Bill Cope High Five, Harley! 

Right up the middle, pal!

Hey bud, I just finished watching parts of your debate performance on... oh, I can't remember what it was on. Colbert's show, or Rachel Maddow's or maybe it was Chris Matthews' show... it doesn't matter. You managed to get on all of them, plus a few dozen more over the past several days. And the deal is, before your star fades, or your 15 minutes are up--or whatever it is that happens to mouthy idiots who make a big splash in the viral pool, then are forgotten like yesterday's farts--I want to thank you for making Idaho a laughingstock.

Ah, let me rephrase that, Harley. I want to thank you for exposing Idaho as the laughingstock it has actually been for years and years, only it has needed the ravings of a ridiculous clown like yourself to bring Idaho's true ridiculousness to the attention of the nation.

Now, I realize a lot of those stuffy, politically-correct-type snots are saying you made Idaho a laughingstock like that was a bad thing. But guys like you and me know that, when the truth hits the fan, it's never a bad thing, is it, Harley? And to me, it's as obvious as the unpleasantness of your basic nature that until you came along with the insanely disjointed rambling which was your idea of a gubernatorial campaign, Idaho has been a laughingstock just waiting to be discovered ever since the Republicans took total control of the state.

Oh, but don't get me wrong. I don't mean to imply that your insanely disjointed rambling was anything particularly unusual. Not in Idaho, anyway. When you think back to some of the insanely disjointed rambling that has come from the unchecked mouths and cloudy minds of folks like Steve Symms, Bill Sali, Helen Chenoweth, Larry Craig, George Hansen, Butch Otter... gosh, I could go on for days it seems... your insanely disjointed rambling is just one more loony tune in Idaho's iPod. And think about this!... those people actually won! Several times!

Why, if you ask me, the only thing that separates you from all the other insanely disjointed rambling that passes for politics in this state is your choice of get-up. Had you put on a nice blue suit instead of going with the biker-goth costume, you might be the Republican nominee as we speak.

I don't know if you read it when it came out in the May 21 edition of Boise Weekly, but my boss, Zach, did a nice job in his editor's note of pointing out that Walter Bayes--who, by the way, comes off every bit as crazy as you, if not quite as stupid--isn't such a radical-fringe character as he might seem to be, not when his views are juxtaposed to the state Republican platform. Which is not to say that he isn't a radical-fringe character. It simply illustrates how radical-fringe the entire GOP has become. Only real difference is old Walter, unlike more polished politicians, doesn't have the sense to disguise his derangement a little better.

And that's pretty much the way I see you, Harley. You are no more a turd in the punch bowl than is Otter or Fulcher or about three-quarters of our Legislature. It's that you simply don't have the sense not to say "turd in the punchbowl" during a debate televised to the whole state. Now, had you been talking only to these blue-collar, biker gang, truck-driving, tranny-grinding heroes of yours... (and Christ, do I shudder to think what kind of crowd would hang out with you)... that kind of no-class trash talk would probably be the funniest thing at the party, I'm sure.

But Harley!... those kind of people don't watch political debates! And the kind of people who do watch political debates expect something a little classier than the kind of drool they'd hear at closing time in a Garden City bar.

All of which brings me to the last thing, Harley old pud. It's about this political correctness you hate so much. You called it "bondage." But just so you know, some of us have other words for it. "Politeness," for instance. "Consideration," that's another. "Kindness," "manners," "thoughtfulness," "trying not to be a willfully abusive jackass"... any or all of those serve pretty much the same purpose.

Understand, I'm so, so sorry you feel put out that decent people are a little offended when guys like you work so hard to be offensive, but I went to your "Harleyisms" website and I gotta tell ya', it doesn't appear to me that political correctness has slowed you down much.

Oh but wait! It just hit me. You couldn't possibly be so outraged that decent people are controlling what you can say and not say, because obviously, nobody has stopped you from telling any stupid joke or making any stupid slur that comes to your mind. So could it be you're just pissed off because decent people think you're an asshole for doing it?

And if that's true, you know what it means, don't you? That "bondage" you feel isn't your speech being suppressed. It's you being recognized as the fool you are. And I hate to be the one to tell you this, bro, but those are chains you forged yourself.

P.S. Harley, maybe you'd better check in with God again and ask if you heard right. I have a feeling He didn't say "Harley, you're going to be president." I suspect it might have been something more along the lines, "Harley, you're going to be a pissant!"

Like you say, bud... "Right up the middle!"

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