Montana Sen. Jon Tester is a testament to the pragmatism that infuses the netroots—a conservative Democrat who was eminently electable in light-Red Montana. Today, however, he was chosen for a task broader than his corner of America—heading up the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Senate Democrats are looking at a fantastic 2016—with presidential-year turnout demographics and a map that might put 10 or more Republican seats in play. Yet the extent of our gains will depend in huge part on our ability to turn out our base, and nothing in Tester’s history suggests he has what it takes to inspire that broader participation.
His is a homogenous state, with 90 percent of its population white. American Indians, at 6.5 percent, are the largest (and pretty much only) non-white group. His is not a profile that matches that of the Democratic Party, and he’s shown no ability to understand what drives the new Democratic (and American) electorate.
Chief among his bad votes was his opposition to the DREAM Act, one that cut to the very core of the Latino community. Tester, in essence, took a baseball bat to innocent children, attacking my brothers and sisters for the supposed sins of their parents. Some could argue that he mitigated the damage by voting a few years later for the comprehensive immigration reform bill, but the optics of anyone specifically and directly voting against children are hard to erase. And with Latinos making up a critical component of the Democratic winning coalition, Tester better make sure those wounds are healed.
Then there was Tester yesterday, standing with Sen. Mary Landrieu in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. Such support is not new, but again points to a Democrat who is out of sync with environmentalists—another key Democratic constituency. And remember how the largest non-white demographic in Montana are Native Americans? That community is delivering some of the strongest anti-Keystone opposition today.
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Oh, the irony! Elizabeth Warren is “elevated” to a new Senate leadership position created for her that no one in the Senate understands, while Jon Tester gets the big job of running the Democrats’ senate campaigns in two years. As I wrote here, this whole let’s elevate Warren meme is a hoax.
I urge you to click through and read Kos’ analysis all the way through. Tester’s record with big banks is next. All the clues as to where the Democrats are really headed are right there for all to see.
Unless the grassroots send a strong message to the leadership, neoliberals it is for 2016! Whoever said moderate Republicans are dead and gone?
Curated from www.dailykos.com