In 1994, then-Senator Chuck Robb (D-Va.) gave a famous description of his Republican rival, Oliver North.
Robb said, “My opponent is a document-shredding, Constitution-trashing, commander-in-chief-bashing, Ayatollah-loving, arms-dealing, criminal-protecting, resume-enhancing, Noriega-coddling, Swiss-banking, law-breaking, letter-faking, self-serving, snake-oil salesman who can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie.”
North narrowly lost that race – then Republican Senator John Warner (R) endorsed the honorable Democrat, and Oliver North was denounced by former President Ronald Reagan – but he still cemented his place as a far-right celebrity and a conservative media personality. Now, he has landed a new gig.
Oliver North, the retired U.S. Marine who was at the center of the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal, will become the president of the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights group announced on Monday.
North will take over the post within a few weeks, the NRA said in a statement…. North, 74, was a key figure in the national controversy over the sale of arms to Iran and the funneling of proceeds to the rebel Contras in Nicaragua. The ensuing political drama dominated headlines during President Ronald Reagan’s second term.
In case anyone has forgotten, North was a key figure in a conspiracy in which a Republican presidential administration illegally sold weapons to the Iranians to secure the freedom of American prisoners, then he used the dirty money to illegally pay for a horrible war in Central America.
The unscrupulous retired Marine colonel was convicted of multiple felonies, but the convictions were unfortunately overturned on appeal.
Now, traditional political norms might make you think that someone with this background would struggle in conservative politics, however that’s not how the right operates these days. Morals and human decency are irrelevant in conservative politics.
Postscript: North’s leadership role in the NRA comes while three Republicans are running for US Congress this year, even though they are ex-cons. Two served time in jail, and the third could have faced a jail sentence too were it not for the pardon from racist Donald Trump.