Tester Gets Top Fundraising Post

It has been announced that Jon Tester has been named Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.  This means that he will be in charge of a major pot of national loot, money that is biennially doled out to democratic candidates for US Senate.  This assignment will serve Tester well especially if he has an interest in leadership or bigger or better committee assignments in the Senate down the road.

Whether it will serve him well at home is another question.  Indirectly it could certainly help Montana if it means that Tester get’s more influence within the Senate.  This could mean more bacon being brought home to Montana. But of course, the assignment allows the GOP to claim Tester is a “DC Insider.”  Fortunately by the time 2018 rolls around Tester probably won’t even still be holding the DSCC post any more, since it rotates every two years.

As for those who work in and around politics in Montana, based on some of the chatter today I feel I should point out that the big dough that Tester gets to raise will probably not find its way into the democratic party until the 2018 Senate race is afoot.  So I’m afraid there will be no immediate windfall for party workers.

The more interesting part of this news is the fact that Tester has been outspoken in his opposition to Big Money in politics, and is even sponsoring a Constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics, to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  He spoke about it at Harvard Law last week.   To reconcile these two endeavors–fighting against big money, while having to raise it like crazy–will require some nimble positioning to say the least.  It can be done, but it won’t be easy.

Overall, however, the Cowgirl blog endorses this move as a good one for Tester, and he gets best wishes on his new gig.



76 Comments on "Tester Gets Top Fundraising Post"

  1. Wow, nobody cares about this.

  2. Yes indeed, we need to look to a man life Tester, who owes his election victory to dark money, to lead the battle against money in politics. That works. Of course!

    We should also look to the NFL to look into the problem of head trauma, the CIA to investigate its own abuses, the military to deal with redundant weapons systems, and the telecoms to deal with the problem of monopoly capitalism and regulatory capture.

    Corrupt systems always heal themselves.

    • I think one of the main things is what 4&20 and Flathead Memo have been saying, and that’s the fact that Tester won’t be able to do a good job for Montana. Oh, maybe he’ll do a decent job, but not as good of a job as he could’ve – it’s just the nature of this position.

      Most know this, but then you’ve got Cowgirl here toeing the party line and just sounding absurd doing so.

      When you blindly follow just because of your allegiances, well, why not just walk off a cliff? Nationally Democrats can’t think for themselves, and if we go back to that ol’ idea that all politics is local, I think we know why.

      • Jon Tester has gone out of his way to antagonize anyone to the left of Burns or Baucus. However as an officeholder he is daily faced with the moneybags who can help his career, while the ordinary people who elected him are nowhere to be seen. Since the voters stopped paying attention to politics the day after the election, and do not hold him accountable for bad behavior, he has no reason to give them anything but speeches.

        So Tester could be anybody, just a product of the incentives built into our system. It is the corrupt system that needs fixing so the ordinary men like Tester are incentivized to behave.

        • There’s nothing wrong with antagonizing people, most need it, and many bridges should have been burned ages ago. And a dalliance for 2 years with the DSCC will still give him 2 years to clean himself up before coming home, so maybe there’s no harm.

          But when you figure our 2 new Republican representatives will have everything to talk about to the constituents and have all the accomplishments to run on, gosh, sounds kinda like he or his staff didn’t examine this from all angles.

          But they did, and they got back to the accountability issue and decided there was no need for accountability until 2017 or so.

          • Consider this as me antagonizing you for your views on Tester. I had a beer or two with him while he was a state legislator. A very likable person and definitely a very hard working farmer. His work for veterans will not be forgotten. I’d rather have him representing me in the Senate that the bozo you just elected. Your claim to fame? Worked some shitty jobs (anyone going to school and not having outside income or rich parents has done that) lived in China (like your idol Daines maybe?), married a russian woman (what was wrong with American women?), wrote some fairly mundane works (Yes I have read some of them), and most people do not need to be antagonized. We see enough of that in the rupuglican tea baggers usless drivel. Have a nice day.

            • It’s those knee-jerk reactions I’m counting on Republicans making during this session. Republicans will be counting on Democrats making them in 2016, and they’ll make plenty. Discipline, it’s not just a game for writers.

      • Tester can raise money. I think he’ll raise a lot of money for 2016. He’ll also make a lot of friends. All of that will help him raise the mountains of cash he’ll need to be competitive in 2018. As I noted on Flathead Memo a few days ago, his path to a third term leads through minefields I’m not sure he can survive. But he’ll be the Democratic nominee, and I’ll vote for him.

      • Regardless of what issues others have with Tester’s abilities as the fundraising face of the Democrats, the complaint that he ‘won’t be working for Montana’ is terribly weak. Senators don’t just work for their state, nor were they ever meant to. They were given inordinate power of representation to *protect* the interests of their state from being run roughshod by states with superior representation in the House, as well as serve the *nation* through confirmations and endorsing treaties. The idea that Montana owns it’s Senators in a proprietary and possessive way is almost juvenile. Montana isn’t alone in that flawed notion, and it shows a great deal more about the ignorance of the electorate and how broken our electoral system is than it does about Jon Tester or the Democratic party.

  3. spectacular post, cowgirl!

  4. Just a couple of weeks, too LATE, for Amanda Curtis. Tis’ a shame.

    • That great photo of Amanda (the truest Democrat I’ve seen in years) and a woman I don’t know reminds me of something I’ve been wanting for some time.

      I’d like the state party leaders distribute a questionnaire among county central committees to find out what rank-and-file Dems think about key issues. I suspect the central committees are a lot more progressive than the party operatives. But I’d like to see if ordinary Democrats are as afraid of angering big corporations as the leadership are.

      Example: Keystone XL. I wonder if most Dems in the state are afraid of pissing off Big Oil. I wonder if they buy all the bullshit about thousands of jobs and reduced gas prices.

      • Turner, please don’t think – our state Democratic leadership is counting on the fact that you won’t, which thus allows them to continue doing such a piss-poor job.

        • Greg, don’t speak for the state Democratic leadership. You’re not qualified. What you see as mal-intent is vastly more explainable as confusion. A writer far superior to yourself famously penned “I’m not a member of any organized party; I’m a Democrat.”

      • There’d be a few thousand jobs for XL in MT for a year, then about only FIFTEEN dudes to watch the line while pumping the Tar Sands POISON over our land and water to be processed and EXPORTED for maximum multi-national corporate profits, take that suckers in USA while gasoline prices go up
        when less oil to refine in Midwest/Plains while it goes ‘sucking south’ for Koch bastards and corporate parasites.

        • I like Tester’s idea to keep all that oil in America by putting that in the bill’s language. I guess that didn’t get done, for today it went down.

          Oh well, Daines and Zinke can vote for it in another 2 months and then it’ll probably pass, maybe around a slow news day, or when some big ISIS target is hit or an Ebola patient dies.

          It’s pretty clear to me where the split in the Democratic Party lies – between those tired of kissing oily asses and those that want to keep jumping in line, their lips as puckered as ever.

          What’s that done for you?

  5. I can just see Tester on the high wire, trying to build a voting record congruent with Montana while pandering to the white-bread high-pate libs with all the cash. Should be interesting.

  6. Ultimately what this post and the comments reveal is the danger continuing without a message presents. Your ‘allies’ get off on tangents and even the folks working for you don’t know what to say everyday. And it is everyday. Or did Montana not want to be a leader of the nation? Sure seems that way most of the time.

    I’m still waiting on that 2016 Democratic message, and I guess I’m the only one. What’s the point in doing anything until then? Isn’t it just pissing in the wind? Hell, we don’t even know our target audience. And the idea that Democrats in this state could be split on many issues? Ha, just use some of that hope to make it all go away.

    It’s pitiful to watch this thrashing about, like something dying on the floor of a boat because it’s got no air to survive. That’s what the Democrats seem like right now – something dying and grasping at anything that’ll help them stay alive.

    That’s dangerous.

    • Until I see a Democrat flopping around on the floor dying from a lack of electoral wins, I’m going to take your hyperbole with a large grain of salt, maybe like a salt lick. What the hell is “dangerous” about Democrats looking for a path, and what the hell is a message without one?

  7. I’m sure that the mere thought of Jon Tester using his star power, like he did for Montana candidates a few weeks ago, has the GOP shaking in their boots – I hope they promote him to party Chairman.

  8. Top speed of a soybean Thresher 50 miles an hour. Doubt any republicans in 2016 will outrun the driver of that!

  9. Again, you cannot ask ordinary men and women to accept bribes while at the same time serving the public good. A man cannot serve two masters.

  10. Until I see some separation between Tester and Big Oil I consider him a Republican. I wonder if he, and Al Ekblad’s CIO/AFL, have been purchased by petrodollars.

    In the last state Democratic Platform conference, Ekblad, and his corportions-create-jobs agenda, dominated the committee on energy. I blame Democrats at the convention for not standing up to the corporatists.

    • Since most people do not follow politics in detail as you do Turner, they are easily misled by words and symbolic gestures. So Tester will be able to on one hand owe his office to dark money, and on the other proclaim his opposition and desire to end it. His efforts will bear no fruit. It is simply how his advisers have suggested he clean up his public image after the 2006 scandal. That’s just how politics works.

    • One of the great flaws of democracy, even in a representative republic, is that, at heart, it boils down to majority rule. Polling has shown that the majority of Montanans (bi-partisan) favor the KXL pipeline and favor the creation of petro-jobs and coal dollars. That is even among self-described Democrats. You can blame the bullies in the Union camp all you want, but they did actually build the Montana Democratic party and have been it’s core for over 100 years. What makes Montana Democrats so absolutely amusing and incredibly weak is that the majority of them favor doing something about anthropomorphic climate change, an ideal held by a slim majority who also favor chasing the jobs of petro and coal. By all means, damn the corporatists. But here’s the thing: the environmental faction of Montana Democrats has done an extremely poor job of getting an alternative message or platform out, and done next to no job of giving themselves an alternative to Democrats.

      It’s an absolute truth that on many issues there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. So why all the hand-wringing over a Republicant win just because particular Democrats agreed with them? The lie at play here is that political parties are obliged to disagree with the other guys. No, they really are not. Tester isn’t a Republican. He’s a Democrat who disagrees with you. Placing him in ‘the other’ Party is little more than name calling, and avoiding the bigger issue, that he doesn’t serve you.

      • You spend way too much time worrying about public opinion. Unless you get yourself a TV Network, it’s pretty much beyond reach. People do not think. You know this. They are products of suggestion, reflecting what leaders think. TV is reality. There’s no thinking going on out there. It’s a wasteland.

        It takes small and clever groups of people to make meaningful change, and they do not do it by converting the public to their way of thinking. That’s a fool’s errand. Public opinion follows. It does not lead.

        Your party leaders know this. That’s why they hate environmentalists and progressives. They are not under control. You’re lamenting that they haven’t brought opinion around. That’s like blaming the band for the behavior of the parade.

        Real politics is fought elsewhere. It it true that your party leadership is winning, as they are so corrupt and powerful. So what. The battle is not over, ever.

        • Mark, several years ago, you put up a post asking where power resides, it’s definition and application. Pretty much since day one of that, you’ve refused to accept the obvious answer while blankly pleading ‘for the people to organize’. It’s not my fault that you are so busy wrapping yourself in the spaghetti of ‘nuance’ that you miss the blatantly obvious. It does not take “small and clever groups” to apply power and effect change. It takes the mob, or as you would have it, public opinion kicks the ass of the arrogant and insignificant because the arrogant and insignificant dismiss the mob to their own peril and defeat.

          • I just wrote recently about where power lies, and again, it is not in public opinion. The public is a bewildered herd that thinks what opinion managers want it to think. You don’t go to the public for guidance. You guide the public. Unfortunately, in a corrupt political system like ours, without enlightened leadership, the public is ill-informed and manipulated into supporting just about any scheme to come along, from pipelines that don’t serve its interest to destructive aggressive wars.

            And oddly, I’ve observed, it’s a lifelong pursuit, one to dumb them down through compulsory schooling that leaves them unable to reason properly, to ongoing opinion and perception management done mostly by entertainment figures.

            Example: Most Americans think Vladimir Putin is a crazed maniac. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s the most widely respected leader in the world today, outside this asylum. Why do people think that? Mostly because of subtle suggestions by news managers, but entertainment figures like Jimmy Fallon (unwittingly) guide them. fallon has more impact on public perceptions than Obama.

            The public is a bewildered herd. Five minutes here ought to convince you of that.

            • “He’s the most widely respected leader in the world today, outside this asylum”

              You could back that up with some sort of data, or……


              • You might want to reflect on the opening paragraph from Zerohedge, full of nonsense as it is about Putin “re-annexing” Ukraine. That’s a lopsided western view of that matter, and the venom the writer spews at Putin is typica of western media. In other words, you support my notion that our view of Putin is deeply affected by biased news coverage. And then the best you can do is to cite a poll that places him only behind Obama in world eyes. (Which surprises me I must add, since I have my own jaundiced view of our titular leader.)

                I am tempted to say “case closed.” Oh hell. Why not. Case closed. And thanks for your support.

                • You might want to back up your assertion regarding Putin being the “world’s most respected leader”.

                  Come on, it was your ‘Example’. Back it up. You haven’t, but does it really matter?

                  Explain why popular opinion outside of the U.S. matters anymore than opinions within it. Your delusion is to assume that outside of this ‘asylum’ there are those not within there own.

                  • *their*

                  • I love you guys who sit there and say “bring me this” or “bring me that”, like we owe you anything and you are not obligated on your own to find a thing out or two. You really need to venture out from the sheltered home now and then.

                    But in this case, you brought some evidence yourself, Nameless with the ZeroHedge link. And thanks.

                    Popular opinion outside the US is not influenced to such a large degree by our state-controlled media (news and entertainment both). Our moribund public education system does not produce thinking citizens, so that American public opinion is easily controlled.

                    How it is in other places? I’ve been around this subject for many years, and I assume that each country engages in propaganda to a degree, filling their own citizenry with puffery and false history, but none to the degree of the US – save perhaps the old Soviet Union. Ellul wrote in the 1960’s about the three biggest propaganda centers at that time, the USSR, China and the US, finding that the US had a higher degree of sophistication. We are among the most deeply indoctrinated people on the planet, rivaling North Korea.

                    But the bottom line is that you get a better picture of what the US is up to outside this country than within it, as our news media is, like our political system, utterly corrupt.

                    • consider self-immolating in protest, toke.

                    • Protesting what? The way humans are? Nah. Besides that, I have a problem with making you smile. I don’t like it.

                    • Mark you consistently assign value based on personal prejudice. You don’t get a “better” view outside of this country; you get a different view. Like a varient flavor of ice cream, you on;y think it’s better because you’ve tried it and can lord it over those who haven’t.

                      When it comes to information, we live in a global age. I get news from Al Jazeera at my fingertips. I got one helluva education by reading Greeks, Germans, Brits, Italians, Russians, Frenchies and Spaniards. And what my education has taught me is that you make claims that you then demand others support by doing unrealistic things.

                      You keep focusing on “public opinion” as if that is the only motivation of human movement, while demanding some human movement you remain fearful to define. That’s pretty ironic considering how much you and I agree that fear is a grand motivator, and that Putin is better at making his peeps afraid of the US than we are at making the world afraid of Putin. Since when did you start mistaking fear for ‘respect’, when you openly admit that ‘Murkins’ mistake the two all the time?

                      Power does not lie with public opinion, and I’ve argued with you enough that for you to claim that as my stance is foolish. Power lies with public movement and the public often moves with fear. When I pointed out to Koehler and other ‘Good Progressives’ that they were making the public more fearful with their self-righteous demands (lawsuits, public caterwaul, etc …) I was the bad guy for pointing out the obvious. In case you didn’t get it, the public moved, and then came the progressive weeping, and accusations, at the result. Boo hoo.

                      Of course you’re not a fearful man; you’ve made that quite plain (almost spelled that Palin, Freudian?) So when one asks you for evidence, why do you run away? Why do you task another with world travel and deep introspection just to accomplish the goal of making your point? Hmmm… One does have to wonder. Here’s a key, A key, to help unlock the mystery we have before us. Anger is also a huge motivator of human ‘movement’. Please consider that before you get all up in the grill of those you are failing to frighten. Just a suggestion …

                    • I did not say we get “better” news abroad in the sense that it can be qualified in that manner – there are filters in place here that prevent most news about this country from being reported. There are fewer as you go abroad, so more news about this country is actually reported. (People have noticed that CNN international is a different product, a better news product than regular CNN. Fewer filters.)

                      It’s not about evidence. It’s about the duty to find things out on your own. I had no duty to Nameless, and resented his attitude, that I had to bring him what he can easily find on his own.

                      People don’t go to the foreign sources you do. They don’t even go to news. They get their views from leaders. You consistently made the mistake of assuming that people reason into their views, and so … can be reasoned to better ones? They are more about entertainment, Daily Show, Facebook than anything written. People are not scouring about for news. They are doing confirmation bias 24-7.

                      This general principle that men are very largely actuated by motives which they conceal from themselves is as true of mass as of individual psychology. It is evident that the successful propagandist must understand the true motives and not be content to accept the reasons that men give for what they do.

                      No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by group leaders in who it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders.

                      Bernays, father of modern advertising, member of the Creel Commission that got us in to the Great War – he wrote that. He was part of a larger movement of his time to remove democracy (if it ever existed) and replace it with rule of the herd by the better informed men. Lippmann was another of that group who felt that the job of news was to engineer consent of the masses to decisions made for them by their betters.

                    • Rob is right, Mark: all you do is bitch and moan about the status quo but offer no solutions. You seem to have a good mind but show zero evidence of it here.

                    • You don’t offer up anything on your own, just a snarky shot from the bushes now and then. What solutions can I offer to someone like you who demonstrates no critical judgment, who thinks surface phenomenon are reality? You want me to propose a “solution” to you? Just the use of that word by itself exhibits incredible shallowness.

                    • I have 1300 pages of solutions, asswipe: you do not.

                    • i am here because LK, ER has been banned.

                    • 1300 pages of solutions? Don’t tell me, you buy your toilet paper at Costco?

                    • They banned the environmental rump ranger??? Say it aint so! I thought something was different, the comments section is remarkably more readable than before.

                    • Comment ~w i d e r~ down below.

            • “five minutes here” reading you convinced me, for sure.

              • Too funny. I wrote 190 words, and it took you five minutes to read. Is your screen covered with oily lines where you run your fingers under text as your lips move through it?

                Again, you guys are making my arguments for me!

  11. Regarding Larry Kurtz’s link above, it would be worthwhile for any and everyone to read it (yes, even you, Mark.) David Parker is very shrewd when it comes to political wrangling in the state of Montana, and how that translates to broader appeal. Tester goes well beyond “I’d like to have a beer with the guy”. He understands motivating those who feel removed from the political process (no I am not writing about butthurt progressives, but about the middle and working class folk who feel torn between the two extremes of Wall Street and Height Ashbury.) Despite all the progressive caterwaul ‘Democrats do it too, DARK MONEY!’, Tester still achieved an impressive amount of monetary support from individual donors, who whether others like it or not feel invested in an election, even if they only gave $5. I’ve tried to explain this before, apparently poorly, but Parker explains it far better. Tester is superior at getting people to personally invest in an election, even if he doesn’t appeal to hedge fund superiority. That personal connection is what wins such things. (Cue up the hue and cry that ‘TESTER DOESN’T DO WHAT WE WANT, WAH!’. Twice now, as a gross underdog, he’s done enough of what his electorate wanted, and that cannot be discounted in his role for the DSCC.)

    • Your point here is easy to make, but should be refined: First, you have to address his dark money from 2012. It’s an elephant in the kitchen. That amount of money (as much as $1 million, I’ve heard), comes not with strings, but with a huge net. No one gives $1 million without getting something in return.

      Second: You’re knee-deep in the corruption of our system, and looking for the pine-scented little tree that hangs from mirrors. You should, some time, address the notion that a man like Tester can accept bribes, and still work for ordinary people. It can only be done when there is no conflict between the two, because when there is, money wins. Always.

      And finally, since you pride your self on math, can we do a little arithmetic? Hypothetical here, but let’s say that Tester raised $5 million in non-dark money, and it came form the following sources:

      Small contributions of $100 or less, 10,000 x average $50: $500,000
      Bundled contributions from various executives: 1,500 x average $2100 $3,150,000
      Other sources (PAC’s, NDP, DSCC) 520 x Average $2,600 $1,350,000.
      Total, $5,000,000

      Here is how it is reported to the public: 84% of my campaign contributions come from people giving $50 or less.

      That’s not true, of course, but immortally, it is not false.

  12. Much of what I needed to say, I said in the Monkey Cage piece. Let me emphasize, though, two things I did not address there. First, I see comments going back and forth about dark money and how Tester won his 2012 race in part because of it. And, certainly, the analysis by others suggest that dark money helped Democrats, mostly through the use of GOTV and data analytics. How can Tester, who is opposed to dark money, then head the DSCC? Well, first, the DSCC is not and cannot be involved in raising such dark money. Period. But perhaps more to the point, Tester is doing everything he can to try to either eliminate dark money (which I think will not happen) or try to shed some transparency on it (which I think may happen).

    A second point is the party needs people who understand how to recruit candidates and who can bring a different issue perspective to bear within the Senate leadership. Tester does this and has shown he can do it. Look, Dems were going to lose seats in 2014. Period. But more troubling for Democrats is the fact that Democrats are not just turning out, but the cracks appearing among those who have voted for the party in the past. Democrats have to, to stay relevant, figure out a way to build a big tent and big coalition. It’s basic math in a two party system. Even though long term demographic trends SHOULD favor the Democrats, those trends will not if they–in the short term–lose what white men they do have and IF some of the electoral coalition peels off to Republicans. One point I stress in Battle for the Big Sky is Tester’s ability to win with somewhat conservative women over 50. In this cycle, the story seemed to be about young single women. But it was older women who leaned Republican that seemed to have defected to him away from Rehberg…and helped reelect him.
    Whatever you think about Tester–whether you are a disappointed lefty or a conservative righty–this much I know: Do.Not.Underestimate him or his team. He has a winning smile and personality, but he has a well-honed political acumen developed from his decade of work on the school board and in party leadership here in Montana. If I had to guess, I would think this is a step onto a bigger stage that has a clear end game in mind: whip or minority/majority leader.
    Now, what I did NOT address in my article was whether it helps or hurts Tester for ’18. I think that depends. If he can show how this position brings clout for Montana, then I think it is a win. If he must take positions at variance with Montana’s interests, then it becomes far more difficult.
    Anyhow, that’s more than my two cents. I’m enjoying the conversation, and more importantly, politics continues to be fun here in the Big Sky State. I appreciate you all letting this Granite Stater, zero generation Montanan ramble.

    • Dr. Parker, I got to meet you about 3 or so weeks ago at the lecture and book signing you held in the EPS. I was the guy who set up for and actually did your book sales and thanked you for inviting us to your event. To be honest, you kinda looked at me like I was crazy because I’m guessing that ‘Thanks’ part doesn’t happen very often.

      I actually got to listen to part of your speech, and I was most impressed by the fact that you think Montana politics to be somewhat unique. I do as well. The only thing I would add or critique about your comment here is the idea that you actually raised if not focused on. There is a broad swath of Montana that exists between “disappointed lefty or a conservative righty”, and you pointed out that Tester’s appeal is somewhat enormous in that disregarded middle. I concur, and thank you for your comment here.

    • Tester is somewhere between 38% and 42% in the polls or thereabouts. Come again David? He’s spent Eight years talking about a bill that has no chance of passing while also talking about veterans seven days a week. The liberals in this state have lost interest in him as have persuadable voters. His people are jumping at the DSC jobs because they know this is Tester’s last term. Zinke will roll over him by the time 2018 comes around.

      • Zinke in ’18, huh? Boy, I’ve heard some good ones – Zinke in ’16 comes to mind (am I the only one not seeing him getting past the primary?) – but that one makes me laugh.

        One thing that I don’t see bandied about a whole lot is whether Tester will have his say in which candidates come to the fore here in Montana. If here’s going to be picking ’em nationally, don’t you think he’d be doing so close to home as well? I sure think he’ll do so on that House race in 2 years, and I’m sure the candidate will be chosen by the end of next summer…if not before.

        I’m also amazed that so few are discounting Tester’s support for a Constitutional Amendment. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been out of the country, but I still think those have some weight, surely enough weight to get half-step legislation through Congress. And that’s an issue that will drive people to the polls in ’16.

        What are some other issues? You can go that Haight stuff like legal pot and gay marriage and that’ll turn ’em out. You can talk about the national debt and our need for infrastructure, and that’ll peel ’em off. I’d certainly start talking about the latter so you can start pulling them away from Rand Paul’s growing coalition, the same coalition that’s pulling away from the Republicans nationally.

        And now we get to the real long-term/short-term, because no one really knows – what are the Tea Party and fringe left-Democrats going to do? At some point they’ll have to merge, and the writing is already on the wall on that. If you strip the 10 points of the Tea Party down to the 3 or 4 main points, their right there aligned with Nixon’s Silent Majority, and I think a lot of that fringe group that went Perot in ’92.

        Many young Republicans never knew Reagan so they’re easy to peel off, when you get to their core sympathies. When their parents begin to slide left to the middle in old age, that’ll also cause problems for them, especially as family concerns about money start to overpower long-held beliefs.

        None of that’s terribly exciting or sexy, however…not like the Dude running. Both parties scrambled to get Ike after the war, but he eventually said he was more a Republican. Sometimes candidates come along that no one can defeat, and that’s someone the Democrats will have to find nationally in 2016. But a Democrat in the White House might not be best for Tester in 2018…both if they do a good job and if they do a bad job.

        Now we’re getting into some Machiavellian shit, however, so it’s probably best to just leave it there for tonight.

  13. Tester isn’t going to live long enough to become majority leader if he doesn’t start cutting some weight. He needs to take better care of himself, last thing we need around here is Senators Zinke & Daines. How many old people do you see who are that obese?

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