A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

12 June 2017 — 1909 mdt

Gianforte avoids jail, but not community service and anger management —
Now he’s trying to avoid being fingerprinted and posing for a mug shot


U.S. Representative-elect Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault today, receiving a sentence of 40 hours of community service and 20 hours of anger management therapy. He accepted that, evidently quietly and stoically.

But according to Whitney Bermes of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, he’s not quietly and stoically accepting the judge’s order that he should be subjected to the indignity of being fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken. He’s fighting that, knowing full well that Democrats will feature his mug shot in ads opposing his re-election.

He might avoid having a formal mug shot taken, but he won't avoid a Democratic artist’s sketch of a mug shot. Pro tip: he might find a real mug shot more flattering than an artist’s rendering of a mug shot.

Berms also reports that:

Gianforte has not addressed the false statement his campaign gave following the assault. He briefly spoke with reporters after his court appearance but only took a few questions, none of which challenged him on his campaign’s statement.

As readers may remember, after his altercation with Jacobs, Gianforte spoke briefly with law enforcement officers, then invoked his right to remain silent, lawyered-up, and went into seclusion until the election was over. But his campaign went into high gear trying to blame Jacobs for sticking his nose in Gianforte’s fist, Fox News eyewitness account to the contrary not withstanding. It was a brazen example of the Big Lie — and as one of Flathead Memo’s astute readers observed over the weekend, the mainstream media were not focusing on it as intently as they probably should have been focusing:

There’s still the elephant in the room about Greg Gianforte that hasn’t been adequately addressed though. The press seems to be giving him a free pass.

Worse than losing his cool and assaulting a reporter is his calculated fabrication of how it went down and who was to blame. Unlike his spur of the moment outburst, that lie was constructed in order to create doubt in voters minds on election day. We can deduce this from the fact that eyewitnesses were immediately describing what happened and the fact that the reporter was running a recorder in front of his eyes. Who would be so dumb to tell such a baldfaced lie which could be easily refuted? Someone wishing only to plant doubt in voters minds in order to mitigate the damage and win the election. Who should they believe? Him or a lying libtard reporter?

In fact, many voters interviewed on election day admitted they were confused about the conflicting reports about who was to blame - precisely because of, and the intent of, Gianforte’s shameless lie. Voters gave him the benefit of the doubt and as a result he didn’t lose their votes. It was a successful strategy and only had to work for a day, and it did. The public has a right to get the full measure of the man who was elected, and reporters should stay on the case. After all, GG is already officially running for re-election and the matter hasn’t been fully resolved - he has shown no remorse for his fabrication, only for assaulting the reporter. (Remorse would of course be the bigger lie, truth be told.) Unfortunately, the media has not hounded him about that fabrication so score a double win for Gianforte. The media’s been deferential in order to preserve an image of civility so they won’t get accused of being aggressive.

While losing his cool under the pressure of a campaign on which he invested so much personal wealth could be understandable and forgiven, playing the lie card so shamelessly has revealed his true character. I wish the judge could consider that self-serving lie used to deceive the public. That’s the real crime here and the window into the soul of Greg Gianforte.

We have learned that Mr. Gianforte has the right stuff to be a successful politician: the ability to lie with ease and without remorse for a worthy cause - his own election. If he was trying to invoke Trump’s image and character, it worked. His baldfaced lie and refusal to address and own up to it reveals that he’s a similar sleazy, egotistic, wealthy businessman-turned-politician desperate for power.

What kind of community service he’ll perform remains to be determined. I know at least one person who believes the court should consider equipping him with a bayonet and good luck charm, and send him to the third world to clear land mines.