Representative Rodney Garcia, a disgraced Montana legislator and a founding member of the now infamous “.38 Special” caucus, has been in the national news of late. It seems that Rodney has found it in his heart to externally verbalize a unique solution to the growing socialist movement. In a public exchange at the recently completed Republican Winter Kickoff event, Rodney said the following: “So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot.” Clearly Rodney should have been immediately called to task for his deranged and dangerous comment, but the larger, ominous background story never appeared in the press.
For the past several years, self-avowed conservative members of this “.38 Special” caucus have disparagingly labelled the Republican Conservative Solutions Caucus (CSC) as socialists. The CSC is a growing faction of the Republican party that is focused on actual governance while the “.38 Special” caucus is comprised of a mixed bag of libertarians, “constitutionalists”, and other extremists that tailor their voting decisions to obtain a high party loyalty score on a scorecard created by their puppet master Ed Butcher. Their mantra is that bipartisan efforts are unprincipled, and that a “good” vote is one where a Republican always votes against a Democrat – irrespective of the issue. The “.38 Special” cares naught for governance, nor do they put due consideration into the interests of their constituents.
At the Winter Kickoff, as a means of promoting their group, a prominent member of the “.38 Special” caucus presented each of the other caucus members a live .38 Special cartridge to wear within the clear event credential badge that was necessary to gain entry into events. The “.38 Special” caucus members proudly displayed the cartridge, using it as a conversation starter with unaffiliated attendees to decry the so called “socialists” in the Conservative Solution Caucus. So prominent was this effort that there are pictures of “.38 Special” members with alcohol in their hand and a live bullet proudly on display around their necks.
Later in the convention, during the live fundraising auction, the premiere item donated for sale by the “.38 Special” members was a handgun – perfectly chambered for those live .38 Special rounds being worn around their necks! Fortunately, given that the weapon was intended to be purchased by a member of their ilk, likely in possession of the ammunition to discharge it, the members of the “.38 Special” caucus who were bidding on the weapon were outbid by another second amendment enthusiast attendee that had the good sense to remove the firearm from the premises.
To summarize: at a Montana Republican Party convention ironically branded as “We Are Stronger Together” by MT GOP Party Chairman, Don “K” Kalschmidt, there was a confluence of the following events: a declaration of homicidal intent by a member of the “.38 special” directed at so called “socialists”, a clear effort by one faction of the Montana Republican party to label another faction as said socialists, an abundance of live ammunition and alcohol, and a readily accessible .38 Special firearm chambered for the live .38 ammo that was distributed and displayed. What could possibly go wrong?
Clearly, nobody should have to fear being killed or injured because of their political associations. And yet, here we are! The everyday messaging emanating from the “.38 Special” caucus has empowered one of its founding members, Rodney Garcia, to suggest that those who meet his personal ever evolving definition of a socialist, should be shot or imprisioned! And yet, while Rodney made this abhorent and reprehensible statement, he should not shoulder all the blame.
He, as a member of the “.38 Special” caucus, is simply the latest exposed tip of a dangerous iceberg whose overwhelming mass prefers to remain hidden, lurking just below the waterline. Montana deserves better!
Extremist Chronicles exists to shine a light on the extremism sabotaging Montana from both the right and the left by making public the radical views and behaviors of those in elected or leadership positions. If you are deeply committed to Montana and have a story of extremism to share, please send it to ExtremistChronicles@gmail.com so that citizens all over our state can make more informed choices about our leaders. Thank you for joining us. Together, we will build a better Montana!