Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: 23 Dimwits... Absolutely!


Once more, before summer and sun and other pleasant things make us totally forget the wintry, nasty, slushy, gray dreariness of an Idaho legislative season, we need to consider further the special session Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter called in order to avert whatever disaster might have resulted from the Legislature's earlier failure to approve that Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which merely requires that Idaho be civil enough to join with civilized states and civilized nations in ensuring that children of broken marriages are provided for.

Specifically, we need to take a more comprehensive look at the 23 wintry, nasty, slushy, gray, dreary dimwits who were not interested in averting disaster and voted against the bill in spite of its benign intentions.

But first, an apology to anyone who spent their Memorial Day curled up in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably because there was no "Mr. Cope's Cave" on Monday. It was my fault. I wrote one, as I always do, and then sent it in, as I always do—teleported it to Boise Weekly as an attachment along with next week's column—but it didn't get there, as it always does. The column showed up on the other end, but the "Cope's Cave" didn't. I can only conclude that I inadvertently omitted a crucial step in sending an attachment. Attaching the attachment, perhaps.

By midday, our hard-working editor had sent a message saying he hadn't received the day's entry, but it wasn't until that evening before I checked my mail and understood the problem—far too late to do anything about it.

Oh well.

You didn't miss much. It was only 57 words, all on how I was going to take it easy and eat some fried chicken, since it was Memorial Day. The only remotely interesting thing it had to say was how anymore, what with the constant pressure from my wife to eat better, I can only have fried chicken on national holidays.

Now... on to the 23 dimwits. You will recall one of the more lurid arguments against the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act was that it might be an insidious Muslim plot to get the Sharia law foot wedged in Idaho's backdoor. It is my sense that not all of the 23 dimwits, or even most of them, were worried about that particular substance-less threat. No, the specter of Sharia law sneaking into our child support arrangements was, I suspect, something only the most ridiculous of our state's lawmakers would swallow—the Vito Barbieris, the Cheryl Nuxolls, the Steve Vicks. You know... the most astoundingly stupid.

However, whether or not the whole 23 dimwit contingent bought into the Sharia law scenario, the most commonly heard argument against the bill was that it would, or had the potential to, interfere in some way with the sovereignty of the state of Idaho—that either federal or international legality would supersede the fine f***ing way we have of doing things here in the "Ain't We Smart?" State.

Ah... if only, huh?

Giving testimony during the special session was one Russ Smerz, seemingly the spokesman and only visible member of something called the Leadership Council—one of those right-wing birdhouses that professes nobody appreciates or understands the U.S. Constitution as much as they do. Smerz defined state sovereignty thusly: “State sovereignty is our ability to control in our state what we’re going to act on. ... It’s important for the states to decide what’s good for the state, not for the federal government.”

Lest we forget, "state sovereignty" has been the battle whine of some of the most repugnant beasts in American history—Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Jesse Helms, not to mention that collective abomination, the Confederate States of America.

Whenever hysteria over "state sovereignty" begins, seldom (if ever) is the motive in any way beneficial to any but a handful of the citizens of that state. In this present case, the handful of self-righteous cretins—23 to be exact—from such illustrious hayseed havens like Blanchard, Grangeville, Athol and Dalton Gardens, were willing to put their own noxious and stunted dogma above the financial support of an estimated 183,000 Idaho kids.

That sort of fringe foolishness is exactly why we need a strong central government, them dreaded feds, to balance—I prefer negate—that sort of radical demagoguery to the favor of the general population, which is generally neither as organized nor obsessed as the doctrinaire dumbshits responsible for the paranoia. As far as I'm concerned, any state—or nation state, for that matter—that would put such ideological puffery over the very real needs of its citizens neither deserves sovereignty, nor has earned it.

I'm going to end with the names of those doctrinaire dumbshits who voted against those kids, voted against an honest, good-willed international effort to help kids everywhere—all in an attempt to make themselves look far more important to us than they could ever possibly be:

Reps. Ken Andrus, Vito Barbieri, Gayle Batt, Judy Boyle, Don Cheatham, Sage Dixon, Terry Gestrin, Steven Harris, James Holtzclaw, Shannon McMillan, Ron Mendive, Steven Miller, Jason Monks, Mike Moyle, Ronald Nate, Pete Nielsen, Joe Palmer, Eric Redman, Heather Scott, Paul Shepherd, and Elaine Sims, plus Sens. Sheryl Nuxoll and Brent Regan (board vice chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation filling in for Sen. Steve Vick).

Let us, Idaho's adults, do whatever we can to see to it that these 23 dimwitted brats do not befoul our state's governance much longer.