mash with a pint of ale followed by spotted dick for dessert versus Billings politics. No comparison.

Anonymous said...

SPOTTED DICK!?? Could you please use that in a sentence? For example, "While visiting merry old England, I thought I spied something that so resembled the nutty perfesser Rob Nasalsound, that I thought it was he. But it turned out to be just a spotted dick!"