As a conservative fellow with his own anger management issues, I was pulling for Fightin’ Greg Gianforte to pull out his race against Singin’ Rob Quist in the Montana special election to fill Montana’s seat in the House of Representatives. I feared having to suffer the joy of Democrats and their rabid media adjunct celebrating the victory of a flaky left-wing country singer with a yen for nudist venues and a history of tax delinquency. Let it not be.
Thankfully, it was not to be. Gianforte jumped in off the top turnbuckle to snatch victory from Quist and third-party libertarian candidate Mark Wicks by a margin of 6 points. The New York Times has posted the results here: 50.2 percent for Gianforte (189,473 votes), 44.1 percent for Quist (166,483) and 5.7 percent for Wicks (21,509).
Gianforte had unusual obstacles to overcome. He had just been charged with assaulting the obnoxious Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the morning of election day. Gianforte had decked Jacobs, sending him to the hospital for x-rays. Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna had witnessed the assault. An audio recording confirmed the assault. Gianforte’s spokesman lied about the assault. And yet Gianforte prevailed.
Gianforte was of course aided in his victory by Montana’s early voting law. Some 260,000 Montanans voted before Gianforte decked Jacobs. I would guess that Gianforte’s margin among early voters was higher among voters who had the benefit of the latest news on election day. Is there anything that will make the left rethink the mania for early voting and other devices to “enhance” turnout?
Here I will venture a prediction. The answer to that question is no. At least they (may have) paid a price for it yesterday.
While Republicans in Washington dutifully demanded that Gianforte apologize, I thought to myself have mercy. He can’t do that. He’ll incriminate himself.
In the event, Gianforte apologized — as he claimed victory. He apologized to Jacobs by name. He didn’t add the usual if you felt bad qualification either.
And now the county attorney has a slam dunk case. Gianforte is probably hoping he will be spared time on the misdemeanor charge as a first offender. He’s led a model life! He made a mistake! He won’t do it again!
You can’t send a flaky left-wing singer with a yen for nudist venues to represent Montana in the House. It wouldn’t be right. The thought itself is absurd if not distasteful.
Does Quist take requests? With him in mind, I thought through the day of Merle Haggard’s song “Sing Me Back Home.”