“I don’t know which line is longer,” said Congressman Josh Harder last Sunday, “the food line or the line to see Adam Schiff.”
For much of the afternoon, it was the line to see Adam Schiff that was by far the longest. The twenty-year veteran of Congress has gained international fame not only as chair of the House Intelligence Committee but especially for his role on the House Select Committee that is investigating the Insurrection of January 6, 2021. Schiff posed for photos, signed books, and chatted with guests at the annual Harder Family Barbecue, held this year on August 21 at the historic Albert Lindley House located along the water in the Port of Stockton.
Schiff had to compete for attention with Josh and Pam Harder’s baby Lillian, who spent much of her time in her daddy’s arms while the Congressman from Turlock met with current and future constituents. Currently the Representative for California Congressional District 10, Harder moves to District 9 when boundary changes take effect after legally required redistricting.
After meeting all requests for autographs, chats, and photos, Schiff gave a short speech during which he described Harder as a “rising star” whose reelection is critical if Democrats hope to maintain their congressional majority. He also raised the awful prospect of Kevin McCarthy becoming Speaker of the House.
Most will remember McCarthy as among the first to crawl back to Donald Trump after the January 6 Insurrection threatened the lives of members of Congress, including Vice President Mike Pence, who listened to chants of “Hang Mike Pence” while being rushed to safety.
McCarthy also has the distinction of having been caught in a lie just hours after telling it, when a recording served as evidence of his dissembling about Donald Trump. He’s a serious contender with the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Lindsey Graham for most badges of dishonor earned while groveling at Donald Trump’s feet.
If Pence hadn’t refused to be taken away from the Capitol building during the riot, it’s very likely Trump would have called a halt to certification of the election that removed him from office. Mounting evidence suggests he would have then demanded a nationwide recount involving fake electors from states like Wisconsin, where Trump lackey Senator Ron Johnson is now claiming he was involved in the false electors scheme for only a “couple of seconds.”
“We were first told to get down, then, ultimately, to get out,” said Schiff, describing the horrific events when rioters tried to stop the certification of the election that removed Donald Trump from the White House.
Schiff said he asked Capitol Security Officers to speak with members of the crowd that stormed the building but was told it was too dangerous. Ultimately, five people died and 140 officers were injured after a mob of over 2000 tried to bring an end to America’s long history of transfers of power by means of the ballot box.
After overcoming resistance from a Republican Party that refuses to approve of anything proposed by President Joe Biden, Schiff and Harder are proud participants in successful legislation that has reduced prescription drug prices, including a $35 cap for insulin, as well as lowered prices for health care in general for millions of American citizens. They’ve also supported and helped pass incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, and legislation that will crack down on billionaire and corporate tax cheats who routinely dodge their federal tax obligations.
Last year, Congressman Harder led the effort to provide expanded compensation for veterans who suffered damaged health and shorter life expectancy from exposure to Agent Orange during the war in Viet Nam. This year, compensation was again extended to include vets suffering from exposure to an even wider range of toxins, including those who were exposed to hazardous material from burn pits. That legislation passed only after Republicans were shamed by veterans incensed at Republican opposition to medical care for people who fought and suffered in service to their country.
After decades of disinvestment in the nation’s infrastructure and human capital, America is at a historic crossroads. We can choose to move forward into the 21st century by honoring the democratic institutions that produced the greatest middle class in world history, or we can follow Donald Trump into a wilderness of lies, crime, and rule by force of arms.
“We just have to beat them at the polls,” said Congressman Schiff, emphasizing the nation’s need to affirm majority rule.
Schiff also reminded his audience that the late John Lewis remained optimistic until his death. “If John Lewis could be optimistic about the future of our country, so can we,” said Schiff. He then noted Josh Harder’s gift for serving people in rural communities that are too often divided by today’s partisan rancor. Harder has received recognition for bipartisanship, even during this time of rancorous division.
Harder’s youth and early success at legislation that improves people’s lives are promising signs that America’s future could be as bright as the high points in its past history of progress for women, minorities, and working people in general, especially the owners of small businesses that have made economic success and freedom the cornerstones of our free society.
“The future,” said Adam Schiff, “looks a lot like Josh Harder.”
I have never seen a congressman lie like Adam Schiff and that is saying a lot given our political system today! That guy is morally bankrupt.
Eric Caine says
Blake: Perhaps you’ve confused Congressmembers. Kevin McCarthy currently has the liar’s mantle by worldwide acclamation:
The Nation? Lol
Russian propaganda. Welcome to American media.
(keep working on civil war)
leilani hagberg says
you are confused to say the least. He is a former federal prosecutor and vetted extensively . Look to Trump , Tennessee and Gov. of So. Dakota for fun uncovering and indictments of sleazy machinations of abuse of authority
leilani hagberg says
What an adorable Lillian Harder. Long life little campaigner!
West Sider says
I will give Josh Harder the benefit of the doubt and say he is trying to do what is best for his constituents. Adam Schiff is the worst hack and liar. It is chronic with Adam Schiff. The GOP is almost certain to win the House and Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell are going to be thrown off the Intelligence Committee.
Damon Woods says
Adam Schiff stands for America? Hmmm, I doubt that. But, I will offer that some of the comments here suggest that some readers have a clue about what Adam Schiff is all about. Russia gate was a hoax, January 6th another Hoax orchestrated by the DNC. The raid on a former President’s house— that will launch a new era for politics- prior to that event, Former Presidents were ‘off limits’ for such pursuits. Some of you thing Trump will be charged, well, if that occurs, you can count on Barack Obama, Clinton and Biden to Join him- they all have not followed the laws of this country- Biden so far is the worst. It will make it easier to just put retired Presidents in Prison- no more CIA agents to watch them.
In the old days the Russians had spies and operatives working in the shadows to undermine their enemies. Since then they have figured out it is way easier to convince gullible people to do their work for them.
Maybe when this is all over you and Putin can go horseback riding.
Kent Mitchell says
Great article, Eric. Both Adam Schiff and Josh Harder are true patriots.
Richard Anderson says
Blake, West_Sider, JT,Westsider, Damon:
Your laconic, sometimes just plain cryptic comments should not be offered without substantial backup of real history. You’re wasting time for all of us.
Eric’s blog gives plenty of space for explanatory facts.
I would ask you, please comment only if you have something informative to say. Cut the unsupported, delusional references: Russian propaganda…. Adam Schiff is the worst hack and liar…. January 6th another Hoax orchestrated by the DNC….
These are breathtaking unsubstantiated claims by you writers.
I watched the January 6th coverage on Fox News. Showed the same video and comments that the CNN and MSNBC were broadcasting! There was agreement on what everyone with their eyes open could see. Give me, all of us, a break! – Richard
Facts and support don’t work any more. At one time people could talk and share ideas and if presented with evidence and backing, adjust their thinking to a higher standard. Drumpf ruined that. Now there are millions of Americans whose brains are broken and they have shut off the ability to see facts and hear evidence. They dream about Jewish lasers and democrats drinking blood and fraudulent elections, and they are okay supporting the erosion of democracy.
The election fraud idea was rejected in court, what 59 times.
The Jan 6th committee has presented overwhelming facts.
I don’t need to support anything. The facts are readily available. The problem is that a whole bunch of people refuse to accept them, or even see them. We most likely will have to define a new mental disorder based on their delusional political schizophrenia. No — the time for friendly conversation is over. Once these buffoons start talking civil war, the gloves come off.
We need to get used to being okay calling garbage thinking what it is. And if you don’t like what I’m saying, by all means prove me wrong with the same support and evidence you say I’m ignoring. Prove the election was fraudulent — show me the evidence. Prove that Obama did more to ruin this country than Drumpf.
I welcome it. Show me your brain.
Wow, Eric, as per the replies here, you do know how to flush out the right wing nuts!
Like all FOX/Trump/Republican parrots, they reduce our political discourse to something akin to what WWF is to actual sports.
Adam Schiff is a hero! Harder could not find a better mentor. I live in Harder’s new district and can’t wait to offer him my support and vote.