Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

My GOP congressman is a soulless automaton


I can’t tell you how discouraging it was to go to my GOP congressman’s town hall yesterday, along with 1700 of my liberal friends. Being around that many progressives was nice (okay, maybe a hundred of them were conservative), but after two hours of Q&A with Congressman Tom McClintock I realized that we’re doomed.

The crowd was raucous and angry — rightly so. But at no time did anyone shout profanities, nor was there any sense that we were expressing anything but frustration and fear at what has been going on in this country since November.

img_1464Yet, after all the questions, and all of his endorsements of Trump’s policies (plus he’s a climate change denier to boot!), McClintock took the opportunity to speak to a little girl who had been chosen to ask the next question. Before she could open her mouth, he said, “I hope you don’t grow up to behave with the kind of hate we’ve seen here today.”

I paraphrase, since I was so agog that this kind of message was coming out of his pie hole.

If the opposition interprets anger and frustration as hate, then there is no hope. Expression of a different opinion, even if it’s vigorous, loud, and a little rowdy, is what political action is made of, so to paint us with that word is to try to delegitimize our positions. There’s no doubt in my mind he didn’t call the Tea Party town hallers full of hate in 2009. That’s a double standard, and it’s repellant.

I could go issue by issue and make your skin crawl with this man’s stances, but img_1465suffice to say that he has the Republican catechism memorized and he’s sticking to it. Meanwhile, anyone who disagrees with him is a hater, and anyone who wants to hold Trump to the standards of every other president is an anarchist.

The little girl, by the way, shook off the clod’s absurd remark and asked, “Can you just tell me why there needs to be a wall between our country and Mexico?”

He spouted the usual Trumpshit, and we all filed out with our heads hanging.


16 comments on “My GOP congressman is a soulless automaton

  1. kingmidget
    March 5, 2017

    Having lived where I live as long as I have and worked for the State guv’mint now for a couple of decades, I’ve known about McClintock for a long time. There is no hope with him.

    Your criticism of his reference to hate is spot on. There is far too much of this in the American discussion these days. On both sides, unfortunately. If you disagree with me you hate. If you provide “facts” I disagree with it’s fake news. We have mastered the ability to divide and attack. It’s a shame. I don’t see it getting better any time soon. The debate is being driven by the extremes and this kind of divide is exactly what they want.

    • kingmidget
      March 5, 2017

      I meant to add … “fake news” has become my least favorite phrase of all time.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 5, 2017

      All we need is a lefty who can beat TM in ’18. (As if …)

      I do disagree with you on the “both sides do it” thing. There is no left extremism in this country. If there were, you’d be hearing more “seize the means of production” talk, and that’s just plain dead. Even unions have become sad shadows of their former selves.

      So the way I see it is one side is extreme and the other is hapless. The hapless side tries to maintain a certain status quo while the other drags the whole ship to the right.

      • kingmidget
        March 5, 2017

        My point is that there is a left-wing echo chamber and a right-wing echo chamber in this country today. Whether you want to define them as extremists or something else, the two echo chambers exist — one is fake news for the other and vice versa. There is no effort to begin a dialogue.

      • Kevin Brennan
        March 5, 2017

        I can’t think of a solution to that. Dialogue isn’t possible when the parties reside in almost literally different universes.

      • kingmidget
        March 5, 2017

        That’s the problem.

  2. L. Nahay
    March 5, 2017

    I want to dislike for literal reasons, but there’s no option for that. We need some heavy psychoanalysis about how/why they misconstrue other people’s emotions and narratives so outrageously, so that we can better counter.

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 5, 2017

      What bothers me is that the misunderstanding is intentional. You should have seen him hesitate before he said what he said to the little girl. He was calculating.

      We do need better strategies, though. Right now, the Dems are a reactive party.

      • L. Nahay
        March 6, 2017

        I agree. They’re becoming what they claim to be fighting against. I’ve left a couple groups, and argue with the people in another. Starting to see as much unproductive, ignorant (reactive) anger. In that, we’re doomed.

  3. Woebegone but Hopeful
    March 6, 2017

    Sounds like he’s someone who subscribes to the Political Verb Conjugation:
    “I have strong views and principals”
    “You have flawed opinions and dogma”
    “They are hateful extremists”

  4. 1WriteWay
    March 13, 2017

    I love this: “If the opposition interprets anger and frustration as hate, then there is no hope.” Well, not really love, but it’s a true statement. We (progressives, liberals, and those conservatives who are about to lose their ACA benefits) are angry because, first and foremost, #45 is only president because of a f*cking technicality. He lost the popular vote by nearly 2 million legitimate votes. So, yes, there are a lot of angry people out there. I do believe that there are extremists on the left. I’ve seen them on FB, posting one in-your-face, insult-ridden meme after another, as if somehow lowering themselves to the same hateful language as what we’ve seen from the far right is okay. It’s counterproductive since it only leads to people shouting at each other and keeps the divide wide and deep.
    Yet, I’ve seen glimmers of hope when cooler heads prevail, as in the case of DeVos when two Republican Senators (Collins and Murkowski) voted against her. Sure, she still got in, but it was only because Pence had to break the tie. I’ve also noticed that it seems to be mostly female Republican Senators who are more willing to listen to their constituents and to fully weigh the consequences of their votes.
    Well, at least McClintock showed up for a town hall. Here in Florida, they made a life-size cut-out of Senator Marco Rubio to attend town hall meetings since Rubio is usually running the other way 😉

    • Kevin Brennan
      March 13, 2017

      I do have to admit, the guy had balls, standing there in front of 1700 angry libs. He never came out from behind his podium, though. Maybe he could spray out tear gas from there or something. 😉

      I will say, the place was absolutely crawling with cops. Some on the roof. Seriously?

      • 1WriteWay
        March 13, 2017

        Yeah, some of them are saying they won’t hold town halls because they’re afraid of the violence. And, of course, that just pisses people off even more …

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