“A Father of Two”

“A Father of Two”

Representative Jeff Denham of California’s 19th Congressional District seems like a very nice young man and I’m sure, as is true of all very nice young men, Jeff will be perfectly fine once he grows up.

I saw and heard Jeff, 43, speak last Thursday before a first class Luncheon presented by the Oakhurst Chamber of Commerce at Sierra Meadows Country Club, a bit of a change in ambiance from my usual well-worn bar stool at the Oak Room. Since I have somehow gained a local reputation for progressive (“liberal”) (“left wing”) (“commie”) views — often expressed aloud and at length in public, I had promised Kathy McCorry and Angelo Pizelo my attendance would be accompanied by a closed mouth and open mind. I am pleased (and surprised) to report that I delivered on both.

I didn’t know what to expect.

All I had learned about our new Congressman came from media reports. 

There was last year’s corporate plane ride with Karl Rove in apparent violation of Federal Law and an ill-advised $150,000 “Public Service Campaign” in honor of American war dead which gained Jeff substantial local television exposure during last year’s Republican primary as well as the justified wrath of area veterans’ groups. Then there was that  $2,500 a person ($50,000 a table) fund raiser at Washington’s ever so fashionable “W” hotel headlining LeAnn Rimes on January 4th marking Jeff’s debut in Washington. The event took in $212,250 in contributions, but his committee claimed it cost  $212,900, meaning the whole lobbyist shakedown supposedly earned just 650 bucks. Stuff like that.

So I was impressed with and pleasantly surprised by a number of Representative Denham’s brief opening remarks. Comfortably and informally clad in a sports shirt and casual slacks, Jeff introduced himself and claimed his core identity, setting aside all else,  was being the proud father of two. Doctor Laura would have been proud. He discussed his initial organizational accomplishments in our nation’s capitol, spoke of possible federal legislation in support of those whose homes had been foreclosed through no fault of their own and even, when questioned about “New Deal” legislation under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the ‘30’s, allowed that “make work” projects such as the Civilian Conservation Corp just might make lots of sense today. And, bless him, Congressman Denham even categorically stated that he wasn’t sure America was on the right path with all three of our current “wars”. He said they lack specific goals and policy purpose. Amen!

Then things started spinning a whole different way, pure fiction being woven into purported fact before our very eyes and ears. Jeff had clearly taken TEA with his luncheon tri-tip. It hit hard and heavy.

Ignoring historic weather data courtesy of Mother Nature, Jeff told our Oakhurst bunch that California’s “man-made drought” should be ended because of this year’s “200 percent of normal” snowfall in the Sierra, the highest estimated figure I’ve seen being impressive, but significantly less. Then came Congressman Denham’s allegation that President Obama is not telling the truth when he says that the United States has only 2% of the world’s oil reserves when it’s really a cool 65%. I googled it. Barack’s pretty much right, although some sources say it may be as high as 2.4%. Not even the entire Middle East has 65%. 

Warmed up, Denham then launched into Koch brothers approved, Karl Rove sanctioned, right-wing rhetoric straight out of the Ayn Rand lunacy bin.  Cut government spending. Stay in your station. Cut government spending. Kill not the King’s deer. Cut government spending. Bow to your betters. Cut government spending. Let flow an ocean of unchallenged, unabated, constant repetition to drown out all other voices, particularly those of the sane.

“We must cut corporate taxes to create jobs”, said our novice Congressman, praising the “New Republican 2012 Budget” even as it lowers taxes on the richest among us, destroys Social Security as we know it and kills Medicare for all under 55, a group which has faithfully contributed to the program ever since their very first day at work.

Among concluding comments, Jeff made the usual cliched promise to “take our country back” without mentioning why or from whom, emphasized the need for a “different” Republican party than that of honored American tradition and promised to do all he could not to raise the Federal Debt Ceiling — damn the torpedoes — full greed ahead.

We have reached a definitive point as a people. Our collective future is taking form. Only history will finally and objectively judge our father of two — even as this grandfather of eleven wishes him well. And wisdom. 

3 Responses to ““A Father of Two””

  1. Les Marsden Says:

    I am in a state of AWE (which – as you absolutely know, is a once-in-a-lifetime status for the not-so-modest Marsden) for this combination of on-the-money mental analysis of a sycophantic arch-politician in way over his non-tousled head and its spectacularly brilliant written ART. It’s not often my yin-and-yang craving for substance AND style in political commentary is met; hell, Cavanaugh: you immediately became both kith AND kin. A thrilling delight to read; a devastation to absorb with the knowledge that this nabob is my constitutionally-elected voice in Washington.

  2. Ellen Light Says:

    I am constantly in bewilderment over what has happened to my generation… We were sure that when WE became of age to “control” things, we would make things right! Wha’ hoppened? How did a good percentage of our Change the World Generation become the Status Quo Generation?

  3. Les Marsden Says:

    There have always been charismatic imbeciles in EVERY generation; those with the great good fortune (both literal and metaphoric) to get themselves elected. And Denham is certainly no exception – aided and abetted by the fact he lives in a predominantly red, rural district.

    More’s the pity for those of ALL generations who can’t fathom or stomach the selfish stupidity and raw power acquisition of others who lack the simple humanity and care to do the right thing.

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