Thursday, March 29, 2007

CA-46: Is Crazy Dana Starting to Make Sense?

{Thanks to Joe Shaw at Orange Juice for bringing this to my attention. : ) }

Say what you will about Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, but even if you disagree with him more often than not, you have to at least admit he's not afraid to speak his mind.

And in these days of political polarization, it's refreshing to still have an elected leader you can count on to tell you how he sees things and not just parrot party talking points.

Believe it or not, that's what the Huntington Beach Independent has to say about Dana Rohrabacher in their editorial page today. So are they right? Does "Crazy Dana" really make sense now? Follow me after the flip for more...

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

So why exactly is the HB Independent praising Dana Rohrabacher?

Remember last year when most Republicans were treating disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff the way Superman handles kryptonite?

Rohrabacher put his neck out to stick up for his friend, even writing a note to the judge asking for leniency.

Wow, so they actually like the fact that Crazy Dana was singing words of praise for "disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff"? (From Washington Post)

A friend of two decades, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), defended Abramoff: "I think he's been dealt a bad hand and the worst, rawest deal I've ever seen in my life. Words like bribery are being used to describe things that happened every day in Washington and are not bribes."

Oh, wait! The HB Independent also has this to say:

Last week, Rohrabacher reared back and delivered one of his patented one-two verbal punches right straight to the guts of the White House.

It's not what you'd expect in proudly Republican Orange County, where President Bush enjoyed lop-sided support in the past two elections.

But there was Rohrabacher calling on President Bush to fire his attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, and even saying the president ought to be impeached if two recently convicted Border Patrol agents are killed in prison.

We may not always agree with Rohrabacher, but we surely appreciate his independent nature and the courage he shows to speak his mind.

Well, maybe he is doing the right thing here... But is it for the right reason? Rohrabacher's recent interview with Costa Mesa's Daily Pilot should give us some insight here:

If it was just the U.S. attorneys, I would say we shouldn't be calling the president's appointee into question, but the fact is that the heavy-handed approach that the president used toward these U.S. attorneys reflects a pattern of arrogance in this administration, and those of us even in the Republican congress recognized a contempt of congressional oversight by this administration as compared to other administrations. We've seen an abuse of power by the FBI, we've seen an incredibly ruthless prosecution of [Border Patrol agents Ignacio] Ramos and [Jose] Compean. All of those things combined would signal that the president is not well served by having a very good buddy as attorney general rather than someone with a more professional focus. It is the job of the attorney general as the president's legal counsel … to give direction and offer advice to the president and to make sure that what he's doing is both politically and legally advantageous to the president and the president's authority, and the president has not been well served by Gonzales.

The president has every right to fire U.S. attorneys — in fact, maybe he should have done so the first day of his administration, the way Bill Clinton did…. He has every right to throw the book at Border Patrol agents while pardoning drug dealers. The fact that these things are happening would suggest to me that you've got Mr. Gonzales not being forceful enough to advise the president that he's on the wrong track. For all we know, they could be Mr. Gonzales' policies.

OK, so while everyone else is angry at Bush for his Imperial Presidency, Crazy Dana screams about the Border Patrol agents. But yet, he reaches the same conclusion that we do. Does this mean that we should praise Crazy Dana?

Well, I guess it serves the larger purpose of bringing down Bush that Dana Rohrabacher is leading a mutiny in the Republican Party. I wish him the best on that. But will I ever start respecting him? No, especially since he's still willing to give Bush "one last chance" to continue his miserable failure in Iraq. And oh yes, how can I respect someone who refuses to even accept reality on the looming climate change catastrophe?

I'll cheer Dana on as he takes down his own party, but I certainly won't cheer him on when he runs for reelection. He still makes no sense, and West Orange County and South LA County still deserve better.

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