The Conspiracy Congressman
This week, TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg R-MT, demanded that the U.S. Government halt a plot to spy on farmers with drone planes–the same kind of drones used to kill terrorists overseas.
The Washington Post immediately reported that no such plot exists, but the incident has helped shed light on one of Rehberg’s favorite tactics of deception. This isn’t the first time that Rehberg has tried to act upon or helped spread conspiracy theories. He’s deployed an array of conspiratorial claims to deceive his base voters in hopes they won’t remember that Rehberg is responsible for having the most pork spending earmarks in the entire U.S. House of Representatives. (Either that or he really believes this stuff. Either way, it shows he’s not fit for duty in the U.S. Senate.)
The Canadian Hippy Conspiracy:
Rehberg has introduced legislation, H.R. 1505, based on the conspiracy theory that we need to give the Department of Homeland Security control of all Montana’s public lands within 100 miles of the Canadian border to stop drug trafficking, illegal immigration and hippies from coming in from Canada.
The Spilled Milk Conspiracy:
As Mother Jones reported, then the Wall Street Journal published an editorial decrying a new EPA rule that the paper falsely claimed would require milk spills to be treated like oil slicks, conspiracy theorists began ranting about how the agency was “crying over spilled milk.” No matter that EPA explicitly exempted milk tankers from the spill cleanup rules.
Rehberg immediately began spreading the conspiracy, playing up the milk-spill myth in a speech back home: “If anyone wants a ‘first responder’ for spilled milk, just adopt a cat!”
The Conspiracy to Regulate Cow Farts and Bad Breath:
When the EPA began modernizing greenhouse gas regulations, Mother Jones reported, tea partiers like Rehberg:
“Every living person is now a source of pollution by exhaling CO2 and water vapor,” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) said in a January 2010 speech on the House floor. “Every breath you take, every word you utter is now subject to EPA regulations,” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) said in aspeech on the House floor. “The American people need room to breathe.”
In reality land, the EPA has issued a rule specifically limiting the emission regulations to the largest sources in the country—meaning a person would have to emit quite a bit of hot air to qualify. Not that we’re writing off that possibility in Rehberg’s case.
Rehberg’s actions are often so ridiculous that the only people he can find to come to his defense are other crackpots. Last year, Rehberg’s credibility took a serious hit when the Billings Gazette pointed out that Rehberg obstructionism could downgrade America’s credit rating, throw Wall Street into turmoil, and another recession in a world economy that runs on the strength of the U.S. dollar.
The only people Rehberg could find to cite in his defense were the Moonies and their church-owned newspaper. The Washington Times was founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon Moonies and has been kept on a close leash by the Moonie staff.