Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, and the rest of the brain-dead right-wing ilks tried to use such things as the Patriot Act and the Torture Bill to paint Democrats as weak on terrorism. However, one courageous individual, Senator-elect Jon Tester, fought back tooth and nail.
On September 23, 2006, during a debate with Senator-expelled Conrad Burns in Butte, MT, Burns said the following about Mr. Tester, as written in The
Great Falls Tribune, ...
"He [Tester] wants to weaken the Patriot Act,"
How did Tester react? This is how he reacted...
Great Falls Tribune,
"I [Tester] don't want to weaken the Patriot Act, I want to repeal it. What it does, it takes away your freedom ... and when you take away our freedoms, the terrorists have won,"
Now most Democrats or Democratic candidates would have weasled and tried to appear somehow strong on terrorism. They would have triangulated and made up excuses for their vote. But Tester, having the spine he did, said it as clearly and explicitly as possible, that he didn't want to weaken it, he wanted to repeal it. This brings back one current Senator in particular, Russ Feingold, who was the only Senator to vote against the ORIGINAL Patriot Act.
Now Tester's comment was significant, because he wasn't running for a Senate seat in Vermont, or Rhode Island; he was running in Montana, which easily went for Bush by a 20
point margin (59-39).
After watching many of the Meet-the-Press debates, I noticed a lot of Democrats just not having the courage to come out and stand up for our Constitution. Senator-elect Tester exposed his distaste for this horrendously drafted legislation, and future Democrats should follow his lead.
Lastly, this is important to note, as the GOP seems to self-destruct and lose many of its previous constituencies. For example, libertarians, as Markos has noted, will have enough sway over Elections to at least make a difference. Senator-elect Tester's position is very libertarian, in that the Government should not be able to simply monitor every one of my steps, in the name of Terrorism. I truly feel that we Democrats, on top of maintaining our OWN liberal-progressive base, will have attracted a lot of moderates, independents and even some conservative libertarians. After all, it was Benjamin Franklin who said that those willing to sacrifice their liberties for security, deserve neither. This will undoubtedly spell trouble for the GOP in 2008.