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The LaRouchian from Left Field

Democratic Nominee for Congress Compares Obama to Hitler. A LaRouche Democrat wins primary… again.
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“Oh, no! Aliens, bio-duplication, nude conspiracies… Oh my God! Lyndon LaRouche was right!” —Homer Simpson

What do you get when you combine the most entertaining parts of the tea party, libertarianism, and the foil hat club?

A…. Democrat?

Yes. Specifically, a LaRouche Democrat. Lyndon LaRouche is an 89-year-old conspiracy theorist with a cult following that likens Obama to Hitler, advocates a world gold standard, and wants to colonize Mars. Oh, and self-identifies as Democratic.

Fringe, you say?

They became slightly less fringe last week when Spring Branch Democrats (and, likely, a few snickering Republicans) handed the Democratic primary for Texas’ Congressional District 22 to a LaRouche Democrat named Kesha Rogers, whose campaign signs declaim, “Impeach Obama Now!”

But unlike Lloyd Oliver and a few other characters having their 15 minutes this election cycle, Rogers’ win wasn’t a fluke. Running in the same district In 2010, she took more than half the vote in a three-way primary. Fortunately for all those Democrats who believe Obama isn’t Hitler-like, CD 22 is a Republican seat, and Rogers got trounced in the 2010 genera election. She won just south of 30 percent against Congressman Pete Olson. But in doing so, she was just emulating LaRouche himself, who ran unsuccessfully for president eight times between 1976 and 2004. (One of those times, whilst he was in prison for tax evasion.)

Rogers will encounter Olson again in November. The results will probably be similar.

Rogers is a 35-year-old Houston native whose non-political experience I can’t get a fix on, though neither can I locate a political job she’s actually acquired. In 2006, she ran unsuccessfully for chairman of the Texas Democratic Party and credits her deep knowledge of the district to that campaign. That appears to have been her first effort.

The biography on her website, kesharogers.com, raises more questions than it answers. Rogers (presumably) writes, “After graduating college in 2001 with a BA in Political Science and Speech Communications from Texas State University, I realized that my generation and those younger had been given no future, and had been maliciously robbed of the knowledge of principles and methods necessary for building one.” (Which is a pretty stirring version of “What do I do with this degree?”) She continues, “In this context, I joined and became an active leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement over nine eventful years ago.”

The LaRouche Youth Movement probably wrote its own Wikipedia page, which describes its goals as to “promote the revival of classical humanist thought, organize politically to establish a new world economic system based on the power of human creativity to increase the power of the human individual in relation to the universe, and fight for a physical economy which can promote the general welfare of humanity, to develop and move toward better living conditions.”

That last bit, about the general welfare of humanity and better living conditions, is why some LaRouchians identify as Democrats. Rogers and others have said that, much like Republicans have strayed from their roots as the party of Lincoln, the Democrats have ceased to be the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy. But while many may agree, Rogers in particular seems to think the Democrats’ trouble started, and would end, with the Obama presidency. “Prior to Obama,” her website reads, “the Democratic Party has been the party that fought for the rights of the lower 80%, of organized labor, of scientific progress, and the welfare of the nation.”

So, Rogers’ repeat wins might be symptomatic of Democratic disappointment with Obama’s first term, with issues like his failure to close Guantanamo or his authorization of indefinite detention, right?

Again, no. As is so often the case in political theater, the real answer defies paraphrasing. From kesharogers.com: “Mr. Obama is a puppet of the bankrupt financial system, and has pushed policies made notorious by the Adolph Hitler regime, and since condemned by the entire world. His flagrant violations of the U.S. Constitution, national and international law, in addition to posing a clear and present danger of new violations, including thermonuclear war and the threat of violent suppression of peaceful domestic opposition, warrant his immediate removal from the office of the Presidency by impeachment.”

Not convinced? She adds, “The public record of Mr. Obama’s mental state shows that he is incapable of faithfully performing his duties as president,” and should be removed.

But Rogers is one of five LaRouche Democrats running for Congress around the country, and their persistence suggests that a solid mental state is not the most important prerequisite for running for office.

Emily DePrang joined The Texas Observer in 2011 as a staff writer covering criminal justice and public health. Before that, she was nonfiction editor of the Sonora Review. Before that, she was a waitress. She's also appeared in The Atlantic, Salon.com, and VICE. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Arizona and has won some things, including the Public Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (2012), the National Health Journalism Fellowship from USC Annenberg (2013), and a nomination for a National Magazine Award in Reporting (2014). She still sometimes thinks about waitressing.