Peter Cavanaugh

Together divided

by peter cavanaugh

Daniel had his Lion’s Den. Tom McClintock had us.

Building “A” at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds was overflowing with concerned constituents Feb. 21 as Representative Tom McClintock (R-4th) faced a large crowd. McClintock generated a similar turnout in Sonora the following night with the Union Democrat reporting Sonora High School’s 569-seat auditorium was filled to capacity with another several hundred left outside. A rock star was born.

While Tom McClintock was our local headline attraction, Donald J. Trump deserves all the discredit for packing both places to capacity and then some, just as he did at dozens and dozens of similar “Town Hall Meetings” across the land. It was all over TV. This nation’s gone nuts, nuts being particularly hardy, healthy and helpful in this instance.

Roughly two-thirds of the folks in both Mariposa and Sonora were on a vibrantly vocal anti-Trump side of the political divide, while the rest were loyal McClintock fans who came out to back their guy and, to a certain extent, their new Republican president, although sounding much more in tune with Trump’s politics than persona.

All in all, things were loud and lively, but not unduly so. Everyone basically played well together, even though widely circulated email allegedly authored by The Mariposa “Republican Central Committee” predicted otherwise.

I obtained copies from four separate sources.

It announces the McClintock meeting, then states, “The progressive left has targeted this and all other town halls hosted by Republican Congressmen to be disrupted and shut down. You are being asked to stand for Mariposa and what is good and proper and if necessary showing the left that we will not tolerate their behavior.”

We were quite surprised. The communiqué added – “Spread the word by email and voice only. Don’t use social media. We don’t want the progressives to get wind of our movement.”


Grammatical curiosities aside, while those of us in “the progressive left” were, in fact, “good and proper,” requiring no lessons in behavior toleration or any other matter, four vehicles in the Fairgrounds’ parking lot had their tires slashed.

The following night in Sonora, Representative McClintock properly referred to the “sniveling cowards” guilty of such behavior in Mariposa, adding, “When we catch you, we’re going to throw the book at you because your crime is not only directed at the victims whose property you damaged, it is aimed at every one of us who are seeking to exercise our constitutional rights to assemble and seek redress of grievances.” The crowd in Sonora loudly applauded, as does this columnist.

Our Congressman still embraces the concept of climate change as being more cyclical than man made, hopes to abolish the Affordable Care Act, equates dislike of Trump with prior concerns about Barack Obama, stands solidly against abortion and suggests increased insistence on initiating an extended investigation into Russian links is being primarily driven by election disappointment.

McClintock remains rigidly locked into similarly traditional conservative positions as immovable as Half Dome. No one can claim Tom McClintock isn’t completely consistent with his convictions and hasn’t been rigidly faithful to his flock through the years – qualities woefully lacking in today’s unbalanced occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as measured in milliseconds.

In only 40 days our national government has become a theater of the absurd.

Immediate measures have been taken against undocumented families, Planned Parenthood, transgender teens, and state sanctioned marijuana, but that trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure to create millions of jobs can wait till next year.

Trump’s escalating war against the press can only be rationally understood as pathetic preparation for final revelation when his self-initiated involvement in Kremlin intrigue can no longer be avoided or denied. Convictive views? Fake news.

White House communication skills? Kellyanne Conway’s bold-faced lies were first replaced by Sean Spicer’s puerile petulance, followed by ultra white Steven Miller’s glorious Gestapo glare, then substituted last Sunday by Deputy Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders’ stumbling stupidity on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, who couldn’t keep a straight face.

Thunderous applause at last week’s CPAC meetings in Washington certified the Republican president’s canonization as the new conscience of American conservatism.

His conservative cabinet is already encountering embarrassing contradictions with global snickering reaching a thunderous roar.

Confusion reigns supreme.

Who’s in charge? No one. Not even a mouse.