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Viewpoint: Rosendale’s vote on Ukraine, unending partisanship a disgrace to Montana

Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale before going on a broadcast on Newsmax on March 3, 2022 (Photo credit via Rep. Matt Rosendale).

With 10 fingers and toes, a head on his shoulders, the ability to speak a complex language and formulate rational thought, it’s appalling that Rep. Matt Rosendale remains alienated from the human race and the plight it encounters during times of war and strife.

Rosendale – who has not condemned Russian President Vladimer Putin once over the last two weeks but has found the time to attack our American Commander in Chief and other members of Congress with partisan soundbites – has suddenly revealed his true colors, just as the world needs unity and leadership to overcome dictatorial aggression.

Thankfully, dozens of foreign nations, world leaders, global citizens and Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called out Russia’s unprovoked and gross aggression. Meanwhile, Rosendale fiddles in his make-believe world, padded by his security, the food on his table, the heat in his house and the millions of dollars in his bank account.

In the six years since our founding, the Missoula Current has not once written an op-ed as a tax-paying business. We prefer to keep our opinions to ourselves and focus instead on objective local journalism and do it the best we can.

But extraordinary times, the mass loss of life and unfettered aggression from Russia requires all of us to speak out and push for bipartisan unity from our leaders. That includes calling out feeble politicians who turn their back on humanity when humanity needs them most; politicians who take joy in driving partisan wedges into the debate just to garner attention, even if it’s unhealthy for society.

In case you missed it – and the news is coming fast these days, we know – Rosendale was one of three members of the U.S. House on Thursday to vote against offering aid to Ukraine. The House includes 435 members, making Rosendale among less than 1% of House members unable to connect the dots on world affairs.

What happens in Europe affects us all, and when a nuclear power with an unstable, dictatorial leader goes on the war march, we’d hope our elected representatives would be there to defend the U.S. and our allied interests. Luckily, all but three of them are. Sadly, one of the three is ours.

In case you think this is a partisan attack, it’s not. Sen. Steve Daines has labeled Putin a “thug” and rightfully so. Gov. Greg Gianforte is working to cut off all Russian assets and investments held by the state, and rightfully so. These are welcome and rational actions, and we hope to see other Montana businesses do what they can to address current events.

But Rosendale, that man from Maryland who claims a net worth “between $7 million and $32 million” and now serves as our only voice in the House, is embarrassing us all. He’s now among a disgraced band of tertiary politicians who have turned their back on America’s collective interest and our concern for our European friends and allies.

Instead, sad as it is, Mr. Rosendale has sided with Russia and the overthrow of Democracy, all to protect some form of self-interest. But we’ll find out what that interest is in time. Those U.S. politicians who hold investments in Russian interests will be disclosed soon enough. We’ll see if Mr. Rosendale is among them.

Boil it down and former President Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave to know that Montana’s representative was standing by with his little hands in his deep pockets, banging the partisan drum while a Russian dictator fires cluster bombs and vacuum bombs at an innocent population killing women, children, cancer victims, hospital patients, beloved pets, grandparents and whoever else. Putin’s troops are laying waste to a proud, independent and Democratic state, and Rosendale has little to say.

Reagan also would be loathed to know that the former Soviet empire – an empire he and other world leaders from both parties spent decades though sanctions, standoffs and other means to defeat, was again on the rise.

Reagan would be sick to know that some politicians, like ours from Montana, was standing by to welcome Putin’s aggression while diverting with abstract talking points and attacking patriotic American leaders with partisan lips and lies.

But whatever. Since his election, we’ve become accustomed to “Maryland Matt” Rosendale’s ill-timed calls to send anyone that doesn’t look like him back to where they came front. “These Afghans must be removed,” he tweeted on Feb. 22. He earlier cited a similar call for Mexican and Central American immigrants to “go back” to where they came from.

Really, we’re simply talking about human dignity and the desire to live in a safe and secure world with food to eat and water to drink, regardless of where you come from or what color your skin is. But while Russia sets fire to nuclear power plants in Ukraine and bombs defenseless apartment complexes, Rosendale seeks out his special interests and hides from the desires of most Montana residents.

While the world stands on the brink of war, Rosendale is laughing at Montana voters, who gave him the voice he doesn’t deserve in Congress.