Some Ros-Lehtinen Hang-Ups

What's more embarrassing for a congresswoman, getting caught in a radio prank or erroneously hanging up on the president of the United States?

Miami Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen is probably wondering that about right now. Not only did she hang up on Barack Obama, thinking it was a radio hoax, but then she did the same thing to Rahm Emanuel, who called to explain her mistake. The news, which is leading the most-viewed page in the world today (Yahoo home page), was broken by the Miami Herald.

It's an amusing little anecdote, but it's what Ros-Lehtinen and Obama spoke about (eventually) that gets my goat: "Cuba and Israel, my two biggest issues," Ros-Lehtinen told reporter Cammy Clark.

Not to sound jingoistic, but how about America, Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen? How about the economy? Health care? You know, things that truly affect the majority of your constituents daily lives?  

Okay, maybe that's not fair. She is, after all, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But that alone is frightening. Ros-Lehtinen's political career has been made on pandering to powerful Cuban and Jewish interests -- and she has supported some of the most boneheaded, backward-thinking policies on both the island and the Middle East because of it. Iraq War? Huge supporter. Why? Here's a quote:

"Whether or not there is a direct link to the World Trade Center does not mean that Iraq is not meritorious of shedding blood. The common link is that they hate America."

Iraq was "meritorious of shedding blood" -- a wonderful euphemism for invading another country without justification -- because it hates America? Yeah, she said that.

I repeat: This woman is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

How about Cuba? Well, the Havana-born Ros-Lehtinen has been a stalwart for the failed U.S. policy. She's one of those folks so consumed by Castro that she has been, well, consumed by Castro. Here's a special quote from her: "I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people."

After the quote was reported, Ros-Lehtinen claimed her words were spliced together and that she didn't say it. When a complete recording of the interview was produced, it proved she sure as hell did so say it.

I repeat: This woman is the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Good on Obama for calling the congresswoman, but let's hope he never actually listens to her.