Friday, April 18, 2014

Mr. Cope's Cave: Dig This

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I want to quote a letter that appeared in the Idaho Statesman a little over a week ago. It was titled “Another four years? No thanks.”

“Our seven Constitutional officers have had seven years to turn our state around economically and have done just the opposite. We have more people than any other state earning minimum wages. We are next to last of all 50 states when it comes to education funding. We have more than 218,000 people in Idaho on food stamps, up from 80,000 when these people took office. Even the median income for a family of four has dropped in our state by approximately $4000 in the past seven years.

“Our unemployment rate in October 2013 was 6.7 percent, but the underemployment rate was nearly double that number. These are truly abysmal numbers for seven incumbents, five of whom are seeking another four year term. It is time to wake up citizens of Idaho. It’s time to show these RINOS the door as we have had enough of their shenanigans and scandals. Give them the boot on May 20. Go to the polls and exercise your right to pick the candidate of your choice so that we can turn this great state of ours around. You can ‘Sweep the Statehouse Clean in 2014.’ Vote on May 20.”

That is the entire letter, copied exactly the way it appeared in the Statesman. I didn’t even add the comma that I felt was needed in the sentence “It is time to wake up citizens of Idaho,” as I suspect the writer was addressing Idaho citizens and urging them to “wake up,” rather than suggesting that Idahoans are a sleepy lot who need to be rousted out of bed like groggy teenagers.

For the greatest share of the letter, I couldn’t agree with this writer more. In fact, I might have written it, myself. The litany of failures by our current state officials to correct the challenges facing Idahoans, that sounds like me. I’ve done it many times. even used some of the same examples. It’s easy to do. since Idaho is so readily found on the bottom of so many lists.

But then, after counting off the ways that all illustrate what a pathetic flop our state leadership has been at making life better for Idaho citizens, the letter takes a very strange turn, did you see it? I mean, it’s rolling along like any respectable complaint from any respectable Democrat or Independent or even any disillusioned Republican, and ker-wham! ... it bottoms out on the accusation that all these miserably incompetent state leaders are .. get ready! ... RINOs!*

*”Republican In Name Only“—that damning epithet the most uncompromising Republicans use to accuse other Republicans of impure intentions.

That’s right, the trouble with our 100-percent Republican leadership—according to the writer of this letter we’re considering—is that they have not been Republican enough! 

Yes, definitely. That‘s exactly what Idaho needs to pull us out of this long, sad, Republican-administered slump. Better Republicans!

But where do we go to find them? After all, by most standards, Idaho is already the most Republican state in the Union.

Perhaps we will have to send out for the sort of Republicans the letter writer feels it will take to do the job. Only I can‘t imagine where we could go to find the kind he thinks we need, as it seems to be the general case across the nation that the more Republican a state is, the more distressed that state’s economy is.

Or perhaps he was right all along about the proper punctuation for that sentence I mentioned earlier. Maybe he really is suggesting that there is a body of Idahoans—Republicans one and all—that we are not acquainted with because they have a tendency to sleep the days away. And these drowsy narcoleptics would do a much better job at running the state, if only they would get their lazy asses out of the sack.

Or purhaaaaps ... the author of the letter—whose name I won‘t give for fear that some rude person might call him a moron—is himself a typical Republican moron who, when complaining about the hole Idaho is in, insists all we need are better diggers—diggers who would dig faster and deeper and with even more ideological purity to their digging—without once acknowledging the obvious. That a more intense, more pure dose of what got us here ain’t gonna get us out.

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