My short drives into San Andreas usually take me by Cliff Edson’s house. Our politics aside, on every trip I think about how cool it was to have a county supervisor who lived right here in our midst. The first time my friend Mike met newly elected Supervisor Edson in public, he told him, “I didn’t vote for you.” Mike couldn’t keep a straight face though, and added, “I couldn’t. They put me in a different district.” Mike and I can almost hit Cliff’s house with a rock from our decks, but have to vote in Mokelumne Hill.
Ah, yes, redistricting.
We all know that much of what happens locally is decided far, far away. Republican Rep. Tom McClintock currently represents our huge 4th District in the House of Representatives. He is the son of a wealthy New York family, a University of California, Los Angeles, graduate who chose California politics as a career. I don’t know why he made that decision, but I do know he is one of the rare congressional representatives who doesn’t live in the district he or she represents. His official residence is Elk Grove, in the 7th District, although he may or may not still live in Thousand Oaks in the 26th District, his residence when he entered politics.
McClintock was one of 14 California conservatives who voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Better word surgeons than me have taken that group to task for supporting an action that would have left thousands of their constituents without health care. The ACA survived a Senate vote though, so the GOP-led House moved on to its second-best campaign promise, a major corporate tax cut under the cute title of tax reform. Have no fear though, this travesty would still ax health care for about 13 million citizens.
Early in December, signs waved outside of McClintock’s Roseville office to protest the Republican tax scheme. It seems that cutting “entitlements” like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were the only way to make up for the loss in revenue from giving tax cuts to the wealthy. It also seems that the political donors who fill the campaign coffers demanded a return on their investments. Is it just me or is “entitlements” an odd term for the withholding taken out of every paycheck I earned in 40 years?
Yes, California Reps. McClintock, Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher voted against the Tax Reform Bill as it wormed its way across the floor of the House. It is commonly held that their votes were because California, like New York and other tax-heavy blue states, have been targeted by the Trump administration and Red-led Congress. Their nay votes had no chance of defeating the bill anyway.
I think that any representative who supports Trump and his perverted brand of conservative politics should be voted out of office. McClintock is one such supporter. Why didn’t he fight to represent the part of state where he lived? What makes him uniquely qualified to represent our district? Why did he sign the Tea Party pledge to never ever raise taxes and ignore Trump’s promise to not cut Social Security and Medicare? Why did the National Rifle Association give him a 93 percent rating?
The “swamp” does need to be drained, but all the toothy reptiles exposed by the receding water will not be Democrats. How many Godzilla-like lobbyists will be beached? The Republican mantra is stale and bloated; they scream that an opponent is weak on borders but have no problem hiring border-jumpers when they need cheap labor. They howl about the Second Amendment but crazy white men with assault rifles are doing all the killing and gun control is a socialist plot. The Republicans say gun control is a socialist plot and that mental health is the cause of the killings so they passed a law ensuring that the mentally ill can buy guns. They scream about freedom, but demonize non-Christian faiths. Trump slanders the FBI and tells police to rough up alleged criminals. Forget the Russians; let’s keep America safe by making it a prison.
Trump bragged about his sexual assaults and stumped in Alabama for a conservative-evangelical senatorial candidate accused of multiple child molestation charges, an ex-judge who was tossed off his state’s Supreme Court twice for ignoring the law, a public servant who believes that America was great back during the slavery centuries. Can you spell white supremacist?
The 2018 election looms large for us all. I will be doing whatever I can to make sure that Republicans are replaced with Democrats or Independents. No, I am not naive enough to expect my representatives to live next door to me, but I do think that coming from the area and living among your voters is the glue that holds a democracy together.