Rehberg’s Jesus Smokescreen

My inbox today contained the “Congressman Denny Rehberg Newsletter “(Click here for online version).

Yes, I subscribe. I mostly enjoy the way that the embedded polls don’t work if you vote against Denny’s stated positions on things.

But I digress.

There is a flashing police light animation at the top of the page- leading one to believe that the newsletter contains information vital to National Security- or, at the very  least, a “Cops” video.

Unfortunately, neither is true.

What’s the hubbub about? It’s the manufactured story of the impending removal of the Jesus Statue abutting Big Mountain, ostensibly under the umbrella of First Amendment Rights and equally ostensibly, the trampling of the memory of every Veteran who has ever served the United States of America.

Again, neither is true.

This smokescreen is manufactured by the Rehberg campaign to obscure his gaping lack of congressional leadership in the face of the impending reality of Jon Tester’s more impressive record.


I happen to agree with Cowgirl:

At first I had thought maybe Rehberg had seen an opportunity to make inroads among persuadable churchgoing voters.

But I now realize that all of this Jesus stuff is being aimed at Tester for his strength: support from veterans.  The statue was constructed 50 years ago by World War II veterans, as a memorial, an homage to a similar statue that these vets had seen in Italy during their tour of duty.

And Jon Tester’s star is very high among veterans, and has been so ever since he took office in 2007 and immediately made vets a centerpiece of his domestic policy.  He focuses not on statues, but on services–health care for veterans, jobs for veterans, loans for veterans, things that matter. Veterans like Tester, a lot.

Naturally, Montana Republicans (who after two decades of dominance have been virtually eradicated as statewide officeholders, thanks to Schweitzer, Tester and a resurgent Democratic party) believe that the veteran vote is a GOP birthright that can never be taken from them.  And now that Tester has taken it from them, Rehberg had decided to pander to vets. He is has taken up a meaningless issue, trying to seem as if he is fighting a battle for their statue, when in fact the statue never stood any chance of being moved.

Tester also believes the statue should remain unmolested.  But after making his opinion known, he moved on to doing real work on things that matter, because he understands (unlike Rehberg who is a man-child) that if you are in Congress, you should be acting like an adult. (emphasis mine)

And so Tester is in the news this weekend, for example, fighting for a bill that would help decrease unemployment among veterans by offering tax credits to businesses who employ them.  He is fighting for soldiers who fought foreign wars, while the dunce Rehberg is looking for credit for fighting a fictitious War on Jesus. 

Rehberg is turning this into the opening salvo in a non-existent culture war- shooting at the most easily-offended sensibility of Christians- and pretending that it’s “Liberals” holding the gun.

I just hope I’m not the ony person of faith who sees this smokescreen for what it is- shameless (and gutless)  pandering.