Burg Simpson co-founder Alan K. Simpson’s civility in politics tour continued this week with a public forum at Montana State University Billings with former Senate colleague Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat. The two elder statesmen of upper Midwestern politics, both of whom entered the Senate in 1978, lamented the hostility that’s so prevalent in Washington, D.C., today while also criticizing the GOP’s tax reform bill.
“Compromise, to me (now), is a four letter word,” Simpson told the assembled crowd. “I’m a RINO now.”
RINO, which stands for Republican in name only, is used as an insult to disparage Republicans who don’t toe the party line. That’s something Simpson, who’s always leaned left on a host of social issues, has never done. It’s that independence that’s also allowed him to work with Democrats over the years, despite their differences.
Simpson and Baucus also pointed to a media establishment that’s all too eager to stir up trouble between the parties.
“These media folks who couldn’t administrate or govern their way out of a paper sack … will get you so wound up day and night … with emotions, fear, guilt, racism,” Simpson explained.
The event was sponsored by Yellowstone Public Radio, MSU Billings, and the Joseph C. Grott Memorial Fund.