#rsrh Senate Democrats struggle to avert their DOOM.

And I wish them joy of the attempt.  The Hill, musing on why beleaguered Montana Senator Jon Tester opposes Obama’s latest attempt to be relevant on job creation:

…those facing tough reelection fights will smell the same danger Tester has: that President Obama’s latest jobs bill is less a real jobs program with any chance of passage than a reelection strategy that could end up pushing Obama’s remaining congressional majority – the Democrat-held Senate – over a cliff.

House Democrats fell into this trap in 2010: putting their careers on the line for Obama initiatives like “cap and trade” that had no chance of becoming law. One term later, Senate Democrats are poised to do the same for a stimulus and tax plan that has no chance of becoming law – but serves up a useful sound bite for a president “running against Congress.”

(Via Instapundit) Frankly, Senate Democrats might as well line up behind Obama’s plan: it’s not like doing otherwise will save them.  Tester, both Nelsons, McCaskill, and Manchin are in serious trouble this cycle.  Heck, Casey, Stabenow, and Brown of Ohio aren’t exactly sitting pretty right now, either?  And that’s not even bringing up the half dozen Democrats who are retiring, thus making most of those seats prime pickup territory.  Under the circumstances, well, show some party loyalty.  Maybe it’ll get you a nice lobbying job in 2013.

Or not.  Either way, to dispute the Hill story title: Tester isn’t the canary.  The canaries were Jimmy Webb of Virginia and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, both of whom have already looked at the map of 2012 and decided that it just wasn’t worth the aggravation…

Moe Lane

Sen. Tester (D, MT) ‘meh’ on public option.

Devastating, in its own way.

It apparently doesn’t excite his interest either way:

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said that a so-called “public option” in the health care bill is optional for him – and said he is not yet committed to backing the plan being put together by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.

Tester said Wednesday he could envision voting for a health care reform bill with or without the option that would let the uninsured buy into a Medicare type government program.

“I don’t need it either way,” Tester told The Associated Press between meetings with constituents. “I could either support it or not support it. It’s all in the design.”

Via @seanhackbarth. This is actually worse news for health care rationing proponents than if Tester was adamantly opposed to public/government option; it demonstrates that not only is he indifferent to what many progressive Democrats consider to be a make-or-break part of the bill… but Tester thinks that he can get away with saying so in public. Which he probably can, at that.

Honestly, the sooner that the other side simply admits that government option is off the table, the better; it’s keeping us from discussing the minimum level of tort reform and cross-state insurance availability needed in the final bill before Republicans will seriously consider voting for it…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Montana town offers to take Gitmo detainees.

Hardin, Montana – a very small, very poor town with a very new, very empty jail, is willing to take on the responsibility of holding Gitmo detainees:

Hardin borrowed $27 million through bonds to build the Two Rivers Regional Correctional Facility in hopes of creating new employment opportunities. The jail was ready for prisoners two years ago, but has yet to house a single prisoner.

People here say politics in the capital of Helena has kept it empty. But the city council last month voted 5-0 to back a proposal to bring Gitmo detainees — some of the most hardened terrorists in the world — to the facility.

Montanan Senators (both of whom are Democrats) wet themselves in response:

The state’s congressional leaders have lined up against the plan. “Housing potential terrorists in Montana is not good for our state,” Max Baucus, the state’s senior Democratic senator, wrote to [economic development director Greg Smith]. “These people stop at nothing. Their primary goal in life, and death, is to destroy America.”

Adds Sen. Jon Tester, “I just don’t think it’s appropriate, that’s all. I don’t think they know what they’re asking for.”

Continue reading Montana town offers to take Gitmo detainees.