It took all of a day after the party to celebrate the shredding of the US Constitution — otherwise known as the signing of the Affordable Health Care for America Act — for the local newspaper to try to eviscerate our local congressman for his opposition to the recent health care bill in Congress.
This doesn’t come as a surprise that an American newspaper would say something negative about a Conservative Republican congressman. And sadly, it’s no surprise to those of us who do follow the Visalia Times Delta and Tulare Advance Register here in Central California that their editorial board is as naïve as they are. In fact it’s actually pretty comical to watch them try to be relevant when they have proven themselves irrelevant time and time again.
In the grand scheme of things, the Central Valley of California has benefitted over the past year or so in an ironic sort of way with respect to water and politics. Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have highlighted the water issues impacting California’s Central Valley, and our own Congressman here in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has been eager to give voice to a region of the United States that is disappointingly ignored in both the state and US capitol buildings.
Last week during the debate leading up to the vote on the health care bill, and in the days since it was approved and signed, Rep. Nunes made numerous appearances on local and national television and radio. This apparently caught the eye of the editorial writers at the Visalia Times Delta, who lambasted Nunes in the March 24th edition for using “some of the most extreme language of any Republican in trying to block passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.”
In a telephone conversation I had later the same day with Nunes’ chief of staff, Johnny Amaral, we laughed over how naïve and infantile the editorial board writers appear to be. Of considerable note to Amaral was how the editorial contrasted Nunes to Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. While it was no surprise that Nunes would vote against the Affordable Health Care for America Act (the title itself would be laughable if it wasn’t so offensive to the intelligence to the millions of Americans who openly opposed the bill), to be placed in the same sentence with Stupak, who stood firmly on principle until someone showed him the money, is hilarious in its naïveté. As Amaral put it, “Stupak is the laughingstock of Washington DC right now.”
The VTD’s point throughout the editorial appeared to be Nunes’ firm opinion on the bill — not just that he voted against it, but that he couldn’t be swayed to vote in favor of it. This seems to be consistent with past editorials that have chided Nunes for being too partisan in his opinions on various matters. But, as Amaral noted in our phone conversation, Nunes wasn’t the only one voting no on the health care bill. Every Republican in the House and even several dozen Democrats voted against the bill. So in the grand scheme of things, this health care bill remains the most partisan piece of significant and sweeping legislation passed in the history of the United States.
The editorial also chides Nunes for apparently not bringing home the pork to the district and gaining “nothing from his opposition” to the bill. Apparently the editorial writers figure that Stupak gained a lot from his early opposition to the bill, even though he played the appropriate part of an expensive whore, holding out for the right price. In fact that was the accusation made against Nunes’ fellow California representatives, Dennis Cardoza, D-CA, and Jim Costa, D-CA. The consummate spineless moderates that they are, they played their cards close to the vest until very late in the game, and as a result, were “awarded” with a 25-percent allocation of farm water to their already dead agricultural districts. Not quite Sen. Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” deal, but nonetheless offensive to many here in the Golden State, including the wealthy farmers who have bankrolled Cardoza and Costa’s campaigns in the past. Of course Costa and Cardoza deny being “bought” with this allocation of farm water, but it sure stinks given the timing of the whole deal.
The editorial also criticized Nunes for accusing the Democrats of “totalitarian” tactics as they rammed through the health care bill.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
“On television, his Web site and the floor of Congress, Nunes used some of the most extreme language of any Republican in trying to block passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act,” the editorial states. “Nunes called the Democrats’ tactics ‘totalitarian,’ referred to health-reform supporters as ‘communists’ and predicted America’s decline into socialism.”
What else do you call it when the President of the United States forces an issue so unpopular, and the House of Representatives resorts to unconstitutional tricks, in order to pass something that most Americans don’t want? By what other name do you ascribe those who support forcing people to buy health insurance or go to prison? For all his faults and all the baseless criticisms of President George W. Bush, at no time during his two terms did he even come close to attempting to force such an unpopular piece of legislation down the throats of the American public. Even Bill Clinton knew when to give up on his attempts to socialize the health care system in America.
Nunes deserves much credit for trying to encourage his colleagues to live within the proper constraints of the US Constitution. To accuse Nunes of using “extreme language” when his language was true and to the point is offensive to everything this country was founded upon. For those interested in reading some “extreme language,” I’d invite you to read the Declaration of Independence because many of the complaints the colonists had against King George pale in comparison to the treason committed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., President Barak Hussein Obama and the others who supported this piece of legislation. And while you’re at it, continue by reading the US Constitution and other historical documents from the founding of this country and then report back on how folks like Rep. Nunes are somehow misrepresenting their constituents.