I don't know whether to laugh or make a field goal.
After forty years of unrepentant liberalism, and after winning his toughest reelection fight by five points in 2012, and even after sending an eblast in 2013 in which he announced that he would run in 2014, Congressman Henry Waxman is retiring (or rather, retreating) along with other long-term, over-time Democratic Congressmen in Washington, D.C.
It's about time! That's the first thing I can say.
But let's look at his reasons why and wherefore:
The reason for my decision is simple. After 40 years in Congress, it’s time for someone else to have the chance to make his or her mark.
Waxman pushed a 1,200 page Cap and Trade bill. He helped author and sponsor the 2,500 page monstrosity called the Affordable Care Act. There is nothing simple about this Congressman.
Let's consider some of the lowlights resulting from the passage of Obama-WaxmanCare:
1. Massive, shocking rate hikes throughout the country. I even wrote a letter to the Beach Reporter about a Manhattan Beach resident whose insurance was cancelled, who lost his doctor because of Obamacare.
2. Covered California has been anything but a success, despite the media's spin to make it look good.
- The website registered dreadful numbers with Latinos in California
- Californians are witnessing the massive increases in their premiums, including the hidden rate hikes because of Obamacare
- California doctors are boycotting the Obamacare exchanges, refusing to receive Medicare, Medicaid patients, and many more are leaving the medical profession entirely because of Waxman's legislation
- Staggering numbers of Californians are losing their health insurance because of Obamacare.
- Only one third of Californians who lost insurance because of Obamacare have regained their plans.
Of course, the long litany of mistakes, distortions, and outrageous remarks from Congressman Henry Waxman would inevitably catch up with him, too:
He did not know the basic laws regulating steroid abuse, or the legal drinking age, or where $15 million for steroid abuse education ended up, yet he insisted on running oversight hearings on the subject. (Check out clip from Bigger, Faster, Stronger here)
He did not know the contents of his failed Cap and Trade Bill (Check out his embarrassing admission here)
He did not even know that General Motors went bankrupt in 2009 (This was too much) He even played the One Percent card to justify the $700 TARP billion bailout, which ended up costing taxpayers billions of dollars, including retired teachers and police officers in Indiana.
Waxman claimed in open committee in early 2011 that "We're not broke!" Because of Obamacare, failed foreign policies, stimulus largesse profligately wasted, along with reckless overspending to rival even the Bush Administration, the United States Government now has a $17 trillion national debt.
Not one, but nineteen green tech companies, subsidized with taxpayer dollars, when bust under the Obama Administration, yet Waxman would only lament "I'm sorry Solyndra happened!" At least Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa pursued Waxman's potential links with the company. That was not good enough for Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) who slammed the LA Congressman's obstreperous behavior. Even after his close reelection, Waxman blamed the Koch Brothers for all the ills of the world, even though Waxman spent forty years ignoring the needs of LA area veterans, along with ignoring LA's need for the Subway to the Sea for better commuting opportunities along the Wilshire-West Los Angeles corridor. This country is not any better for Waxman’s efforts, whether relating to environment, health, or any other issue, for that matter.
Waxman’s 2012 challenger Bill Bloomfield remarked shortly after Waxman's announcement:
I'd like to offer my gratitude to Congressman Waxman for his dedication to public service and wish him the best personally in his upcoming life as a private citizen.
Excuse me?! This kind of “bipartisan” pandering is precisely the problem. For decades, both sides would berate each other in public, agree in private, spend money that the country does not have, and do nothing to reform the growing, unsustainable entitlement burden bearing down on our future. The last thing that we need in Washington is more politicians who please themselves and each other with niceties, while not-so-nice policies waste away our rights, opportunities, and economic freedom.
No, Congressman Waxman did not do a good job. Of course, there are the numerous constituencies, beyond just the homeless veterans of Los Angeles County, who have been harmed by Waxman’s legislation and policy support. What would you like to tell them, Henry? He shut down constituents in open forums, he played up the most rank partisanship, and denied science while hyping up climate change as a serious issue (It isn’t. Polar vortex, anyone?). His record of pandemic liberalism has left us none the better, and he retired not a moment too soon.
So, California’s 33rd Congressional District is an open seat for 2014. Electoral reforms have done their job, so far. Possible contenders: Zev Yaroslavsky? Antonio Villaraigosa? Ted Lieu? Richard Bloom? Aside from a Malibu Exec and a West Hollywood guru, the pickings are still all too slim.
At least Congressman Henry Waxman will be gone for good.