By Mark Ross, Contributing Writer
Back in 1972 I had the occasion to visit the Security National Bank in Walnut Creek… as part of my environmental journalist responsibilities. I didn’t get to meet with its CEO, Fortney H. “Pete” Stark, but his presence was felt. A giant peace symbol greeted me as I approached the front door.
It wasn’t long before “Pete” received, from the voters, a lifetime appointment to the U.S. House of Representatives. Ol’ Pete is now in his late seventies. A lot of the Democrat hacks-for-life from the Bay Area are getting really, really long in the tooth. Ronald V. Dellums shocked the world by voluntarily retiring from Congress… presumably in order to hand pick his successor, Babs Lee, thus costing Alameda County millions in special election expenses. Then he woke up and knew he had to save Oakland. From what? It now seems from himself.
It is widely assumed that Ol’ Pete is without doubt the most obnoxious member of the House of Representatives. For the Bay Area delegation, that’s a tough competition. You got your George Miller, thuggish labor lawyer. Nancy Pelosi, super-rich East Coast carpet bagger (too bad she couldn’t ditch the accent). Mike Honda of the South Bay is probably the cuddliest of them all. Diane Feensteen is less obnoxious than most… but as a stuporvisor in SF she pushed two failed laws: One was to ban the swastika… as an illegal symbol, the other was to require that all political speeches contain nothing but the truth. My initial reaction was to imagine the panel of “special experts” who were responsible for ferreting out untruths in political speeches. Next thing, because of a buzzed out Irishman (Twinkies, don‘t you know), she was mayor of SF and on her way to stardom… still not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.
The direction this diatribe is heading concerns the palpable lack of serious competition in selecting our official power brokers. California and the United States are in the midst of a political crisis of epic proportion. Something as basic as fiscal accountability has been criminally neglected… leaving local, state and federal finances in total chaos. Mutant dwarfs resulting from incestuous political marriages, who write our laws, have just raised sales tax in the middle of a retail recession… because they have committed the most deadly of all civic sins: they have put the government ahead of the people.
Their flawed calculus is that a voting majority does not identify itself as taxpayers.
Today, wherever you go, try mentioning taxes and see what people do around you. They are pissed. And this is only the beginning. The trial balloons floating over D.C. and Sacramento would gag a maggot: Taxing health care benefits as income, limiting the deductibility of home mortgage interest, value added tax (VAT), plus a plethora of increases and additions… once again in a recession!
For years I have mused that the American political dynamic mirrors the “town and gown” tensions typical of places like Madison, Wisconsin or Bloomington, Indiana. There, academic elites have been gathered from all over the world and have been obliged to share space with indigenous locals who labor humbly on farms and in factories. Urban centers, like our Bay Area, are dominated by leftist progressives. Were our local elites to be truly sophisticated we’d be, at least, a little closer to utopia. However, they have been imbued with pseudo knowledge… the products of excessive political influence over education. Their agendas are overwhelmed with frauds and hoaxes… never questioned. The humble bumpkins who clean up after the elites can’t afford the “luxury” of believing in crap… their lives are too marginal to be further diminished with unnecessary errors… that is, unless they become wards of the state.
Meanwhile back to Ol’ Pete. I have no way of knowing if he has syphilis of the brain… but it would be a convenient way of explaining his erratic and obnoxious behavior. He recently was hospitalized with pneumonia and quipped that it would help him further perfect his vision of socialized medicine for the bumpkins. At 78 he’s the oldest Congressthing from the Bay Area. Lynne Woolsey is next at 71. Then Pelosi at 69. Curiously, their official websites don’t show their ages. You can expect some serious turnover during the next decade or so… but they’ll probably get away with nominating their own sons and daughters to maintain control of the family business. Boy, do I love democracy!