(Moderator’s note: this piece is reposted with permission of the author from the blog Montana Maven’s Opinions Worth Ropin’ )
Okay, Gail Collins beat me to it. Just when we Montanans were
getting over being made fun of on The Stephen Colbert Show (see:
wrinkles on a dog’s balls jury dodger Montana Man Is Colbert’s Alpha Dog
get the “Alpha Dog of the Week” award), Max and Jon do us in this week. When Did Cowboys Get Wimpy?
I thought the whole right wing hysteria over Gitmo prisoners being
transferred to U.S. prisons would just be good for a hardy har har har.
Nobody really escapes from our maximum security prisons. The unabomber
is a genius and he can’t figure out how to escape. I don’t think
anybody’s escaped from Attica. We not only imprison more people than
anywhere else on earth, we keep ‘em there.
So good old Hardin, Montana, a town that has fallen on hard times,
volunteered to take nasty Al Qaeda types to its empty 464 bed prison.
Perfect, I thought. Even if somebody could escape, that is really flat
country with no place to hide. (The land rush scene from “Far and Away”
was filmed near Hardin because it had no modern power lines aka empty).
Imagine an escapee ambling through high
desert in an orange jumpsuit and thumbing down a pickup and saying
“Allah Akbar”. Now imagine a dead guy.
But NOOOOOOOO! Our fearsome Senators go all wimpy, says Gail.
So, with the town council’s enthusiastic support, Hardin volunteered to take the Guantánamo prisoners.
It’s unlikely that the White House would have accepted the offer,
but it was certainly an example of pluck and you’d think everyone would
give Hardin three cheers. Instead, Montana’s Democratic senators went
“We’re not going to bring Al Qaeda to Big Sky Country — no way, not on my watch,” said Max Baucus.
“If these prisoners need a new place, it’s not going to be anywhere near The Last Best Place,” said Jon Tester.
This shows us two things:
1) Montana has given itself many nicknames.
2) Montanans are more easily frightened than Manhattanites.
Having lived in New York City for 16 years, I’d have to agree with
Gail that New Yorkers are the toughest people I’ve ever met. And by and
large my rancher husband and his friends are not wimpy by any stretch.
Oh except for that time that I served Tandoori Chicken at our branding.
“Oh come on, guys,” I said, “You just wrastled those calves to the
ground, branded them, and cut off their balls. You aren’t afraid of
some reddish looking chicken are you?” I love funning with them. But no
they are not cowards, so I don’t think they appreciate their senators
making all of us look like lily-livered pants poopers. We will now be
called Big Cry Country and Land of the Sheeple. Come on, put your big
boy pants on, Senators. Somebody commented that you were so busy boot
licking that you forgot to put your boots on.
We need to try all the prisoners, let the innocent ones go, and
stick the ones sworn to reek vengeance on us in the hoosgaw. And can we
please recall our Senators and get a new batch? Max has no problem
having physicians arrested for wanting to testify on behalf of a single
payer health care plan that would give ordinary Americans the care that
the prisoners at Gitmo get. The whole country saw him laugh as they
arrested doctors and nurses as he snarkily said “We need more cops”.
Then two weeks later he goes all yellow belly on us and makes us the
laughing stock. And Jon, I’ve got a little advice for you. Whatever Max
says, please say the opposite.
Senators, you have work to do. Get serious about health care and job
losses. Stop the speculators from driving up oil prices. This
Restoration Comedy has got to stop. Take off those periwigs Senators.
You have a bad case of the vapors. Get some smelly salts and cowboy up.