by Dr. Ed Berry
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told his followers to “burn” Montana Republicans Denny Rehberg, candidate for US Senate, and former Congressman Rick Hill, candidate for governor. Rhodes got his wish.
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In a state where Mitt Romney got 55% of the votes, showing Montana is indeed dominantly Republican, Republican Denny Rehberg lost to Democrat Jon Tester by 3.7% for the US Senate, while Libertarian Dan Cox pulled 6.5%
About 3.8% of the vote for Cox was core Libertarian and the remaining 2.7% resulted from the massive campaign for Cox funded by Democrats.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Steve Bullock beat Republican Rick Hill by 1.6% while the Libertarian took away 3.8% of the votes.
As if Rhodes’ rant against Republicans was not enough, Pastor Chuck Baldwin moved from Florida to Montana to help him. Baldwin arrived claiming he would promote freedom, but all he accomplished with his insane “there is not a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats” was to encourage more conservatives to vote Libertarian or not vote at all.
Many Montana Libertarian voters were tea party folks who have not figured out how to achieve their own political goals. Of the 3 tea parties in Flathead County, Montana, none endorsed our Republican candidates.
After years of talking about freedom, many tea party folks did not vote for freedom. Their John Birch Society was of no help in the elections because its leaders would not endorse Republicans.
It’s time for tea party conservatives to wake up and realize the best way to accomplish their own political goals is to work with the Republican Party.