Job Insecurity II 

Badger rushes in where Cope fears to tread

"Damnit, Cope! Are you going to nail him or not?"

"Jeepers, Bob. I've already written two columns on Walt Minnick. There are only so many ways to say what a gawd-awful disappointment he turned out to be. What more do you want?"

"For starts, you could announce that he doesn't deserve your vote. You're not gonna vote for him, are you?"

"Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ..."

(Fifteen minutes earlier, I'd hooked up with Cope in my favorite Sunday-go-to-meeting spot. It's one of those frowzy mountain town bars where the floor boards are so warped you feel like you've been drinking since breakfast, and there's always a urinal in the men's room that somebody might have brought back from France after World War I. I've spent the summer camped out here in the upper altitudes, working out a master plan to de-baptize deceased Mormons in retaliation for them baptizing deceased non-Mormons. As a result, I haven't paid much attention to the mid-term campaigns until just recently. On the day I called Cope to come up, I'd been watching the television next to the mothy elk's head over the knotty pine bar and for the first time, saw the Minnick ad that mocks Raul Labrador for providing legal assistance to illegal immigrants. Put me into one f***ing foul mood, let me tell you.)

"... uuuuuuuuuuuuuh, well gosh, Bob. Walt isn't the first politician to make a few concessions to the other side. Heck, Even Frank Church had to play footsie with the gun nuts in order to get elected in this state."

"I don't f***ing believe it! After all the moaning you've done about that Obama-back-stabbing, conservative-suck-up Minnick, you're going to end up voting for him?"

"Oh gee, Bob. Don't yell at me. Here's the deal ... what's a Democrat supposed to do in a situation like this? All we have is a choice between the Obama-back-stabbing, conservative-suck-up and a Republican. And from what I hear, not one of the good kind of Republicans, either. Besides, Walt makes the point that he was elected to serve all Idahoans. Not just the Democrats. And that's a pretty good point, isn't it, Bob? Isn't it? That a Congressman has to represent his whole district? Even if it means abandoning the principles and values and hopes and dreams of all those people who put him into office in the first place?"

"No! It's a pretty f***ing bad point, Cope! You don't ever hear Idaho Republican leaders saying how they were elected to represent the state's Democrats, too. Do you? No, you don't! And do you know why that is, Cope? Because Republicans don't give a s*** about the state's Democrats, and they don't care who knows it. Which is exactly the reason guys like you and me vote for guys like Walt Minnick, to get some goddamn representation for our principles and values and hopes and dreams. But what does Minnick do? He wants to keep that job so goddamn bad, he goes down on all fours and barks like a poodle to convince Republicans he's some kind of magical Democrat who can single-handedly thwart Obama's agenda and throw a sack over Speaker Nancy Pelosi and keep everything running smoothly down the conservative track. He turns his back on every goddamn thing that makes a Democrat a Democrat and separates us from the Republicans. And then, come the next election, guys like you and me think we have no choice but to vote for him again. Well, I'm done with it, Buster! If he had supported Obama on even one of the major projects the president was pushing for ... health care, the stimulus, eliminating those tax cuts for the filthy rich or Wall Street regulation ... I'd vote for him. But not a one. He wussed out on every single thing this administration will be remembered for. And then he comes up with that television ad that's plain old wink-wink, chuckle-chuckle racism as far as I'm concerned. That did it for me! Minnick ain't ever getting my vote again."

"Darn it all to heck, Bob. Is this what you wanted me to drive up here for? So you could tell me you won't vote for Walt?"

"Well, I figured if you weren't going to say what needs to be said about the situation, I was going to try to talk you into letting me write one of your columns before election day. And I decided that would be easier to do if I sprang for a couple of Olys at 6,000 feet above sea level."

"You dirty dog, Bob! You brought me up here to get me drunk so you could schmooze me into taking over my column!"

"Hey, who do you come sniveling to for help every f***ing time you don't feel like doing your job? Me, that's who! How many columns have I filled in for you? And I haven't asked for a thing in return, have I? Not until now. And here you are, getting all pissy and ..."

"OK, OK, OK! Geemony crimony, you can write a column. But Bob, you'll keep the naughty words out of it this time, OK?"

"Yeah. Sure."

"And Bob, what if you influence just enough disgruntled Democrats into not voting for Walt? And what if it tips the table just enough that Walt loses? And what if Raul Labrador turns out to be another Bill Sali or worse? Won't you feel a little guilty?"

"Nope. Cope, the way I see it, if we're destined to send yet another embarrassing drone back to Washington who's too chickens***t to buck Idaho's prevailing ideological sludge and take the f***ing lead, I'd rather he comes from their side, not ours."

"Uh-huh. But, uh ... you'll find another way to put that, right?

"Yeah. Sure."

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