Conservatives need their tired myths of the left to conceal from themselves the sad fact that their own leaders are radicals, not conservatives. George W. Bush is so far out of the mainstream that it's easy to be to the left of him and still steer straight down the middle of America.
Republicans for Grant -- principled Idaho GOPers toss Bill Sali under the bus
Over the years in posts here at 43SB, some of us have taken particular delight in sharpening sticks and jabbing them into the sides of Idaho's ultra-wingnut GOoPers. These extremists, personified by the likes of Bryan Fischer, Brandi Swindell, Adam Graham and Bill Sali, are the Idaho Republican Party's worst of the worst. They're so blinded by their fundamentalist fervor and raging hatred of anyone who doesn't conform to their narrow, bigoted ideology that rational conversation is anathema to them. They're simply unable to participate in a functional debate, because in their warped minds it's either their way, or the highway to hell.
Idaho state Rep. Bill Sali is the poster boy for this particularly virulent strain of wingnuttery. His aberrant behavior in the Idaho Legislature over the last 16 years has earned him a variety of sobriquets, from "idiot" to "incompetent" to "opportunist" -- and those are just the insults painted upon him by other Idaho Republicans!
Thoughtful, rational Gem State Republicans (and yes, of course I acknowledge they exist -- they and I mightn't agree anywhere near 100% on all issues, but at least we can have a civilized, intelligent debate about them), looking at the choice in the 1st CD race between Sali and Democratic candidate Larry Grant, have not only found Sali wanting, but pretty much worthless. To that end, some of these Republicans have decided that loyalty to the citizens of Idaho as well as good government trumps fealty to their party. Which brings us to the brand-spangled new website, of, by and for Idaho Republicans with the knock's-em'-dead title Republicans for Grant. Here's what Dan Popkey at the Idaho Statesman had to say about it this morning:
No matter how much cash Vice President Cheney raises for Bill Sali's congressional campaign this afternoon, it's a better day for Democrat Larry Grant.
That's because the long-term impact of Cheney's fly-by fundraiser will pale compared to the announcement today of a Republicans for Grant organization, giving license to Republicans to vote for a Democrat.
. . .
[...] Sali's incivility in his 16 years as a legislator is driving Republicans away. Nelson, the leading organizer of Republicans for Grant, called upon the words of the GOP speaker of the Idaho House. "Bruce Newcomb had it right," said Nelson. "He's an idiot's idiot."
Jill Kuraitis, publisher-extraordinaire at the online magazine NewWest Boise, talks about some of the big-name Idaho Republicans who are behind the endeavor:
The new group’s website provides words both pro-Grant and anti-Sali, including this one from the group’s organizing leader, Boise’s Jim Nelson: “We intend to carry the message that in this one very important race in Idaho this year Republicans can - and should - put aside partisan considerations and simply vote for the best person for the job. The best person is clearly Larry Grant."
Ward Parkinson, Micron co-founder and former GOP Congressional candidate, is a Republican for Grant. Nelson and Parkinson are joined by Fred Shoemaker, a Boise attorney; Cathy Smith, a Boise Realtor who will serve as the volunteer coordinator of Republicans for Grant, Allyn Dingel, a Boise attorney; Tom Nicholson, a Boise business leader; Dr. Lawrence and Kaye Knight, a retired Treasure Valley physician; Ron Graves, retired corporate attorney; Richard Greener, a Boise attorney; and Janie Goichochea, Boise Realtor.
Bill Sali thought that, with VP Dick Cheney headlining a fundraiser for him today in Boise, he had the day in his pocket and the sun on his shoulders. Instead, he's spitting up stomach acid and curled in a fetal position after being gut-punched by his fellow Idaho Republicans.
Sali had better get used to it. The pounding, from both sides of the aisle, has just begun.