With the partisan debate over H.R. 3964, it might be tempting to conclude that water is yet another Dem vs. Rep issue.
Not the case. From what I’ve seen, people’s positions on water issues have more to do with geography than politics.
Stockton’s Peter Ohm provides a fine example in a recent letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
Ohm, a Delta farmer, is a Tea Party conservative who believes President Obama is destroying the country and should be impeached.
But he’s also pretty ticked at Boehner right now. On the phone with me this morning, Ohm called Boehner is an “uninformed idiot” for supporting drought-relief legislation that would ramp up Delta pumping and potentially harm farmers here.
“Someone needs to wake him up,” Ohm told me. “It’s appalling, how somebody could be so ignorant as to not know the whole situation.”
Here’s how Ohm put it in his somewhat more restrained letter:
“Many of us here in the Delta are and have been Republicans for our entire lives. It is mystifying to us how our own party can be coerced into making a factual water supply issue into a partisan effort to intentionally harm one group for the benefit of another.”
Yes, these issues are more complex than portrayed on the political stage. When it comes to water, it may not be conservatives vs. liberals. It’s Delta conservatives vs. south Valley conservatives, north state liberals vs. south state liberals. And even that is an oversimplification.
As an aside, I had to ask Ohm if the statements on his truck get much notice. He said he’s only been flipped off by a handful of people.
Are they flipping him off because he wants to impeach Obama, or because he sides with liberal environmentalists who want to save the Delta?
We could guess. But Ohm doesn’t particularly care.
“If you want to save America, you’ve got to get some balls,” he said.