Tuesday, December 19, 2017

SIGNING OFF...



December 19, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Signing off…

… for now, at least. I’ll be on the road for the next week or so, and am unlikely to have access to a printer. I will not, then, be mailing hard copies as I usually do. I will likely try to stay off the computer altogether. However, if something comes up that truly demands attention, you’ll have to go to the blog, The Rohrabacher Letters, to find out what I have to say.

A note before departure: I sat yesterday in Frank Gehry’s incredible Disney Hall and listened to Mozart and Bruckner. On Wednesday I’ll be at the Metropolitan Museum to see Michelangelo and David Hockney; and, at the Breuer extension, Edvard Munch and Anselm Kiefer. On Thursday I’ll be at the Museum of Modern Art to see an old friend and colleague, the African American master Charles White paired in an exhibition with Leonardo da Vinci (Charlie would be so chuffed, had he lived to see it). On Saturday, with luck and time enough, I’ll be at the National Gallery in Washington DC to see Vermeer.

Lucky me! What a wealth of culture from the Western Heritage! And—I can’t resist—how very small beside these great minds seems your Donald Trump, with his petty, vindictive Tweets and his vulgar castles!

To go to NYC and then Washington DC (to escape politics)! That’s the ticket!

Respectfully, as always,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A NO VOTE!

Delighted to hear that Re. Dana Rohrabacher intends to vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act! Congratulations to him on his decision! Could it be that his constituents made a difference? And... can other Republicans be far behind? We need many more of them to defeat this monstrosity of a bill and deny Trump his massively generous Christmas present to himself and his family! Does anyone believe his assertion that it's a Christmas present for America? No one I know.

MERRY?

December 15, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: MERRY?

Your Trump has been smirking “Merry Christmas” since October—still a warrior, I presume, in Fox News’s ardent defense against the pagans’ “war on Christmas.” I feel compelled to ask, though, merry for whom? Merry for Trump, no doubt, who may get to sign an actual—though despicable—bill this coming week, and whose family stands to profit handsomely from its passage! Merry, it seems also, for Republicans, who can soon rejoice not only in their success in placating their oligarchic donors, but also in depriving millions of their fellow Americans of the security of health care insurance. They have managed in a sneaky way what they failed so very often to achieve with what Sen. McCain referred to at a moving but alas ephemeral moment as “the proper order.”

Well done, Republicans! Well done! You have flaunted the will of the majority of those you were elected to “serve”! You have sold the America you claim to love down the river of cash delivered by your bosses.

Not so merry for that majority, however—myself amongst them. We are left feeling ill-served, cheated, betrayed by our “government,” permanently angry, and clinging to the last straws of hope for the survival of our vaunted democracy. We are feeling embarrassed for a country that so readily abandons old relationships and treaties and declares to the world its callous disregard for the well-being of our planet. Not only does our “president” behave like a spoiled and truculent child in the global community, he encourages the exploitation or dismantling of all our country’s resources, whether human or natural. And, before the disbelieving world, you Republicans rally round to support him in his every rash action and delusion.

Not so merry for the rest of us in America, then, this Christmas. I wish you better judgment and a more ethical conscience in the coming year.

Not merrily, no. But sadly,

Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

TAX CUTS (again!)

December 15, 2017

 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

If I understand correctly, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be sent to the House of Representatives next Tuesday or Wednesday for a vote. The latest word that has come to my attention is that the House and Senate have succeeded in reconciling their bills, and that the Majority Leader in the Senate believes he has the votes needed for passage.

I write to ask you to vote NO. I realize that my request is likely to be ignored, but I write to ask it any way. From everything I have read about this bill—and I have read a good deal of reports from a variety of sources—it is an atrocious piece of legislation, which is being rushed through Congress merely in order to have something, anything, for Republicans and their “president” to claim as a victory in the first year of his tenure; to rescue one last possible scrap of his already tattered reputation.

Aside from needlessly prioritizing the military and adding shamefully and massively to the deficit—an action that Republicans loudly deplored when enacted by their Democratic colleagues—the bill masks its real purpose of benefiting the already wealthy behind token sops for the middle class and a slap in the face for the poor. It will be followed, we can safely assume, by loud calls from your party for severe cuts in social services to cover the increase in the deficit that you have created.

I don’t know how much longer Republicans can get away with spitting in the face of the people whose interests they are supposed to serve, but I’m fervently hoping it will be no longer than November, 2018. The damage you and your “president” are inflicting on this country will unhappily last very much longer.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Friday, December 15, 2017

READERSHIP

I'm happy to note that "The Rohrabacher Letters" blog is beginning to pick up some new readers. My intention with this blog is not only to publish the actual, hardcopy letters I send to Rohrabacher several times a week, but also--more significantly perhaps--to contribute to his replacement next November by a Democratic congressman or woman. To this end, I'd be grateful for help in spreading the word by those readers who enjoy the blog and share its intentions. I hope you might pass on the url to friends with your recommendation. (Oh, and please be aware: there is absolutely NO financial interest of any kind. It's a labor of... well, love!)

200

December 15, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: 200

By accurate count, I have now mailed exactly 200 letters to you since the Trump inauguration last January 20—the day I decided that I had to “Do Something” about what I saw to be an impending disaster. The only thing I really know how to do is write; and, since I vote in your Orange County, California 48th District, and since you are a Republican supporter of Donald Trump, and since you “represent” everything I consider to be wrong-headed or downright harmful to our country, I decided you would be the person must write to.

This letter is my 200th. Each one has been personally composed and written—I use no boilerplate or screed and express my own ideas as succinctly as I can. Each one has been hand-signed, hand-addressed, and sent to your office via the US Postal Service. I have consciously avoided the kind of invective, insults, name-calling, and general lack of civility that characterizes so much political discourse. Each one of my letters is signed “respectfully,” and each seeks to maintain a respectful, if sometimes provocative tone. They come from a partisan point of view, it’s true, but they try to make points that are logical and based in fact.

I have enjoyed writing these letters, even though they have cost me a great deal of time. I’m not na├»ve. I know that you are unlikely to read most of them (all of them? any of them?) yourself, so I write them as much for those who follow my work on social media and in my blogs as for yourself, the primary recipient. I want to make a difference, and support those who are working in our district to send a different representative to Congress in the next election, so I share my letters with them. Even so, dare I hope that your staff at least do take a look at them? Surely, the steady incoming stream of hand-addressed envelopes must have caught someone’s eye? Surely, the record of 200 hard copy letters in today’s internet connected world cannot have entirely escaped notice.

And yet, Congressman, I am disappointed to have heard not one single word from you, my representative, who should be at least pretending to listen to one of his constituents. I misspeak: I have received, over the months, some three or four emailed responses in the form of boilerplate position papers. They do not engage what I have to say, they merely seize upon the general topic (health care, taxes, what have you) and expound on it at great—and frankly boring!—length.

Is it too much, after all this time and all these letters, to ask for a response? To ask you to read at least one of the letters that I compose with genuine concern and thought, to pay attention to what it has to say, and to respond in kind? Isn’t that your job—or a part of it? To listen, even—perhaps especially--to those who disagree with you? It would be simple enough, and take but little of your time: “Dear Dr. Clothier,” (I’ll do it for you) “thank you for taking the time to contact me with your views on (subject). I understand that you are (upset/angry/amused/outraged) at (Trump/the tax bill/the Republican attack on Obamacare/climate change) and wanted to let you know that even though I (share/totally disagree with/am dismayed by) your position, I will take it into consideration as I prepare to (make a statement/vote/attend a committee meeting) in a few days time. In service, your Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher.”

There. What could be more easy? And how nice for me, your constituent, to know that you have read the thoughts I have addressed to you at least one time. Nicer still, of course, would be to read that you read my words and actually changed your mind… but that is perhaps too much to ask. A simple response would do the trick. Isn’t that your job?

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

MENDACITY

December 14, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Mendacity

I do not believe that the disastrous Republican defeat in Alabama should be attributed merely to the fact that you had a despicable candidate there. Sure, that helped.  But you should beware of blaming him alone—or even Trump and Bannon, blameworthy though they be.

The bigger lesson, I believe, is that ordinary people are beginning to understand and are disgusted with what Republicans have come to represent—or who you have come to represent: the wealthy few. You are not helped by the tax bill you are now rushing through Congress with no input from your Democratic colleagues. You can only fool people for so long. This scam of “tax cuts” has been played, now, too many times, and the deceit is plain for anyone with eyes (and a brain!) to see.

I predict that by election time next year, this act will cost Republicans dearly. The lies that have been, and are being told about its wonderful benefits for the middle class will have been exposed. Your “brand” will have been irreparably tarnished not only by the cynicism, callousness and mendacity of your leaders—including, of course, your president—but also by the policies you pursue.

See you in November!

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ALABAMA: WATCH OUT!

December 12, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Alabama

I wonder, what is your take-away from the result of the special election in Alabama? Democrats ought not to crow, but for me this was not only the rejection of a credibly suspected pedophile, it was a resounding repudiation of the politics of Trump and Bannon. It was an embrace of reason at a time of political insanity, of humanity at a time of callous cynicism. Bravo for Doug Jones, to have pulled off this victory. Bravo to the Alabama voters who turned out in record numbers to refute the racisim, the islamophobia, the perverted religiosity and the social retrogression represented in the person of Roy Moore.

The breakdown of the vote is instructive: Moore’s supporters were first and foremost white men, followed by white women, followed by a tiny minority of black men and last of all black women, who represented a mere two percent of Moore voters. The exact inverse was true of those who voted for Jones. I’d say it’s a stark reminder of where the wisdom lies in today’s political world. While you don’t have a significant black electorate in Orange County, for the coming election, I’d also say this: beware the women!

You must know that the Alabama result will be a shot in the arm for Democrats gearing up for the 2018 elections. Here in our district (our district, Congressman, not yours!) there is already a huge groundswell in opposition to your incumbency. The incompetence and the undisguised greed of Trump and his associates, along with the fecklessness of the Republican leaders who enable him, are threatening to undo what was great about America. The Republican brand is losing whatever luster it once had, as is the reputation of this country. Come November of next year, we shall have the opportunity to take a new direction—and I trust that it will not be yours.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TRUMP

December 12, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Trump

I see where Trump’s accusers are finally catching up with countless others accusing men in political leadership and other prominent positions of sexual misconduct. I have my reservations about the current frenzy of accusations, but fair is fair: Trump must be obliged to face the music as other men have done.

Should he resign? No one would be more than delighted if it came to that, but he should first be allowed—along with the rest of us—to hear the details of the offenses he has caused and offered the opportunity to defend himself. His denials thus far are far from convincing, and his claims—and those of his acolytes—that his election in itself exonerated him lack the force of simple logic. Perhaps, if pressed, he could do better?

I have also heard nothing to lead me to believe that you are anything but a Trump/Roy Moore supporter. The special senatorial election is being held in Alabama today, and it represents a double bind for Republicans. If Moore loses—as I fervently, but somewhat forlornly hope—it will be a hearty slap in the face for Trump and Trumpism; if he wins, you will have to live with the fact that your party has laid its reputation on the line in support of a man whose denials are no more convincing than your leader’s, and whose positions on race, religion, Islam, homosexuality, and indeed every other issue are even ore odious than those the party itself seems to embrace.

Please tell me that you, for all your right-wing views, are unwilling to tolerate such a man as a colleague in the government of the United States.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Monday, December 11, 2017

LIES

December 11, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Lies

It seems that lies are the common currency these days amongst Republicans as well as the occupant of the White House. I refer particularly, though not exclusively, to the lies with which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is being sold to the American people. I write this morning to ask you to acknowledge the truth, and to refrain from capitalizing on untruth on this or any other subject to you constituents. You owe us nothing less.

Hoping that you appreciate this morning’s brevity, I remain, respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

CONCEALED CARRY


December 7, 2017


Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman

Re: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

Vote NO.

I understand this bill is before the House this week.

Its passage would make a mockery of the victims of gun violence, most recently in Las Vegas, where 56 people died in a hail of gunfire; and Sutherland Springs Texas, where 26 more were mowed down as they prayed in church.

Your vote WILL be noted and judged by those your represent. NOBODY in their right mind would want to see this unconscionable violence continue to spread.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would give permission to virtually unlimited possession and carrying of concealed weapons through the United States.

This is NOT what we need. In the name of the lives that stand to be lost with the passage of this bill, and of those to be saved if it fails, VOTE NO.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

JERUSALEM

December 6, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Middle East

The announcement of Trump’s intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem despite the opposition of almost everyone except Benjamin Netanyahu and his band of right-wing radical Israelis is yet another slap in the face for the rest of the world. It clearly invites further turmoil in the Middle East, where nothing is less needed than further turmoil. As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, you should join with your colleagues on this committee to condemn this move.

The reputation of the United States as a member of the world community of nations is now—as Trump said yesterday of his own national law enforcement agency, the FBI—“in tatters.” This is the result of our current president’s shabby “America First” policy, his personal weakness contrasted with his pretense of strength, his boastful strutting on the world stage and his disregard for the norms of diplomacy—let alone his appalling ignorance of history and cultural traditions.

What a mockery of his promise to “make America great again”! Even our Secretary of State gets the cold shoulder when he meets with European colleagues, as reported in today’s New York Times. A once-great power is being reduced to the object of world ridicule and disgust.

I need to ask: what is your House Committee doing to preserve and indeed restore the reputation of the United States in the world community?

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

REPUBLICAN VALUES/AMERICAN VALUES

December 5, 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Republican values/American values

Here are two of your senators in recent statements:

Sen. Orrin Hatch, speaking of the Children’s Health Insurance Program: “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, who won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, speaking of the estate tax repeal: I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing — as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

I don’t know about you, Congressman, but these are not the values that reflect my understanding of what America is (or was) was all about.

I see the word “victory” bandied about in the media, with reference to your tax reform bill. But no, it’s not a victory. May I suggest what a victory would look like? It would not be a victory from Trump, as some suggest; it would not be a victory for the smugly grinning Mitch McConnell and his band of Republican senators; it would be a victory for the American people. A real victory would not be achieved in secret, without debate, without consultation. A real victory would not be partisan, one-sided, a bonus for the rich. A real victory would be inclusive. It would result from a collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, with the ideas of each reflected in the content. And it would benefit those in need as much as those who can afford to fend for themselves.

The next step along this despicable path is for Republicans to start shredding the social safety net, in order to pay for these tax cuts for the rich.  Will you be a part of that?

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

SPEAK OUT!

June 9, 2018 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 101 Main Street #380 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Dear Congressman, You may be surprise...