There's something about the Idaho state capitol--its majestic dome, the soft light on the marble floors beneath the rotunda, its hushed sepulchral dignity. That is, when there are no politicians messing it up. Between May and December, our beautiful capitol goes from being the seat of nattering boobs to serving as the lovely navel of our fair state. If you're going to tour the building and want to marvel at the miracle of democracy, do it when the building is not in use. Otherwise you'll have to fight past grandstanding conservo-blowhards on the steps, shyster lobbyists elbowing for influence in the halls, and weary journalists smelling of whiskey and frustration. You also run the risk of overhearing some distinguished so-and-so from some-such-place make the case that schools, hospitals, daycares, animal shelters and old folks' homes are socialist training camps that should either be sold or turned over to the John Birch Society.
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