Freedom in the fourth

For Your Consideration

editorial@sierrastar.comApril 15, 2014 

Attention all freedom-loving patriots. You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why.

Fourth District Tea Party treasure Tom McClintock's coming to town.

But this Tom's no turkey.

Although the choice of Oakhurst Elementary School for his April 23 Town Hall Meeting certainly seems to perfectly reflect the intellectual sophistication of Congressman Tom McClintock's polished political pronouncements, our representative does have a handle on his hooters — those who "shout in scorn and disapproval of things they abhor," such as The Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps and cost-free contraceptives. That's right out of Webster. The hooters part.

McClintock's impressively singular platform is that The Constitution of the United States contains everything we could ever possibly need to know about government -- pretty much the same way fundamentalists accept The Bible as revealing all that God expects. As is true of both the Constitution and Bible, any parts that appear to contradict other parts must be the product of errant interpretation, misguided logic, or a bad hangover.

There's an almost irresistible purity there. McClintock gets that. And works it well.

Simplicity is the key — sadly and simultaneously creating the inexcusable abrogation of a moral obligation to engage in meaningful reflection on questionable or complicated ideas beyond the mind numbing, reason slumbering, beatific bliss of comforting contentment.

Beware of that Judgment Day ahead when a loud, booming voice from above thunders, "Do you think I only gave you brains so your hair had somewhere to sit?" Let's face it. Thinking is hard work.

With this in mind and to save Congressman McClintock the trouble of coming up with topics of primary interest here in Eastern Madera County, I thought I might be helpful and propose a few items in this week's column which may or may not make it past Tom's scrupulous screeners.

Congressman McClintock - Why did you cost this area millions of dollars in lost local revenue pushing a useless governmental shutdown that accomplished nothing more than providing Texas Senator Ted Cruz with a national propaganda platform which went nowhere fast? Why did you vote against Children's Health Care (HR 2), Violence Against Women (HR 4920), Food Safety (HR 2749), Campaign Disclosure (HR 5175), Employment Discrimination (HR 12), and Transportation and Jobs (HR 4348)? Why did you vote against Rural Development Funding (HR 2112), Science and Technology Funding (HR 5116), Whistle Blowers Protection (WPA) and Equal Pay for Women?

Why did you give your congressional staff an average salary increase of 31% between 2009 and 2012 in the aftermath of the worst American recession since the Great Depression? Why did you boost the salary of your loyal and obedient Chief of Staff, Igor Birman, from $127,405 to $150,000 when he was about to launch his own campaign for Congress in California's 7th District, where you still reside in Elk Grove? Why do you continue to live outside our 4th District when you promised to move into it way back in 2008?

Are there any elements of ObamaCare you support, such as not allowing insurance companies to drop coverage of anyone who gets really sick, denying participation to those with a history of even minimal health problems or permitting young adults until the age of 26 to remain under their parents' policies?

Although you informed the Los Angeles Times in 2008, when you first ran for Congress, that you had no pension coming from your years in the state legislature, why have you changed your mind since being elected and now stand to indefinitely receive over $77,000 annually in pension funds from California taxpayers and a similar amount from the Feds should you be defeated this November, including annual cost-of-living increases?

Earlier this month The Senate voted 59 to 38 in favor of a bill that would restore federal funding for extended unemployment benefits for 2.8 million Americans who are considered "long-term unemployed." A corresponding measure, HR 4415, has become stalled in the House of Representatives, primarily because your Speaker, John Boehner, has refused to allow a simple up or down vote on the issue. Do you support Speaker Boehner on this and other matters? Do you endorse requiring undocumented immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship, even those who have lived here since early childhood? So there's a quick "Top 10" for Tom McClintock's consideration while stopping by next week. I hope you add a few of your own. Let's not be boring. But not inconsiderate, contentious or combative. There's enough of that in Washington.

You might even bring this along to score what Tom does and doesn't touch.

There are times when nothing shrieks louder than silence.

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