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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A swing to the radical right

Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 8:42 AM

If it sometimes seems that the inmates are running the asylum down at the Idaho Legislature, most longtime political observers, including (privately) a number of top leaders in the Republican party, would agree.

From efforts to return to the "confederate" status of the old Articles of Confederation, to repeal of direct election of U.S. Senators and the gutting of public education, this legislature has an ultra-conservative bent that, frankly, frightens a lot of people.

The Republican leaders we respect (and there are many of them, fortunately) are appalled at the direction in which their own party seems to be moving. Like us, they believe most Republicans (and Idaho voters in general) are moderate conservatives, not the right-wing extremists that seem to be taking over the party at present.

Most believe the problem at the legislature stems from the sudden influx of "Tea Party" candidates swept to election last fall. Some of their overly simplistic and naive proposals have been justified on grounds that fly in the face of history, logic and the law.

In Idaho, we do have a two-party system, but both are included under the umbrella of the Republican Party. Inside the legislature there has been a growing rift between the two main groups of Republicans that can only be described as the Reasonable Republicans and the nuts. The nuts have been winning. It's been crazy.

And it's probably going to get worse.

As sure as the sun sets every evening, the legislature will pass Senate Bill 1198, which will close the Republican primary. The party had sued the state over the open primary law, which allows anyone to vote in a party primary election without having to declare a party affiliation. The courts agreed with the party's contention that the law was unconstitutional and that the party had the right to choose with whom they associated. That argument seemed reasonable and fair.

But the main concern was that party officials believed Democrats were crossing over to vote in the Republican primary (there's never anybody on the hopeless Democrat ballot anyway). The crossover voting, they contended, was designed to try and elect GOP candidates that would be unelectable in the general election.

On the surface, that also seems reasonable. But in Idaho, that's laughable. Even if every Democrat in the state did that, there probably aren't enough of them to sway many elections, and even if they did, any candidate with an "R" behind his name on the ballot is still going to get elected in Idaho anyway, so it would be counterproductive.

The real influence in the Republican primary has always been the Independents, and there are a lot of them out there. Independents tend to be middle of the road, trending toward conservative, so they've had a leveling influence on the Republican primaries.

But unless those Independents decide to formally register as Republicans, they are no longer going to be able to vote in the GOP primary, unless the party decides, under the provisions of SB1198, that voters listed as "unaffiliated" will be allowed to vote in the party primary.

Without the Independents, you're going to see even more ultra-conservative candidates winning the elections and moving on to the fall general election.

Some of these will be the same candidates who actually proposed, and got a significant number of votes at last year's state Republican convention, to eliminate public education in Idaho. They weren't successful, but they got a lot more votes than they should have and it's been reflected in the legislature's education proposals this year. Without the Independents to rein them in, a lot of those guys are going to get elected next year.

Party central committees tend to be more "hardcore" than general party membership. People tend not to run for precinct committee posts unless they're really fired up about issues. They're the ones, for example, that successfully pushed for a party "loyalty oath" for candidates (largely ignored by the more reasonable and good Republican elected officials in Idaho).

The average voter could care less about politics if they had a choice. With a closed primary, the "hardcore" voices are going to have even more influence. The moderate Independents are going to be aced out and left with increasingly unacceptable choices in the general election.

What's worse is the Democrats really can't offer up a viable alternative in the general election. The current Democratic Party in Idaho is a joke -- and a bad one at that. Even its recent leadership "reorganization" was simply a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. The party leadership has no clue how to win an election or even get viable candidates to run. They are not going to be able to come to the rescue of the moderate Independents who have historically been the deciding factor in Idaho elections.

The only hope for them is that the GOP decides to allow Independents to vote in their election, which we believe is critical to avoid a swing to the radical right. Right now, that doesn't seem likely. There are some press reports out there that the two parties the Idaho GOP is considering allowing to vote in their primary are the Constitutionalist and Libertarian parties.

That indicates a deliberate and conscious shift to the right that would push the party a long way along the political spectrum away from the centrist Independents.

It's time for the Reasonable Republicans in the Idaho GOP to fight back and regain control over their own party.

Allowing "unaffiliated" Independents to vote in the Republican Primary would go a long way to helping restore the party to a measure of sanity and help embrace that large body of Independents who would otherwise be virtually disenfranchised in Idaho politics.

Without it, you'll see a swing to increasing extremism that will destroy the GOP in the long run.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Jesse put down the drugs.

Seriously why all the name calling? If someone has a different view than you and Kelly they are a "Nut" or "Extremist". What is worse; people that believe in fiscal responsibility, equality, have a work ethic but disagree with your savor (see Obama) than they are labeled as a bigot or racist. Why? Because they disagree with spending more than you have in your bank account. Just go out and write checks equal to 1 million dollars when you have 1 thousand in your account. Do you think the bank will just say oh don't worry we know your good for it.

When people with views like each man or woman can earn or take themselves as far as they want to as long as they have the drive and work ethic then they are nuts. Unfortunately too many people have become dependent of the government for handouts, too many don't want to do the hard work for what they get, to many want and expect things to be handed to them. PERSONAL RESPONSIABILITY is become a thing of the past in this great nation and has turned into a nation of leaches. Have you ever thought that is the way the government wants you; it is easier to control what is dependent on you. Just look at any drug addict.

As for Libya, my opinion is he was wrong for asking the United Nations and not Congress first. But if we agree that it was to stop the innocent from getting killed. What about all the other countries that the innocent are being slaughtered? The argument loses any validate when you think of it that way. I also don't think he will be around for a second term, even if all the people on welfare and the dead (see voter fraud) get out and vote.

I also wonder why people stay in Idaho that are so far to the left? If it is so bad here why not move to California where it is a utopia for those leaning to the left. Why stay here and complain, complain, complain. I lived in California for 4 year while in the United States Military and decided Idaho was the place to retire because I liked the right leaning views, the views of freedom, and the views of personal responsibility. I just don't understand why you stay and complain when your utopia is just a couple states away.

-- Posted by Trouble2011 on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 11:55 AM

To Bazookaman.

You DO realize that with the current party direction swing to the far right you may find yourself being called a RINO or worse, a Liberal.

Willing to let the party swing THAT far?

-- Posted by BigRedYeti on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 2:25 PM

Jesse,

Watch this video all of the way through and then tell us about Lybia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwkrrFRJD...

-- Posted by jtrotter on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 3:27 PM

I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR MY TONE OF VOICE TONIGHT!! LOL...

-- Posted by shockwave on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 5:21 PM

To Bazookaman.

Nice laundry list.

The point being that the Party is going far-right. What you mentioned will be the norm NOT the exception. How far-right will you go? How "right" is too "right". Please don't confuse "right" with "correct".

PS. I respect your service to our country. I've served over half my life for this country.

-- Posted by BigRedYeti on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 5:36 PM

He must have been born in America to be President. I don't like the politics he is playing though, why not just show it. Show his brth certificate and prove all those that believe he wasn't wrong. Why because it plays into him deviding the country. You are right we are the problem as we elected him into office. Not me I voted for McCain. I have voted in every election since I was 18. I do believe however he is hurting our country. As far as Utopia your concepts fit better in California than Idaho.

-- Posted by Trouble2011 on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 7:08 PM

jesse,

I was stationed there for 4 years. I guess the fact they are so far in debt as a state, more that any other state and are looking to the federal goverment to bail them out. That would be you and me as tax payers. All the while giving illegals {those breaking the law) free college tuition as well as other handouts. The fact a lot of Californian's have made such a mess of their state they are moving to places like Idaho and Washington and complaining they are to right. That there are no free handouts to the poor like they are morally superior. I believe in hard work and working for what you get. I have never taken unemployment, food stamps, or welfare even when I was eligable for them. I work a full and part time job as I have for the last 3 years to make ends meet. I just get tired of being taxed so much so they can give it away to people too lazy to earn it. It kind of takes the drive to work hard away. When you have to pay for others to play.

-- Posted by Trouble2011 on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 9:08 PM

Like a terrorist can find Boise never mind Idaho. We are a low priority and like the Japenese said during WW2 invading the USA is not an option because there would be a gun behind every tree. Funny when you look around Mountain Home not having a lot of trees. I can tell you I have enough weapons and ammo in my collection to arm a small army. It is my recreation jesse as is my reloading machines. If we wouldn't fight with one arm tied behind our backs (see vietnam and afganistan) were the private has to ask permission to shoot back as he is being shot at. Our founding fathers ment for our taxes to go to defense not to pay for illegals, lawyers, and crooked congressmen and seneters on both sides. They have sold our country out for their own personnal greed. I too have a child that is autistic and is 22 years old. Does not talk or communicate. Was able to get SSI her whole life all I had to do was fill out the forms but I refused. I'm her dad and I will take care of her. Glad you are doing what you have to and I don't mind my tax dollars going to help. I believe that is a good use, but not to give food stamps to someone so they can buy beer and cigaretes with the cash they have. Good Luck but once they have you dependent on them they will control you, just like a drug dealer.

-- Posted by Trouble2011 on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 10:22 PM

In 2008 twenty-six states had closed primaries - including New York, Oregon, and District of Columbia.

http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=1801

Twenty-seven now in 2011 - including California.

http://grassrootsidgop.wordpress.com/lis...

So don't even try to pull that tired old "extremist GOP" line of bull. If you want a radical swing, try reality.

-- Posted by VicVega on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 10:23 AM

JONES was probally hoping that the violence would take place here in America.I think he knew it would incite and could care less.To compare our values to there values in afganistan is apple and oranges.He made the westerners to include our soldiers targets,knowingly.that bothers me bad.WE in America enjoy free speech and thought etc without repercussion,we know that is not the case beyound our borders and to help to increase the risk to our people beyound our borders is reprehensible,No JONES did not poison anyone but he helped to set the table

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 1:41 PM

CJW, I guess it depends what political party you're affiliated with determines whether or not you're accountable for your own actions.

-- Posted by VicVega on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 3:32 PM

NOOOOOOOOOO OUR VALUES SAY NO. THERE VALUES IN THERE COUNTRY SAYS YES i hope that clearifys. IF WE CAN REASONABLY FROM A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE FROM PREVIOUS EVENTS EXPECT THE KIND OF REACTION THAT WE GOT, WHY THEN WOULD YOU DO IT ????? WE have had previous events,the cartoon is just one EXAMPLE that provoked the same response.Now im not saying he doesnt have a right in America to do what he wants I SAID HE PROBALY KNEW THE REACTION THAT WOULD HAPPEN IN muslim countrys tHATS WHAT I SAID.AS americans we have our values and they have theres or are they not entitled to theres or only ours count????? YOU CAN TWIST THAT IF YOU WANT ,BUT THE QUESTION IS VALID.IF that kind of violence happened in America.someone would be held accountable and rightly so by our standards and law.So dont try to make it that i am condoning what happened im not.But i do understand what happened and why. THERE ARE 2 SIDES

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 3:52 PM

What better place to throw out some stinky bait than a KE editorial. Ha!

-- Posted by VicVega on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 6:34 PM

WELL I SEE WERE BACK TO NAME CALLING.......OUR VALUES IN OUR HOUSE THERE VALUES IN THERES.....NO CHANGES .YOU WANT TO BURN KORANS DO SO,YOU WANT TO TELL THE WORLD YOU DID IT. DO SO. THAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY.HOW LIGHTLY WE TAKE OTHER PEOPLE.BUT THEN AGAIN I AM REDICOUSLY STUPID AND OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY .......THANK GOD FOR THAT.

I KNOW ONE THING I DO CONSIDER WHAT OTHERS SAY WITHOUT CALLING NAMES,HMMMMMMMMMMM I MUST BE HIGH OR SOMETHING AFTER ALL YOU KNOW HOW YOU PEOPLE GET

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 8:31 PM

NO IT DOESNT. I KNEW FROM YOUR FIRST POST YOU WOULD GET ATTACKED MATTER OF FACT I TOLD SOMEONE THAT

sOME WILL LISTEN AND CONSIDER YOUR SIDE. they will even do that without trying to insult you and then we have.......some who the moment you disagree you are called names ,or your family is attacked ,your allegiance questioned,your intellegence etc. I KNOW YOU SEE I AM stupid,illeterate,moron,i have a victims mentality,i am a liar,oh and because i am black and have and opinion i am racist and should be thankfull for what i have....or should i say what i am allowed to have........so iv been there ,kinda refreshing to have you here. most of the time now i just ignore.....some people talk a good game they just havnt done anything...iv pretty much done it all so why argue with someone who doesnt have a clue about the real world.but knock yoursel;f out, its good for the soul(smile)........now you know there is and attack comming about this comment??????? how much???(smile).... i didnt mention any names did i??????? watch this

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:40 PM

I don't see where I called anyone names. Some people go there because that's what they do. Perhaps my comments were taken personally and the response was a personal attack. Not cool, but not entirely surprising.

It's kind of funny in respect to the path the discussion degenerated into: laying responsibility of murders committed by demonstrators with extreme religious beliefs at the feet of that pastor who burned the Koran (look through the posts to see where that started -- again, no surprise). I'm not agreeing with what he or the demonstrators did. But that has nothing to do with the editorial.

Funny in that it illustrates how some people react irrationally when confronted with something they don't agree with. Still a sad commentary on how some people deal though. I tried to get back on topic with the information on Closed/Open Primaries across the country. That's pretty much where discussion on the editorial stopped.

-- Posted by VicVega on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:43 PM

JESSIE............. go to the other blog and read ,THE LAST FEW POSTS there is a reference to a dog guess who that is???????? oh and no cursing or bad words or brenda will zap your post........yes the blog police......but she is a lovely lady..........cant quite figure out what planet were on today,god seems to be handing out judgements........to bad he doesnt judge himself

SAID ONE TIME HE HELD ALL LIBERALS INCONTEMPT AND THAT HE HATED ANYONE WHO WAS ONE......SO I GUESS HE WANTS THE BLOG TO HIMSELF SO HE ONLY HAS TO LISTEN TO HIMSELF......TOO BAD.PROBALLY WOULD HAVE ME WHIPPED FOR BEING INSOLENT......HA,HA,HA,FORGIVE ME ...I HAVNT LAUGHED THIS HARD IN AWHILE ......SEE YA

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Apr 7, 2011, at 9:57 PM

EX CONS ARE PEOPLE OR IS THERE SOMETHING FORGIEN ABOUT THAT CONCEPT........HE DID THE TIME.....ISNT THAT THE AMERICAN WAY??????? OR DO YOU PAY YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.....WHICH HE WILL.IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER......I NEVER SAID THE PRESIDENT WAS AMAZING YOU DID........I SAID THE CONSTANT BADGERING,CRITICISM,AND THE IDEA THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT HASNT HELPED TO SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS......IN MY OPINION IT HAS ONLY HELPED TO MAKE THEM WORST.......SO IF THAT MEANS I THINK HES AMAZING,THEN YES .......TO STAND UNDER THIS PRESSURE IS AMAZING AND THE JOB. MTN HOMMER YOU ARE GOING TO INTERPRET HOW YOU WISH THATS GREAT I AM SURE YOU WILL SEE THIS AS I ATTACKED YOU.I DONT JUDGE PEOPLE THE WAY YOU DO AND DONT EXPECT ME TOO.AND WETHER YOU LIKE THIS PERSON OR NOT I DONT CARE. YOU CANT INTIMDATE ME.......I DID NOTICE YOUR CHOICE OF WORDS DIRECTED AT JESSE.......... YOU SEE THE LACK OF CERTAIN WORDS EXPOSES YOU BUT MOST DONT SEE THAT,TO BAD I DO.......I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE AND YOU KNOW I KNOW.........EVENTUALLY EVERYONE WILL......HAVE A GREAT DAY

-- Posted by lamont on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 9:24 AM

I dont care what you expect mt hommer.what does and o bama supporter got to do with it? you trying to say something or are you implying again? everybody brings something to the table good bad or indifferent. never know when you can learn something....good bad or indefferent.did you ask her if she read them all????? or are you now the editore ......just wondering.

i cant wait till i get perfect so.........i..........can..........be ........just.......like....................NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by lamont on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 2:00 PM


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