Taxes? It ain’t about the taxes.

So Burns and Tester are closing. Matt’s not surprised. He thinks it’s natural that Montana is loath to give up its conservative Senator. It’s been awhile since the Democrats have upended a Republican incumbent at the statewide level. The GOP says it’s because Burns has been running an incessant campaign accusing Tester of being a tax-raiser.

I can’t believe the tax issue is really what’s driving the pinch in poll numbers.

Why? Does anyone out there really think that the foremost worry on Montanans’ minds are taxes? If so, then the GOP is running a d*mn fine race. Only they’re not. Burns’ campaign for months was framed around the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Oops. The Burns’ campaigned worked for months to portray Tester as an out-of-touch liberal. Oops.

I think Matt’s a little closer to reality here. What I think’s going on, is not that Montanans want to keep Conrad Burns – he’s still the most-loathed US Senator – they hate him. I have not spoken to a single Burns backer who’s voting for the incumbent because s/he wants to. Not one. What I think is going on is that Montanans are nervous about the success of the Democratic Party across the country.

That is, they’re afraid of contributing to the “bluing” of the country.

If Burns’ were as this despised, and Tester the Democratic candidate, and the political composition of the country at stake, I think this race would be a push-over for Tester.

But it’s not.

If elected, though, Tester would be one of the stars of the entering class of new Democratic Senators. He’s a populist and a netroot candidate, and will command a lot of curiosity and pull with the Democratic leadership. He’s an independent voter, he has a mind of his own. He’s got a strong record in the state senate of representing average Montanans with tax breaks, health care reform, and funding for public colleges. He’s on our side. The thing is, if Tester’s elected, we’d have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to really make a difference in Washington, to make, as Tester himself says it, Washington look a little more like Montana.

But the bottom line is this: do you want change? If you want an endless clusterf*ck in Iraq, vote for Conrad Burns. If you want pay-for-play to become a permanent part of how our government does business, vote for Conrad Burns. If you like spiraling health-care costs and the erosion of the middle-class family, vote for Conrad Burns.

If you have hope and optimism and a view to the future, vote for Jon Tester.

Posted by touchstone

  1. I think Burns assumes that everyone votes based on the same principles that he does.

    Money, money, and money.

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