Nov 22, 2023

Montana Senate Bill 566 Is Aimed at Jon Tester

If you can't reject enough voters to gave your way, make them irrelevant.

Voter finagling is a more finely tuned form of voter suppression, the object of which always is making sure that nobody the suppressors oppose wins an election. If you can't reject enough voters to gave your way, you finagle the election system so as to make those voters irrelevant to the eventual outcome. We now have the latest example of finagling and it comes to us from Montana.

That Jon Tester may seek his fourth term as a United States Senator from Montana is something of a small miracle. He has maintained his seat even as Montana goes to Idaho in its mind. (As recently as 2006, Montana Democrats flipped the state legislation in a midterm cycle shot through with revulsion at the second Bush Administration.) Now, it seems that Montana is becoming indistinguishable from the panhandled asylum to its west. From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

The obvious intent of this legislation is to change the dynamic of the state's election so as to eliminate the possibility that Tester cruises through a Democratic primary while the GOP tears itself apart between its only two wings, the extremist wing and the lunatic wing. A primary like the one proposed in this latest scheme would make it possible for Tester to be eliminated behind two Republicans, who would then contest the general election between each other, driving Democratic turnout down and ensuring a Republican majority in the next Senate. This is directly aimed at Jon Tester and it amounts to an electoral bill of attainder. Further evidence to that effect is the fact that this bill "sunsets" itself after the next senatorial election.

Yes, and I am the Tsar of all the Russias.

Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children.

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