It's not even Halloween and Montana's political leaders are scared shitless.
Our political leadership has been strangely silent on the subject of the recently discovered homophobic/murderous rants by a leader and members of the Montana Tea Party.
Dennis Rehberg, who is a member of the US House of Representatives Tea Party Caucus should be particularly enthusiastic about these revelations.
And yet, surprisingly, given his homophobic history - silence. Which is probably to be expected given his non-response to the Montana Republican Party's platform plank calling for the criminalization of homosexual acts. Self-serving at its very best, which represents his entire political career.
However, more deeply disappointing and disturbing is the non-response of Senator Max Baucus, a man whose national campaign for the health of all Americans doesn't seem to give two shits about the safety of his constituents back home. Or maybe he is too frightened to upset a homophobic voter in Central Montana. Or a lobbyist in Manhattan (not the Montana town, that other one on the East Coast). Being politically correct pays the bills - being morally couragous. Not so much.
Maybe Denny and Max are afraid for their safety. But, take it from me, they're not alone.
Some of those constituents are definitely scared. In Montana, apparently, being gay means being the target of violent words advocating the displaying of your tortured body as a decoration or sport for everyone else. That's scary. One of the most beautiful places in the world, and suddenly I'm not admiring the mountains or the scenery as I'm driving. I'm looking at people in the cars around me wondering, "If they knew me would they would want to kill me and hang my body on a tree like a piece of strange fruit?"
And it's not okay.
Whose fear is more relevant here? Whose safety is more important? A political leader who has lost touch with his constituents, or the constituents themselves?
If someone targeted any other group of human beings - say, Native Americans, women, children, the handicapped - the cries to heaven and the media would be deafening. The voices would be politicians, clergy, parents, doctors, bankers, rodeo cowboys, hunters and car dealers.
But it's The Gays. They're not people; they're a political liability. Fuck them.
It's not okay.
And someone who's been elected as a leader in this state should say so. Governor Brian Schweitzer? Senator Jon Tester?
Who's the Wizard going to give courage to?