President Obama and Senator Tester have taken a lot of heat recently for compromising, not holding the line, and ‘capitulating’. I think the last weeks have shown that they knew what they were doing, at least to some extent.
Look at the headlines – Obama signed the repeal of DADT, Congress passed bills to help 9/11 first responders and the Senate approved the New START treaty. As much as we all hate seeing tax cuts for the rich, the alternative was no tax cuts at all, no extension of unemployment benefits, and likely no further progress during the lame duck session.
And final point – is an electable but imperfect Jon Tester better than a less electable but progressive Democrat in a race against Denny Rehberg? Remember that these legislative accomplishments were possible because of moderate Republicans crossing the aisle to get common-sense bills passed. Rehberg has shown no such willingness, and if we were to put him in the Senate (the more obstructionist chamber) by failing to run the strongest candidate possible against him, we would be adding to the immovable wall of die-hard Republicans that oppose any action suggested by Democrats or occurring during a Democratic administration.