The most read posts of 2008 at Intelligent Discontent were about our statewide officials, Denny Rehberg and Max Baucus, for the most part. I can’t believe that the Montana Meth Project didn’t make this list in some way. 🙂
Wow. I suppose it’s ironic that a few days after a little dustup with the owner of the Missoula Independent about quality reporting and the response of blogs, I came across the Independent’s recent obsequious, fawning portrayal of Dennis Rehberg.
No, instead of being ahead of the curve on universal health care, he’s chosen to be ahead of the curve on incredibly irresponsible tax cuts, Medicare giveaways to giant pharmaceuticals, and protecting the economic interests of struggling farmers to make millions every year. While there certainly have been some positive steps from Senator Baucus, like his work on the SCHIP program, no one can seriously believe that he can be at the forefront of ensuring universal access to health care.
Concern about lax environmental standards, concern about trade imbalances, concern about stagnant or even declining wages for American workers who struggle to find manufacturing jobs, concern about granting excessive authority to the executive through fast track trade agreements, concern about U.S. endorsement of inhumane working conditions? All nuts!
We’re certainly not going to restore the Democratic Party to state-wide leadership and respect if we’re afraid to tell people we are Democrats. We are, and always have been, the party of the majority in this country. We’re the party of workers, the elderly, children, the middle class. We’ll never regain that majority if we’re not proud of what our party should represent.
So, do we dismiss this as another harmless rhetorical excess by a politician? No, that would be too easy. It matters when Representative Rehberg believes, or pretends to, that all Americans have access to the excellent care he receives. It leads him to claim that reducing “onerous, duplicative paperwork” is one of the most important health care issues facing the nation, rather the the staggering number of Americans who lack access to reasonably priced medical care.