Tester in Town on Healthcare; Meanwhile, Rehberg is Promoting General Incivility

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.


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.

  1. Big Swede

    Let me see, Denny’s had 14 public meetings and Tester and Max have had…….?

    • I’m sorry. I was talking about Rehberg’s lack of civility and his general disrespect for his constituents.

      Perhaps later I will digress and prove you wrong.

      • Big Swede

        Interesting comparison.

        On one hand, one instance of perceived “lack of civility”, on the other our senators hiding from the public.

        If Rehburg’s actions are as direr as you propose, you should celebrate.

        There’s no reason to celebrate cowards.

        • problembear

          you are sputtering bs….and making no sense. where is the old bravado we’ve come to expect swede?…..what’s the matter? ….. starting to see the wave building and rising ever so gently just over the horizon. i would suggest higher ground for the good old boys party…..

          teabagger rudeness is starting to piss off lower and middle america who care A LOT about decent health care. 77% as a matter of fact.

          tick…tick…tick. time is on our side. deal with it.

          • Big Swede

            So if the 77% figure is accurate, then why don’t they come out in public, pb?

          • Because that 23% are carrying semi-automatic weapons to public meetings and shouting “nazi sympathizer” at pro-reformers and being cheered on by elected officials.

          • problembear

            most of them have jobs, kids, and obligations. the silent majority or middle class and working poor concern themselves with day to day survival these days. also, even if they had the time to relax, who in their right mind wants to wade into a room stacked with ignorant hill billy’s reciting rush’s oxycontin laced rhetoric.

            but trust me. if that little cowardly weasel baucus scheduled a meeting here in missoula you would get to meet a good many of them, hill billy parade or not.

            you can see it coming bs. just over the horizon. it is quiet but very big and growing. the answer wave will wash away all this tea bagger silliness.

  2. problembear

    the corporate sponsored and manufactured wave of teabagger protest is receding into the sand and an answer wave of indignation and disgust is starting to build accross the country against this tactic……

    it is slow to build and quiet but this wave is building in homes accross america where working poor and the middle class are tired of dealing with out of control health insurance premiums.

    people are ready for change. i am glad jon recognizes this. i am not surprised that rehberg is still dancing on the far right’s puppet strings. his rude behavior toward the woman brave enough to face that sea of monkey butts will finally enable montana to see just how far wrong the far right is on this. i for one look forward to the next congressional election next year. denny is in for the surprise of his life….

    the party of no is losing moderate and centrist support accross the country by aligning themselves with borderline racists, out and out domestic terrorists who openly call for civil war, and talk show maniacs who spread ignorance and lies to foment this crazy rabble. decent americans want decent health care for all, not hate-spewing rhetoric from a congressman who should know better. this should make good footage for the democratic candidate’s advertisements next year.

    meanwhile the party of crazed old white guys gets a little older…….tick…..tick…..tick.

  3. Lucky

    And, there will be a “nonpartisan” “Freedom Action Rally” in Kalispell at Lawrence Park on Thur. from 6-9 hosted by the Flathead Republican Central Committee.

    The are going to have such famous “nonpartisan” speakers as Dan Cox from Hamilton speaking on property rights. Your favorite, Harris Himes on the responsibility of christians in government and Annie Bukacek on health care reform.

    Their aim is to bring together people “who have been participating in tea-party type rallies”. Boy, I don’t know how you get more nonpartisan than that. Bring a covered dish.

  1. 1 Anti-reformers: Shameless and Disgusting « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] – a similar incident occurred here in Hamilton Montana recently, when Rep. Denny Rehberg allowed the crowd of tea-baggers heckle a wheelchair-bound woman who was […]

  2. 2 “Today, Rehberg has Forgotten 564,000 Montanans.” « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Rehberg’s done nothing to contribute to meaningful discussion on reform – Rehberg has, in fact, been part of the teaparty movement of heckling some of the people who need hea…. […]

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