Archive for August 25th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Honestly, I am so busy lately that I barely have time for the news. That’s why I’m grateful for Twitter – at the least, I can grab headlines from sources I choose. KPAX reports that Sen. Jon Tester was in town this morning to meet with St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center. There’s a nifty raw video of an interview with Tester, who talks about the real need for reform, the need for setting timelines and how he looks forward to having a bill hit the floor. He exudes confidence.

Thank you, Jon.

Meanwhile, Representative Denny Rehberg – who’s poll numbers are slipping, BTW – will be meeting with officials of Community Medical Center, St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center, and the Watson Children’s Center on Wednesday.

It’d be nice if he’d meet with us regular ole’ Missoulians…..

Rehberg’s been having his meetings around the state (he’s held 14), most recently in Hamilton last Friday.

None in Missoula on health care….

Rehberg’s meeting in Hamilton – like most health care insurance reform meetings anywhere – are ripe with people with strong opinions. That’s fine. People need to be civil.

Apparently, though, Rehberg did little to promote civility, the pinnacle of his lack of promoting control coming when calling out a wheelchair bound woman who was holding a sign saying 83 percent of Americans favor a public option. “Not according to the polls I’ve seen,” he shouted out…prompting some to heckle the woman.

Really? Our Montana Congressman calls out in disagreement – in a public meeting – to a woman holding a sign opposing his viewpoint?

Rehberg then stood and allowed the crowd to heckle.

“Not according to the polls I’ve seen,” he says? Well, soon-not-to-be Congressman Rehberg, what polls do you read? I mean – are you reading Cato Institute polls, or is your answer Palinesque, as in the faux “I’ve read ’em all” sort of read? Because shouting out “Not according to the polls I’ve seen,” in a smart-ass kind of way – and then standing there watching the crowd descend – isn’t really an answer.

Not only that, Rehberg used – for the upteenth time that day – the crowd to answer opposing viewpoints (i.e., pro-reform).

Read that? Rehberg never answered pro-reform questions. He allowed hecklers to do it for him.

Amazing tactic if it works.

Hamilton resident Denelle Pappier details her experience and analysis of Rep. Rehberg’s visit in a guest editorial.

Her editorial mentions the experience of a woman – a Missoula woman, actually – who asked Rep. Rehberg what it was – specifically – that he could support in a health care bill. When that woman posed that question to Rehberg, again a shout came from the audience, calling the woman a ‘nazi sympathizer’, and it wasn’t until loud boos came from the crowd that Rehberg held his hands up quieting the crowd.

Rehberg never answered her question.

Two things strike me about the Ravalli Republic article and Ms. Pappier’s editorial – one being that it’s a bit of a surprise that Rehberg would be met with any opposition in Ravalli County. Ravalli County’s changing – and elected and neighbors alike down there are going to have to start to deal. Hostile public meetings where elected stand by and allow (and promote) uncivil behavior needs to stop.

Secondly, the other thing was the first-hand report of Rehberg’s uncensored departure from the event. It wasn’t the use of a swear word that draws my attention, it was his personal acknowledgment of an event not gone fabulously and his utter contempt for criticism.

Must be a lot of criticism you’re getting there, Representative Rehberg.

Seems Billings health care professionals weren’t too keen on Rehberg’s point of view when he visited with them yesterday.

Ouch!!

Call Rehberg and let him know what you think about health care reform. You can also email him too.

Maybe remind him, too, that here in Montana we expect our elected officials to not only promote civility, but to answer questions when asked.

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