Americans for Prosperity Shills for Daines, Daines Votes for Them

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Yesterday, the TEA Party/Koch Brothers front group Americans for Prosperity released this laughable ad lauding Congressman Steve Daines for “protecting us from Obamacare.” Today, Congressman Daines returned the love, voting against a compromise budget bill—and against Montana workers, veterans, retirees, and students on their behalf.

In the ad, AFP thanks Daines for fighting against “rising healthcare costs,” an especially absurd claim, given that Daines has neither sponsored, passed, nor implemented any legislation that would do anything of the sort.

Instead, along with his Republican colleagues, he has remained unconcerned about the most expensive health care system in the developed world, the scourge of families who cannot afford insurance despite working full-time, and the plight of those with pre-existing conditions who could not any coverage, much less affordable coverage.

Daines has had the “courage to lead,” alright. He’s leading the fight for corporate interests entirely unwilling to reform our health care system to provide access to health care for every American. He’s leading from the rear guard of a Republican Party being driven by TEA Party extremists.

Today, Daines demonstrated his priorities quite clearly, voting against a compromise budget bill that only 67 members of the Republican-controlled House voted against.  With his vote, Daines voted for the wealthiest Americans bankrolling Americas for Prosperity and against increased funding for veterans, active duty soldiers, disabled veterans, Head Start funding, Indian Health Services, child nutrition, Agricultural research, victims of domestic abuse, and Social Security recipients.

Most of those programs received senseless, even cruel cuts under the budget sequestration—and all but the most radical members of the Republican caucus realized it was time to stop currying favor from the TEA Party and doing what is right for the country.

A candidate with the full support of Americans for Prosperity can’t be a Senator who will support Montanans. Don’t let Daines fool you with his occasional feints towards moderation; his vote today and the people who are supporting his candidacy make clear that he will prioritize the 1% over the rest of us.

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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.

21 Comments

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  • Daines is certainly a very polished, slick corporate shill and get this ‘Shutdown Steve’, I’m now signed up with the ACA – and my income right in line with Montana median income
    in the thirties – and got a lower deductible, lower premium and peace of mind, so what
    have the the teabaggers and GOP done for an alternative to the ACA? JACK SQUAT!

  • Says Pogie: “He’s leading the fight for corporate interests entirely unwilling to reform our health care system to provide access to health care for every American.”

    Those corporate interests formed a lobbying group called AHIP which wrote ACA.

    “Health insurance” is not “health care.” We’ve long way to go before we have meaningful reform.

    Re scare talk, Tea Party and all of that: Here’s how cuts to the safety net work: Say they have all agreed to cut back food stamps 10% – the Republicans step in and demand elimination of the program, and the Democrats settle for a 10% cut. Mission accomplished. Eventually the program is whittled down to bare bone, death by a thousand cuts, the Democrat way rather than death by the sword. Destination for both parties is the same.

      • That’s not a strategy – it’s an observation of reality. What you are doing, playing the poetical system as if it is good for anything other than feeling good after the bums are thrown out, is a strategy. And a failed one. Vote R, vote D, Food Stamps are cut.

      • While I certainly do not agree with Mark’s “they are both the same” theory, the facts behind it are somewhat troubling. He is absolutely right about the death by papercuts. While Democrats are praising this “deal” that locks in these draconian cuts to the back support systems – promoted by Democrats – there are literally millions of Americans trying to cope with the new reality of having less money to put food on the table. This is what gave us the ACA (and I think I have made my feelings on the ACA pretty crystal clear) and the current new reality of an increase in hunger in the US. Whether it was by design (Mark’s argument) or by fate or by ignorance, the fact remains that the celebration is not as deserved as it could be, and I am not waving any flags for the Democrats.

        • I think it is quite by design, and not sinister or Machiavellian. It came with the universal franchise, when everyone, no matter education or background, could vote. Given that such people are not qualified to make policy, and in addition are prone to emotions and changes of mind, the political system came to be one whose only interface with public opinion was the ability to shift from one party to the other, but without affecting policy. So it comes down to the ability to throw the bums out, bring in new ones. And it worked when both parties were a mixture of conservative and populist.

          But now we’re faced with two parties in the grips of NeoCons. The leadership of both parties is so corrupt that public opinion is disregarded (propaganda takes its place) and the people and the government are enemies. Until we get money out of politics, I do not see a solution.

          And, I suppose, people were saying the same thing fifty years ago. Somehow we survive. It took the death of JFK and the Civil Rights movement to give the progressive laws signed by LBJ and Nixon. But that window closed and since then it’s been a battle of attrition to merely preserve some of the gains.

    • Larry, the problem with what you’ve posted is that it’s concrete evidence of real people benefiting from the budget deal. People like Mark are above those petty concerns. 🙂

      • Daines’ dog whistle demagoguery, Don: despair keeps tribal members from voting, especially in midterm elections.

  • Daines voting with the minority on the budget bill says one thing quite plainly.

    He’s so far ahead of the pack he can rake bonus campaign contributions from the Tea Party, Koch bros., and other conservatives.

    Sorry guys I can’t see Steve falling off a horse or suing firefighters in the home stretch.

    What did Pelosi say? “Embrace the suck”.

    • Tea Party calls itself “conservative,” Democrats say they are “progressives.” Reminds me of when British Petroleum changed their image simply by hiring a new ad agency to design a new logo.

      • So you tell me then Mark.

        Was Daines “no” vote on 1 Trillion more debt conservative or progressive?

        • You are misrepresenting the case, Ingy (as usual). What Congress passed was HOW they were going to spend the money already allocated in the Budget deal made last month. The whole point of this exercise was to keep the government from shutting down again.

          Daines wasn’t voting not to spending 1 million dollars (he voted yes to that already). What he voted no to was the compromise deal made between the Democrats and Republicans. In this case, I think Ingy is probably closer to the truth than anyone else. Seeing that he has a HUGE lead right now, and there was no possibility that the vote would fail, he probably voted no to court the wingnut right vote.

          • “… and there was no possibility that the vote would fail…”

            Critical insight there – a cosmetic vote cast for sake of those who analyze voting records, and having no substance.

            It is my belief that two office holders holding the same views, having the same financial backers, could construct diametrically opposite voting records using the technique. I first heard about it from Bob Dole, who would tell freshman legislators that, roughly, “you’ll never go wrong voting against something that is going to pass, or for something that is going to fail.”

  • Daines is a white supremacist. Imagine him doing something for American Indians trapped in Montana:

    Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) is gearing up to introduce legislation that would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide increased federal financial support to Native American language programs at American Indian-focused schools.

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