There is a good discussion going on over at Left in the West about Jon Tester’s call for Conrad Burns to resign, given the latest allegations by Jack Abramoff. Some posters seem concerned that it might not be the right move for Tester, but I think it was a necessary, bold move. And he’s right. Like Barry Bonds, it’s time for Senator Burns to go.
Maybe Tester’s call isn’t strategic. Ken Camp worries that the Democrats will be better off running against a damaged Burns than another Republican candidate in 2006, and Wulfgar wonders if it is a wise move. The reality is that, barring indictment (and maybe not even then) Burns isn’t getting out of this race–and fears about Rehberg or some other Republican riding in to save the day are probably unfounded.
That said, the value of the press release is that it demonstrates that Tester is going to take the fight to Burns and his corporate masters. There is no way in a close race that Burns and Republicans are going to run a clean race. We need a Democratic candidate who can attack–focused on the issues–and keep Burns on the defensive.
I’m beginning to admire the fight in Jon Tester, and starting to see the core values and committment to the democratic process that make this issue about more than winning an election. Tester seems genuinely concerned about the corruption rotting our system at core–and I’ll take that concern and honesty over clever strategy any day.