The debates and the surrounding hoopla have the flavor of a football game. After the battle, the winning side cheers and the losing side retreats, licking its wounds and vowing to “get ’em next time”. Monday-morning quarterbacks natter about body language, game plans, and alpha males.
It’s so much more serious than that. Politicians can, and do, hurt people.
I have a friend who lives in the Central Valley of California. He has been sending me heart-wrenching letters over the last two years about the devastation that politics has wrought on the Valley and its residents.
In January of 2010 Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) made an impassioned plea to the US House of Representatives for relief from the man-made drought brought on by the Obama administration, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). In a shameless appeasement to their environmental extremist lobbyists, this group of all-stars diverted 200 billion gallons of water away from Central Valley farms into the Pacific Ocean, leaving only 5% of the water the farmers were entitled to. All for the benefit of the Delta Smelt, a tiny, useless fish – listed as “endangered” by the EPA, but not even indigenous to California.
The loss of irrigation water destroyed 500,000 acres of what was once considered the richest and most productive farmland in the nation, and put 37,000 families out of work, leaving proud fathers standing in bread lines to feed their families.
California Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) could not hold back his frustration as he called out the Democrats in Congress for bankrupting thousands of families and businesses tor a fish. And the situation is not getting any better.
Today I talked with Brian Whelan (R-CA), California candidate for US House of Representatives. “Our valley is now called the Appalachia of the West”, Whelan said. “We’re still getting only a small percentage of the water we are entitled to. Having half the allotment of water that a grove of pistachio trees needs to stay alive is as bad as no water at all. Fields have been left fallow. Meanwhile my opponent, Jim Costa (D-CA), hands out carrots grown in China to destitute families at a food bank.”
There are real families suffering here at the hands of politicians. My California friend laments that, like thousands of others, his daughter’s Central Valley family has been pretty much destroyed.
“She had a daycare and her husband had a good job. They had a very nice home two blocks from a nice school in a beautiful neighborhood. It didn’t happen all at once, but her husband had less and less work. They lost their home, then their rental home. Because his employer was broke too, her husband was only receiving his earned pay intermittently. Finally he “snapped” from the stress and the family broke up. Sick kids. Power and water shut off. It’s like a bad dream.” The daughter and children have moved back in with her father.
Look back at the names of the politicians in this article. Notice the “R” after the guys who are trying to help. Notice the “D” following the names of those who caused the problem and won’t back off. Am I a partisan? Damn right. I’m calling you out, too, Democrats. You talk big about caring for the “middle class” and the less fortunate. But yet you can do this kind of damage to real families and brush it off on the way to your next DC cocktail party.
As a nation, we voters had better get it right this time around.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side