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Gazette opinion: We'd prefer not to have a 'kooky' member of Congress

Gazette opinion: We'd prefer not to have a 'kooky' member of Congress

Late in July, the U.S. House of Representatives took up a bipartisan measure to speed the processing of special visas for Afghan interpreters and others who worked for U.S. or coalition forces during two decades of war in Afghanistan.

The program desperately needs the speed-up; Taliban forces are doing their best after the U.S. withdrawal this year to hunt down and kill those who helped American forces.

"It is our moral obligation to honor the promises we made to our Afghan allies," said Republican U.S. Rep Peter Meijer of Michigan, and lawmakers of both parties overwhelmingly agreed.

The legislation passed the House, 407-16.

Guess who was among the dissenting 16? That's right — Montana's Matt Rosendale.

It should be stressed that this is not some general-purpose bill to increase immigration. It is a bill to save the lives of Afghans who helped to save our troops' lives, placing themselves in extreme danger by doing so.

Rosendale questioned whether the candidates for visas had been adequately vetted. Never mind that they had all been vetted extensively before being used as interpreters or assistants to U.S. troops.

It is another in a series of nearly incomprehensible votes by Rosendale. He has voted against making Juneteenth a holiday, voted against honoring Capitol Police who defended him and other Congress members on Jan. 6, and voted against removing busts and statues of slavery and segregation advocates from the Capitol. 

Is this what we want, Montana? Do we want our sole representative to be one of 16 extremist zealots in the people's House? Someone Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has labeled "kooky"?

We choose to believe that the Montana mainstream is not out on the far right edge of the universe. We choose to believe the state would rather have a conservative, respected member of Congress likely to have a legislative impact and the ability to sway other members for the good of the state and the nation.

We choose to believe that Montanans would not prefer "kooky."

We urge anyone who feels that way to contact Rosendale and let him know in plain language that his extreme positions are not in line with the wishes of the state he represents.


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