Saturday, August 28

America Meets Dana Rohrabacher

If you catch the reruns of tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, you'll finally get to see the genius of the California Rep of the 46th district (Coastal Orange County and the Palos Verdes peninsula of LA County), whom we've talked about often here. Dana Rohrabacher was the guy who introduced the bill that - if passed - would have given hospitals the right to report and kick out unregistered aliens.

Tonight, he called global warming "global baloney." Charming guy.

UPDATE: We moved this up to show you this horrifying little gem from the Orange County Weekly two years ago, courtesy of Socktopi:
Rohrabacher's post-Sept. 11 finger-pointing was a fraud designed to distract attention from his own ongoing meddling in the foreign-policy nightmare. Federal documents reviewed by the Weekly show that Rohrabacher maintained a cordial, behind-the-scenes relationship with Osama bin Laden's associates in the Middle East - even while he mouthed his most severe anti-Taliban comments at public forums across the U.S. There's worse: despite the federal Logan Act ban on unauthorized individual attempts to conduct American foreign policy, the congressman dangerously acted as a self-appointed secretary of state, constructing what foreign-affairs experts call a "dual tract" policy with the Taliban.

A veteran U.S. foreign-policy expert told the Weekly, "If Dana's right-wing fans knew the truth about his actual, working relationship with the Taliban and its representatives in the Middle East and in the United States, they wouldn't be so happy."

Rohrabacher also once lobbied shamelessly for the Taliban. A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported, "The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher" because the congressman believes the "Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S." Later in the article, Rohrabacher claimed that:

- Taliban leaders are "not terrorists or revolutionaries."

- Media reports documenting the Taliban's harsh, radical beliefs were "nonsense."

- The Taliban would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that did not harbor terrorists.

- The Taliban posed no threat to the U.S.

Although he continues to describe himself as an expert on Afghan history and politics, Rohrabacher was obviously dead wrong on all counts.

Rohrbacher with Afghan rebels, 1988
Photo courtesy Congressman Dana Rohrbacher

See the comments for another choice passage. Seems as late as April, 2001, Rohrabacher was still trying to strike deals with the Taliban - long after Clinton put a premium on bin Laden's head for the Cole bombings.

Y'know - if I lived in the OC or the PV peninsula, I'd definitely look into Jim Brandt. Seriously. I mean it. Either that, or move.