Jon Tester and the Predictable Impotence of Democratic Dissent

by William Skink

When a German exchange student was gunned down in a garage in Missoula, State Rep Ellie Hill was the first politician out-of-the-gate to use the tragedy to try and repeal the Castle Doctrine. But instead of politics coming to the rescue, the criminal justice system did its thing, determining that the Castle Doctrine doesn’t allow one to set a lethal trap for garage-hopping teens. Kaarma is now in prison.

With Jon Tester’s pro-gun votes on Monday deflating the hopes of Democrats in the latest round of failed gun-control legislation, I’ve been looking for reactions from local Democrats to see if any dissent would pop up, and Rep. Hill didn’t disappoint with this comment on Facebook:

Dear Senator Jon Tester, I love you. Lots! But I do not care if my relatives have to undergo a background check when I give them my heirloom gun if it will save a few more LIVES. It is an inconvenience we here in Montana can all stomach to help solve this national crisis. I wish you would have stood with our President Barack Obama and with your fellow Senate Democrats in their valiant filibuster. I still support you but I am very disappointed and I really do NOT understand. Please do everything in your power to be a part of a solution: gun violence is killing 91 people and injuring 200 people, each and every day, in this country. In the wake of the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history – an act of hate and domestic terrorism perpetrated against my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando just last week – we in Montana have had ‪#‎ENOUGH‬
Love, Ellie (Rep. Hill, Missoula)

What’s not to understand? Tester is a powerful Senator and he wants to stay a powerful Senator, so he’s going to do what he thinks he needs to do to win his reelection. The key part of Hill’s statement is this: “I still support you…” Yes, even as Tester disingenuously explains his vote (one of the bills does allow transfers between family members, so Tester either doesn’t even know what the bill does or is once again being deceitful) he will still get support from Rep. Hill and other Democrats in Montana.

This is one of the core problems with Democrats. It seems no matter what their fellow Dems do, they will still give them support. Republicans don’t enjoy the same compliant constituency, which is one of the reasons the Tea Party has been relatively successful in forwarding their agenda in the political arena; they are more willing to sacrifice short-term electoral success to achieve their political vision. Republicans fear their base. Democrats take their base for granted, because they can.

Jon Tester’s vote on Monday wasn’t the only action he took against members of his party. This week Tester also signed off on a million-dollar attack against Florida’s Alan Grayson. The blog DownWithTyranny! had this to say about Tester:

Jon Tester, the disappointing senator from Montana and Schumer’s puppet chairman of the DSCC, had a busy Monday. He voted with the Republicans– as he often does– against the bill to pass meaningful background checks for gun purchases. That’s the HEAD of the DSCC. AND, he authorized a million dollar spend against Alan Grayson in the Florida Senate primary– a spend meant to help elect Wall Street whore Patrick Murphy. (I remember when Tester used to whime to me on the phone every day about how Chuck Schumer was working to defeat him in his first Senate race, on behalf of a Wall Street shill not even as bad as Murphy, John Morrison. Tester sold out within microseconds of winning his primary, morphing into Morrison and becoming Schumer’s lap dog, giving New York a third vote in the Senate.

Wow, what a corporate-shilling hypocrite. Should Tester be concerned that this will impact his reelection chances? Nope, he shouldn’t, because Democrats will just take it and vote accordingly when the time comes. That is if Democrats even know Tester is trying to destroy a fellow Democrat in Florida. So far, the two Democrat mouthpiece blogs have remained silent on Tester’s twin disappointments this week.

Jon Tester’s support of Patrick Murphy (who was once a Republican) is part of a larger strategic play for Florida.  This is how The Atlantic framed the political showdown last year:

The road to a Democratic majority in the Senate is a narrow one, and it runs through Florida. Marco Rubio is running for president, so he can’t run for reelection, freeing up his seat—and in a swing state like Florida, with the more Democratic-friendly electorate of a presidential cycle, there’s a good chance Democrats can win.

If they have the right candidate, of course.

That’s where Alan Grayson comes in. Democrats have had a rough run in Florida recently. In 2010, their candidate was walloped in a three-way Senate race that Rubio won—Governor Charlie Crist ran as an independent after losing the Republican primary; Democrat Kendrick Meek finished a distant third. That same year, Alex Sink lost a close race for governor to Rick Scott. In early 2014, Sink lost a special election for the seat of deceased Representative C. W. “Bill” Young. In fall 2014, Crist—by now a Democrat—lost the governor’s race to Scott, even though the incumbent was strongly disliked.

The remedy, state and national Democrats believe, is Patrick Murphy, a young two-term representative who reached office after defeating Representative Allen West—as fiery and controversial a Republican as Grayson is a Democrat—in 2012. Murphy is a notably moderate Democrat (he was previously a Republican), but he’s a polished candidate who showed he could win in a closely divided district. Party leaders marked him for great things. Early polls show him leading the top Republican candidates.

The path for Murphy was clear until Grayson announced he was running. Now the loud-mouthed progressive is in the crosshairs of Tester’s DSCC.

I won’t be voting for any politicians this election cycle. I am too disgusted by the whole stinking system to participate in the charade anymore.

Democrats had a chance after Obama was elected to actually do something. They had Congress and the White House and a crippled financial sector sheepishly going hat-in-hand to DC after blowing up the global economy. But instead of helping distressed Americans, Democrats chose to rescue the predatory wolves of Wall Street, and they continue protecting these bastards while ignoring the worsening economic situation in this country.

I would rather chew on broken glass than support a duplicitous political party that serves the oligarchs while deploying every deceitful trick in the political book to maintain its power.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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14 Responses to Jon Tester and the Predictable Impotence of Democratic Dissent

  1. Rob Kailey says:

    You know what they call folks who expect a particular and poorly defined group of people to behave in a certain way? Bigots. Just suggesting.

    Demoncrats are not all like minded, nor do “we” all suffer the same ennui as other single issue voters appear to do. Truth is, there’s more than just a few of us in Montana who agree with Jon Tester’s vote, because what he voted against was emotional and poorly considered knee-jerk legislation. There is not one, even one, easy or publicly accessible manner for anyone to perform a background check before transferring a firearm to another. No watchlist is publicly posted. No warning flags have been established such that the people are informed before transferring property. (Cue up Dr. Strangelove where it’s indicated a doomsday device is only worthwhile if EVERYONE knows about it.) Yet Senate Amendment 4750 didn’t account for any of that, And yet still you, as well as your Demoncrats, haven’t bothered to even consider that it was bad legislation before castigating all those who don’t seem in line with your agenda. Well done, Lizard. You’ve joined the shit-show while providing yourself enough cover fire to claim you haven’t.

    I applaud Senator Tester’s vote, because I value our rights. Irregardless (word usage just to annoy pedants) of your bitter feelings towards some individuals, a lot us of still think and think well. In doing so, we remain completely convinced that no matter how entertaining Alan Grayson is, I can’t vote for him, and he doesn’t represent me. In truth, he doesn’t represent everything I believe, and I accept that no one elected to office ever will. That’s not a moral failing. It’s life in a representative democracy. If you have a better plan, please present it.

    (But don’t sell out while doing so. Some of the ads inserted to your posts by WordPress are causing browser crashes, based on well known Shockwave errors. Apparently like Freedom, correct opinion isn’t free. It costs a buck o’ five.)

    • did I say this was good legislation worthy of Tester’s support? no, I didn’t. my point, which you seemed to have missed, is that Tester can do whatever he wants, and if Democrats don’t like it, then what are they going to do? not vote for him? that’s not going to happen.

    • Rob Kailey says:

      And I’m saying, “your point”, such as it is, is specious. It’s entirely possible that Tester did the correct and ethical thing, but you don’t care because you hate on his support. There is no evidence to support your claims save your emotions and bitterness to those who have offended you. Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re wrong. I’ve no idea because you didn’t actually back a point. You foisted an opinion and demanded that the world conform to it. That’s Conspiro thinking.

      I didn’t miss anything. Have you?

      • what exactly are you claiming is specious?

        • Rob Kailey says:

          1) That Democrats are unified, or even definable as a cohesive grouping. I laugh when establishment Dems like Cowgirl crow over the split in the Republicants. Dems are just as splintered, probably more so.

          2) Defining outcomes based on your in-going assumptions is Conspiro think. Hillary likely will win. Judging everyone’s motives who votes for her on your assumptions is specious, cruel, and actually kinda stupid. Websites you’ve promoted claim it’s the unity of the vagina. Sexist much?

          3) Some Dems have reason to think Tester is a traitor, for certain. Markos Malitsis crowed about how Tester would never get re-elected without support from Daily Kos, having voted against the Dream Act, yet somehow he didn’t get re-elected by a website blogger. He got re-elected because Montana favored him. The stupid are crowing about the money he took from the NRA yet the NRA hasn’t given him money. Your website is as commercialized, more annoyingly, as Jon Tester is, but no one calls out your treason. It’s thoroughly specious to claim that others are hypocrites based on your assumptions of their motives. Totally Conspiro think. You don’t know why others do what they do, but claiming you do based on one issue? That makes for good blogging, I expect. Proof? We need no proof. Others care about X but you care about z that they don’t care about so they are inevitably wrong. Face it, that’s specious as hell.

        • It is forgotten now how Tester gained reelection in 2012 with 48% of the vote, since party membership requires short (3 or 4 day) memories. The Timber Lobby had sensed Conrad Burns’ demise in 2006 and so coughed up Tester as his replacement, cloaking him as a progressive Democrat, lining up support through beards like Matt Singer and Jay Stevens. That way they could run a clean campaign without messy vote fraud, as either way they won. It fooled me too.

          In 2012 he was toast. He had the normal reflexive Democrat base, but had lost progressive support, this owing to his being a right winger. In a well-planned “last minute” move, a million dollars in dark money made its way to an ad campaign to draw support from Rehberg by convincing Republicans to support Dan Cox, the Libertarian. It worked, and as voters are 90% clueless, most still don’t see what was done to them. Tester is a fake.

        • Rob Kailey says:

          Equally forgotten is how Tester, WITH progressives, only got 49% of the vote in 2006 in a low turnout year. So I have to thank you, Mark, for assuring us all of 2 things. Tester’s inevitable reelection in 2018, and the obvious electoral weakness of the “progressives” who think themselves above actually getting what they want from the electoral process. Or for that matter, actually getting what they want ever.

        • Oh, I agree. There is no left in this crazy effing land. I have no illusions. I did then, however. For the sake of a primary victory in 2006, Tester had to play some poker, and using beards like Singer, Stevens and even you, gave the impression of a pwoggy. It fooled me, and now I am left to wonder just how cynical Singer and Stevens are. You I don’t wonder about.

          I don’t care about elections and don’t vote. Nothing in that circus has any bearing on any public policy. It is just a distraction. That is ground zero.

          And nice job (really interesting reveal)!of avoiding discussion of a any actual issues while reducing everything to elections. You’re exposed now, Shallow Hal.

        • Rob Kailey says:

          I’m sorry, Conspiro, I’ve taken valuable time away from your self-professed mastery of facial recognition in exposing the Tate=Hearst coverup, what with your undoubtedly inspiring skills with MS Paint and low rez pictures from the Internet.

          Still, I am confused about one thing. You claim that the only solution to our national malaise is voting for particular Constitutional amendments (or a Constitutional convention) while caterwauling about how voting doesn’t matter. It’s not so much the contradiction you embrace that is confusing. It’s clear that you don’t think our lizard-people overlords will ever let such a thing happen. No, the confusing part is how you can hold so tightly to your self-important pronouncements, and still have the hollow brass balls to call others “cynical”.

        • I’ll be damned. Someone is reading! The facial work is solid, based solely on pupils. It yields what it yields. I do not massage it. It either is or isn’t. Pupils are a mathematical constant. I don’t go near math with you, as you know so much. But once we reach maturity, our eye pupils stay a costanr distance apart. Given that and the abiluty to adjust photo sizes, it is easy to run analysis.

          For instance, Janice Joplin didn’t die, I assume, but do not know. With Sharon Tate a sister appeared, Patti, and photo analysis based on pupil distance revealed her to be Sharon. I assume you and your brother have a lot in common, if you have the same mom and dad, and offer to perform the same technique on you. Send some photos. I promise to leave the knuckles dragging on pavement out. I will prove or disprove that you and Moorcat are two different predators. Or not.

          I ran Janis and Laura Joplin, wondering if she became her sister Laura, aka Sharon/Patti. Not even close. Two,p different people.

          I do admire our constitution, but it is a dead letter. We could discuss that if you like. Set aside being a fake philosopher and idiot savant at math and logic, and concentrate on that document, which lasted all of 99 years. It was well crafted.

        • US Constitution lasted 79 years, not 99.

        • Rob Kailey says:

          Now, who’s not talking issues? ~whispers~ (Since I don’t think you’re smart enough to get it, that would you, Conspiro.)

      • It’s like getting a kid to eat corn to get you to focus on anything, you phony. You ain’t got shit.

  2. Eric says:

    I’ve always said (correctly) that the Dems do not have the spine to deal with their DINOS, which is which is why they have become a permanent minority in the Montana Legislature. I remember when Max was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and sided with Pres. Bush – the Dems gnashed their teeth, howled, and complained, but wouldn’t primary him.

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