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Friday, September 30, 2005

MT-Sen: As Goes Montana, So Goes the Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was fortunate enough to grow up in Montana, to go to school in Montana, and to learn politics in Montana. Senator Max Baucus was the first politician I volunteered for, yet I now view him as being worse for the Democratic Party than Zell Miller.

The maturation I've experienced is a process that Democrats, for the good of our Party, need to embrace.

That is why next year's Senate Primary in Montana is critical to the future of our Party.

Nationally, the Democratic Party is divided between the DLC and the base, between those who want to not lose and those who will not back down, between big money and populism.

Democrats need to leave behind the failed ways of the DLC. And that begins in Montana.

This internal battle has played out in Montana as well. In Big Sky Country, the people are represented by Governor Brian Schweitzer and the DLC is represented by Senator Max Baucus.

Governor Schweitzer is a populist, a man of the people. Baucus is just another slick, lawyer who survives because he is an incumbent. But a Baucus style Democrat will not be sent to Washington DC by Montanans. In 1996, it was Jack Mudd who tried this approach and was toasted as another slick lawyer politician. In 1998, it was Dusty Deschampes who tried this approach and was toasted as another slick lawyer politician.

In 2000, the Max Baucus crew gave up on trying to beat Conrad Burns, but Brian Schweitzer ran anyway and almost won – even with little institutional support. The Baucus machine wasn't offered to Schweitzer, so he built his own movement of the people, by the people, and for the people – from the ground up.

Fast forward to 2004 and the "Montana Miracle" sweep of both houses and the governor's mansion…which set up Montana as one of the most crucial states in 2006.

Republican Senator Conrad Burns is the up to his cowboy hat in the Jack Abramoff scandal and is primed for a beating at the polls. The only way Burns can get re-elected is if he is lucky enough to face a challenger that can be branded as another slick lawyer.

Over the years, the slick lawyer meme has literally re-wired the brains of Montanans. If insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, the Jack Morrison is totally fucking nuts. Batshit crazy. Insane.

John Morrison is a rich, big city lawyer. He comes off as the embodiment of a slick lawyer. Yet Jack's buddies in the DLC want to see him win the nomination.

If John Morrison wins the primary, he will lose to Conrad Burns. He doesn't stand a chance. Montana voters will choose a fake cowboy like Conrad Burns over a real lawyer like John Morrison any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

But do not despair, because Montana is also home to another authentic man of the people like Brian Schweitzer. His name is Jon Tester, he is the President of the State Senate and is the most authentic candidate running for the U.S. Senate anywhere in America.

Tester can and will beat Burns, but only with all of our help. Morrison is a millionaire whose only political trick is knowing how to buy races. Yet if Tester has half as much money as Morrison, he'll win the primary.

I have already made two donations to Tester and I urge you to join Swing State Project and make a contribution.

Tester doesn't need the big PAC checks, he just needs a lot of people. He needs you. Please do what you can and urge your friends and family to do the same. Today is the last day of the quarter, please give what you can.

Posted at 02:42 PM in Montana | Technorati

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