Nowhere near ‘one of us’

Doug LaMalfa serves own self-interests and those of his Big-Ag buddies

The author is a psychiatric nurse who lives in Concow.

Now that Doug LaMalfa has been in Congress for six months, questions arise: What are we to make of the man? Who is this guy? Does he live up to his campaign slogan that he is “one of us”?

I’ve heard Doug LaMalfa speak twice, and I’ve exchanged a few words with him. He listens well to those he serves (industry, especially Big Ag and the fossil-fuel companies). He is quite arrogant. His hubris and myopia will continue to get him in trouble. He can’t help it. He will offer opinions when given the chance, which will amaze us with his stupidity. We will never describe him as a thoughtful person, nor will we say he can weigh arguments fairly. He is a brash creature of propaganda, bathed in Limbaugh and Larson. A cowboy populist.

Yet, he is cynical enough to tap into the government’s treasury to enrich himself and those who run in his circle. He is loyal to his friends—as displayed by his decision to hire, as chief of staff, his frat-boy dirty-tricks campaign adviser, Mark Spannagel, who should be managing a 7-Eleven and not the office of one of the 435. LaMalfa takes care of his friends. Great. But who fits into the “one of us” label that he advertised?

Doug LaMalfa is “one of us” if you happen to be a regular caller into the Rush Limbaugh program. I’d say he is “one of us” if you happen to own a farm that’s taken in millions of dollars in subsidies over the last decade or two.

But if you are a woman who believes that you should be able to choose when to start a family, or if you happen to be on food stamps, or if you are a student who needs financial aid, or if you are poor, or if you are gay, or if you lack health insurance, or if you are concerned about the fact we haven’t had a winter in two years, or if you believe it should be easier to vote than it is to buy a gun (and not vice versa), or if you are a hard-working person who doesn’t mind paying taxes so that we can have all the benefits of an educated, healthy society—if you see yourself in any of those categories, guess what? You won’t be joined by Doug LaMalfa. He isn’t one of us.