In some respects this post is 'johnny come lately' to Matt's post below. That's what I get for having to work this weekend. But a peculiar question has been nagging at me since the Great Orange Satan had his meltdown concerning Jon Tester's vote on the DREAM act. In most low-brow form, the question can best be posed as "What the hell did you expect?"
Back in 2006, I attended 3 functions in which I got to meet and talk with Jon Tester or hear him debate. One was the Democratic candidates debate in April 2006. Concerning immigration, I noted this at the time:
I don't agree with Jon on immigration policy, because he wants secure borders and no amnesty for law breakers.
The very next day, in response to Jay, I noted again:
I agree that Tester's stand against amnesty is impractical, and indicated my disagreement with him on the issue in my summery of the debate.
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. Either Markos is exhibiting a terribly poor judgment of character, or his expectations are a little out of line. In truth, it appears that Kos thinks progressive support is a purchase arraignment, very similar to what many claim exists between our congress-persons and their plutocratic overlords. That's a lovely fear narrative, speaking truth to power by purchasing the power. Some would tell us rather condescendingly that Washington corrupts and that's why we're not getting from folks like Tester exactly what we want. "Triangulation", they will cry. "Appeasement" they will sigh. The gaping hole in that story is that Tester has done exactly what he said he was going to do, before he ever went to Washington.
Which brings us back to the question: What the hell did you expect? I have a great deal of sympathy for Markos' reaction. Kos is a child of immigrants, and proud veteran of the US Armed Forces. The DREAM Act is probably the mountain upon which I would post my flag, were I him. But I'm not. I'm more concerned about the ill-conceived ideas that change our culture, for instance, is integrity the same as agreement? On the surface, it would seem that the answer is "No WAY!" Yet that clearly appears to be the answer in this case. There is a right and wrong. Most of the Montana left disagrees with Tester on this vote, me very much included, and yet we expect the man to break faith with what he said he believes/would do/has done. There is no politician alive today who us good voting folk will agree with 100% of the time. So, what can be expected? The cynic says: they will vote as get's them re-elected. The purist says: they will vote as I want them to vote (when I want them to vote that way.) Some might say that they will vote as they told us they will vote, and it's our bad if we didn't pay attention. The latter is becoming very rare. Simple fact; honesty and integrity are intertwined.
Back in 2006, I asked: "Who do you have to primary Max?" ~crickets~ I've asked less than two short weeks ago, "Who do you have to primary Jon?" Tester has disappointed on several levels, given a person's pet issues. I'm asking now, what is the reason you would primary Jon? Is it because he hasn't done what he said he would? Or because you didn't get what you want?
Update: When the wingnut right is agreeing with you, could it maybe, possibly sorta be the case that you've tacked the wrong wind?