It’s not the first time Robert Kennedy Jr has said it, either. Thankfully, he confirms it in his appearance today in Congress to gripe about hog producers and some admittedly stupid laws restricting criticism of farmers, so we don’t need to do a Lexis raid to corroborate it. Kennedy manages to amp up the hysteria even further when he accuses Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of being a paid stooge of farmers.
Er, who does RFK think a Congressman from Iowa would represent, anyway?
Today during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Congressman Steve King asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to confirm a quote he made to the Des Moines Register in 2002: “Large-scale hog producers are a greater threat to the United States and U.S. democracy than Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, says Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a New York environmental group.”
Kennedy responded: “I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I believe it, and I support it.”
I’ll go on record here in noting that RFK’s point isn’t entirely insipid, but just mostly insipid. He’s right about the laws that make criticism of farmers illegal, outside of the normal restrictions on slander and libel. At their heart, they’re in conflict with the First Amendment, but then again, so is the BCRA’s same exact restriction on criticism of incumbents within 60 days of an election by interest group advertisements. Did RFK criticize his cousin Patrick or his uncle Ted for supporting the BCRA? If so, I’ve never heard it.
However, even if RFK had a point to make, he overwhelms it in a flood of cockamamie moral relevancy. Have hog farmers killed 3,000 Americans? No. The hysterical nature of Kennedy’s attacks reveal him as an extremely unserious person, a mental and moral lightweight, and an attention seeker of the first order.
Watch to the very end, when King plays RFK’s little personal-attack game and brings up his prior conviction for heroin possession and his light sentence of community service, which King underestimates by almost half (it was 1500 hours, not 800). Kennedy gets so apoplectic he can barely respond.