Choices

Kos, after the DREAM act died:

Anybody who votes to punish innocent kids is an asshole. Plain and simple. And while I expect it from Democrats like Ben Nelson and C-Street denizen Mark Pryor, I honestly thought Jon Tester was different. I was wrong. I am now embarrassed that I worked so hard to help get him elected in 2006. I feel personally betrayed.

Not only will I do absolutely nothing to help his reelection bid, but I will take every opportunity I get to remind people that he is so morally bankrupt that he’ll try to score political points off the backs of innocent kids who want to go to college or serve their country in the military.

To me, he is the Blanche Lincoln of 2012 — the Democrat I will most be happy to see go down in defeat. And he will. Nothing guarantees a Republican victory more than trying to pretend to be one of them.

Here’s Tester’s opponent, Denny Rehberg:

Rehberg spoke Monday before the state legislature. As the Helena Independent Record reports. “When I first heard his decision, like many of you I wanted to take action immediately,” Rehberg said. “I asked: How can we put some of these judicial activists on the Endangered Species list?”

The DREAM act was never going to make it past cloture – it went down 55-41.  Nelson and Tester voted against cloture, and brave Joe Manchin ran away, but even if all three flipped, not a single Republican was ready to let the DREAM act pass.  So Tester decided to take one vote off the table for his tough re-election campaign.  And that’s enough for Kos to be “happy” to see him replaced with an asshole who thinks it’s a good idea to make a crack like that less than a month after what happened in Tucson.

Jon Tester is as good as it gets in Montana, and he might just squeak out a win in a Presidential election year with enough money and support. If progressives can’t tolerate the Testers of the Senate, we’re going to get Rehbergs, and things are going to be a hell of a lot worse. If you think I’m wrong, take a look at a map and tell me where Democrats are going to pick up another rural red state Senator to replace Tester.

Update: Commenter Wulfgar points to this post at his blog, where he makes this point:

After spending maybe a total of 5 hours in the Jon’s presence, I voted for him knowing that he and I disagree on the issue of any amnesty for illegal aliens.  Markos Moulitsas spent much more time than that with Jon Tester while finishing his book, Crashing the Gates.Yet somehow, what was clear to me was lost on Kos.  Tester was not going to vote for amnesty, and a look at his voting record shows clearly that indeed he has not.






134 replies
  1. 1
    Bobbyk says:

    Here’s the problem with your analysis: The republicans decided they needed to get rid of every politician that was even slightly “ideologically impure”, I don’t know of any progressive who thought this wouldn’t be suicide for the republicans. Seems to have worked out pretty well for them now hasn’t it.

    Maybe it’s time to get some Democrats to you know-not be afraid to be democrats.

  2. 2

    Seems to have worked out pretty well for them now hasn’t it.

    So how many seats did the GOP lose due to running below-par candidates in ’10? The purity of the GOP actually hurt them; if they’d kept their powder dry, they could have had a shot at taking the Senate as well. Winning big in a bad economy in a mid-term where you demonize your opposition isn’t actually hard, you know.

    Building a long-term structure for your side is, however. And Kos has never been been one for the long-term plotting, except in the abstract. He’d like to see a majority Netroots-powered Congress, but damn if I see his actual boots-on-the-ground plan for getting there, save these kinds of “I dislike X, let’s get ’em!” diatribes.

  3. 3
    James in NJ says:

    Bobbyk

    I feel like you have a strange idea of “working out well”.

    If the Democrats controlled only the House and were looking into the teeth of a presidential election against a popular Republican president, with only jokers and also-rans as possible candidates; I’d say they were in disarray, not that their strategies were “working out well”.

    But purge on, purge on. I’m sure Mike Castle appreciates the bi-partisanship.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    Seems to have worked out pretty well for them now hasn’t it.

    Dems hold the WH and the Senate, so I’d say it has worked out better than the wingers, at the present time. And yesterdays vote in the House where the tea tards blocked expedited renewal of the Patriot Act, portends purity problems for the wingnuts. In their case, the impure relative to sanity.

    In the all important Senate, it is all about numbers, especially. Four less than pure dems go down to pure wingnuts in bright red states, means they run that body and you can say goodbye to preferred SCOTUS nominees, among other benefits of dems running that body.

    Liberals make up no more than 20 percent of voters in this country, not exactly a recipe for progressive power based on anything pure. I think it is fortunate we have as many solid dems as we have and a few conservadems to break 51 is not so bad as the alternative.

  5. 5
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Bobbyk: I think the same thing every time I have to say Senator Angle & Senator O’Donnell & Senator Buck & Senator McMahon. Oh wait…

  6. 6
    dr. bloor says:

    DREAM was an issue very near and dear to Kos’s heart, and he was clearly devastated by its death. We’ll see what happens as the election cycle proceeds.

    One reason I love Balloon Juice is that none of the front-pagers ever, ever put up a post that hasn’t been composed with utter dispassion and the unerring application of rational thought.

  7. 7
    p.a. says:

    If progressives can’t tolerate the Testers of the Senate, we’re going to get Rehbergs, and things are going to be a hell of a lot worse.

    I tend to agree with you pretty strongly, but I can see a point in Kos’ attitude. Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation. I guess Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2009 wasn’t enough to break its hold. Maybe the buffer of the Testers, Lincolns, Nelsons etc. just allow ‘teh crazy’ to keep percolating along at a dangerous but unresponsible level. An example from nature: spraying for gypsy moths keeps the population from peaking, but keeps the average population much higher than allowing the natural peak-crash cycle.

    I don’t want to see the country ruled by these lunatics any more than you, but maybe it is necessary to ‘kill the brand’.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    DKos is to Democrats as the TeaTards are to Republicans.

  9. 9
    magurakurin says:

    Fuck Kos. He’s too busy counting his dwindling money pile to matter. His sight is a fucking joke; it’s nothing but snake pit of vipers and emotional vampires who spend all their time bitching and moaning and getting their jollies off on the anger and frustration they create in the poor souls who are unfortunate enough to participate there. The DKOS would have jumped the shark long ago, but even the fucking shark couldn’t stand it and it left the room ages ago. If Kos is such a fucking political genius why doesn’t he run for something? He won’t because he likes counting money more. Fuck Kos.

  10. 10
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @dr. bloor:

    One reason I love Balloon Juice is that none of the front-pagers ever, ever put up a post that hasn’t been composed with utter dispassion and the unerring application of rational thought.

    I’m not sure my laptop’s keyboard appreciates the coffee I just spit into it from laughing. Well done.

  11. 11
    ant says:

    @General Stuck:

    yesterdays vote in the House where the tea tards blocked expedited renewal of the Patriot Act, portends purity problems for the wingnuts.

    Of the teaparty caucus, 44 out of 52 voted for the patriot act. Only 26 republicans total voted nay. 122 dems voted nay.

    Soooooo, not quite, in my view.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    We have to remember that the ideological purity of the Republicans hurt them (and helped the Dems) in Nevada and Delaware. Delaware isn’t exactly a redneck backwater, and there weren’t enough psychos and sociopaths in Nevada to substitute one of their own for a high-profile incumbent. Montana has an island of sanity in Missoula, and where else? Is that enough to keep someone clinically insane at bay?

    Electoral context is everything, and when we fly off the handle over conservative Democrats we tend to ignore that reality. We can cry all we want, but before we can change the entire fucking electorate of some inbred backwoods hole-in-the-ground, we’re stuck with the godsdamned blue dogs.

  13. 13
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @p.a.:

    I don’t want to see the country ruled by these lunatics any more than you, but maybe it is necessary to ‘kill the brand’.

    I understand this impulse but this thinking led directly to Nader 2000, President Bush and then to a lot of unnecessarily dead people in Iraq. I’ll keep voting for Bernie if some of the progressive purists in Montana (and elsewhere) agree to hold their nose and vote for the Testers of the world. Deal?

  14. 14
    NobodySpecial says:

    @magurakurin:

    His sight is a fucking joke; it’s nothing but snake pit of vipers and emotional vampires who spend all their time bitching and moaning and getting their jollies off on the anger and frustration they create in the poor souls who are unfortunate enough to participate there.

    Irony’s wife called; he died while eating his breakfast cereal.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    @ant:

    Whatever the number, it left the leadership just short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass under suspension of rules. That is a major loss of face and fuckup for that majoritarian body. The point I was making, is that the wingnuts now have a problem with their usual lockstep conformity with some unpredictable purity problems of their own.

  16. 16
    4tehlulz says:

    I understand why Kos is mad, but if he continues to boycott Tester in the face of a Republican that jokes about murdering judges, then fuck him in the ass and the mouth.

    Sometimes choosing the lesser evil is the choosing to ensure the survival of the country. This is one of them.

  17. 17
    numbskull says:

    @dr. bloor:

    One reason I love Balloon Juice is that none of the front-pagers ever, ever put up a post that hasn’t been composed with utter dispassion and the unerring application of rational thought.

    You noticed that, too, huh.

  18. 18
    sixers says:

    I was the reason he was elected! I will never support him again for not voting for something that was doomed to fail! I! I! I!

  19. 19
    Dork says:

    Tester’s a corporate whore. He’s so in the pocket of Big Stink that he’s got an extensive line of perfumes with his name on them at every department store.

  20. 20
    Blue Neponset says:

    I hope Kos gets over this and realizes Tester is the best we will ever get from MT. Even if a Dem wins back the seat in 2018, it is unlikely he/she will be better than Tester.

    I thought Markos was a little more practical than this.

  21. 21
    ant says:

    @General Stuck:

    wingnuts now have a problem with their usual lockstep conformity

    Meh. We shall see. This just shows leadership was too lazy to count the votes.

    Theyda had the votes if they were paying attention imho.

  22. 22
    mr. whipple says:

    I honestly thought Jon Tester was different. I was wrong. I am now embarrassed that I worked so hard to help get him elected in 2006. I feel personally betrayed.

    Sorry, but this is a joke. Kos helped get a lot of blue dogs elected, not just Tester. And if he honestly thought these blue doggies were gonna vote like they represented Berkeley he’s a fool. He knew better than that.

    And that left him in the uncomfortable position of defending the people he helped elect in the face of an ever-increasing state of hysteria whipped up at his own website. So, in the end he said he was happy a lot of blue dogs lost so Dems could be in the minority and get nothing done. Brilliant!

  23. 23
    magurakurin says:

    @numbskull:

    except, as far as I know, this sight doesn’t claim to be anything else but a place to blow off steam, tell bad jokes, make “very witty Wilde, very witty” comments, and provide an island of shelter in a sea of stupid. Kos on the other hand sells himself as the vanguard of some wave of progressive political change. They raise money, but at some point that gang needs to start getting some real skin in the game and field candidates. Other wise they are just a fever swamp with a fancy “activist” label. This place is just a fever swamp and makes no pretense otherwise. At least in my opinion.

  24. 24

    Here’s the game as I see it:

    1) Yes, the Dems need the Jon Testers of the world. Hell, we’re gonna miss Kent Conrad when he retires at the end of 2012 and is replaced by a conservative Republican.

    Sure, these guys water down the message somewhat, but did they both vote for the stimulus bill? Yes, they did. Did they both vote for the health care bill? Yes, they did. Hell, I’d rather have nearly-worthless Blanche Lincoln still in the Senate than that gawdawful Republican who replaced her, and I’d have sent her campaign some money if that race had been at all close.

    2) We really need a political organization with some clout that will have some backbone about fighting for progressive goals and legislation, and not wavering with the political winds. But that’s not going to be the Democratic Party as a whole.

    What we really need is a concrete, organized progressive party-within-a-party operating within the Democratic Party. Not just a Progressive Caucus within the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, but an organization that would try to win Democratic primaries in the same manner that the parties try to win elections. It would still close ranks in the fall and support primary winners that defeated progressive primary candidates, but it would use primary campaigns and its (hopefully increasing) clout within the Democratic Party to make sure the electorate knows how progressives stand on the issues, and why.

    There’s no question that we lose a lot of debates because neither party is arguing the progressive side of many of those debates – e.g. arguing that our overwhelming top priority right now should be getting people back to work. Yet purging the Democratic Party of those who fuck up the messaging would simply hand things to the GOP. A progressive party-within-a-party would hopefully be able to solve the messaging problem without a purge.

  25. 25
    Chyron HR says:

    @p.a.:

    Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation. I guess Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2009 wasn’t enough to break its hold.

    But once a GOP-controlled government passes their “Exterminate the Job-Killing Muslims, Latinos and Homosexuals Act”, THEN the stage will be set for real progressive change! I can’t wait!

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin: This site has raised some money and organized/encouraged issue related calls to legislators, plus it has a book club. Just sayin’.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Bobbyk says:

    To the first four posters after my post(#’s 2,3,4 and 5)-you’re freeking kidding right? So to try to show I’m wrong you’re going to ignore the 60 seats the dems lost in the house-really? Although “we” BARELY held on to the Senate had some of those tea party candidates that lost been even remotely adept at campaigning they surely would have won.

    I live in NY 25, Anne Buerkle won by 0.03%-that’s just over 500 votes. Currently she’s not even trying to “reach across the aisle” and listen to her constituents that didn’t vote for her. She’s you know acting like a republican.

  29. 29
    rickstersherpa says:

    Kos, Jane Hamsher, and all the others who want Tea Party from the left should first ask themselves how will the get a Democrat elected Senator from Montana or the Dakotas or Nebraska or Missouri or Iowa? The voting population in those states is 90% or more white. They need to start learning how to count because we can’t get 50 votes in the Senate, little lone 60 without having some Democrats from the Western and Southern States. Because each of the 50 states gets two votes in the Senate regardless of population. Montana = New York = California. If the Republicans get the stranglehold on the rest of Great Plains and Mountain West states that they already have in Idaho, Kansas, Arizona, Wyoming, Okalahoma, and Utah to go with the stranglehold on the 11 States of the Confederacy plus Kentucky (and if the Democrats could not beat Rand Paul, they probably can’t beat anyone for the foreseeable future). With all those safe Republican seats, its not hard for me to see 60+ Republicans in the Senate even if the Democrats keep the Presidency through 2020.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @ant:

    This just shows leadership was too lazy to count the votes.

    Well yea, but that doesn’t change the fact that the votes weren’t there to begin with. But you are correct, we shall see if the tea tards and those rank and file wingnuts that are sympathetic to their brand on things like the debt ceiling and other libertarian nutball positions on issues, plays out in nay votes against gooper house leadership into the future.

  31. 31
    salacious crumb says:

    in Kos you basically have Obama worshippers (or O-Bots) where all they do is flame any one with mild criticism of the Dear Leader or post ‘eye candy’ pics of Dear Leader eating a hamburger or patting Joe Biden or whatever…its truly a retarded website….and to them Glenn Greenwald is the spawn of Lucifer and Mitt Romney

    Now dont get me wrong..Im not criticizing Obama and I do know he has the play with the cards he is dealt with (and that means dealing with the Teatard racist morons..but the I do want to retain the right to call him wrong when he is (as in the case of Guantanamo prisoners)..

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    I was just looking at the poll results over at TPM. The generic Congressional approval has dropped from a pro-Republican spread of 7.x% to 4.0% since yesterday. This focus on abortion has got to be working against them.

  33. 33
    El Tiburon says:

    Fuck it. I’m tired of “as good as it gets.”

    What we got now just ain’t working. Did Tester pull his vote for political expediency? Did he go against his core principles? If so, then fuck him and fuck you too.

    I, for one, am ready for a politician who is willing to lose his seat on his principles. That is what is so fucked up with our system now.

    I say let the right-wing loons run the joint. It seems to be the only way to remind the American public how disastrous they are. Just hanging on with marginal characters is not doing this country any good.

  34. 34
    trevorb says:

    Tester is a big piece of shit, He was involved in the death of Montana Power, which if any of you have seen the PBS special called “Power Brokers” http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/1432006422/ you will know that was what started the death of ENRON, but take a look at the real piece of shit he replaced, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Burns, Montanans aren’t stupid some of us are just ignorant. I wouldn’t be too concerned about rehberg either, we all know he is a piece of shit, he recently sued the local fire department because some of his property got burned in a forest fire. Montana gets more liberal by the day, and I have a hard time seeing tester lose to rehberg, but I live in one of the liberal bastions of the state so I could be misreading it.

  35. 35
    mr. whipple says:

    Sure, these guys water down the message somewhat, but did they both vote for the stimulus bill? Yes, they did. Did they both vote for the health care bill? Yes, they did.

    Think for a minute what the stance of Kos’ ilk is: we’ll help elect you, but you had better vote for everything I want.

    The lesson Dem pols are gonna take from the last election and this attitude is that their voters don’t really have their backs. Instead of rejoicing, or at the very least promoting the incredible accomplishments of the last congress, all the netwroots did was bitch. The take away for a politician is that it’s much better to do nothing than to try to do anything.

  36. 36
    ant says:

    Kos very well may change his tune on this…. I was mad too when this bill was defeated. The racist fucks won. grrrr.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    @Bobbyk:

    Dude, you can’t base electoral trends on one mid term, and especially the first mid term of a new presidents term. They almost always go against the party in power. And just as often, the president on the losing end of that mid term gets reelected handily and his party does much better in the following election. It will depend a lot on the economy, but that is the historical trend for these things.

  38. 38
    Tom65 says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I say let the right-wing loons run the joint. It seems to be the only way to remind the American public how disastrous they are. Just hanging on with marginal characters is not doing this country any good.

    No thanks.

  39. 39
    General Stuck says:

    @trevorb:

    That would be Missoula, which is about the only liberal bastion when I lived in the state. Maybe Butte to a degree with the copper mine unions. And Bozeman, when I was living there, was about even.

  40. 40
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Bobbyk:

    you’re freeking kidding right?

    No. Let’s see how well the honorable Ann Marie Buerkle does in 2012. If she wins again then feel free to gloat away about the success of purity.

  41. 41
    trevorb says:

    @General Stuck: I am in Bozeman, but really any of the “cities” are liberal in comparison to rural montana. I think based on no evidence that the reason montana has become more liberal over the years is the influx of new residents who largely move to the cities. And although montana cities are really pretty small, they still hold a very large percentage of the 900,000 montana residents.

  42. 42
    rickstersherpa says:

    I make Bob Somerby’s Daily Howler a regular stop, along with this site and Digby. In it he says something that is very relevant to this conversation since it goes to how we are going to persuade enough people in Montana and the Dakotas and Nebraska to vote a progressive agenda. http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh020811.shtml#DREAMS

    PART 1—EVERYBODY’S HAVING THEM DREAMS (permalink): What would it be like to see progressives spread their ideas, their viewpoints and frameworks? To see progressives spread their outlooks to people who don’t share them now?

    You’re asking some very good questions! For starters, progressives would need to understand the many people who don’t instinctively share their outlooks. Polling suggests there are many such people, and so the task is large.

    At some point, progressives will have to persuade a lot of people who may not agree with them now. That in mind, we were struck by a recent Digby post about people in the Tea Party.

    “Tea Makers Marks,” her headline read. As she started, Digby displayed a familiar trait. It’s one of humankind’s oldest traits—the tendency to lump “Those People” all together:

    DIGBY (1/26/11): If they weren’t so nasty most of the time I’d start to feel sorry for the Tea Party. They are getting taken for such a ride by hucksters, snake oil salesmen and billionaire puppeteers that it’s getting sort of pathetic.

    Is everyone in the Tea Party “nasty most of the time?” Digby tends to write in such sweeping ways, which helps explains why this post struck us as a pleasant surprise. As she continued, Digby described a somewhat kooky New York City councilman who had campaigned for office with support of Tea Party organizers. “He’s obviously some sort of political nut/con man,” she wrote. But after that, she said this:

    DIGBY: I’m sure there are plenty of sincere Tea Partiers out there who are getting fleeced all the time by these types. And while it’s tempting to say they deserve it, it still isn’t right. They are just trying to exercise their democratic right to organize and they are being manipulated and conned by a bunch of billionaire media moguls and small time hustlers. I guess that’s part of the bargain too, but it’s distasteful to see it happening anyway.

    We found those sentiments quite surprising. We too would assume that “there are plenty of sincere Tea Partiers out there who are getting fleeced,” or at least misled, by a wide array of types. (How many Tea Party people are “sincere?” We couldn’t possibly tell you.) Indeed, a few days later, a semi-youngish conservative writer offered an intriguing account of one such person—a person who was getting fleeced and conned by conservative hustlers.

    That person was his own mother!

    The conservative writer was Richmond Ramsey, posting at FrumForum, David Frum’s conservative site. His headline was colorful: “Fox Geezer Syndrome.” Early on, he described the way Glenn Beck has been eating the brains of many conservatives’ parents:

    RAMSEY (1/30/11): Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day—especially Glenn Beck’s program.

    Fox News has been eating the brains of their parents! As he continued, Ramsey described his mother’s emergence as a Beck pod-person:

    RAMSEY (continuing directly): Used to be I would call my mom and get updated on news from the neighborhood, her garden, the grandchildren, hometown gossip, and so forth. I’ve always been interested in politics, but never had the occasion to talk about them with her. She just doesn’t care.

    Or didn’t. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but she began peppering our conversation with red-hot remarks about President Obama. I would try to engage her, but unless I shared her particular judgment, and her outrage, she apparently thought that I was a dupe or a RINO. Finally I asked my father privately why Mom, who as far as I know never before had a political thought, was so worked up about Obama all the time.

    “She’s been like that ever since she started watching Glenn Beck,” Dad said.

    As he continued, Ramsey described the process by which his father became a pod-person too. (“A few months later, she roped him into watching Beck, which had the same effect,” he wrote. “Even though we’re all conservatives, I found myself having to steer our phone conversations away from politics and current events.”)

    As we continued with Ramsey’s post, we recalled the wisdom of the early Bob Dylan: “Time passed and now it seems/everybody’s having them dreams.” So the bard wrote, in the early 1960s, presaging what came next in Ramsey’s narration. According to Ramsey, many of his conservative friends are seeing their parents affected this way. We strongly recommend the rest of his piece, along with a fascinating set of readers’ comments.

    Let’s be clear. Most people don’t watch Fox News; most people don’t watch Glenn Beck. Most people don’t describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party. Everyone isn’t having them dreams, despite what Dylan said.

    But there are millions of citizens in this country; they get their ideas from many sources. Many people might be said to have been “fleeced” and “conned” by various types. People have heard all sorts of ideas, often in repetitive fashion. As in the case of Ramsey’s parents, they may not be fully equipped to separate wheat from chaff.

    To tell the truth, none of us are.

    People believe a wide range of things. This includes a range of things which don’t comport with progressive outlooks, understandings and viewpoints. If progressive viewpoints are going to spread, these people must be persuaded.

    How might progressives accomplish that task? We’ll ponder the question all this week, starting with something else Digby said in that post.

    Tomorrow: “A little more empathy and common sense”

  43. 43
    taylormattd says:

    @Bobbyk: Did you even read the first four comments? Because they destroy your dumb premise. The teabagging purity didn’t work out for the republicans. If it had, we would have Senator Angle, Senator O’Donnell, and Senator Buck. I’d also note that your premise can be refuted by two words: Alan Grayson.

  44. 44
    General Stuck says:

    @trevorb:

    And although montana cities are really pretty small, they still hold a very large percentage of the 900,000 montana residents.

    I love the state, and would likely be living there but for a deep dislike for frigid winters that are way too long. So I sit a few miles from the Mexican border where it is supposed to be warm, and is, except for this freeking cold ass winter.

  45. 45
    lushboi says:

    Purity troll is pure

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    I think that a lot of times it could help a blogger’s or activist’s arguments and record of statements if they could more quickly recognize that some declarations should be placed in the context of how he or she feels.

    With that preface alone, you could express all this anger and still leave space open to allow yourself and other of your closely associated writers and/or allies to work through what the real world response should probably be, given the common goals of those particular people or a blog if its members see it as some vehicle for focused activism.

    Feelings of rage at some Democratic retreat or betrayal (no matter how predictable, such as Nelson or on bills that are understood to be going nowhere) may go along with what you decide is the most rational response, or they may not.

    This is why so many mock this sort of response as ’emo’. Without me even thinking about what would make sense to do about Tester because of this vote (whether something regarding electoral support or coordinated expressions or protests of dissent), I know that this sort of response is an emotional and not thought out in a disciplined fashion.

    There are many of those on DKos, but there are also many that aren’t. I skip the ones that go with the emo without the deeply thought out logic yet claim to tell us what to do. The ones which are expressions of what a poster feels like are just fine to me, and I read lots of those.

  47. 47
    taylormattd says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I say let the right-wing loons run the joint. It seems to be the only way to remind the American public how disastrous they are.

    Jesus Christ that is mind-dumbingly stupid. Who are you? Ralph Nader in 2000?

  48. 48
    Jim C says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    Kos, Jane Hamsher, and all the others who want Tea Party from the left should first ask themselves how will the get a Democrat elected Senator from Montana or the Dakotas or Nebraska or Missouri or Iowa?

    Maybe we should ask Tom Harkin how it’s done?

  49. 49
    taylormattd says:

    @salacious crumb:

    in Kos you basically have Obama worshippers (or O-Bots) where all they do is flame any one with mild criticism of the Dear Leader or post ‘eye candy’ pics of Dear Leader eating a hamburger or patting Joe Biden or whatever…its truly a retarded website….and to them Glenn Greenwald is the spawn of Lucifer and Mitt Romney

    This is one of the most delusional comments I’ve ever seen written. Daily Kos is an Obama hate site. The vast majority of the posters there are firebaggers, quasi-PUMAs, Edwards dead-enders, greens, and anti-democratic party nihlists. At any given time, the people who don’t hate Obama are swamped out on the rec list by somebody who is ENRAGED Obama has allegedly betrayed us all.

  50. 50
    Woodrowfan says:

    For some states I’ll accept a half Democrat as the best we can get over a full wingnut repuke. In the meantime let’s get as many genuine progressives as we can in the rest of the country.

  51. 51
    amk says:

    kos got lucky …somewhere in 2006. That is about it.

  52. 52
    James in NJ says:

    @bobbyyk

    So your theory is that if we’d had more “pure” (by your standards) Democrats up for election in 2010 we’d have lost less seats in the house?

    Fascinating.

  53. 53
    New Yorker says:

    Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation. I guess Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2009 wasn’t enough to break its hold.

    No thanks. The Bush Administration was enough to last a lifetime for me.

  54. 54
    amk says:

    @salacious crumb: What and where exactly obama got gitmo wrong ? It’s the boneless congress critters who are keeping it open.

  55. 55
    cathyx says:

    @salacious crumb: Are you new here?

  56. 56
    ploeg says:

    Let me put it this way:

    1. When we get to 2012, I’m putting my donations and effort to the candidates in swing states/districts who a) have a chance to win and b) are at least acceptable or interesting. That’s when we get to 2012.

    2. I’m irked by things that many politicians do. This naturally influences the decisions I make under 1. Also naturally, this is not the only thing that influences the decisions I make, and I have no problem with holding my nose if conditions warrant.

    3. Democrats don’t have the luxury of ignoring Red America. There are a bunch of blue folks out there. If the blue folks out there make things uncomfortable, that draws red money and attention away from more vulnerable states and districts.

    4. Yes, Tester might be screwing the pooch.

    5. No, I’m not going to send money to Tester’s primary opponent (if there is one).

    6. I accept that maybe we got lucky with Tester in 2006, and we’re not going to be similarly lucky in 2012. We’ll have to see about that next year.

  57. 57
    Silver Owl says:

    This is an era of really shitty people in power. Maybe what it’s going to take is for the American people to get the living shit beat out of them by the big bad uber white conservative man. Let it become known what abusive homicidal assholes they really are.

    If America didn’t want such assholes in power, maybe they would have raised better men and women.

  58. 58
    burnspbesq says:

    @p.a.:

    Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation.

    No one with a working brain can seriously put forth this proposition. People who don’t deserve to die will die during your little interregnum, some of starvation, some because they have no access to health care, some due to injuries resulting from the gutting of workplace safety regulations, some from eating tainted food. I can keep going if you’d like.

    Those who don’t die will find their everyday lives to be dramatically worse. By the tens of millions.

    Life is not a controlled experiment.

    You really, really don’t want to go there.

  59. 59
    Ailuridae says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    Broadly it is uncool to post an entire blog post in the comments to another blog especially a blog as prominent as the Howler.

    That said, Somerby is basically coming out of the 2008 election in much the same place as the Irish ethnics in the media (specifically Matthews, Russert et al) he blasted for a decade. He feels put upon when people point out that white America, specifically white American men have, as s group truly awful and regressive politics. Bob is identifying with his tribe and being childish and defensive (this has been going on since it became apparent that Clinton would lose the nomination).

    Somerby wants to believe that these other Americans like him white and elderly are just misinformed and that there is a simple solution to the issue – just explain to them the truth! In writing that he basically ignores the last 45 years of American politics. It is a shame to see someone so astute completely go off the rails but that’s what has happened.

  60. 60
    Capri says:

    Don’t hate the playah, hate the game.

    All these Republican-lite politicians are going what they have to do to raise money.

    Fighting for election funding reform makes a lot more sense than attacking every politician that alters his or her position in order to broaden their donation base.

  61. 61
    Ailuridae says:

    @Silver Owl:

    This is an era of really shitty people in power. Maybe what it’s going to take is for the American people to get the living shit beat out of them by the big bad uber white conservative man

    Some of us view this hypothetical as having already happened.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I, for one, am ready for a politician who is willing to lose his seat on his principles. That is what is so fucked up with our system now. I say let the right-wing loons run the joint.

    I knew I could count on you to be dreadfully wrong. It’s comforting that some things never change.

  63. 63
    amk says:

    @New Yorker:

    No thanks. The Bush Administration was enough to last a lifetime for me.

    But not for many amerikkkans.

  64. 64
    Zifnab says:

    From a strictly practical standpoint, I can understand why refusing to support Tester is a dumb idea. You’re not going to get much bluer in Montana than him any time soon.

    That said, it’s equally stupid to think Congressmen should be allowed to make bad votes and pay no political price. Tester did his math and concluded voting against DREAM would be more advantageous than voting for DREAM. Kos believes Tester made a serious mathematical error, and intends to prove it.

    If this was any other issue – a vote on the Iraq War, a vote on tax cuts, a vote on abortion legislation – would you expect the peaceniks and the budget balancers and NARAL to leap to a Senator’s aid. Having Tester as a Montana Democrat Senator is good. But I’m not interested in him morphing into a Northwestern Joe Lieberman.

    The Daily Kos is not free money. If Tester wants contributions, he’s got to pony up the right votes. That’s how the US political system works.

  65. 65
    Zifnab says:

    @El Tiburon:

    What we got now just ain’t working. Did Tester pull his vote for political expediency? Did he go against his core principles? If so, then fuck him and fuck you too.

    If the DREAM Act is the hill you want to die on, then sure. Fuck Tester. On the flip side, if you valued the stimulus spending, the health care bill, the repeal of DADT, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, confirmation of the last two SCOTUS justices, Harry Reid over Mitch McConnell as majority leader, etc, etc, etc, then Tester is worth his weight in vote.

    But, as I said above, if you’re a die-hard supporter of the DREAM Act, there are 55 other Senators I’d be gracing with my contributions before I ponied up to Tester.

  66. 66
    Michael A says:

    Hmmm, better Montana Senator? You mean like the one that came out against the Vietnam involvement in ’62? Or the one that introduced some civil rights bill in ’64? Nah, could never happen.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mansfield

    M

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    @Zifnab:

    The Daily Kos is not free money. If Tester wants contributions, he’s got to pony up the right votes.

    Tester apparently believes that he can get by without Kos’ money and not hurt his re-election chances. Based on my limited knowledge of Montana politics, I’m inclined to believe he made the right choice.

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:

    @Michael A:

    Hmmm, better Montana Senator? You mean like the one that came out against the Vietnam involvement in ‘62? Or the one that introduced some civil rights bill in ‘64? Nah, could never happen.

    Dude, that was then, this is now. Mike Mansfield has been dead for ten years, and they don’t make them like that anymore.

    Live in the present.

  69. 69
    Bobbyk says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil

    No. Let’s see how well the honorable Ann Marie Buerkle does in 2012. If she wins again then feel free to gloat away about the success of purity.

    I’m not going to gloat about anything. I gave Dan Maffei nearly $300 in ’10-didn’t volunteer though. In ’12 I plan to give and volunteer.

  70. 70
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @rickstersherpa: Both Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming taken together are about the same size as metropolitan San Diego.

    And they have 8 Senators.

    That’s the math. Progress in the teeth of that math is never going to be easy, and keeping all 8 of those seats out of GOP hands is always going to be a struggle.

  71. 71
    Observer says:

    @General Stuck:

    It will depend a lot on the economy

    and this

    Liberals make up no more than 20 percent of voters in this country

    Man o’ man, I just don’t think you (and of others responding to @Bobbyk) or the DNC have learned anything down through these years.

    There are two roads to choose from: try to elect fake Dems or try to convince the rest of America that liberalism is better.

    Your road leads to blue dogs. This would be okay if then you ignored their needs during the crafting of laws and votes. But that’s not what happens. People on your road then try to bend legislation to suit blue dogs. Inevitably, you try to bend legislation regarding the economy: taxes and gov’t spending.

    But what are the Republican ideas of the economy? Trickle down economics; tax cuts for the rich and they’ll create jobs. This doesn’t work. In the end, saying you want to elect fake Dems is saying you want trickle down economics. Your road is a dead end; sure the road maybe a thousand miles long but it’s still a dead end.

    Then you say electoral success “depends on the economy”. Sure, the economy that your policies helped wreck.

    Without a working predictive model, your belief in bounce backs is like believing in superstition or magic.

    It’s not going to be like the historical bounce back because the old Dems actually cared about the economy and so there was an economic bounce back that lead to electoral success.

    Expect a lot more losses in 2012, except for Obama who personally comes off as a likeable guy.

    Dems need to man up and try selling liberal policies to rest of the country rather than trying to elect fake Dems.

  72. 72
    NobodySpecial says:

    @burnspbesq: In other words, he’s telling you Nothing Can Be Done, Michael A.

  73. 73
    Wulfgar says:

    El Tiberon:

    Did Tester pull his vote for political expediency? Did he go against his core principles?

    No, he didn’t. He did exactly what he said he would do. Kos just didn’t pay attention.

    As a Montanan and strong supporter of Jon Tester, it gets damned irksome to me to hear all of this jibber-jabber about “the best we can get” from “that place”. Jon is a good Senator, and a good Democrat. That he isn’t progressive enough for those who want what they want regardless of what anybody else wants is just too bad. Kos didn’t get Tester elected; nor are progressives the base of the Democratic party in Montana. We have a strong Democratic tradition here based on unions, individual rights, working and middle class values.

  74. 74
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Dems need to man up and try selling liberal policies to rest of the country rather than trying to elect fake Dems.

    Not exclusive. Both necessary.

    Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation…

    The best war is worse than all but the worst peace.

  75. 75
    Silver Owl says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Actually it hasn’t really. Sure the usual people got the crap beat out of them, kids, women, the poor, blacks, hispanics, gays but America has always made a habit of that. Always gotta be hating someone.

    The love affair and romanticizing of the rich white conservative man being the fairytale prince has still persisted. Namely by the less educated and more gullible white conservatives. Tea Partiers, evangelicals etc. Until this ugly myth dies, America will not move forward. Hell we haven’t moved forward much given that we’re still fighting issues over 100 years old.

    Unless of course the young here have an uprising like we’re seeing across the world.

  76. 76
    cmorenc says:

    This is exactly the sort of dynamic that’s playing out over in DKos with Rep Heath Shuler, D-NC, except that unlike Tester, who occasionally casts un-progressive votes, Schuler much more often clashes with the progressive side of the democratic party and can be a bit of a douche bag while going about it (see: who ran against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader?)

    HOW-EVER: Not heaping any praise on Shuler here, but people from other parts of the country are too little aware that Shuler comes from a demographically red-leaning district despite having the oasis of Asheville in its midst, and for all his warts Schuler is still an infinite improvement over the truly awful long-time incumbent he defeated, Republican Charles Taylor. Consider that two of the adjacent congressional districts in NC have been safely occupied for several terms by two of the biggest jackass GOP wingnuts in Congress, even compared to many of the new Teahadist members elected in 2012: Rep Patrick McHenry and Rep. Virginia Foxx.

    Eventually, demographics in Shuler’s district will change enough to make election of a more bona fide moderate-progressive possible. But for at least a handful more election cycles, unfortunately Shuler’s the best we’re likely to get from that district, and at least he does vote with the dems a substantial part of the time, even though he often departs on things that make you snarl and grind your teeth at his seeming douche-baggery.

  77. 77
    Bobbyk says:

    @taylormattd

    Did you even read the first four comments? Because they destroy your dumb premise.

    Ok fuckwad you wanna start throwing the pejoratives i can do it just as well as you. If you want to ignore the 60 seat blow out-historic even by mid term election cycles- then fine go ahead. I never said that the tea partiers would be 100% successful. But the fact of the matter is republicans ALWAYS act like republicans. It’s people like you that expect democrats NOT to act like democrats.

    Fuck this isn’t hard to understand-unless you don’t want to.

  78. 78
    catclub says:

    @p.a.: The problem with this approach is purposely sacrificing the innocents — either Iraqi (or who knows what nationality they will be next time) or US citizens (denying health insurance to millions for another twenty years) — to prove a point.

    Luckily, the democrats so far refuse to do so for that reason.

  79. 79

    Watching the legislation passing some state houses and the judicial activism happening in the courts right now makes me worry when ideological purists with a voice try to convince others to sit on their hands and stay home.

    Staying home gets us a Republican House, it will get us a Republican Senate and possibly even a WH. The state legislatures will be filled with radical right wing politicians that will criminalize abortion a step at a time, reduce school funding, let our infrastructure crumble, prosecute scientists, push for more oil and less renewables, etc etc etc.

    Staying at home solves nothing.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    @Observer:

    I’ve read some mendacious asshattery on this blog over the years, but this comment really takes the prize for such.

    How many assumption sharks did you jump to reach for this nonsense?

    Then you say electoral success “depends on the economy”. Sure, the economy that your policies helped wreck.

    My policies? You have no concept, and apparently little concern for facing reality. It must be nice to stand on such a soapbox for disregarding the non zero sum state of governance in this country. In the here and now, there are either republicans or democrats running the country. THE VOTERS chose to favor conservative philosophy, and it is simplistic in the extreme to believe that running only hard left liberal politicians across the board in a 20 percent liberal country would have made things better if only they had talked a little more liberal, instead of much worse. Change happens slowly in this country, it was how the founders designed it, and what you and others are really advocating for, is letting the wingers run amuck even more than they have to wisen up the voters for righteous libtardism that will save the day and provide ponies for everyone to live happily ever after. It doesn’t work that way in real life. Maybe at FDL, but not in real life.

  81. 81
    asiangrrlMN says:

    To all who say fuck it let the loonies rule, no fucking way. Everyone but the goddamn conservative white man and maybe upper/middle-class straight white men of all political stripes have already been fucked for ages. So, no, I am not interested in four more years of W. or Sarah Palin or whatever just as a social experiment. Some people can’t afford to gamble like that, and I can’t help noticing that the people who say this kind of shit are the ones who will be the least affected by it.

    Purity: I would rather have someone who votes like a Democrat eighty percent of the time (or anything over fifty) than someone who never votes like a Democrat.

  82. 82
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    Jon Tester is as good as it gets in Montana, and he might just squeak out a win in a Presidential election year with enough money and support. If progressives can’t tolerate the Testers of the Senate, we’re going to get Rehbergs, and things are going to be a hell of a lot worse.

    Can I get a “This. Also.”?

    (Sad as I am to admit it.)

  83. 83
    General Stuck says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    You go Grrl !!

  84. 84
    Observer says:

    @General Stuck:
    Stuck, calm down.

    THE VOTERS chose to favor conservative philosophy

    No, they didn’t. If you don’t present a choice, the voters take the default. Not selling liberal policies is taking choice off the table.

    Change happens slowly in this country

    Ding! Ding! Ding!

    So IF change happens sloooowwwwwly, THEN you BETTER GET STARTED. Elected fake dems is going the other direction. Tell us, how this works in the long wrong.

    1. elect fake dems
    2. enact republican ideas while dissing liberal ones
    3. make trickle down economics the norm
    4. *magic*
    5. elect more liberals.

    I’m not the one living in a fantasy land here. It’s a long, tough road to hoe. You don’t want to travel down it.
    Like I implied, if you elected conservadems while IGNORING them during the making laws then this would be okay. But that’s not what you folks do.

    you elect them, primp them up, sell their ideas and implement their policies.

    When Republicans elect RINOs they never pander to them and sell their policies as Republican. They ignore them.

    Can you step back and think about what you just wrote? Some anonymous person on a blog says perhaps the Dems should try to do some selling and you freak out.

    Why is that?

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Kos got his fee-fees hurt because his whole premise has been that Montana was a test-bed for getting Democrats elected in less-than-ideal territory. Schweitzer and Tester are victories for something like populism; they prove that you can be a palatable Democrat without being a corporate kiss-ass. Kos USED TO realize, and in fact used to claim as much, that the point was to get Democrats of all stripes elected. Only then, at some later point, he decided the point was to get grassroots liberals elected. Well, if you’re going to be all butthurt when that doesn’t happen everywhere all the time, you’re in for Restless Butt Syndrome, and that’s a chronic condition.

  86. 86
    Lost Left Coaster says:

    In other words: Suck it up, Kos, no matter how much a politician panders by bashing you and your fellow Latinos. You’ll take it and you’ll keep your mouth shut.

    I do grant that Kos has a tendency to shoot from the hip when he’s angry about something, but he had every right to be angry at Tester over that vote. The DREAM Act is a very benign bill. It is not amnesty. It makes life a little less difficult for a small subset of people who do not have the proper immigration documents.

    I don’t want some wingnut to win in Montana. But I have no love for Tester. I live in Washington, DC, and he’s one of those goddamn politicians who tries to score points with his voters back home by screwing with our gun laws. It absolutely disgusts me.

  87. 87
    TOP123 says:

    @Silver Owl: well, that’s just a delightful sentiment. I suppose those poor sods on the wrong end of the Birmingham fire hoses, or an Appalachian mountaintop removal, or a back alley abortion, should just have mournfully pondered about how nice it would have been if some mystical America had raised better men and women.

  88. 88
    Jay B. says:

    No one outside of Montana would have heard of Tester if not for Kos. He delivered a rationale, money and tons of opposition info over a long campaign. He is entitled to have his feelings hurt just as much as the vast horde of you rock solid rationalists here who never, ever sct like whiny drama queens.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Observer:

    1. elect fake dems

    Democratic views are not a “seamless garment,” though. Democrats have many fewer agreed-upon core beliefs. Someone like Tester has A LOT of the views that, say, Barbara Boxer has, but not ALL of them. So there’s no reason to declare a fatwa on Tester because he’s not properly pious. You have to take into account _all_ of his views, and those of his opponents.

    I know that it’s frustrating to see Republicans purge their party ideologically and make it more monolithic, but Democrats don’t and won’t do that, because one of the things that makes Democrats Democrats is that we want to come together and reduce suffering. Republicans don’t give a shit about anything, which is why they can afford to be ideologically pure.

  90. 90
    gwangung says:

    Elected fake dems is going the other direction.

    CONTEXT MATTERS. People keep telling you this and you keep ignoring it.

    Try to elect a “real” Democrat in Alabama, Mississippi or Phoenix, and let’s see how you do.

  91. 91
    General Stuck says:

    @Observer:

    You assume that we haven’t had good dems talking core dem principles. I don’t agree with that at all. We have a solid majority of solid progressive main stream liberals in the senate, and even more so in the House. Of course they could message better, but we are dems and coordinated sustained messaging is not in our DNA.

    There are fewer conservadems now in both chambers. Then we have a Senate with a filibuster cloture rule and a purist wingnut senate minority that blocks everything dems try to do that is progressive/liberal. That is just a fact of life. And you would rather have that flipped around having a pure dem minority and a less pure gooper majority in the Senate.

    I don’t agree with this equation, and either way, the 60 vote cloture rule looms, always. It is our system, for better or worse, that slows change. Of course, if dems only ran the purest left wing dogma candidates across the board, that logjam could be broken and the wingers would likely have 60 plus senate seats, the House, and all they would need is the WH to turn us into Franco’s Spain. DuH

  92. 92
    sixers says:

    @Lost Left Coaster:

    Is it possible Tester values his constituents point of view more than some guy who lives in DC? I sort of thought thats how it was supposed to work. Why are people shocked a democrat in a very conservative state might be more conservative than most democrats and why is this selling out?

  93. 93
    Observer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    True but this is just semantics. You know exactly what I mean.

    People like Evan Bayh are fake Dems. He’s only a dem because he took over from his father. Lieberman was a Dem, changed his mind and still gets to sit with the dem caucus.

    The real argument is what happens in step #4 above in Stuck’s philosophy.

    Conservadems need to be ignored once elected. Some people don’t get that.

  94. 94
    Sloegin says:

    John Tester is a farmer from Montana.

    Getting a migrant-labor dependent western farmer to vote for the DREAM Act is like getting Lieberman to vote for a resolution condemning Israel.

    Can’t see how Kos could think one or the other could ever happen.

  95. 95
    Ailuridae says:

    @Jay B.:

    That’s a silly argument. Tester was known to be a reactionary on immigration when kos worked with him. So he went full barrel for him in 06 knowing this but is so disappointed in him in casting a predictably reactionary vote in 11 on immigration that he is washing his hands of him?

    Given the state he is from Tester is a much more valuable vote to the caucus than say, Ron Wyden or Diane Feinstein.

  96. 96
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Observer:

    So IF change happens sloooowwwwwly, THEN you BETTER GET STARTED. Elected fake dems is going the other direction. Tell us, how this works in the long wrong.

    Or maybe electing these “fake” Dems is an intermediate step in said change?

    Oh wait no, that can’t be…that requires the assumption that a Democrat who doesn’t vote 100% in line isn’t “fake.” Gotta come up with a new thesis…

  97. 97
    Observer says:

    @General Stuck:
    General, seriously?

    You assume that we haven’t had good dems talking core dem principles.

    The only Dem people listen to is the Head Dem because he is the POTUS.

    And he just said we need to kill the economy in order to save it. Well he said tax cuts for the rich and cut SS contributions by one third. It’s Grover Norquist policies all the way. His new chief of staff just said spending cuts are the way to go.

    What are you talking about? He just praised Reagan, again.
    I could go on, but the list is endless on the Republican talking points by the head Dem.

    There is no liberal argument at this point in time.

    You know that but you know you don’t want to believe it so now you try and convince others of something so that they can pretend with you.

    And I never said anything about 60 votes. You always bring that up. What I wrote was that IF you elect conservaDems THEN you have to ignore them. You studiously avoid talking about that because you know that your Head Dem has failed you on this. As I wrote, Republicans understand this and never let RINOs dictate core positions and talking points.

    C’mon Stuck, you know I’m right on this.

  98. 98
    kindness says:

    I am sorry but this front pager has their head up their ass. The Dream Act was practically a Republican themed bill (1990’s Republican though) and Tester acted like it was the plague.

    For my purposes, I think a big reason Democrats got hammered so hard in 2010 is because they didn’t lead. They fought with themselves. They negotiated against themselves to be as close to republican lite as they could. Blue Dogs thought this would be the ticket to get re-elected. How did that turn out? Well I’ll tell ya, the Blue Dog is less than half the strength it was in the last Congress.

    It isn’t like Democrats are acting like screaming socialists either. In fact they are more moderate than any point since the 60’s. So yea, Tester can go fuck himself. Saying as much isn’t dirtying Democrats. It will have it’s own rewards in showing the Democratic Party has some principles it wishes to govern by. Acting like saying Tester is a fraud will get Democrats thrown out of office is not factual at all. Don’t go Fox News on us and stretch the truth so that it isn’t the truth any more.

    Awaiting moderation?!? Damn….who did I piss off?

  99. 99
    sixers says:

    Whats different about Kos pulling all future support for Tester over this one vote(one he was doubtful to support anyway)and the rights litmus test on who they will vote for based on gay rights issues or climate change denialism?

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    What are you talking about? He just praised Reagan, again.

    Oh. My Gawd. AGAIN. Well that’s it, the end of the American Experiment as we have known it. Gather up the childn and head for Costa Rica.

    C’mon Stuck, you know I’m right on this.

    LOL. What I think is that you are some kind of spoof, cranking it up in a school zone.

  101. 101
    Allan says:

    Funny how opening a post with “Kos” creates an influx of Kossacks come here to tell us dirty DINOs to fuck ourselves. Nice marketing job, Kossacks! I’m much more interested in subscribing to your newsletter now.

  102. 102
    TOP123 says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Thank you. Exactly.

  103. 103
    TOP123 says:

    @gwangung: Not only that, but pace the purity hawks, while a small New England state might tend to vote blue, its elected representatives will often have a soft spot for bankers and vote to buy lots of expensive submarines if that state is named ‘Connecticut’. Context matters all over the country.

  104. 104
    TOP123 says:

    @gwangung: Not only that, but pace the purity hawks, while a small New England state might tend to vote blue, its elected representatives will often have a soft spot for bankers and vote to buy lots of expensive submarines if that state is named ‘Connecticut’. Context matters all over the country.

  105. 105
    Observer says:

    @General Stuck:
    Stuck, you like to evade. You should try answering the charges for a change.

    What’s the long term strategy by electing conservaDems? How does step #4 (above) work?

    What’s the legislative strategy to employ IF you are going to elect conservaDems? Do you keep them in line with threats or do you change the core party platform to suit them. What do Repubs do with RINOs and how has their strategy worked so far?

    If you’re operating on a conservaDem strategy do you then induce a very popular sitting Dem governor in a very red state who crushed her opponent with over 60% of the vote to quit? (Janet Napolitano)? Why would you do this?

    I’m calling you out, with all your huff and puff over 60 votes. This isn’t about 60 votes. Your strategy doesn’t work.

  106. 106
    General Stuck says:

    @Observer:

    You should try answering the charges for a change.

    Teehee. Calling me out? that is so GOS. Here is my answer. Kiss me arse spoof.

  107. 107
    Marc says:

    I detest it when I see prominent bloggers trying to draw arbitrary lines in the sand and demand purity from all Democrats. Hell, I flatly disagree with people like Greeenwald on whether they’re even correct on a lot of issues; let alone whether I can define an endless list of examples which folks must agree with me on.

  108. 108
    Sko Hayes says:

    Kos has made quite a few wrong choices over the years I’ve been posting there.
    Witness his support for Crist over a very good Democrat for Florida Senate. He was more interested in being on the winning side than on supporting a truly progressive candidate.
    As for me, I’m still a Tester supporter. He’s there when it counts (stimulus, health care, etc), and a good example for Montana voters to see a Democrat they want in the Senate. Red States aren’t going to elect a person like Barbara Boxer or an unabashed Socialist like Bernie Sanders, it’s just not going to happen.
    When you have a 50 state strategy, you’re going to get Blue Dogs and conservadems. If you just want liberals from the east and west coast, and leave out that huge swath of the midwest and the southern states, don’t expect to win elections in red states.

    PS- edited to add that Jim Webb won’t be seeking reelection (from Twitter)

  109. 109
    Michael says:

    @p.a.:

    Maybe the country needs a good taste of crackpot rule to really wean them from it for a generation.

    Fuck you in the fucking ear, you fucking fuck.

    How do you think we’ve gotten to this point today, and why do you think that progressive policies have had such a hard slog, given the number of purity trolls that exist on the left?

  110. 110
    grandpajohn says:

    @cmorenc: Indeed, this is exactly the path. Evidently too many people seem to forget their own childhood that first one must crawl, then walk, before they can run. This is the path to take if we want to win the South and mid west back Indeed being born in 1937, I am old enough to remember when the solid south was solid democrat not republican.
    If one looks at the break down of percentages of dem and rep votes, especially here in SC, then it becomes apparent that the shift needed to cause change is actually only a few percentage points which could be even lower if the dems got out the vote as well as the repubs. This leads us to Deans 50 state strategy that seems to be ignored by the Dem leaders even though it appeared to work in 2006 and 2008. So once again we see the leadership throwing away sound policy for some reason, maybe because they didn’t think of it

  111. 111
    A Humble Lurker says:

    We don’t need another W. to ‘wake people up’ and even if we did it wouldn’t be worth it. What we need is not for things to get worse but for things to get better. The Republican line is that government cannot be trusted and must have it’s power weakened {IOW siphoned off to corporations}. If we can prove government can do good things, make things better in a way that people will see in their everyday lives, the GOP won’t be able to get them to bend down to the mirror and snort up that line anymore.

    If that’s what we’re shooting for than yes, we need conservadems. We need regular dems more, but if conservadems are the best we’re gonna get we need to go for it. Even if they’re dragged into it kicking and screaming, they can help dispel the myth that government can’t do anything so we shouldn’t even try.

  112. 112
    Observer says:

    @General Stuck:
    Predictable and pointless.

    You know, it’s not personal. Obama consulted neither my nor you when he stole a popular Dem governor in a red state away from her voters and replaced her with a crazy Republican lieutenant governor.

    Your conservaDem argument is coherent only if implemented correctly.

    If you can’t work in the 60 votes in the Senate argument, you don’t seem to have conservaDem answers for anything except for one-liner wisecracks.

    Good one-liners, mind you, but still.

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Remember when Markos Moulitsas used to chide “single-issue” groups? Like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, for backing pro-choice Republicans?

  114. 114
    RGuy says:

    The “Amnesty for illegals” is right wing spin and congrats to Wulfgar for embracing that approach. All this bill did was allow children, who through no fault of their own, who were brought here by their parents and raised in America to obtain citizenship in the only country they’ve ever know to be home. It was to allow them to do things like attend college and join the military. And despite some of the other bullshit that was floating around about this bill it didn’t allow them to get special tuition discounts. It allowed them to get the same tuition rates that their fellow state citizens get when attending a state school int he state you live in. They’re as American as any of us. Frankly he’s right in that makes you kind of an asshole to go vote against something like that purely on cynical political purposes. Yeah, it happens all that time but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call someone out for being an asshole when they do it.

    Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t vote for Tester or work to get him reelected. You can do what you want, but Kos’s opinion was just that, his opinion. He basically said that voting against that bill won’t help Tester get reelected anyway and if Tester does lose, it won’t be because Kos didn’t help him get reelected, it’ll be because Montana would rather have a real right wing republican than someone who occasionally votes like one.

  115. 115
    Ron says:

    Honestly this surprises me from Markos. He has in the past often made arguments in favor of supporting “moderate” democrats. I think the purity trolls are freaking crazy. “Let the country become a hell-hole and THEN THEY’LL BE SORRY THEY ELECTED REPUBLICANS”. Not my idea of a solution. Is Tester ideal? Not even close. But he’s far better than the alternative. I know some people say it’s wrong to vote for the lesser of two evils. I say that if the bigger evil is an order of magnitude worse, then dammit, vote for the lesser of two evils.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ron:

    Honestly this surprises me from Markos. He has in the past often made arguments in favor of supporting “moderate” democrats.

    True. In fact it was a stated rationale for his community and its fundraising efforts, benefiting people like Stephanie Herseth in SD and Ben Chandler in KY. But at some point that shifted, and now the whole mentality of the site is that every politician should be maximally liberal under all conditions, and whenever that’s not happening, it is the work of weenies, losers, and sell-outs. It’s a perfect mindset for 15-year-old indie kids.

  117. 117
    Wulfgar says:

    The “Amnesty for illegals” is right wing spin

    Apparently, to you, the definitions of words are partisan. Yes, the DREAM act was precisely an amnesty for those who, for whatever reason, are by law in this country illegally. That’s not spin; it’s a fact. Claiming “but it’s not their fault” doesn’t change the definition of words, or the law, but that actually *is* spin. The DREAM act was a rather noble and benign attempt to provide a path to citizenship by changing the law, and just happens to be one that *I* favored (I write, as if you actually care to be factual). Jon did not favor it, just as he said he wouldn’t when he ran for the seat. The majority of Montanans do not favor amnesty. You can conjure up imaginary “spin” all you like.

  118. 118
    Lost Left Coaster says:

    @sixers:

    Sorry, maybe I didn’t make my comment clear enough: I meant that Tester tries to score points with the voters in Montana by messing with the gun laws of the District of Columbia. Congress has a tremendous amount of power over the District of Columbia, and they can overrule the desires of local people and government on many issues. Gun control has been a big one, and Tester has been one of the worst. Check out this article about a bill he co-sponsored with John McCain to essentially strip the District of Columbia of gun control laws.

  119. 119
    Wulfgar says:

    @Lost Left Coaster, I’m real sorry that a Federal politician would attempt to make or change law for a federal holding … oh wait, no I’m not.

  120. 120
    Observer says:

    @Sentient Puddle:
    So please substitute my step #4 (“magic”) for what you propose or expect to happen.

    There is no evidence of any “intermediate” steps in your strategy except steps towards more Republican policies.

    But if you explain how that works, I will stand corrected. So go ahead.

  121. 121
    jpe says:

    The “Amnesty for illegals” is right wing spin

    What do the language police say it is, then? I can never remember. How about “After-the-fact legalization of those in the country without documentation.” That’s much less spinny.

  122. 122
    Linnaeus says:

    I do disagree with breaking with Tester entirely on this particular vote, and I do think that it’s better to have him in the Senate than any Republican who would replace him.

    That said, I understand why Kos reacted the way he did. I think Tester’s vote was dead wrong, and it’s perfectly fine to point that out. Even if we accept that there are going to be more conservative Democrats from places like Montana, it’s still important to call them out when if you think they do something wrong. To do so isn’t “purity” – a tired canard, IMHO, that’s wearing thin.

    The fundamental need here is to build up an independent liberal/progressive/whatever movement that helps to create a climate in which liberal ideas can succeed politically. It shouldn’t be tied to any particular party or political figure, so it can have the political space to advance ideas that Democratic politicians are reluctant to. To use a football metaphor, we need an offensive coordinator who can expand the playbook in order for the players to move the chains forward. If that makes sense.

  123. 123
    feebog says:

    I remember Markos’ post on Tester very well, as I visit and comment on Daily Kos often. There were a good many posters who disagreed with Kos, myself included. Yes, Markos had every right to be upset. But his reaction was way over the top. Democrats are going to have a very hard time keeping a Senate majority in 2012. It just got a little harder with Jim Webb’s annoucement today that he is not seeking reelection in VA. If this country is in the crapper now with the Boener in charge of the House, how much worse will it be if Mitch McChinless becomes Majority Leader in the Sentate as well?

  124. 124
    Cris says:

    Wulfgar is clearly the voice of Montana reason in this thread, but let me add:

    @trevorb:

    I think based on no evidence that the reason montana has become more liberal over the years is the influx of new residents who largely move to the cities.

    I think that’s a wash. A great deal of influx has been white flight, especially from Seattle and California. So we may be getting new urban liberals, but we also have been getting new urban conservatives. Both are cut from different molds than the older guard of the state. As Wulfgar points out, old Montana Democrats come from a union base. Old Montana conservatives are of the “leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone” variety, the kind that actually tolerates diversity. The new ones are teabagging busybodies.

    @burnspbesq: Mike Mansfield has been dead for ten years, and they don’t make them like that anymore.

    Fine, but Pat Williams is alive and well. (Too bad he doesn’t want to run for governor.) Towering figures like Mansfield and Rankin may be in the history books, but Democratic dominance of the state is well within the living memory of many, many voters.

  125. 125
    sherifffruitfly says:

    I don’t normally take the “true progressive” side, but it is worth noting that there’s *something* to the reply: “Every time you do the ‘oh but he’s from a red district so it’s ok” defense, you enable more future bad behavior from our congresscritters.

    Not saying that’s *all* there is to be said on the matter (because I’m not a worthless “true progressive”). But that reply has *something* going for it.

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @sherifffruitfly: Sure, but then so does, “If you balk at him, be prepared for his much, much worse Republican opponent.” And that’s the issue. At this point, and for the foreseeable future, all Republicans are _that bad_ that we can’t afford to let more of them get their hands on additional power. It’s like getting a second mortgage. You need a break now, and you’ll have to deal with the consequences for longer, but it’s still probably worth it.

  127. 127
    Tehanu says:

    @Lost Left Coaster:

    I got an e-mail (or something) from a leftie organization — don’t recall which one; it might have been Move On or Act Blue. Anyway, it said the DREAM Act ought to be voted down because it basically took innocent kids and forced them to be cannon fodder for the eeeeevil military. I didn’t spend any time researching it or anything; I just remember being surprised at the argument. Up to that point I wouldn’t have thought any left-wing org. would oppose DREAM. I guess all I’m saying is, I don’t believe in any kind of “purity” test for either legislation or politicians. As somebody upthread said, our system is set up to ensure that changes come slowly and with struggle and compromise. And there might be good reasons why somebody you’ve supported takes a different position on something than you do (although I don’t think the “eeeeevil military” reason is a good one, personally).

  128. 128
    Wulfgar says:

    @Cris

    Fine, but Pat Williams is alive and well. (Too bad he doesn’t want to run for governor.) Towering figures like Mansfield and Rankin may be in the history books, but Democratic dominance of the state is well within the living memory of many, many voters.

    Let’s not forget one of my absolute favorites, Lee Metcalf. I grew up a couple of miles from the Metcalf Wildlife Refuge.

  129. 129
    Lost Left Coaster says:

    @Wulfgar:

    Seriously, go to hell. We have a fucking elected city council in the District of Columbia, and there are 600,000 of us Washingtonians, mainly African American, who are perfectly capable of governing ourselves, without any interference from the wise leaders from Montana or Mississippi or any other goddamn state. You read me?

  130. 130
    TOP123 says:

    @Lost Left Coaster: What you said. I was tentatively with the others up to a point (i.e., I have to be prepared to accept to some extent that other people’s Senators and Reps are going to vote for their constituents’ wishes and interests as they see them), but polishing your NRA rating at the expense of citizens of an entirely different community, not so much.

    As the license plate says, ‘taxation without representation’… sadly still the rule in the District.

  131. 131
    Wulfgar says:

    Yes, I read you. You sound like you are a successionist. You want your freedom from the union. Fine. How’s that Tea Party working out for you?

    Listen up, Losty. Montana, a state, has more issues into which the Federal government shoves it’s nose than your little city can even imagine. We have many endangered species, to which this state is native habitat. We have National Parks. We have more Wilderness area than any state save Alaska. We have more BLM land in the contiguous US second only to Nevada. We sit on the largest coal reserve in the lower 48, and tell me that doesn’t attract federal attention. We have the third most Native lands in the US (Hello, Department of the Interior.) The largest US designated forest? That’s right, kitten, the Beaverhead Deer Lodge … right here in Montana.

    You know what else we got?
    Towns that are literally dying from the poisons that federally underwritten industries spewed. And it was federal court that exonerated Grace from further prosecution.
    The second largest Superfund site in America.
    We *had* the only profitable publicly owned energy company in America. Then Goldman Sachs got involved.
    Unlike the *city* of WashedOut DC, we have a balanced budget.

    So, seriously, Losty Left Coaster, you go to hell. Your “fucking elected city council” doesn’t mean shit to me, or likely any Montanan. I, and likely few others, care if you want to force others to conform to your will as regards what pistols they can own. You’re whining your ass off, grossly out of proportion, and most people have little patience for that. You’ve planted your ass on federal property and ceded control thereby. Sucks to be you.

  132. 132
    Wulfgar says:

    ~hehe~

    I forgot to mention that Montana is the *world’s* sixth largest nuclear state. What is stored here could bomb Texas into oblivion. But by all means, let’s be concerned that Lost Left Coaster might live next to someone who owns a .22 pistola because those evil people tasked with governing his spot of dirt tell him his concerns aren’t agreed with …

  133. 133
    Eli Rabett says:

    If you want to understand Kos on this, consider his life story.

  134. 134
    Platonicspoof says:

    If progressives can’t tolerate the Testers of the Senate, we’re going to get Rehbergs, and things are going to be a hell of a lot worse.

    From Bloomberg yesterday:

    . . . Eric Cantor said a spending measure needed to continue financing government operations this fiscal year will also prohibit money to implement the health-care law.
    Skip
    . . . Representative Denny Rehberg, a Montana Republican, would offer the amendment to barring funds for the health-care law. Rehberg has announced plans to run against Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, in 2012.

Comments are closed.