Thompson’s Cheatin’ Heart
On September 19th, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “No More Names” bus tour came to its final stop for a rally on the steps of the US Capitol, dozens took to the stage to speak out against the rampant epidemic of gun violence and the emotional toll it has taken on the country. Parents, victims, politicians, advocates all — gathered together in a symbiotic jello mold of sorrowful activism.
Amidst the number of heavy lifters at the rally was Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), who took to the stage with the ease of a televangelist. His tone was somber, reflective, yet at times soared to great heights as any practiced orator would. This was his crowd, his church, his pulpit.
Preaching the gospel of “universal background checks,” “assault weapon bans” and “common sense gun laws” has been Thompson’s lot since tapped by Vice-President Joe Biden in January to head the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force post-Newtown — the move elevating his political status and bringing national attention to the home-grown Northern Californian. A brilliant move on Biden’s part, considering Thompson’s outspoken support for the shooting sports both in Congress and as a former state legislator.
Being able to say with implied impunity that he is a gun owner and hunter who “sometimes disagrees with Nancy Pelosi” — even as he unabashedly attends fundraisers for gun control organizations with Dianne Feinstein — has bought him a lot of Bloomberg love. But like a man with a mistress, he will have hell to pay when the wife finds out.
The hypothetical wife, in Thompson’s case, are the thousands of sports enthusiasts back home in Nor Cal who have stood like loyal retrievers in his hunting camp as he has used his position with conservation-minded groups like the influential and bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to provide him political cover for a less than stellar record on the Second Amendment.
The Thompson/Biden/Bloomberg trifecta may be catching up with the Congressman as he struggles to explain his new BFF’s to a pro-gun and pro-hunting constituency whose interests are no longer parallel but have politically and permanently intersected. This is a new reality that Mike Thompson is going to have to answer to back home.
Your cheatin’ heart,
Will pine some day,
And crave the love,
You threw away,
The time will come,
When you’ll be blue,
Your cheatin’ heart, will tell on you…
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams – 1952