Peter Cavanaugh

Tea time with Tom

You could barely hear Tom over the continuous rumble of ancient arteries ominously hardening.

I was one of the kids in attendance -- even though turning 74 next Tuesday right along with Bernie Sanders that very same day.

The Yosemite Lakes Clubhouse was definitely Tom McClintock’s cup of tea last week as our Fourth District Congressman held a “Coarsegold Town Hall Meeting” quite a distance from the nearest town. Coarsegold, itself, is a full 3.3 miles away, but the relative seclusion of this venue successfully kept away the rabble, providing a perfect audience of the patriotically geriatric for our ultra-conservative representative.

To his credit, Tom starts these get-togethers exactly on time. To no surprise, he tells his folks exactly what they want to hear. Then he lets them have at it.

McClintock spoke for a smooth 25 minutes. When it comes to a Tea Party type pitch, he’s as good as any and better than most. I’ve heard him at least a half-dozen times and it’s pretty much a standard rap, although this time he added his displeasure against President Obama’s proposed Iran agreement, calling it “a breathtakingly dangerous act.” He also blamed poor people for the economic collapse of 2008 – not those banks that were victimized by intrusive governmental meddling according to Tom’s revisionist interpretation of all perspectives deemed politically incorrect.

What followed Representative McClintock’s opening remarks was more than an hour of primarily outrageous commentary from a crowd seething with aging angst. Speakers competed in spewing specifics on a litany of suspect subjects – impressing each other in the process with fiery diatribes delivered with fierce dedication.

These seemed to be their top 10 – although, in fairness, not universally so:

* The voting age should be raised to 25 or higher since young people are stupid.

* The IRS should be abolished.

* John Boehner should be replaced as Speaker of the House for “caving in to Obama.”

* Ditto (as Rush would say) Mitch McConnell – who must be tossed out as Senate Majority Leader for the same reason.

* Illegal Mexicans should go back where they came from.

* The Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution guaranteeing birthright citizenship should be immediately overturned since it is so – unconstitutional.

* Presidential Executive Orders should be abolished.

* Hillary Clinton should be in prison.

* Congress shouldn’t be afraid to shut down the government over raising the debt ceiling.

* And – Congress should be willing to shut down the government over funding one more penny to Planned Parenthood, especially since its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a blatant racist who wanted to eliminate African-Americans from our midst through eugenically driven, socially engineered abortion.

This last won my personal originality prize for being -- hands down -- the absolute doozy of the night and one I’d never heard before.

I was subsequently shocked to discover after only minimal research that the only individual who ever alleged such a thing about Ms. Sanger was Angela Davis, a leading Marxist and Communist from the radical 1960s, who was thoroughly denounced at the time and since by her peers for this and other loony lamentations.

Accordingly, since this and other crazy notions about Planned Parenthood have been quite in evidence of late, I would suggest anyone seeking full disclosure should join us this Saturday at Denny’s for our September Meeting of the Oakhurst Democratic Club. Our featured speaker will be Pedro Elias, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood in Fresno.

As usual, the public is cordially invited. We start with breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and our program kicks off at 9:30. I’ll be moderating to keep things moving along in a casual, courteous, convivial way. There’ll be plenty of time for questions, but please fact-check sources before presenting them in public.

Karl Marx was not the father of our democracy.