McClintock: “agitate” or serve your district?

Russ Steele is crowing that Tom McClintock’s comment about the need to “agitate in every forum you can” and “take back” the White House is a call to arms for the hard right and disciples like him.

The remarks (listen to the video) came at a big hard right pow-wow — the Western Conservative PAC — which I previously reported.

Though attending this Newport Beach event, Tom has been a “no show” at candidate forums in our rural district — here and in Plumas County — where many of our problems are nonpartisan.

Is this the right approach, where Tom’s “my way or the highway” style is tearing apart the local GOP — and Republicans throughout the foothills for that matter?

Moderate GOPers complain that Tom’s rigid ideology comes at the expense of pragmatism. They depend on him to help land money for roads, broadband, schools and other programs.

In addition, is it working? Tom’s political endorsements were big losers in June (Poizner, Aanestad, DeVore, most of the propositions, and locals such as Barry Pruett, an ill-qualified candidate).

His latest “political baby” — Prop. 23 — is headed for defeat, too, I predict.

Is Tom learning from that? Nope. he adds, it’s time to “take back” the White House. This rhetoric reminds me of his remark that it’s time to replace the “left wing” clerk recorder in our county — something that never materialized.

Tom was elected to represent a small Congressional district in rural California, with many nonpartisan problems. His record in tackling them has been mixed, at best. Many people are asking “What has he done for us?”

This video is very telling about Tom’s grander ambitions. Our 4th district voters should listen up.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

15 thoughts on “McClintock: “agitate” or serve your district?”

  1. Mr. McClintock has been in a capital city for much of the last 26 years as politician and has almost zero connection with everyday people. He has spent ZERO time living in the CA 4th and has no understanding what life is for his constituents. How can he then possibly represent us?

    In my opinion he has spent to much time mastering talking points/ spin and not enough time to come up with solutions to actually make government work better.

    Just saying “NO” isn’t enough. Be an advocate of change and bring it to the people. It is easy to point at problems and say they are wrong but we need to have a solutions that come along with our criticism’s.

    1. If anything, hearing Tom say No, like a broken record, is the primary reason for voting NO when it comes to Tom.

      It is not lost on me, and I hope on others, that the Tea Party Todo in Rocklin a couple of weeks ago was, according to a flyer, if not THE flyer, at at (including parking lot) of a Gun Store.

      I have nothing against guns; grew up in South Georgia, and it just was part of growing up. I do, however, question mixing gun stores and agitation. Sure fire mixture for something not pretty.

  2. I don’t think people in the 4th district — including moderates — are getting a realistic insight into Tom’s extremism — get rid of the “left wing” clerk recorder or “agitate” until “we” “take back” the White House. Or attacking ARRA in a supposed letter of support for a federal broadband grant. In fact, I wonder how many people know Tom still lives in Elk Grove, not our district.
    I never read any of this in the local media.

    Shining a light on this explains the attack on this blog from the hard right. They are threatened.

    If you took journalism seriously, scrutinizing our local congressman would be a “no brainer.” The Bee has taken a stab at it, but no others. What’s up?

    On a separate note, voters here really need to be asking if Tom is working hard enough for us (or just himself)?

    If he takes the national stage, what will he be able to tell people he accomplished for his constituents, for us and statewide before that? All I ever hear in that regard is this driver’s registration fee (which, by the way, other electeds supported because it was politically expedient at the time). Whether you like him or not, people really need to wise up about McClintock’s political “MO.”

    1. Door to door education of the total uselessness of Tom by “feet on the ground” is the only way things are gonna change here, because as many folks know, The Union is sleeping with Tom, and his pathetic followers are waiting for their turn for time with Tommy (next gun store event, I assume).

      Same goes for Dan Logue.

      Whomever is running for either seat in 2012 best recognize the news media locally is in bed with Tom/Dan and start running right now.

    2. Jeff,

      The car tax reductions that Tom fought for only saved the average families in California several billions of dollars at a time when they really needed it… No big deal to the middle I guess.

      I will repeat the challenge I have put up several times: Show me something of late that a progressive elected official has done that had this much impact on the budgets of average families!


      PS: I would also point that this battle was won not by Senator McClintock saying NO, but rather by his saying “Yes we can!”

      1. John,
        Lots of politicians fought to junk the “car tax,” including Arnold. And I would add that some of you on the hard right would call him a “progressive” too.

      2. Jeff,

        I have the entire history if you would care to post it.

        The efforts by Senator McClintock first forced the Democrats, who declared his bill DOA, to go along with a temporary cut, and then Governor Davis agreed to a permanent cut. Had he not recanted that action I don’t think he would have lost the recall.

        It was Senator McClintock who made it an issue in the recall election and Arnold was wise enough to make it his first action upon taking office.

        It is grossly unfair to claim that Tom McClintock is an ineffective legislator and then deny the very work he has done, which even the Los Angles Times gives him credit for.


  3. Notice that McClintock repeats the simplistic notion that by reducing taxes Reagan brought about one of the most prosperous eras in our nation’s history.

    As usual, the truth is more nuanced than the ideologues portray it:

    As Jeanne Sagadi explains it in CNN Money:

    All told, the tax increases Reagan approved ended up canceling out much of the reduction in tax revenue that resulted from his 1981 legislation.

    Annual federal tax receipts during his presidency averaged 18.2% of GDP, a smidge below the average under President Carter — and a smidge above the 40-year average today.

    How might Reagan fare today?

    Reagan’s behavior might not pass muster with those voters today who insist their Congressmen treat every proposed tax increase as poisonous to the republic.

    “By today’s standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only],” wrote Tax Analysts contributing editor Martin Sullivan, in an article for Tax Notes in May.

    Thanks in part to the increases in defense spending during his administration, Reagan also didn’t really reduce the size of government. Annual spending averaged 22.4% of GDP on his watch, which is above today’s 40-year average of 20.7%, and above the 20.8% average under Carter.

    Indeed, in one very symbolic respect he enlarged it. While in the early years of his presidency Reagan tried to shrink the IRS, by the end, the number of IRS employees hit an all-time high, according to Steuerle in his book Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy.

    In fact, Reagan’s most fundamental legacy — and the one for which he is probably most revered by conservatives — is to have massively increased the inequality in our society, so that the rich have preferentially benefited from the productivity gains of the last 30 years, at the expense of the middle class.

    McClintock seems to long for more of the same.

  4. As I read it, “Agitate” is right wing, wing nut code for “BULLY.” That’s a way tired way of looking at things these days, and since when is McClintock and his cronies the king of anything BUT backwards anyway? The fourth district is moving way ahead of its entrenched leaders. Smart and wise is the new rich. The working classes are smartly starting to vote for whose got their back…and wisely realizing we can’t Go back the way we came…Kate Hancock

    1. See my comment about Tom at Tea Party at Gun Store and see if BULLY takes on an entire new way of possible interpretation.

  5. And hey, if you don’t want to deal with any perceived wingnut ‘drama’ from anyone, vote EARLY or make sure you mail a ballot. Every county voter gets a say, about their county and district and state. Don’t let anyone intimidate you from your say so. So let your vote put the fear of God into some half baked drama king or queen for a change. Let’s do this thing! Now, Brayke! Kate Hancock

  6. Has anyone heard the term “political eunuch”? Could it be that The Union is interested in a matched set? Just a thought…Kate Hancock

    1. Gives new meaning to the term “right wing nut job” …

      And we in the foothills are chock full of nuts and I ain’t talking about heavenly coffee.

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