Wednesday, September 18, 2002

It Is Always Fun Seeing What The Bay Area Thinks...

It makes me grateful to have escaped the Open Ward that is the San Francisco Bay Area. Look at this recent San Francisco Chronicle article quoting members of Congress from the Bay Area about Iraq. My favorite, of course, is the dingbat who used to misrepresent me in the House of Reps, Lynne Woolsey.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Marin, said, "I would vote no. I don't believe our world, our nation, our communities or we as individuals will be safer by going to war against Iraq."

Woolsey said constituents' communications with her office were running about 200 to 1 against attacking Iraq.

Well, some of that is because many of her constituents are filthy rich leftists (are there any other kind?) who think that 1960s songs about brotherhood, loving one another, and getting high constitute a realistic foreign policy when dealing with thugs like Saddam Hussein. Most of the rest of Woolsey's constituents know that there's not much point in saying anything to what must be one of the least intelligent members ever elected to the House.

Back in 1992, when Woolsey was trying to get the Democratic nomination for Congress, I was talking to candidates as part of my responsibilities as legislative officer of the Cotati Rod & Gun Club (now defunct). I spoke to one Democrat who was trying to get the nomination for Assembly, and thus, not a competitor to Woolsey. Bajun's last name now escapes me (he was an East Indian, and his last name had far more syllables than my poor little brain can now remember). We didn't see eye to eye on the gun control issue, but Bajun at least wasn't a raving idiot on the subject, and we ended up discussing Woolsey, who was known to be a bit rabid on the subject. At this point, Bajun told me something that just flabbergasted me.

At a candidate forum Bajun and Woolsey participated in, someone asked the Democratic candidates trying to get the House nomination what they would do to solve the deficit problem. "I would reduce the Defense budget," responded Woolsey, in her usual self-righteous way. One of the audience said that this wasn't really enough information. What, exactly, would she cut? "Oh, I'd get rid of all the bombs and things." Unsurprisingly, in her district, she won the nomination.

She went on to win the general election, because of the actions of the Republican nominee, a guy named Bill Filante. Mr. Filante had decided to move up from the state legislature to Congress. Filante, being a moderate to liberal sort, might have had a chance of winning the general election. But he was being challenged by a conservative Republican for the nomination. (Very conservative, by Marin and Sonoma County standards, but just conservative out here in real America.) Filante fought the battle ferociously, won the Republican nomination--and then announced within a day or so after the primary was over, that he had inoperable brain cancer. He didn't withdraw from the race, but everyone knew he was going to die so soon that there was no point in voting for Filante in the general election.

Filante could have withdrawn before the primary, and at least given a conservative Republican a chance at fighting Woolsey in the general election, but he didn't. This is part of why "liberal Republican" is right up there with "jumbo shrimp" in my oxymoron dictionary. Filante pretty obviously preferred a raving left-wing Democrat to be in Congress over a conservative Republican.

Woolsey, however, so well represents the wealthy and clueless who form much of her district that many people I know still stuck in her district think of her as "Congresswoman for Life."

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