Opinion » Bill Cope

Come GOP With Me

It's my party; howl if you want to


First thing I'm going to do is volunteer to decorate the banquet room for next year's Lincoln Day dinner. I figure I can get some help from the Log Cabin fellas and do it up right. Honestly, does that damn elephant on the posters always have to be so fat? And after that, I'm going to push hard to get on the Guest Speaker Selection Committee. Enough of mutants like Ann Coulter. I'm going for Al Franken! Ha, he'll either have my fellow Republicans rolling in the aisles or choking on their own vomit. Either way works for me.

Whoa there, Cope! What are you talking about? My fellow Republicans?!

Yessir, you'll have heard it here first, just as soon as I tell you. I am now a registered member of the Republican Party ... or I will be when the paperwork gets back from Florida. See, Idaho has no registration for party affiliation. Not yet, anyhow. They may have soon, but I couldn't wait. I wanted to be the first registered Republican in Idaho, so I jumped on my search engine with "register as a Republican" and the first site that popped up with a form I could fill out was the Hillsborough County Repubs in Florida. That form is in the Florida-bound mail as I type. Now all I have to do is wait for my creds to show up, and I am off and meddlin'! Can't hardly wait for that primary election next spring! Especially after I talk all my liberal buds into joining up with me.

I guess an explanation is in order as to why a lifelong, dedicated and ardent Democrat has registered as a Republican. See, it all started shortly before the primary election last year. If you'll remember, running for the 1st District Congressional seat on the GOP side were five flaming gasbags, plus Sheila Sorenson. I wrote a column at the time explaining why I intended to go to the Republican side of the ballot and vote for Sorenson, given that there was no real race on the Democratic side. I figured if the Republican ended up winning in the general election—a distinct possibility here in Idaho—then I'd prefer a moderate, thoughtful voice (like Sorenson) over someone from the flaming gasbag wing of the GOP.

As you're aware, one of the flaming gasbags won anyway, and now represents us in Congress ... lucky us. But merely winning wasn't enough. Wayne Hoffman (who later turned up as the victorious gasbag's PR pimp) had a guest opinion in the daily paper lamenting his inability to vote Republican alongside Republicans only, without some blasted Democrat cross-over voters acting like they had a stake in Idaho's future. I can't tell you if my column was what set him to fussing and fuming so, but he did refer to it.

Last winter, an attempt was made to legislate closed primaries, but it failed, in large part because moderate Republicans recognized it as a self-inflicted lobotomy in the making. But one thing you have to give to the far right: Once they get a notion into their noggins, they never let it go. They are much like ticks in that regard. If you try to simply brush them off, their itsy-bitsy little heads will stay firmly embedded in your flesh, resulting in all sorts of infectious unpleasantry. In this instance, the itsy-bitsy little infectious head buried in our collective flesh is one-time-somebody Rod Beck. Understand ... he isn't very good at getting elected to office (he's lost the last two primaries he's entered), and he isn't very good at running state agencies (witness his short and ignoble hitch with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association—a crony appointment if there ever was one), but Rod Beck is very, very good at getting his name in the news. This time, he and 70 of his closest pals have filed a suit with the Idaho Department of State to force closed primaries on Idaho. (They've even used my original column (BW, "Clown Control," May, 17, 2006) as Exhibit C in their complaint that there is a dreadful problem with Democrat crossover voters. I suppose they had to, since there is no other evidence available.)

One of their arguments for closing the primaries is that we Democrats ... er, I mean those Democrats which I used to be one of but am not anymore since I'm a Republican now ... have a closed caucus once every four years to decide which presidential candidate to back. Now, I've been to those caucuses and I've never seen them try to stop anyone from getting in. There's no way, you see, since at present, there is no identification by party in Idaho. Secondly, to compare a quadrennial caucus event that applies to one and only one national race to a primary process that can decide candidates on every level from the school board to Congress is dishonest and absurd. But then, what else would we expect from Rod Beck? Or anyone who would associate with the drip, for that matter. (For more details on the suit, see Shea Andersen's coverage at www.boiseweekly.com.)

But listen, the real intent behind this assault on free elections, and everyone knows it, is to marginalize the remaining moderate Republicans in the state party—those the gasbags call "RINOs" (Republicans In Name Only). It is likely the suit will win, and if it does, I will never again be able to cross vote for the better woman. Hence, I'm switching. If the Hillsborough County Republicans don't come through, I'm registering here in Idaho as soon as possible. See, once I get a notion in my noggin, I don't give up, either.

But, hey, I'm still a good Democrat, don't ever doubt it. It's just that now I'm a good Republican, too. Probably the best Republican in the state, seeing as how every cent of my donation dough will be going to Ds, and every minute of my volunteer time will be going to Ds. And as soon as Idaho Ds have a truly competitive primary race, I will cross over and vote my heart—which will be an easy matter since they have no intention of closing their primaries. In the meantime, I will be free to vote for RINO after RINO after RINO, ha ha!

To all my liberal readers, I encourage you to organize "Register as a Republican" events. You could march in groups over to Ben Ysura's office and sign up. Wouldn't that be a hoot? And listen, if enough of us join, maybe we can drum these "RECTUMs" (Republicans Eternally Committed To Unending Moronity") out of our party.

And speaking of parties, just think of all the fun affairs we can throw. "Republicans for the Kyoto Treaty" parties. "Republicans for Impeaching Bush" parties. "Republicans for Hillary" parties. And just let the gasbags try to stop us. Just let them try.