Warning: This post contains a link to the Billings Gazette website, but I couldn’t let this letter to the editor from Max Lenington pass unmentioned.
Max, as the editor’s note mentions, is Yellowstone County’s treasurer, assessor and county superintendent of schools. When I was covering Yellowstone County, he seemed to me to be one of the most amiable and reasonable public officials around. But either I was badly fooled, or he has become unhinged.
In case you are hoarding your Gazette links, as I do, here are just a few samples from his letter, consistent, I hope, with respecting the Gazette’s copyright. Lenington says the Obama are “the very worst kind of racialist,” they are “elitist Leninists” (is it even possible to be both a Leninist and an elitist?) and they “present themselves as an emperor and an empress.” He says that Obama has taken “lies, deceit, dishonesty and subterfuge to a new depth. He is verbally abusive to our citizenry and lacks civility.”
Lenington concludes in grammatically challenged fashion: ”There is just no possible way; whereby, a white president and his wife could ignore the law, flaunt their position and be the lord of the people, as these two are permitted out of fear for their color.”
As the letter indicates, this isn’t the first time Max has written a letter like this. The first time, I imagined that somebody was pranking the Gazoo and there would be a correction in a day or two apologizing for accidentally putting Max’s name on somebody else’s letter. Then I sort of forgot about it.
But I don’t how even Obama haters can find a shred of sanity in this. It’s disgraceful, and it’s time for Max to go.
UPDATE: Intelligent Discontent weighs in.
UPDATE 2: Now it turns out that Max plagiarized practically the whole thing. Our own freelancer, Adrian Jawort, has been plugging away at it, and the Gazette has a story up now.
UPDATE 3: Max Lenington is now responding to the story with another letter to the Gazette that he also provided to the Outpost. He denies doing anything wrong and says, “I will also ask the Yellowstone County Attorney’s office to please review your accusations and advise me accordingly. I will immediately forward you his response when it is complete.” See Thursday’s Outpost for more.