Sunday, December 2, 2012

How Waxman Left the Left -- and Why They Should Return the Favor

When Congressman Henry Waxman (D-33rd, Beverly Hills, South Bay) was running the Westside during the previous decade, he never once received less than 60% of the vote. In 2008, he ran unopposed by a major party. In 2010, Chuck Wilkerson sponsored a spirited campaign, complete with embarrassing footage of Waxman openly acknowledging his ignorance about key portions of his Cap and Trade Bill. Republicans swept the House, increased their numbers in the Senate, but Waxman survived.

Waxman raises nothing but rage and hackles for conservative and libertarian voters. Democrats are not too thrilled with the Congressman, either, which explains why the Daily Bruin and the Santa Monica Daily Press offered tepid endorsements for his reelection in 2012. Progressives and outspoken leftists, including WeAreChangeLA, despise this man, too. The outrage and calumny which he endured at a 2007townhall meeting dominated by WeAreChange LA cemented the movement’s disdain for the Congressman.

The day after Christmas, 2007: Waxman spoke at the Westside Pavilion ( Some of the members belonged to the “9-11 Truth” movement, claiming that the attacks on the World Trade Center were an “inside job”. December 26 is also known as “Boxing Day” in Canada, and the one hundred plus members in that meeting were in fighting form, pummeling Waxman left and right.

The Congressman predicted that the audience wanted to talk about impeaching President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping, the invasive Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the looming girth of Big Government, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Bush Administration offended voters left and right, both limited government and progressive advocates alike. Instead of respecting their concerns, Waxman gave the audience a twelfth-grade lecture on the impeachment process. As always, he blamed the Republicans for gumming up the works. Then again, he failed to point out that President George W. Bush successfully pushed for a troop surge in Iraq that year from Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.

Peter Thottam, a Westside lawyer, tore Waxman up:

“I met with you in July, and we got the same load of crap the last time” about impeaching Bush. He outlined his credentials as an attorney, offering that there was “clear and convincing” evidence to impeach President Bush. The previous year, a resolution from liberal Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), demanding a trial failed by only 26 votes. “Nothing less than the integrity of this government is at stake,” Thottam continued. If Clinton could be impeached for perjury, he argued, then Bush all the more deserved to be put on trial. He then finished by shouting at the bedeviled Congressman: “Show some spine!”

The next question touched on Congresswoman Jane Harman’s (D-South Bay, ret.) bill HR-1955, which authorized extended supervision of suspected domestic terrorists, offensively including the “9-11 Truth Commission”.Waxman voted for that bill, and the audience wanted to know why. This is what he had to say:

“I wish someone had contacted me about that bill. It was on the suspension calendar for non-controversial bills.”


“I had no reason not to vote for the bill.”

The audience chanted back: “Did you read it? Did you read the bill?”

His response: “I did not know that it was a controversial bill. I do not read every bill.”

Waxman admitted in an open forum on camera in a townhall meeting that he had no reason not to vote for a bill that he did not even read. Unbelievable.

Another member asked:

“If you don’t serve our interests, whose interests do you serve?” followed by a demand for the Congressman to get some backbone, to show some spine. He then hammered him for going after steroid abuse in baseball instead of more pressing issues. Defending his investigations, Waxman tepidly claimed that he was concerned about young children using steroids because their heroes, major league sports figures, were using the drug. His concern is forever repudiated in one telling scene from “Bigger, Faster, Stronger”, in which the Congressman admitted that he did not know the legal drinking age or the medical exceptions for steroids.

Judging from his brief appearance at the Westside Pavilion, Congressman Waxman did not take his own left-wing constituents seriously. Until the 2012 election, he could take them for granted because if they did not vote for him, they would either endorse a minority candidate who had no chance of winning, or just sit out the election.

Waxman brazenly admits that he does not read his own or other colleagues’ legislation. He investigates issues of no interest to voters left or right, or even of interest to himself. This man has no business being in office. A future candidate, perhaps a libertarian Republican, could claim: “I would have impeached President Bush.” The candidate could the corral progressive votes with reductions of police power and a reduced American military which defends this country instead of invading other countries. The likely challenger must expose Waxman’s glib, “on camera” indifference.

If such a candidate could inspire leftists to leave Waxman behind and back him instead for office, Waxman’s days would be numbered in earnest.

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