Rockwall's Rep. Ralph Hall Is So Sick of Watching Obama "Bow," "Scrape" and Treat "Enemy" Chinese With Anything But Contempt

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

At a hearing Wednesday, Chairman Ralph Hall and his Republican colleagues put their powerful U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to its highest, most noble use: Namely, bringing the election-year hurt to the Obama administration for whatever perceived shortcomings reside in the committee's broad wheelhouse.

Reading from a prepared statement, Hall cited Obama's "unprecedented emphasis on clean energy;" his lack of a "compelling, long-term mission for human spaceflight" and the "avalanche" of regulations his EPA unleashed on coal-fired power plants.

But it was the administration's commitment to collaborating with China in the arena of science and technology that Hall found most disturbing. It began when Representative Dana Rohrabacher treated White House science adviser John Holdren as a presidential proxy, chiding the administration for acting as though it were "compelled to reach out to the world's worst human rights abuser, that is already in the process of stealing so much from us and we have examples over and over again that scientific cooperation turned into a transfer of wealth and technology to our adversary."

He accused the administration of violating the language in a 2011 appropriations bill that outlawed scientific collaboration with China. Holdren played a starring role in clashes last fall over meetings between the adviser and Chinese officials, culminating in a GAO report concluding the White House violated the spending provision. At the time, Holdren simply produced a letter from the DOJ, backing the meetings as foreign policy-related. On Wednesday, Holdren noted that the prohibition was lifted in a subsequent bill.

But if hearing was any indication, feelings are still a touch raw. Hall, unsatisfied with the adviser's response, all but sneered: "I don't think you're gonna get the answer you expected to get, Mr. Rohrabacher. I, too, have seen the president bow and scrape to the enemy on many occasions."

And without further comment, Hall moved on to the next committee member, his rhetorical flourish having ably done the work of a 10-minute, Representative Joe Barton tirade: A) Obama is the decorous appeaser-in-chief, B) His willingness to speak with countries with whom we've had frosty relations is borderline traitorous, and C) China, a rising world power, is in fact our enemy.

Unless Hall was speaking figuratively, bowing is sort of the customary greeting across much of Asia. Perhaps a noncommittal head-nod would have been more appropriate? Or maybe they should just hold hands? You can watch the whole venomous, two-hour spectacle here.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.