Being curious to see where out-going State Senator and aspiring north state Congressional representative Doug LaMalfa stood on matters of foreign policy, climate change, public investment, and environmental issues, I went to his website (which champions his divisive, slightly brainless slogan, “He’s One of Us!”). I assumed the place to go for this sort of information would be the “Issues” section.
Lo and behold, the only Issue for LaMalfa is “Obamacare”. There’s not a word on whether he would continue to oppose the stimulus (which we’ve learned was more successful than anyone wants to admit), on whether he would take his climate change denialism to Washington (“the science regarding man made global warming is mixed at best”—mixed only, perhaps, if LaMalfa and Co are suddenly leading scientific authorities), on how he stands with relation to his party’s warmongering ethos, on whether he would moderate his bloviating hyperbole (“I do not support returning California or the nation to the Stone Age to test a theory”), or on what plans for job creation he would support.
What we know from his record is that he’s against government until he’s for it. Public investment, public infrastructure, public support for the economically marginal are all evils against which LaMalfa crusades with more enthusiasm than thought. But subsidies for large corporate interests (or his own rice farm), loopholes for the wealthy, and our overgrown and irresponsible national security apparatus are all big favourites of LaMalfa.
It’s a sign of how much he’s counting on coasting and of how little respect he has for his constituents that LaMalfa doesn’t even bother addressing the economic issues that will be foremost on the minds of most people. That’s presumably because in Sacramento he’s become used to being just another rubber-stamp for the anti-tax-at-any-cost, anti-public, anti-investment lobby. In common with the rest of his party in Sacramento, LaMalfa discovered how easy it is to sign a pledge, give your brain a rest, and turn yourself into a voting machine for an agglomeration of political and economic interests set on sabotaging state government so that they can say how poorly the system works. California Republicans are an exaggerated version of their national party in that their hypocritical, fringe views are empowered by a labyrinthine political structure which empowers both any political minority and any political interest which is prepared to behave without any responsibility.
But LaMalfa, if elected, would join an almost equally bizarre Republican Party caucus in D.C. His colleagues would share his embrace of climate change denial, his willingness to bludgeon his constituents in waging his quixotic war against “the beast”, his corporatist outlook, his extraordinary inflexibility, his willingness to demonise foes who are increasingly nonexistent, his visceral opposition to public investment, and his general buffoonery.
For like out-going Representative Wally Herger, the only time LaMalfa’s made national news was when he joined the most remote fringe of his party in drawing an unfounded connection between abortion and cancer. In a slight to women who take recourse to abortion in life-threatening situations or following rape, LaMalfa simultaneously suggested that women who choose to have an abortion have no agency in the process, do so without thinking through the implications, and are “[shuffled] off to an abortion mill”. The North State’s political representation already resembles a “Who’s Who” of the Weird and Illogical. The last thing we need is to elevate a blustering, hypocritical, unthinking, inflexible, pledge-taking, oath-swearing fundamentalist...one who doesn’t even have time to fill out his position on the issues.