Montana’s familiar story: A wealthy candidate became a warrior against the ‘establishment’

After he declared victory in a hard-fought race for Montana’s sole House seat, Republican Greg Gianforte turned somber. … One day after Gianforte was charged with assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs — and after his campaign blamed an “aggressive” and “liberal” Jacobs for the incident — Gianforte apologized to him by name. …

But the ad wars and the late-breaking attack on a reporter — the audio echoed around Montana on Thursday — revealed the Republicans’ command of an us-against-them narrative. Fully in control of Washington, the party has redefined power and the “establishment” so that liberals are always holding the whip. …

In another part of his victory speech, Gianforte himself furthered the idea that his victory — bolstered by super PACs and campaign visits from the vice president and the president’s son — was a body blow to the establishment. “Montanans are sending a wake-up call to the Washington, D.C., establishment,” said Gianforte. CONT.

David Weigel, Washington Post