First of all, Schweitzer courted the NRA for an endorsement. He didn’t just come out in favor of gun rights aimed at hunters and sportsmen as many other Democrats in red states and in national races have (including President Obama) but he actively courted the most extreme of the “mainstream” gun groups in America, the NRA. The group that is in part financed by the gun manufacturers and who has stood against nearly every sensible gun law for the past 20 years or more.
When he obtained that endorsement, Schweitzer didn’t just note it on his website or send out a press release. He appeared at an event with Wayne LaPierre and touted the video on his Youtube page.
Remember, the NRA opposed the weak post-Sandy Hook background checks – something that Republicans like Pat Toomey and John McCain voted for, as did red state Democrats like Mary Landrieu.
For a long time I’ve been an advocate of a wider tent within the Democratic Party, and I don’t want them to become purge central like today’s GOP, but you also need to stand for things.
Sadly, yet another deadly school shooting occurred today, this time in Nevada. The alleged shooter, a student, used a handgun stolen from his parents to shoot and kill a teacher and wounded 2 other students. Given Schweitzer's pro-NRA record, there's no place for him in national office. And if that wasn't bad enough, his pro-coal record is just as bad:
Schweitzer is also a proponent of fake clean coal technology and other sketchy energy concerns. He asked Montana officials to claim they “support the use of coal money for the completion of your project/projects.” In a profile, 60 Minutes described him as “Montana’s Coal Cowboy.”
Schweitzer has also backed the Keystone XL pipeline, and described opponents of it as “jackasses.” I’m far from an environmental purist, but especially post-BP shouldn’t we think again and again about tying ourselves to fossil fuels and to the environmental impact that errors in the world of fossil fuels create?
Just as I would have serious doubts supporting any of Kentucky's NRA-loving King Coal Dems for national office for the same reasons, I can't support Schweitzer for President. Oliver's right: you've got to stand for something, and YAY GUNS isn't it.