There is this thing Dana Rohrabacher does, and he’s ridiculously good at it. I’m going to use a hypothetical example to illustrate …
Reporter Jim: “Congressman, some people have said you’re blindly loyal to Donald Trump. Is there any truth to that?”
Rohrabacher: “You know, Jim, I’ve been doing this a long time. And it will never cease to amaze me, the depth liberals will go to discredit me. But here’s the thing—while I’m working hard for the good people of Orange County, they’re always off on these wild goose chases. And people are smart enough to recognize what it is. Crazy far-left lunacy.”
It’s Rohrabacher: 101. He uses the reporter’s first name to show, hey, I’m on your level. We’re two dudes talking. He avoids answering the question. He deftly feeds his loyal followers anti-liberal red meat, while also reminding the general populous that, look, I’m just a guy trying to get things done, while the opposition is a bunch of nuts.
It sucks. But, again, he’s really, really, really, really good at it.
I bring this up because earlier today Rohrabacher was in the news again, this time for having met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
This, from the Los Angeles Times …
Now, any human being with a head should be horrified by the above information. It doesn’t matter if you’re right, if you’re left, if you’re center—why in God’s name is Dana Rohrabacher, a California congressman, meeting with Julian Assange? And why, oh why, is he so desperate to clear Russia’s reputation—even after multiple United States intelligence agencies have confirmed the very thing (election tampering) Assange is denying?
It’s craziness. Fruit Loop craziness. And were I running against Rohrabacher, I’d want to use it 1,000 times over.
But … here’s the thing. Thanks to the Donald Trump-influenced numbing of our souls and brains, stuff like this (groundbreaking material that must horrify us all) no longer packs the punch of yesteryear. Assange? Meh, old news. Russian tampering? Yawn. I mean, sure, it’s a fine rallying point for the base. But will it sway Republicans to vote Democratic? Probably not.
Here, however, is what might.
We, the residents of Orange County’s 48th district, did not elect Dana Rohrabacher so he can be the Russian spokesperson. We didn’t elect Dana Rohrabacher to meet with Julian Assange. We did not elect him to deal with Turkey, to square off against the Ukraine, to take a trip to South Africa.
No, congressmen and congresswomen exist because we, the people of their districts, have specific needs—and they are our spokespeople. If I don’t like the way traffic flows through Main Street, I should be able to call Rohrabacher and get help. If I think the coyote population is out of control, I should be able to call Rohrabacher and get help. If I’m worried about common core, about the new mall, about social security impacting my family … on and on and on and on. I need to be able to reach out to my congressman and have my concerns eased.
At one time, perhaps that’s who Dana Rohrabacher was. But not now. The man is horrible at returning calls and e-mails. He rarely makes himself accessible to constituents. He basks in the national while ignoring the local.
It’s his 2018 Achilles heel, and it’s an enormous one.
So, were I running against him, I wouldn’t campaign on the specifics of Russia.
No. I’d campaign on the question: “Why, when my property taxes are through the roof, is my congressman visiting the Ecuadorean Embassy in London?