by Travis Mateer
The war in Iraq was the big issue for me when I cast my vote for Jon Tester in 2006, but as with Obama, the Democrats were huge disappointments for young, idealistic progressive like myself. For some Montana progressive context, here’s Jay Stevens in 2007 describing Tester’s weak position on war (emphasis mine):
As for the other criticism – for example, that Tester is not against the war enough, well, I’m happy he supported the recent vote for specific timetables. I don’t ever recall that Jon called for an immediate and complete withdrawal from Iraq during his candidacy. In fact, Jon was always vague on Iraq, calling for a “new strategy” that would bring our troops home. That’s exactly what he voted for. We’ll see where he stands on the Feingold/Reid bill, eh? So far it seems Jon’s been a team player in the Democratic strategy on Iraq. Considering he’s the lowest ranked Senator and that the Senate is pretty much evenly split on Iraq, I don’t see any other stance he could take.
Of course Jay Stevens couldn’t see any other stance, that’s one of the main goals of our two party political system–limited vision–and it’s quite effective.
In 2015, writing as lizard, I explained why I thought Jon Tester must not be reelected. To back up my concerns I quoted from a Dave Lindorff article. Here’s some of what I quoted:
Meanwhile, the real people to watch in Congress are those Democrats who are going to vote with the ruling Republicans in House and Senate to allow pro-rich and pro-capitalist measures to get to a vote, and to provide the votes to over-ride any vetoes by President Obama. Behind all the anti-inequality talk, these are the people who really represent the leadership and the political bedrock of the Democratic Party.
We got an early look at what is coming last week, when a group of 13 Democratic senators (the scabs clearly visible on their exposed flesh), voted with an almost unanimous Republican bloc, to defeat an amendment offered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would have stripped a measure weakening the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law out of an already pro-financial corporate bail-out bill extending federal backing for terrorism coverage in insurance policies. The vote killing the Warren amendment passed 66-31 meaning there were only three abstentions. Without the 13 Democratic votes against fellow Democrat Warren, her amendment would have passed because of a 60-vote requirement for amendments.
Keep an eye on those 13 Democrats. Given that the Republicans now have 54 seats in the Senate, they only need an extra six votes from Democrats to move bills and amendments to a vote, and only 13 votes to override a presidential veto.
Here, for reference, are the 13 members of the Senate Democratic caucus who killed the Warren amendment:
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Angus King (I-ME)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Jon Tester’s influence has only increased in the 8 years since Lindorff called him out, so it’s with this context in mind that I read The Pulp describing some political opportunism forming around the Israel/Hamas conflict. From the link (emphasis mine):
Montanans in Solidarity with Palestine responded to Zinke and his bill on Instagram, saying: “We will work tirelessly against you to ensure this legislation goes straight into the garbage, where it belongs.”
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, meanwhile, was among the 35 Democrats in the Senate who issued a joint statement in mid-October asking for the “swift implementation of sustained access for humanitarian aid, including water and medical supplies, to save civilian lives in Gaza.” But Tester has stopped short of calling for a ceasefire, which is what Missoula’s pro-Palestinian demonstrators are demanding when they protest outside his office every week.
It’s hilarious to think about anti-war protestors doing their protest thing outside Tester’s office. Do they have any clue what Tester’s history with progressives has been like? Why would he change now?
No, Jon Tester is going to strategically ignore the anti-war protestors while secretly cheering on Sid Daoud, a politician from Kalispell who just announced his Libertarian candidacy earlier this week. From the link:
Kalispell Libertarian Sid Daoud launched his run for the U.S. Senate on Monday, entering an already competitive 2024 race on a third-party ticket.
“I don’t think there’s every been a more critical time for someone to be in the Senate who will be pushing for some fiscal responsibility and to temper our economy. We are in dire straits right now,” Daoud said.
Daoud is a Kalispell City Councilor for Ward 4 and is the chair of the Montana Libertarian Party. Born and raised in Montana, Daoud grew up in Great Falls before moving to the Flathead Valley in 2006. He has lived in Kalispell since 2009, where he and his wife raised their three children. He currently works as a consultant for cybersecurity company Summit 7 Systems. Daoud is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
If Tester hasn’t sent Daoud some flowers and a thank you card yet, he should (or whatever staffer handles that kind of shit). Also, what’s Summit 7 Systems? Here’s a little more context on this growing cyber-security firm after an acquisition with CSW Systems was announced earlier this month:
Summit 7, founded in 2008, is based in Huntsville, Alabama. The company has 149 employees listed on LinkedIn. Summit 7’s areas of expertise include cybersecurity and compliance solutions for the Aerospace and Defense industry, as well as corporate enterprises, with specializations in Microsoft Cloud solutions and compliance requirements such as CMMC, DFARS, NIST 800-171, ITAR, and CUI data.
CSW Systems, founded in 2011, is based in Gainesville, Virginia with with operations in Denver, Colorado. The company has seven employees listed on LinkedIn. CSW Systems’s areas of expertise include managed services and continuous compliance support for classified data processing facilities, catering to clients within the intelligence community.
Well, this should be a fun Senate race to watch for political junkies who still imagine this two party scam is worth paying attention to. Personally, there are other aspects of Jon Tester’s candidacy I’m more interesting in taking a look at, but that will be a for a later post.
Thanks for reading!