Billings Outpost endorses Tester and…Rehberg?

So the Billings Outpost endorsed Tester:

We need a senator who will stand up for a balanced budget, even if that means voting against money that would line the pocket of his constituents. We need a senator who will stand up for the civil liberties that have made this country worth fighting for. We need a senator who resists ill-conceived attacks against foreign nations. Sen. Burns has demonstrated, amply and repeatedly, that he is not that senator.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Outpost also endorsed Rehberg – even after admitting our Representative shares many of the same failings as our junior Senator:

Sadly, much of the criticism of Sen. Burns above could also be applied to U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg. Like the senator, Rep. Rehberg has been willing to sacrifice liberty on the altar of the war on terror. If he has a better plan for handling Iraq than we have heard in the other house of Congress, then we haven’t run across it.

Moreover, he has a dismal record on environmental issues, and he has backed dubious constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage and prohibit flag desecration. This is government at its most intrusive, running roughshod over the rights of states and of citizens to direct their own lives and loyalties.

The Outpost then admits Lindeen is “articulate and focused.” So…um why is the Outpost plugging Rehberg?

Still, we are not quite ready to cast Rep. Rehberg aside, especially since it seems likely that we already will have a freshmen senator in Congress. While we don’t like everything Rep. Rehberg does, we do like the way he handles himself and his office. We watched him grow as a candidate, from an inept race against Max Baucus for the Senate to a well oiled campaign against Nancy Keenan to reach to the House. He is personable and diligent, and he has managed as much as possible to avoid antagonizing groups that disagree with his votes.

I’m a little flabbergasted. The Outpost is endorsing Rehberg because of pork and because he’s a slick campaigner who avoided airing his views in public? You’re rewarding him for that? You’re throwing US soldiers, our public lands, and the Constitution under the bus because Rehberg looks good in a suit???

First, on the pork. In all likelihood, Rehberg will be a member of a bitter and caustic minority party in the House after November. (He better be, I’ve got five bucks riding on it.) He won’t get his appropriations any more! If elected, Monica Lindeen would have more say in the House than Dennis Rehberg will next year.

This endorsement smacks of the Outpost’s attempts to remain “objective.” If you endorse two Democratic candidates, then you’re at risk of being labeled a “liberal” paper. So you endorse Tester, then find some reason to like Rehberg, even if you have to throw the country to the sharks in doing so.

Or maybe the Outpost likes a safer bet. You want to stay on your Representative’s good side, right?

Seriously, if the Outpost couldn’t think of one negative quality for Monica Lindeen, why did it endorse her opponent who it already accused of endangering our civil liberties and contributing to the Iraq War mess? I wish they had the courage of Kansas’ The Johnson County Sun, who boldly claimed “the Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally,” and stood by its principles, appearances be d*mned.

Enough of the mealy-mouthed platitudes towards “balance,” “objectivity,” or futile gestures to a non-existent “center.” Just vote your principles. Do the right thing.

Posted by touchstone

  1. readbetween

    Sometimes, the actual calculation behind a a political action is not something that can be expressed without diminishing its effectiveness.

    Now, figuring that Rehberg is safe and Burns could go down, an endorsement of Tester could carry more influence with fence-sitters if accompanied by something relenting to Denny at the same time. Appearance of objectivity and all.

    Once that practical decision is made, you have to scare up some reasoning to back your decision and that might not have much of its own internal logic. It just has to ring true enough to get someone who’s still undecided to nod along.

  2. D*mn, now that’s a good point.

  3. Rehberg has pretty much managed, as Crisp says, not to antagonize anyone too much while in office. He’ll win with a huge majority. That was always Racicot’s calling card – push a far right agenda, but sound reasonable, make it hard to dislike him. I’d say that Baucus better be worried. Denny is coming a calling.

    $5.00 cash or check – you’ll need ID.

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