Mr. Cope’s Cave: I’m Not So Much Selling Out As Cashing In

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I have an announcement to make. Some of you will be shocked, no doubt, but this was bound to happen sooner or later. I just can’t go on doing the same thing forever, can I?

No, of course I can’t. Truly, writing blogs will always be my first love, and I will always look back on these past nine months with the fondest of memories. And the friends I have made, sitting here in my basement pounding out two episodes of Mr. Cope’s Cave a week will always be invaluable to me.

But I feel most strongly I must move on. I am at that point in my life where being free to express any opinion or thought or whim in any way I am so inclined is simply not enough. My heart demands more. My soul cries out for change. My gut grumbles for growth.

So as of today, as soon as I complete this blog you are now reading, I am done here. Mr. Cope’s Cave is closing up shop. And first thing tomorrow morning, I will begin my next adventure as a press secretary for a prominent Idaho politician. From now on, any opinion, thought or whim I express will be his, and the way I do it will be how he is inclined to have it done.

In a way, I feel like I have been moving toward this moment all of my life. I am so excited. Just think… issuing utterly predictable press releases and making sure his hair is combed for television interviews… a dream come true!

Incidentally, the man I will be covering for is Jim Risch. Senator Jim Risch. Now I know, many of you will be thinking, But Bill, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago you called Sen. Risch a weasel?

That is entirely possible, of course. I have called so many Idaho politicians “weasels” during my time here in Mr. Cope’s Cave that I have lost track. Whether or not I have called Sen. Risch specifically a weasel, the fact remains that over the long course of his political rise from lowly legislator to lofty senator, I have called Sen. Risch a social-climbing embarrassment, a fraud, a pompous ass, a jerk, a douche, a creep, a racist, a nepotistic bum, a craven opportunist and a corporate stooge. But as to calling him a weasel?… I simply don’t remember.

I would even understand those of you who would feel going to a job in which my primary duty is trying to paint a self-serving and money-hungry politician out to be a wise and dedicated public servant flies somewhat in the face of everything I have been doing these past 20 years, between this blog and the time I have spent writing columns for the Boise Weekly.

Oh sure, I suppose, if you want to get picky about it. But ask yourself… hasn’t integrity always been a luxury, perhaps even an illusion, for those people with few assets to exploit? And as it turns out, I have accumulated a healthy build-up of assets since beginning. First of all, there’s my reputation, and why even have a reputation if you can’t leverage it for personal gain.

What’s more, I have a way with words. Whatever empty drivel may drip from the lips of my new employer, I am confident I can twist them into something—if not exactly meaningful—then something that will make him look less like a dick.

In other words, I have something other than integrity to exploit, and I intend to exploit it. And perhaps the best part is, guess who will be paying my salary. Hah hah, you! That’s right, you. The American taxpayer will be paying me to make Sen. Risch sound like a somewhat respectable human being.

You didn’t think those Congress guys pay their staff out of their own pockets did you? Good honk, no! They each get around $1,350,000 in public funds to pay the little toadies who do all their research, writing and grunt work. That includes me, starting tomorrow.

So I thank you, Mr. and Mrs. J.Q. Public. Turns out it doesn’t matter what you’ve thought of me all these years. Liberal, muckraking, trouble-making, journalist scumball… all of that. It’ll be your money keeping me in hair gel from now on.

Or until my new boss loses an election… and that ain’t apt to happen, is it?