But for Montana’s irrational Libertarians, Montana might have 2 Republican US Senators

by Dr. Ed Berry

If Montana had elected Denny Rehberg in 2012 and 2018, Republicans would control the US Senate by one vote in 2021. (Added March 1, 2021)

Tea party extremists who voted Libertarian rather than Republican in 2012, helped send Democrat Obama supporter Jon Tester to the US Senate until at least 2024.

These same “tea party” folks also helped elect Democrat Steve Bullock as Governor of Montana in 2012.

By their works we shall know them.

The works of these Libertarian voters helped liberals and irrational environmentalists gain control of Montana’s economy, freedom, and education.

In 1969, MIT Professor Jay Forrester wrote a book, Urban Dynamics, about how seemingly correct votes to achieve a goal can have the exact opposite result as intended. His analysis, based upon systems theory which incorporates feedbacks, has proven to be correct in politics. There are many examples of this effect.

One example of irrational decision-making was California’s vote in the 1960s to raise inventory taxes on businesses.

California’s decision-makers thought this would increase California’s income but the affected businesses simply built warehouses in Nevada and began trucking their goods to California as needed. This trucking continues today.

Even California’s eco-freaks haven’t figured out that if they reduced their inventory tax they would increase tax revenues and reduce CO2 emissions and road maintenance.

Montana’s Libertarians, whom Michael Medved correctly calls “Losertarians”, should read Forrester’s book to understand feedback.

The two most notorious pied pipers among Montana’s tea party “purists” are Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Pastor Chuck Baldwin.

Stewart Rhodes singlehandedly caused the election of Montana Democrat Jon Tester to 12 years in the US Senate.

Just before the 2012 election, Stewart Rhodes wrote to his significant number of Oath Keepers and Tea Party follers:

Today, on election day, Denny Rehberg deserves to go down in flames just like Conrad Burns did in 2006. Conrad Burns lost to Tester precisely because he lost the liberty vote in Montana. And Burns lost the liberty vote because he had abandoned the Constitution and violated his oath by voting for unconstitutional laws, such as the Patriot Act.

Rhodes has turned his Oath Keepers into a cult whose actions backfire to help elect Democrats and destroy our freedoms.

In my rebuttal to Pastor Chuck Baldwin’s article “A look at how Republicans and Democrats differ” I wrote:

This subject is at the heart of the true battle for America’s freedom. If a sufficient number of voters adopt the erroneous belief that there is no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats, or between Romney and Obama, then their votes can truly cause the loss of freedom in America.

The best way to preserve America’s freedom is to vote for the candidates who will best promote freedom and who can win. These criteria will almost always lead to the Republican candidate.

The real great awakening that must occur is for freedomists to realize the errors in their hypotheses, reject them, and to join Republicans in voting for America’s best choice for freedom. 

I summarized my position in my article “Suicide Politics does not work as follows:

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. 

I wrote in my article “Don’t play Assassination Politics” the following:

When John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln, he thought he was going to be a hero. He was wrong. He became the most despised man of his era. America rounded up Booth’s accomplices and hung them. Assassination politics gains similar public despise. No one likes an assassinator.

When some 18,000 Libertarian voters, led by the likes of Oath Keepers’ Stewart Rhodes, Liberty Fellowship’s Chuck Baldwin, Libertarian candidate Dan Cox, tea party leader Rick Breckenridge and others whom I will not yet mention, politically assassinated Republican candidates Rick Hill for governor and Denny Rehberg for US Senate in the 2012 Montana election, they trashed the hopes and dreams, the money and work of 220,000 conservative voters who needed only 7600 additional votes to win.

The collateral damage of their political assassination of Hill and Rehberg helped take out Republicans Brad Johnson for Secretary of State, Sandy Welch for Superintendent of Public Schools, and Derek Skees for State Auditor. Had these political assassinators been positive rather than negative, all conservatives could have won.

On the flip side, some liberal Republicans who played assassination politics almost took out Roger Koopman for PSC. It cuts both ways and both sides must stop their assassination politics.

Pat Buchanan supported Mitt Romney:

For if America is to endure as a nation, her peoples are going to need the freedom to live differently and the space to live apart, according to their irreconcilable beliefs. Yet should Barack Obama win, the centralization of power and control will continue beyond the point of no return.

Level-headed Pastor Roger Anghis supported Mitt Romney in his “Elections do have Consequences“:

What will we see in the coming years because of the results of this election? It will be frightening at best.

The re-elected president is a man who was raised to believe that Marxism is the answer to all the world’s problems and America’s capitalistic free market system is the cause of all the world’s problems. He has exhibited total disdain for what has made America the greatest nation the world has ever seen.

President Eisenhower stated: “Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who did not vote.” This election was one of those. So many evangelicals didn’t vote and that helped Obama to win re-election. Will we continue to elect people who have no regard for our Constitution and our Christian values? If we do, America is over.  

Ron Paul, the idol of Stewart Rhodes and Chuck Baldwin, supported Republican Denny Rehberg over incumbent Democrat Tester for US Senate. Ron and Rand Paul are quoted in “Rand Paul joins Ron Paul to support Denny Rehberg” as follows:

America is at a crossroads. That’s why I, along with my father, Ron Paul, have endorsed Denny Rehberg for Senate. Because we know if you help Denny defeat liberal Senator Jon Tester, then Harry Reid and his liberal allies will no longer control the Senate.

Denny Rehberg will vote to audit the fed. Denny Rehberg will help me eliminate wasteful foreign aid spending, repeal Obamacare, and prevent trillion-dollar deficits… I support Denny Rehberg and encourage you to do the same because a vote for anyone other than Denny Rehberg is a vote to keep Harry Reid and his liberal allies in control of the US Senate.

If Stewart Rhodes and Chuck Baldwin had the common sense of their idol, Ron Paul, they too would have supported Denny Rehberg for US Senate.

By contrast, Chuck Baldwin wrote:

But the problem is a Romney-Ryan administration will do nothing to change the downward spiral of the nation. They will continue the fanatical interventionist, preemptive war policies of Obama and Bush. They will also continue to build and construct the Orwellian domestic Police State–and as Sonny and Cher sang, “The Beat Goes On.”

And Stewart Rhodes wrote:

Anyone who thinks we have time to play politics for another election cycle, or two or three, is delusional. And even if that were not so, folding and supporting the “lesser of two evils” is still supporting evil. Romney is an oath breaking traitor. You vote for him, or support him, you become one too.

Rhodes and Baldwin called Ron Paul an “oath breaker” and a supporter of the Orwellian domestic Police State. This is fanatical.

I concluded my “Don’t play Assassination Politics” article as follows:

I am going to get a little Biblical here to help make my point.

I in no way profess to be a Bible scholar. (I am a physicist and what do physicists know about the Bible?) Yet, this message is well-known, very clear, and powerful. From Answers.com: Matthew 7:15-20:

  • Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
  • Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
  • Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
  • A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
  • Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
  • Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Chuck Baldwin and Stewart Rhodes are telling their followers to not vote for Romney and Republicans. Their preaching will cause the exact opposite of what they claim. Their fruits, therefore, are evil.


  1. Rehberg may have talked about reducing the national debt but voted to increase it several times. Is this what you are supporting? Rehberg did get endorsements from Romney, McCain, Ron and Rand Paul and Jan Brewer but in an election that was a referendum on Obama Rehberg could only increase his vote totals from 2010 by about 355 votes. Even though Rehberg was endorsed by Mit Romney, including TV and radio ads but 49947 Romney voters didn't vote for Rehberg. So why blame Libertarians for Rehberg faults of supporting more spending and more government. We have enough moderates in Congress anyway.

  2. Ed:
    "By their fruits you shall know them." Rehberg was in office for years. Voted for Republican Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefits–which was heavily lobbied for by the pharmaceutical industry). This new entitlement placed A TRILLION DOLLARS OF LIABILITY on the shoulders of U.S. taxpayers. Voted for the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance, etc. Never introduced any bills to cut spending. Had Rehberg won the Senate seat his votes would've been quite similar. Daines is the same way. His site says "More Jobs, Less Government," but Daines recently voted for the pork-filled Farm Bill, etc. Daines has NEVER voted to cut spending in 2 years, as far as I know.

  3. @1 David, Did you forget that Ron Paul and Sheriff Mack also endorsed Denny Rehberg? Ron Paul and Sheriff Mack have something Libertarian voters do not have: wisdom.

    @2 Freedom Lover, you error in logic by criticizing Rehberg in isolation from Tester. The only thing that mattered in the final election was the comparison between Rehberg and Tester. In your terms, Rehberg was the "lesser of two evils." If you are a wise Freedom Lover you would have voted for Rehberg.

    You can debate the "lesser of two evils" argument with Tim Baldwin on his post http://polymontana.com/lesser-evil-principle-guid

  4. So Ed with all those big name endorsements for Rehberg, who have wisdom and Rehberg still couldn't get those extra 49,000 Romney votes. Voters knew Rehberg's record and still couldn't vote for him despite those endorsements. Rehberg wanted to change things in the Senate, but after 12 years in the House what had he done. Not much. You mention Sandy Welch, but she run against a good liberty candidate in Jerry O'Neil in the 2010 primary, that I think cost her some votes. And if all those Romney voters would have supported Skees, Fellows, and Welch we would have those people elected right now as well.

  5. @4 David, let's assume some 90 percent of Montana Libertarian voters also supported Ron Paul and some large percent think highly of Sheriff Mack. (PS: I supported Ron Paul in the primary election and I think highly of Sheriff Mack.)

    Why did these Ron Paul supporters, and possible Sheriff Mack supporters, not follow Ron Paul's and Sheriff Mack's recommendation to vote for Rehberg?

    The issue is not about Rehberg getting votes. The issue is about Libertarian voters who did not make a wise choice and ended up moving the freedom ball closer to the slavery goal post.

    The conclusion is we must always support the "lesser of two evils" (among candidates who can win) in the final election if we want to move the ball towards the freedom goal post.

    You are right in your last sentence. All conservatives should have supported Hill, Skees, Fellows, and Welch in the final election and we all are paying the price because they did not do so.

  6. Just in from the Gun Owners of America:

    Rand Paul's Pro-gun Amendment to Repeal Gun Bans in Post Offices Initially Failed but a relentless Paul achieves minor improvements. In a surprise ambush, Democrats on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously voted to defeat a Rand Paul amendment to allow guns in post offices.

    But Senator Paul was relentless in trying to get his language adopted. And as a result, a minor (anemic) improvement was later added as a sop to his persistence.

    So, here’s what happened on Thursday: The committee initially defeated the Paul language that would have completely repealed the gun ban in Post Offices.

    Among those who voted anti-gun (by continuing the postal gun ban) were three endangered Democrats running for reelection in pro-gun states:
    * Mark Pryor (D-AR)
    * Mark Begich (D-AK)
    * Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

    In addition, two other notable Democrats voted anti-gun. These Democrats had just won reelection by pretending to be pro-gun, but they joined with the anti-gun chorus anyway. They were:
    * Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
    * Jon Tester (D-MT)

    Senator Paul’s guns-in-Post-Offices amendment was defeated (9-6) on a party line vote.

    To his credit, Senator Paul didn’t want to settle for a mere study and kept pushing to get his amendment passed. This later resulted in anemic language that allows some concealed carry — but only in postal parking lots and only for some gun owners.

    That language passed unanimously and is now included in S. 1486.

    That several Democrats on the committee were wary of allowing guns inside the actual post office buildings shows just how out-of-step they are with the American people — and the law-enforcement community.

    In a nationwide poll of police officers by http://PoliceOne.com last year, over 90 percent surveyed “support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians,” and 80 percent of officers believed that legally-armed citizens would have “reduced the number of casualties in recent mass shootings.”

    Senator Paul should be commended for his relentless push to get a concealed carry amendment passed — even if the language that finally passed was anemic in nature.

    The five Democrats who swung the vote to kill the initial pro-gun language (to allow guns in Post Office buildings) were Senators Pryor, Begich, Landrieu, Heitkamp and Tester.

    How many more unarmed people will have to die in post offices because these five Democrats lied to their constituents when they said they supported the Second Amendment?

    Ed's comment:

    Some people claim there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. Here's a big difference that proves them wrong.

    Those who voted against Rehberg in the last election help re-elect anti-gun Senator Testor and we are now stuck with him for a full 6 years.

    "Thanks", Libertarian voters! And a special "thanks" to Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers for encouraging your followers to help elect Tester. How does helping the anti-second-amendment establishment keep your oath?

  7. I agree that Tester lied regarding support for gun rights. But Rehberg did the same thing, year after year. Rehberg never introduced a single bill to cut federal gun control laws. Today if an American purchases a handgun out of his home state (during a vacation or whatever) and takes it back home, he is subject to 10 years in federal prison. There are American farmers and ranchers who have gone to federal prison just for possessing guns on their ranch 20 years after being convicted of a felony. One guy in Pennsylvania took his aging legally-blind father hunting on their family farm and was prosecuted by the feds. Rehberg and the other Republicans in Congress have done NOTHING to eliminate such stupid gun control laws. Rehberg had many years to write and introduce such a bill; he never did.

  8. Ed, you keep bringing up Ron Paul's and Sheriff Mack's supposed endorsements of Rehberg in 2012. Although I respect Paul and Mack, I don't blindly follow their endorsements–especially regarding Montana politics, of which they may be unknowledgeable. I do my own research of the candidate. Rehberg was no Ron Paul; he voted to place a trillion dollars of liability on the taxpayers (and probably more), and voted to spy on, terrorize and humiliate the American people time and again. At least Tester never voted for the Patriot Act.

  9. @7, Freedom Lover, now that you are comparing Rehberg with Tester, I agree with your logic. My position is we should not judge a candidate in isolation but by comparison to his/her competition.

    If you wish to make a case that Tester was a "lesser evil" than Rehberg, I will support your effort to do so.

    @8, you have made your point well.

  10. @10 Dear TeaParty 2007, real tea party folks, like the originals, choose a course of action to achieve their objectives. If you don't back and promote the best candidates for your goals then you are irrelevant to the tea party mission.

    If you can't figure out that Tester, not Rehberg, would promote Obamacare and gun control, or that Bullock, not Hill, would veto over 70 conservative bills, then you are not helping us achieve our goals.

    I repeat my opening paragraphs:

    It is past time for Libertarian voters to realize the damage they have done to our freedom and to change their voting strategy.

    As we all know, the tea party extremists who voted Libertarian rather than Republican in 2012, helped send Democrat Obamacare supporter Jon Tester to the US Senate for 6 more years.

    These same “tea party” folks also helped elect Democrat Steve Bullock as Governor of the great State of Montana.

    “By their works we shall know them.” And the works of these Libertarian voters helped government-control-freak liberals and irrational environmentalists gain control of Montana’s economy, freedom, and education.

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