During my radio show a while back, some of you may have heard me mention that a Washington Post reporter was apparently shadowing Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) while he me with some high school students in Lewistown, Montana. Well, the article is now out. Here’s an excerpt:
In 2006, Tester said he would carry to Congress the pragmatism he learned while tending to his family farm. Now, after having voted to pass much of Obama’s ambitious agenda — chiefly, the health-care overhaul that is unpopular here — the 6-foot, 300-pound hulk of a senator is at risk of becoming an endangered species.
Tester faces a formidable challenge from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), who, as Montana’s only congressman, has won election statewide six times.
“He’s got this carefully crafted image from 2006 that is completely shattered after four years of his record,” said Erik Iverson, Rehberg’s campaign consultant. “He’s got a conservative haircut, but he’s got liberal values.”
Meanwhile, Gun Owners of America rapped Tester for his vote in support of 9th Circuit judicial nominee Goodwin Liu. Here’s a press release from GOA:
Senator Tester Votes for Anti-gun Nominee, Again
by Tim Macy
Jon Tester did it again. On Thursday, the Montana Senator voted for yet another anti-gun judicial nominee.
The good news for gun owners is that the Senate did not confirm Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s pick for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Liu was perhaps the most radical of Obama’s judicial appointees. The UC Berkley law professor supported, for example, the notion that the language of the Constitution is sufficiently ambiguous to bend with the times.
“It becomes pretty clear why ‘originalism’ and ‘strict construction’ don’t make a lot of sense,” Liu said in an interview promoting a book he coauthored. “The Framers deliberately chose… broad words so they would be adaptable to new challenges over time.”
In that book, Keeping Faith with the Constitution, Liu wrote that, “Applications of constitutional text and principles must be open to adaptation and change… as the conditions and norms of our society become ever more distant from those of the Founding generation.”
So in Liu’s view, the right to keep and bear arms may have been necessary in the 18th century, but may not be longer today.
On the floor of the Senate prior to the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up Liu’s judicial views this way: “[Liu’s writings] suggest a deeply-held commitment to the view that the Constitution can mean pretty much whatever a judge wants it to, that judges can just make it up as they go along.”
In fact, Goodwin Liu is so far to the left that even the most liberal Republicans—who almost never oppose judicial nominees—voted against his confirmation.—and that will be a refreshing change.
But not Jon Tester. For the second time in less than a month, Tester voted for an anti-gun nominee of this president (he voted to confirm liberal, Democrat activist John McConnell to the federal bench in early May).
While the defeat of Liu is a victory for Second Amendment supporters, it is also indicative that Obama is pursuing a course to pull the federal judiciary as far to the left as possible. And he has the full support of Jon Tester in building what may be his most enduring legacy.
Montana’s gun owners and sportsmen understand that votes on judicial nominees are every bit as important as votes on legislation, and that the constitutional “Advice and Consent” role of the Senate is not meant to be a rubber stamp for the president.
Tester’s vote for Goodwin Liu is yet another reminder of why the Senator earned an “F” rating from Gun Owners of America, and why GOA supports Denny Rehberg for Senate in 2012.
Denny Rehberg is “A” rated by GOA based on his consistent voting record. As a member of Congress, Denny does not say what the people want to hear in Montana and then go back to Washington and vote the other way
Tim Macy is vice chairman of Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobbying organization with over 300,000 members nationwide.