Is Congressman Dana Rohrabacher a Bolshevik?

Red Menace?

I’m not a fan of Democratic President Barack Obama, but sometimes I can’t stop myself from bursting out in hysterical laughter practically every time I hear yet another right-wing Republican politician make ridiculous and outlandish accusations that this fellah is some kind of a “revolutionary socialist” in disguise.

According to a blurb posted on The OC Weekly blog last Friday, R. Scott Moxley reports that Dana Rohrabacher, our local Republican Congressman from Huntington Beach, reportedly told a gathering of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce that our current Commander-in-Chief is, without a shadow of a doubt, a “Marxist”.

Although Moxley’s account didn’t mention if Rohrabacher claimed Obama was a “Marxist” of the Groucho variety, a homegrown tendency which originated in Hollywood in the early 1930s, the implication, nevertheless, is perfectly clear: the prez is product of the same godless conspiracy that brought us free love and flouridated water.

Much of this silly hyperbole, of course, is mud slinging Republicans began hurling at Obama in a furtive attempt to derail the so-called “health care reform” bill, which Rohrabacher asserted is a “government takeover” that “will addict the American people to socialism and make us dependent on the federal bureaucracy”.

The ultimate irony, however, is that it is not Obama — but Rohrabacher — whom, a cursory review of his legislative record suggests, has regularly voted to support a “federal bureaucracy” that administers one of the largest systems of “socialized medicine” on the North American continent: the Veterans Health Administration.

According to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office in 2007, the Veterans Health Administration is every right-wing Republican politician’s worst nightmare. It is a huge “federal bureaucracy” based in Washington, D.C.  that oversees a massive nationwide network of “government-run” health care comprised of:

153 medical centers, 882 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics, 207 Vet Centers, 136 nursing homes, 45 residential rehabilitation treatment programs, and 92 comprehensive home-based care programs — all providing medical and related services to eligible veterans. Those facilities provide inpatient hospital care, outpatient care, laboratory services, pharmaceutical dispensing, rehabilitation for a variety of disabilities and conditions, mental health counseling, and custodial care. VHA facilities employ about 200,000 full-time equivalent employees, including over 13,000 physicians and nearly 55,000 nurses.

Last month, Rohrabacher reiterated his support for this “government-run” system by dedicating a newly-built VA facility in Long Beach in honor of a fallen U.S. soldier.“This new 24-bed inpatient/outpatient facility will be the first purpose-built Blind Rehabilitation Center in the National VA Medical Center system, and is located in my district.”

Don’t get me wrong, but I’m quite happy that Rohrabacher supports a “government-run” health care program for millions of veterans. The funny thing, though, is that the Veterans Health Administration has much more in common with Great Britain’s National Health Service than anything Obama has ever pushed for.

So if Rohrabacher considers Obama a “Marxist” for signing a “health care reform” bill that basically hands over a half-trillion dollars in taxpayer subsidies to the private health insurance industry, does that mean Dana is a “Bolshevik” for supporting the closest thing we’ve ever had to “socialized medicine” in this country?

For purposes of disclosure, the author of this missive is the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in California.

About Duane Roberts