Am I behind the curve? Is it OK to call Rohrabacher gay?

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Dana Rohrabacher with Taliban Photoshopped with Carmen Miranda headdress

Dana Rohrabacher in native headgear down South-a A-si-an Way with escorts from the Taliban. About 98% of this photo is real. (Update: Correction per Gabriel San Roman -- "PROTO-Taliban.")

(For the original of the photo at right, in which Rep. Rohrabacher is not equipped with a Carmen Miranda headdress — which, you have to admit, he makes work — visit, for example this post, and you might as well read the article there while you’re at it.  And if you don’t like long posts, even if entertaining, just stop reading now.)

I’m returning for a moment to the “other Orange County bloggers calling politicians gay” beat, which last I visited when in my second post as a blogger here I took former Juice Head Art Pedroza to task for a post in which he published a photo of Anaheim School Board member Jordan Brandman with arms akimbo in a apron, under which he asked where Brandman’s girlfriend was, and generally did everything to insinuate that Brandman was gay but post a video of himself pointing at Brandman and flopping a limp wrist while cocking an eyebrow and leering at the camera.

(That  episode led to a falling out between myself and Pedroza and several other Pedrozaphiles.  Art squawked loudly when I Photoshopped his face onto that of Matt Drudge’s mother and deleted some material in exchange for Vern placing my nuclear photo back in the armory.  I didn’t know that one wasn’t supposed to do that to Pedroza.  Live and learn.)

So it is with that experience in mind that I try to process R. Scott Moxley’s article (I’ll leave aside the clever nickname I proposed for him in the interest of comity) about Dana Rohrabacher on Bill Maher’s show in which he offers the following chewy nuggets (emphasis removed and moved around):

  • “As expected, Dana Rohrabacher–Orange County’s senior career politician–embarrassed the county during a Jan. 27 appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and then got into a Twitter fight with a viewer who called him ‘a pathetic old queen.’  ‘I’m happy, not gay,’ Rohrabacher felt the need to declare after the show.”
  • “During his appearance as a panelist with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, ex-Florida Congressman Mark Foley and Reason TV’s Kennedy, Rohrabacher–who married a campaign staffer after being outed as a closet gay man–angrily asserted that Republican hostility to Barack Obama is based largely on their perception that the president has a secret desire: “gut the military.”
  • Rohrabacher also used his HBO appearance to challenge Obama’s commitment to honest government, but he forgot to mention his own history of surrounding himself with con artists and a relentless pedophile who targeted middle school boys for sex and romance. [This is followed by a photo of a dropping-lidded young man with the caption “Rohrabacher took Jeffrey Ray Nielsen (above) from OC to DC, where his aide targeted 12-year-old boys for sex.”]

Uhhhhhhhhh … whut?

All right, I’ll admit that I was out of Orange County (except when visiting relatives) for 25 years or so, so I may have been slow to get some of the news, but — well, not only is this all true, but is this openly discussed?

If it were Pedroza’s writing, I might dismiss it as a fever dream, but Moxley has a serious reputation to uphold, and this took me somewhat aback.  Does everyone know this but me?  If everyone doesn’t know it, is that because some or all of it — and I’m mostly interested here in OC’s seniorest Rep having been outed and in this alleged 12-year-old-boy targeting aide — isn’t true? And if it is true, then — well, uh, um, uhhhhhhhhhh … whut?  Is Orange County politics really some cross between Polanski’s Chinatown, Wisteria Lane, and Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County?

I’m not doing a Google search, but I have seen the “Dana with Taliban” photo published dozens of times and I’ve never noticed anyone tying it to tie it to assertions of certain cultural predilictions towards homosexual pedophilia notoriously predominant among the Pashtun people, who predominate among the Taliban, of which Westerns are warned to be aware.  This guy palled around with possibly pedarastic terrorists and had an aide targeting 12-year-old boys and people don’t bring it up constantly?  They bring up the Taliban connction, sure, but not in this obvious context.  (And speaking of “obvious” — Maher has Dana appearing on a panel with disgraced GOP page-hound former Rep. Mark Foley?  Was this some sort of wink at the audience, if Moxley’s report is true?  Seriously, does Dana even have staffers smart enough to ask who else will be on the panel?  “Oh, David Duke and Noam Chomsky?  Fine, then!  What could go wrong?”)

If it weren’t a journalist/blogger of Moxley’s high reputation (at least where Orange Juice Blog isn’t directly involved) who was lobbing these stinkballs, I’d dismiss them out of hand.   But if they’re true, then can someone please explain to me — how does politics work here? Are we just all that nice to each other?

(If so — I’m surprised.)

I was starting to try to work up a lather at Moxley for treading the same path that Pedroza did, but I got sidetracked.  First, the notion that Brandman has any anti-gay attitudes or significant behaviors that show him (if he is gay, something about which I neither know or care) to be a hypocrite is awfully attenuated.  And, second, if Rohrabacher is a closeted gay man, one might fairly argue that his day job during the advent of the AIDS crisis, during which time President Reagan famously refused to even utter the words “AIDS” or “HIV,” makes it a little bit more relevant to a possible hypocrisy charge:

Rohrabacher served as assistant press secretary to the 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan. From 1981 to 1988, he was one of President Reagan’s senior speech writers. During his tenure at the White House, Rohrabacher played a leading role in the formulation of the Reagan Doctrine. He also helped formulate President Reagan’s Economic Bill of Rights, which was a series of policy proposals that Reagan introduced in a speech at the Jefferson Memorial.

So, I don’t know — maybe in this case it is a story.  All I can say from my personal experience is that while I’ve never much worried about gay men who acknowledge their sexuality openly being around little kids, it’s the closet cases I’ve known that have made me want to warn my nephews and younger male cousins not to “go anywhere secluded with that guy.”  What I’d suggest is that, if Moxley really thinks he has the goods, then report on the story.  This news — if it is news — is either fit to print or it isn’t.  It’s not fit to insinuate — even if you include links.  Dana’s moving to a new district with a lot of new voters — if Moxley really thinks it’s worth their knowing then I guess that now it the time that he should think it should be known.

My interest, though, is on the political side of things.  Dana Rohrabacher is running virtually unopposed so far in the new CA-48 — unless you know Alan Schlar, Robert Johnson, and Bruce Smith to be serious threats to him, and all I know about them is that they’ve taken out papers against him — and he seems to be viewed as invincible.  If this is all common knowledge that people just forgot to tell me when I returned home five years ago — how can that be?

This is just not a garden-variety “ho-hum, the Republican officeholder is secretly gay” issue.  There are ties to pedarasty here — which I suspect still polls poorly down by the coast — that I would expect to have been fashioned into relentless attacks over the years.  (It sure would have happened, I’ll bet, if he were a Democrat.  I’d have known all about it.)  I was reading stories about Barney Frank last year where commenters still harked back to the unfortunate incident prior to his outing himself where his young live-in lover was running an escort service (without Frank’s knowledge) out of their apartment.  (“Bad roommate!”)  Frank, innocent as he was, still hasn’t fully lived it down.  So how has Rohrabacher lived this down to the point where not only no significant Democrats are running, but none of the enormously ambitious Republicans in his district are even talking about taking him out in a primary?

I really don’t understand.  If this were New York or Chicago, there wouldn’t be a single rally where people would fail to hold up signs along the lines of “Dana = bache bazi” (the Pashto phrase for “boy play.”)  But not here, in virulently and viciously homophobic OC?

A bunch of you have lived here much longer than I’ve been back, so — can you explain it to me?  Can Moxley?  Mark Foley?  Anyone?  Please?

Update, 10:00 a.m. 1/30: Miss the show?  Don’t have HBO?  The clip in question is embedded here.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)