You’ve Got to Hand It to the NRSC


I can’t put my fingers on it, but I feel like there’s something a bit misleading about this image Left Hand Testerfrom the latest GOP attack ad against Senator Tester.

I mean, there are are seven or ten other falsehoods in the video, but there’s something about this picture that I can’t quite get a grasp on.

You’ve got to hand it to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; they’ve certainly shown how Senator Tester has knuckled down to work for the interest of Montanans while he’s been in Washington—so much so that he has managed to regrow three fingers he lost in a farm accident decades ago.

Here, of course, is what the Senator really looks like.Seven Fingers

You might say that Republicans choosing to Photoshop a set of fingers on Senator Tester isn’t a big deal, but in my world as an English teacher, I deal a lot with symbolism, and this is a perfect example of it in action.

To replace Senator Tester with the waffling, dissembling, and downright embarrassing Representative Rehberg, Republicans really only have one option: to paint a picture about Senator Tester that simply isn’t an accurate one.  They’re going to spend the next year distorting his record and embellishing Rehberg’s, because that’s the only campaign strategy available to them. What else can they do, given Rehberg’s lack of achievement in Washington and surfeit of litigiousness back home?

At the risk of sounding a bit crass, it’s only fitting that Republicans in Washington and Representative Rehberg gave Jon Tester three fingers. They’ve been giving the American public one for over a decade.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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