Why is Denny Rehberg running as a Democrat?

There’s a lot to catch up on – I’m running a few days behind the news. Specifically, I haven’t commented on the Montana House race’s dueling guest editorials in the Billings Gazette written by Democrat Monica Lindeen and Republican incumbent Denny Rehberg, in which each candidate listed issues they saw as important for this upcoming election.

Lindeen’s issues were the expected slate of Democratic stances: support the troops with full benefits, equipment, and an Iraq plan; invest in alternative energies; reduce the federal deficit; and preserve Montana’s public lands.

These are the issues important to Montana, and issues that the Democratic-controlled legislature have done well with during its tenure under Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer. These are promises, not political spin.

Then we look at Rehberg’s issues: invest in alternative energy; improve access to health care; protect children from drugs; win the “war on terror”; and provide quality education.

Um. With the exception of the “terror” thing, aren’t these the planks of the Democrats’ party platform? Was Ralph Nader right when he claimed there was no difference between the two parties? Is Denny Rehberg just a Democrat who has a skewed view of American history and current events (more on that later)?

Hardly. When Rehberg claims he “helped craft and pass a comprehensive national energy policy,” he’s probably referring to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, in which Congress – and Denny Rehberg – gave the big oil companies a bunch of tax breaks and subsidies. So much for alternative energy.

While Rehberg claims the Small Business Health Fairness Act would allow for more coverage and cheaper health care, it appears we have the House version of Sen. Mike Enzi’s (WY) insurance bill, which would actually free insurance companies from state regulation, dropping people off insurance rolls, and increasing coverage costs for most small businesses. In other words, this dog puts $$ into the pockets of big-business insurance companies.

No comment on the meth issue. Not exactly controversial. But it is worthwhile to point out that Rehberg seems to be grabbing a little credit for the state’s meth program, which is independently funded.

And education? He is rated 25% by the National Education Association on education issues. (That’s a failing grade for the educationally impaired.) Apparently Rehberg’s efforts have been saved for trying to inject Christian prayer into schools.

Rehberg says he’s for all these things, but his actions show otherwise. (Matthew 7:20, “Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Amen.) The question is, of course, why do Republicans feel the need to run as Democrats during the election? Rehberg isn’t the only one. Burns is doing it, too. Pogie:

It seems that Senator Burns is having a real dilemma in this campaign. He seems so ashamed of his real record that he feels the need to manufacture one. This latest identity, as a defender of the environment, shares one thing with the Republicans’ energy policy and that old high school plan: they all rely on a lot of bullsh*t.

Come on, be honest! Tell us what you really believe in! I want to know how Rehberg can claim giving subsidies to big oil helps alternative energy, or how freeing insurance from regulations helps lower costs. Because right now, Rehberg’s stances can be interpreted one of two ways:

–He believes giving subsidies or breaks to corporate America will somehow lead to solutions, but he doesn’t trust us to understand his thinking.

–He’s a corrupt, well-fed Congressman more interested in his next donation or golf trip than in the livelihood and interests of his constituency.

Which is it?

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  1. You know the difference between democrats and republicans. Rhetoric and talking points versus belief and action.

  1. 1 4&20 blackbirds » Blog Archive » Irritating Touchstone: Conrad Burns and his Gazette guest editorial

    […] Why is Denny Rehberg running as a Democrat? […]

  2. 2 4&20 blackbirds » Blog Archive » Dick Morris advises Republicans to run as Democrats

    […] Well…at least one Representative is taking Morris’ advice, at least on a rhetorical front… […]

  3. 3 4&20 blackbirds » Blog Archive » Rehberg makes taxpayers foot bill for fanciful campaign literature

    […] Not only are these inaccurate descriptions (at best) of Rehberg’s actual positions, they fit in with his campaign strategy of running as a Democrat. In that post, I show his actual record on issues he trumpets, like the environment, health care, education. In an earlier post, I wrote about how he voted against funding a successful program combating online child porn. […]

  4. 4 Rehberg bills us for his energy policy « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] I’m growing tired of rushing to correct Denny Rehberg’s every public statement. It’s tiresome. It’s bothersome. Why can’t Montana’s Representative just say what issues and policies he really supports instead of masking his voting history under a load of liberal rhetoric? Like his campaign flier, paid for by my tax dollars. Or his July guest editorial in the Gazette. […]

  5. 5 The Billings Gazette avoids real issues in its endorsement of Dennis Rehberg « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] But what apparently put Rehberg over the top for the Gazette was Rehberg’s commitment to alternative energy and high-tech business, exemplified by his tour of the state in a biodiesel-fueled bus. Okay, I’m joking about the bus, but the reasons for which they picked Rehberg are actually the platform planks of Lindeen’s campaign. This election I’ve watched Rehberg distance himself from his record and paint himself as a Democrat – and apparently it worked on the Gazette. […]




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