Opinion » Bill Cope

Clown Control

Bi-partisan primary pest prevention


The opinion I am about to write is strictly between Idaho's first district Democrats and myself. The rest of you can read it if you want, but it really doesn't concern you. There is nothing you can do to help and unless you believe, as I do, that Idaho has sent way more than her share of shameful buffoons to represent us in Congress, you probably won't even be interested in what I have to say. So why don't you take the day off. I'll be back next week with something we can all relate to, okee-doke?

Now then, first district Democrats--you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway. About who I'm going to vote for in Tuesday's primary, that is. Not that I'm trying to talk you into anything. If you chose not to follow my example, I'll live. I'm not one of those big fat blowhard, emotionally-stunted pundits who turns to illegally-procured prescription painkillers when everyone doesn't slobber "ditto" to whatever comes out of his big fat vile mouth. Just not my style, that.

I just thought you might want to know who I'm voting for, that's all. And I don't mean to imply my vote means more than yours just because I have a venue in which to announce my intentions. My vote counts the exact same as yours, even though I have an opinion column in a newspaper, and you don't. It's just that, well ... since I do have an opinion column in a newspaper ... I thought you might be interested. Especially seeing as how I spend a great deal more time thinking about politics than you do--considering the options ... weighing the pros and cons ... extrapolating the results of such and such maneuver--that sort of thing.

Not that I'm any smarter than you. It's just that, well ... maybe if you spent as much time extrapolating the results of such and such maneuver as I do, you'd have an opinion column in a newspaper, too.

But you don't, do you? So, you don't.

And since I do, I can't help but feel it gives me certain latitude to announce who I'm going to vote for in Tuesday's primary. And please, in no way should you consider this an endorsement. To call it an endorsement would imply I think everyone should vote for the same person. And like I said, I don't give a damn who you vote for.

Only, if you were smart, you'd vote for Sheila Sorensen, like I'm gonna.

Was that a collective gasp I heard?

I do believe it was, and it sounded like Democrats doing the gasping. (When Republicans gasp, it doesn't sound anything like when Democrats gasp. When Republicans gasp collectively, it sounds like Dick Cheney passing gas in a leather chair. You would know that if you'd been extrapolating as long as I have.)

Yes, come Tuesday, I'm going to the Republican ballot and voting for Sheila Sorensen. I am, what they call, "cross voting." Democrat party leaders advise against it, but I've done it plenty of times. In fact, when it comes to primary elections, I've probably voted Republican more often than Democrat. And I know I'm not the only one. There is somewhat of a tradition among Idaho Dems to go Rep in the primaries, and it goes back many election cycles. Maybe back as far as the year Steve Symms ran against Frank Church. Maybe even as far back as when Don Samuelson bumbled out of Sandpoint to become governor. Who knows? Maybe it's been around since the baby years of Idaho.

In the past, the idea behind Ds voting R has been that if the Ds help get the most feeble, the most pathetic, the most obviously unqualified of Rs onto the general ballot--usually at the expense of the moderate, sensible Rs--the D has a better chance of winning in November. And in this state, there has never been a shortage of feeble, pathetic, unqualified Rs to chose from. There must be a factory somewhere--down around Burley, would be my guess--that spits them out like defective spuds. I have come to believe that the more feeble, pathetic and unqualified an Idahoan is, the more likely he is to end up as a Republican candidate for public office.

Naturally, we Democrats have tried to exploit this horde of Republican ill-breds by voting for the worst of them so that our candidate would shine even brighter by comparison. Should o' worked.

Only ... it didn't. That's how we ended up with the likes of Helen Chenoweth and Steve Symms and Anne Fox. We should have known better. We should have known that in a state so pathetically Republican, the odds were overwhelming that the "R" would win in the general election, no matter how pathetic he or she was. That's what we got for trusting in the good sense of Republican voters.

But this time, I'm doing it different. I am going into the booth come Tuesday and voting for the least feeble, the least pathetic and the least unqualified Republican candidate for the First District House of Representatives seat. My reasoning: I have little doubt that by this time next year, the U.S. House of Representatives will be controlled by Democrats--possibly even the Senate, thanks to the monumental incompetence of the Bush crew. Sadly, the mini-Enlightenment that is sweeping across America at present will take its sweet time reaching Idaho, as usual, so the odds are still good that the Republican will win in November. I'm not saying it's impossible for the Democrat to win, but we must be prepared for the possibility he won't.

Therefore, I am doing my tiny bit to put the only "R" into the First District race who I wouldn't be ashamed of as an Idaho face in the Washington crowd. I am sick, sick, sick of having teeth-gnashing loons represent Idaho to the nation, and Sheila Sorensen is no teeth-gnashing loon.

Bill Sali is. So is Robert Vasquez. (I don't include the other three Rs because their campaigns are virtually irrelevant.) And never mind that the teeth-gnashers are calling Sorensen a "RINO" ("Republican In Name Only"). That's only their way of alerting the rest of us that the RINO isn't a clown like they are.

There are still reasonable Republicans left in Idaho, and I believe their numbers are growing. Together with a dose of Democratic help, I think we can put Sorensen on top, thereby offering voters a choice in November between two reasonable people and eliminating the possibility that our beloved First District's voice will be a mouthy, marginalized freak in a Democratic Congress.

So that's what I'm going to do, First District Democrats. Just thought you might want to know. Not that I'm trying to talk you into anything.

Oh, and Sheila: Come November, you're on your own.