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Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 04, 2016

 
Another strongman fanboy under consideration

by digby















I wish I could say this surprises me:
Mitt Romney's chances for being secretary of State in a Trump administration are fading amid a deep division among President-elect Trump's team, and that is giving rise to dark horse candidate Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a foreign policy tough guy who once arm wrestled Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to insiders.

The Trump cabinet executive committee is also eyeing long-time Republican diplomat John Bolton as deputy secretary of State, though there are some who prefer him in the top job.
I wrote this piece back in July for Salon:
Dana and Donald: The California rep would be a match made in twisted-politics heaven for Trump 
I mentioned his old connections to the Taliban which made him very angry and forced the editors to publish his complaint (which was not particularly convincing.)

Interestingly, he did not object to the part about him being a Vlad fanboy:
After reading this fascinating story by Maria Danilova of the AP over the week-end you might wonder why one of [his VP considerations] isn’t Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California. They would seem to be a perfect match. Rohrabacher is a quirky individualist who, like Trump, marches to his own drummer. He’s been in Washington since the 80’s and knows his way around congress which is something Trump has said he wants in a VP. And they share an admiration for certain big strong manly man:

A former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, the 14-term Rohrabacher takes pride in having worked to weaken “our major global enemy at that time, the Soviet Union.” A large photo in his office shows him in the hills of Afghanistan in the 1980s, where, he told The Associated Press in an interview, he launched rockets at Soviet positions as a volunteer fighter.

Rohrabacher’s view changed when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and Russia emerged as a different country. Although he acknowledges that opposition leaders face repression in Russia, he also says the country allows religious freedom and is generally more open than its predecessor.

In the mid-1990s, Rohrabacher got a taste of Russian politics, he says, when he welcomed a delegation of young Russian political leaders, which included Putin, who then worked for the mayor of St. Petersburg. After a friendly football match, the group went to a nearby pub and started arguing over whether the Soviet Union lost the Cold War. The debate turned into an arm-wrestling match between Putin and Rohrabacher, which Putin won.

“I ended up with Putin, and he beat me just like that,” Rohrabacher said, snapping his fingers.

One suspects that Trump would never be so humble. But his appreciation for Putin runs along the same lines. Rohrabacher is a major defender of Putin and the Russian government in the congress and a lot of people think it’s a little bit obsessive, particularly his willingness to take the part of some Russian officials on whom the US government has imposed sanctions for the jailhouse death of a Russian whistleblower. Rohrabacher intervened, meeting with these officials privately and with officers of another Russian firm associated with the crime under investigation in the US. He then tried to get the House Foreign Affairs Committee to drop this case from a bill imposing sanctions on human rights abusers from other countries, even trying to implicate the victims of the crimes as the real perpetrators despite all evidence to the contrary.
It's such a natural you have to wonder why he wasn't named earlier. With Bolton as number two, they would be quite the formidable pair of ugly Americans wreaking havoc all over the world. Winning!

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