by William Skink
When a German exchange student was gunned down in a garage in Missoula, State Rep Ellie Hill was the first politician out-of-the-gate to use the tragedy to try and repeal the Castle Doctrine. But instead of politics coming to the rescue, the criminal justice system did its thing, determining that the Castle Doctrine doesn’t allow one to set a lethal trap for garage-hopping teens. Kaarma is now in prison.
With Jon Tester’s pro-gun votes on Monday deflating the hopes of Democrats in the latest round of failed gun-control legislation, I’ve been looking for reactions from local Democrats to see if any dissent would pop up, and Rep. Hill didn’t disappoint with this comment on Facebook:
Dear Senator Jon Tester, I love you. Lots! But I do not care if my relatives have to undergo a background check when I give them my heirloom gun if it will save a few more LIVES. It is an inconvenience we here in Montana can all stomach to help solve this national crisis. I wish you would have stood with our President Barack Obama and with your fellow Senate Democrats in their valiant filibuster. I still support you but I am very disappointed and I really do NOT understand. Please do everything in your power to be a part of a solution: gun violence is killing 91 people and injuring 200 people, each and every day, in this country. In the wake of the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history – an act of hate and domestic terrorism perpetrated against my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando just last week – we in Montana have had #ENOUGH
Love, Ellie (Rep. Hill, Missoula)
What’s not to understand? Tester is a powerful Senator and he wants to stay a powerful Senator, so he’s going to do what he thinks he needs to do to win his reelection. The key part of Hill’s statement is this: “I still support you…” Yes, even as Tester disingenuously explains his vote (one of the bills does allow transfers between family members, so Tester either doesn’t even know what the bill does or is once again being deceitful) he will still get support from Rep. Hill and other Democrats in Montana.
This is one of the core problems with Democrats. It seems no matter what their fellow Dems do, they will still give them support. Republicans don’t enjoy the same compliant constituency, which is one of the reasons the Tea Party has been relatively successful in forwarding their agenda in the political arena; they are more willing to sacrifice short-term electoral success to achieve their political vision. Republicans fear their base. Democrats take their base for granted, because they can.
Jon Tester’s vote on Monday wasn’t the only action he took against members of his party. This week Tester also signed off on a million-dollar attack against Florida’s Alan Grayson. The blog DownWithTyranny! had this to say about Tester:
Jon Tester, the disappointing senator from Montana and Schumer’s puppet chairman of the DSCC, had a busy Monday. He voted with the Republicans– as he often does– against the bill to pass meaningful background checks for gun purchases. That’s the HEAD of the DSCC. AND, he authorized a million dollar spend against Alan Grayson in the Florida Senate primary– a spend meant to help elect Wall Street whore Patrick Murphy. (I remember when Tester used to whime to me on the phone every day about how Chuck Schumer was working to defeat him in his first Senate race, on behalf of a Wall Street shill not even as bad as Murphy, John Morrison. Tester sold out within microseconds of winning his primary, morphing into Morrison and becoming Schumer’s lap dog, giving New York a third vote in the Senate.
Wow, what a corporate-shilling hypocrite. Should Tester be concerned that this will impact his reelection chances? Nope, he shouldn’t, because Democrats will just take it and vote accordingly when the time comes. That is if Democrats even know Tester is trying to destroy a fellow Democrat in Florida. So far, the two Democrat mouthpiece blogs have remained silent on Tester’s twin disappointments this week.
Jon Tester’s support of Patrick Murphy (who was once a Republican) is part of a larger strategic play for Florida. This is how The Atlantic framed the political showdown last year:
The road to a Democratic majority in the Senate is a narrow one, and it runs through Florida. Marco Rubio is running for president, so he can’t run for reelection, freeing up his seat—and in a swing state like Florida, with the more Democratic-friendly electorate of a presidential cycle, there’s a good chance Democrats can win.
If they have the right candidate, of course.
That’s where Alan Grayson comes in. Democrats have had a rough run in Florida recently. In 2010, their candidate was walloped in a three-way Senate race that Rubio won—Governor Charlie Crist ran as an independent after losing the Republican primary; Democrat Kendrick Meek finished a distant third. That same year, Alex Sink lost a close race for governor to Rick Scott. In early 2014, Sink lost a special election for the seat of deceased Representative C. W. “Bill” Young. In fall 2014, Crist—by now a Democrat—lost the governor’s race to Scott, even though the incumbent was strongly disliked.
The remedy, state and national Democrats believe, is Patrick Murphy, a young two-term representative who reached office after defeating Representative Allen West—as fiery and controversial a Republican as Grayson is a Democrat—in 2012. Murphy is a notably moderate Democrat (he was previously a Republican), but he’s a polished candidate who showed he could win in a closely divided district. Party leaders marked him for great things. Early polls show him leading the top Republican candidates.
The path for Murphy was clear until Grayson announced he was running. Now the loud-mouthed progressive is in the crosshairs of Tester’s DSCC.
I won’t be voting for any politicians this election cycle. I am too disgusted by the whole stinking system to participate in the charade anymore.
Democrats had a chance after Obama was elected to actually do something. They had Congress and the White House and a crippled financial sector sheepishly going hat-in-hand to DC after blowing up the global economy. But instead of helping distressed Americans, Democrats chose to rescue the predatory wolves of Wall Street, and they continue protecting these bastards while ignoring the worsening economic situation in this country.
I would rather chew on broken glass than support a duplicitous political party that serves the oligarchs while deploying every deceitful trick in the political book to maintain its power.