Two GOP Turncoats
Last week was an exceptionally ignominious one for Americans who care about the U.S. House of Representatives (granted, an endangered species). Not one but two epic new lows were recorded in that body's tormented history.
First, let's talk about the dingbat.
The area north of the City of Detroit, from the western bank of Lake St. Clair to the town of Southfield on Route 39, and as far north as the Charter Township of Clinton, is Michigan's 12th U.S. Congressional District. Ever since 1933, without interruption and for a jaw-dropping period of eighty-one years, the 12th has been ruled by one man and his son.
A man, a Democrat (but no democrat), called Dingell.
Eighty. One. Years.
Last week, the son became the longest-serving member of the U.S. House in the body's entire history. John D. Dingell, Jr., the son, entered the People's House in 1955 and as of last Friday had spent 20,997 consecutive days there, one day longer than the previous record holder, fellow Democrat Robert C. Bird. Junior's father, John D. Dingell, Senior, died in office one week before Junior threw has hat in the ring, having himself served a formidable 22 years in the House.
Junior was born in 1926, three years before the great stock market crash. He is nearly ninety years old. His father changed his name from Dzieglewicz, for political expediency. Junior first appeared on the floor of the House at the age of six.
The very existence of Junior is an affront to the values espoused by the U.S. Constitution. Junior has ruled the 12th nearly as long as George III, the third-longest reigning monarch in England's long history, held sway. Like his father and Trey, it is pretty clear he won't give up the reins of power until called to meet his maker. He is every bit as much a hereditary despot as was Trey, and his appalling ties to the auto industry largesse would make Trey swoon with envy.
The dingbat's affront to American values, however pales in comparison to the outrage perpetrated upon the legacy of Ronald Reagan by two of his Republican cohorts, namely California's Dana Rohrabacher, and Iowa's Steve King. The pair traveled to Russia last week along with Minnesota's Michele Bachmann and Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen in an effort to learn more about the Boston terrorist attack. In an epic new low for the GOP, it was Cohen who was left standing up for Reagan's values as Rohrabacher and King preached the gospel according to Obama, appeasement and craven capitulation to the Putin dictatorship and Bachmann kept mum.
In an exceptionally nauseating display even by House standards, Rohrabacher and King hooked up with the actor Steven Seagal, a hardcore lover of both Vladimir Putin and the mass-murdering ruler of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. After doing so, Rohrabacher sided with Putin on the jailing of his critics from the Pussy Riot art collective, something that's been condemned by everyone from Amnesty International to Paul McCartney, and stated that he saw the Putin dictatorship as America's brother in arms: "Radical Islam is at our throat in the United States, and is at the throat of the Russian people." On the Boston bomber, King stated: "I suspect he was raised to do what he did." Rohrabacher and King totally abandoned their mission, which was to find out what Russia knew and when about the Tsarnaevs and their terror plotting.
In fact, of course, Russia is America's enemy, not its friend. Russia actively supports Hezb'allah, Syria, and Iran, three of the most important sources of anti-American terrorism on the planet. In fact, Russia withheld critical information about the Tsarnaev brothers from U.S. law enforcement, information which could have been used to prevent the attack.
Days after Rohrabacher and King met with Seagal, the has-been actor announced he was signing on to be the face of the Russian weapons industry. Rabid anti-American Putin lackey Dmitry Rogozin proudly told Seagal: "You're ready to fight American [manufacturers] with your teeth and your intellect, and if Americans are prepared to promote and support you, that says we're learning new ways to work on corporate warfare markets."
The first thing King did when he got back home was to offer a proposal to essentially give the KGB (now known as the FSB) a veto power over the issuance of visas to people from Russia. Cohen pointed out that giving such authority to our enemies might not be a good idea: "Maybe they'd say, yeah, these are bad people. But if they're really bad people, they'd want us to take them. Are they going to tell us, oh this is one you don't want, leave him here?" Stewart Baker, the Department of Homeland Security's first assistant Secretary for Policy under President George W. Bush, stated: "I'd be surprised if the FSB was willing to have a regular working relationship."
Rohrabacher is not just any California Republican, he's a former Reagan speechwriter, so his betrayal is particularly bitter and stunning. And, as Atlantic magazine reported, Rohrabacher's sympathy for Putin is not new, he sided with Russia against Georgia when Russia invaded its tiny neighbor in 2008 and annexed two large chunks of its territory. The head of NATO just condemned Russia for building fences in the territory it illegally annexed from Georgia during its wanton act of aggression and imperialism, which not one major nation on the planet has recognized as valid.
Rohrabacher and King are Republican students in the school taught by extremist yahoos like Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, both of whom also regularly apologize for and indeed seem to admire Putin. They are the antithesis of Reagan Republicans, and reflective of the dismal electoral fortunes that have befallen the party as it has moved further and further from Reagan's example.
Russia routinely buzzes America with nuclear bombers. It routinely ships weapons to Syria that are used to commit acts of genocide against the Syrian people. It supports Iran with even more weapons and even nuclear technology, knowing that it could attack Israel at any time. It opposes U.S. foreign policy throughout the Middle East and in Eastern Europe, where it terrorizes U.S. allies and seeks to revive the Soviet empire. It is ruled by a proud KGB spy who spent his entire life learning how to despise American values and liquidate them. Russian security forces willfully withheld critical information about the Boston bombers from U.S. law enforcement, as if they actually wanted to help the bombing get carried out.
How can two American congressmen possibly support such policies? How can they do anything other than confront them? Looking at Dingell, Rohrabacher and King one can easily see why the public approval rating of the House of Representatives is below 15%. Their behavior is not just reprehensible, it is anti-democratic and indeed anti-American.