Dana Rohrabacher – Fighting for Freedom

FILE - In this July 17, 2007 file photo, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Judiciary hearing on the prosecution of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, two former Border Patrol agents imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler in the backside as he sprinted toward Mexico. Rohrabacher's suggestion Friday, June 10, 2011, during a trip to Baghdad, that Iraq repay the United States for the money it has spent in the country has stirred anger, with an Iraqi lawmaker ridiculing the idea as "stupid" and others saying Iraqis should be compensated for the hardships they've endured. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

There is a sign over the Capitol Hill office door of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher that reads “Fighting for freedom and having fun.” He’s been doing both for over 50 years since I first met him in 1966 when we were both members of Youth For Reagan and Young Americans for Freedom.

The 1960s were a challenging time to be a conservative on campus. But whether on his own school of Cal State University Long Beach or on dozens of other campuses in his position as Vice Chairman of California YAF, Dana was always on the front lines fighting the SDS and their pro-Communist allies – but also having fun doing so.

Other than the obvious political ones, the main distinguishing difference between us and our left-wing opponents was that we had senses of humor, approaching our battles with an iron fist but also with a smile. This particularly un-nerved the left, which didn’t then and doesn’t now have any tolerance for humor.

As befits a California conservative who cut his political teeth in the mid 1960s, Dana has always been a Reaganite. Like most of us he worked in the ’66 and ’70 gubernatorial campaigns as well as the ’76 presidential campaign. He was hired by the 1980 presidential campaign as a speech writer, giving Dana a dream job, spending many hours with Reagan not only working on speeches but also getting to know each other.

Reagan brought Dana into the White House as a speech writer, giving him the opportunity to be part of shaping some great words. While he did not write the famous “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall” line, he was among those on staff who strenuously objected when the jello-spines in the State Department made several attempts to remove the line for fear of “offending” the Soviets. Happily, Reagan had the last word and insisted the line be kept in. The rest, as they say, is history.

YAF instilled in all of its members a clear-eyed understanding of the evils and barbarity of Communism. Working in the Reagan White House gave Dana a unique perch from which to put those beliefs into words for the “Great Communicator,” but his efforts against Communism were far from over when he left the White House.

An open congressional district in Orange County in 1988 launched Dana into his next career. Winning a crowded GOP primary – with a huge assist from Colonel Ollie North – Dana easily won in November and headed back to Washington with a slight detour – Afghanistan.

In the interim between his election and swearing-in, Dana put his beliefs into direct action. He snuck into Afghanistan with a group of anti-Communists to help the pro-Western “Mujahedeen” – the Northern Alliance – fight the Soviet invaders occupying their country. The advice, guidance and other assistance this group provided helped make the Northern Alliance a lethally effective foe of the Communist occupiers.

His career in Congress has been a logical continuation of his earlier life – fighting for freedom, leading battles for the conservative philosophy, standing up to the Left and having fun doing all of these things. These traits have long put him near the top of media and liberal “enemies” lists, and this year the goons on the left, aided by a small cabal of conservative useful idiots, think their time to extract vengeance has finally arrived.

The George Soros-funded “resistance” has targeted Dana for defeat – a fact he takes as a great compliment. The swamp’s opposition to Dana comes as no surprise. What is sad – and scandalous – is the fact that a few Republicans, putting personal ambition above what’s good for the country and the conservative movement, have joined the left-wing mob in trying to defeat Dana.

The leader of the useful idiot brigade of Republicans helping George Soros achieve his goal is a former legislator, former lobbyist and full-time self-promoter named Scott Baugh. His legislative career was thoroughly undistinguished, not surprising for someone who thinks the only thing worth fighting for is personal aggrandizement. While in Sacramento he did however find time to support taxpayer benefits for illegal aliens, voting to give them in-state college tuition.

He then decided to cash in as a special interest lobbyist, joining a firm dominated by liberal Democrats, including two former Assembly Speakers. Not surprisingly, Baugh fit right in. Also un-surprising is that his mud-slinging campaign against Rohrabacher is funded by “Never Trump” bitter-enders still opposing the president. Taking his marching orders from the Left, Baugh even refused to be photographed with President Trump on his recent trip to California.

His lack of a political compass is accompanied by a lack of veracity. After toying with a run against Rohrabacher two years ago he withdrew, promising that he would not run against Dana in the future.  He agreed to refund donors’ contributions – apparently another broken promise.

It is widely assumed that this is Dana’s last campaign, so why can’t Baugh wait another two years? Because of a lady named Michelle Park Steel.

Michelle is an Orange County Supervisor, leader of the growing push back against the “sanctuary” state and city nonsense and hugely popular in the county. Korean by birth she is highly thought of in the rapidly growing Asian communities in the county. Before being a Supervisor she was on the California Board of Equalization. On both boards she compiled a spotless conservative voting record.

This attractive, articulate, conservative lady would vaporize Baugh in a head-to-head primary contest in 2018. That is why Baugh joined the left-wing mob attacking Dana and reneged on his promise not to run against him this year. With Baugh it is clear that when principle conflicts with personal ambition, principle always loses. We have enough of those types in the swamp already.

The American Conservative Union gives Dana a lifetime voting score of 95%. He has a lifetime “A” from the NRA. He has always walked the walk as well as talked the talk – fighting for freedom and having fun. He has earned the right to retire on his own timetable.

Dana Rohrabacher’s career has been spent promoting “duty, honor, country.”  Scott Baugh’s has been spent promoting “me, me, me.” Orange County Republicans have a clear choice – a truth-challenged opportunist making common cause with the George Soros “resistance” or a lifelong fighter for their beliefs. The choice is a simple one.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.