Mr. Cope's Cave: Official Idaho State Dumbshit(s) for 2016 

For those of you who have been waiting anxiously to learn who's won the title of Idaho's Official State Dumbshit for 2016, I apologize that it's taken so long. Here we are, three whole weeks after the Legislature called it a wrap and motored on back to Gravel Pit Hollow and the Brigham Runs, Mossy Backburg and Psycho Springs, Brucellosis Valley and Anus d'Alene. The traffic down around the Capitol Building is back to normal, what with no out-of-town legislators stumbling over the curbing on their way back from lunch, and the Freedom Foundation stooges (aka, "the shadow government") have scurried back to Canyon County to await further instructions from ALEC.

Truth is, I've held off on declaring a winner because I was waiting to see if there would be another emergency special session called. Like last year, remember? ... when the lawmakers all rushed back to Boise to mop up an over-abundance of swill and drool left behind when those 23 members of the Less-Sense-than-a-Gerbil Caucus tried to turn Idaho into the one state dead-beat parents could rely on for asylum from having to support their children.

Yeah, I figured, surely, what with some of the dumber legislation they coughed up this year, someone would wake up and think, "Good criminy, we can't do that!"

But no. Even such turds as permit-less concealed carry, the transfer of land-management decisions to county sheriffs and the authorization of the Bible as a public school text book all flushed successfully down to be signed into law by our governor—whose only official duty anymore seems to be putting Idaho in a holding pattern for future litigation.

Besides, I felt bad that I had managed to nominate only two contenders this year. Not that there weren't plenty of exceedingly qualified dumbshits to choose from. The two nominees—Sheryl Nuxoll (for her legislation to make county sheriffs the stewards of federal lands) and Heather Scott (for her little theatrical skit of support for the Bundy goons in Burns, Ore.)—were only the most glaring examples of too much influence combined with too little intellect. But that's not to say the larger legislative session wasn't ass-deep in asinine. I mean, what do you call a state legislature that spends time and money denying municipal governments the authority to make decisions concerning plastic bags and minimum wages? (Note to Bieter: Do it anyway, and see what the bastards do about it!)

And of course, there's the immoral travesty of letting 78,000 uninsured Idahoans go fuck themselves for another year.

But as the nominator-in-chief for the Official State Dumbshit Pageant, I always look for something beyond the plodding, bovine-like herd-think that defines so much of the Legislature's business. (And, of course, by "Legislature," I mean the Republican majority which, year after year, drags Idaho deeper and deeper into the cold, murky waters of mediocrity.) I'm looking for that spark of unique dumbshitness, the sort that Rep. Vito Barbieri gave us last year with his zany take on women's anatomies, or the sort Rep. Christy Perry displayed so brilliantly in her defense of childicide by religious hickology.

In other words, I look for an element of exceptional individual stupidity, something that is hard to pin down when the entire shuffling mob is shuffling down the same one-way street.

Ergo, I never came up with a third nomination, which is a shame. I am one who believes that if there aren't enough names in the running to result in at least two runners-up, you don't have a proper competition. And now that it appears they have all gone home for the rest of the year, there is no hope that another dumbshit stand-out will shine his dull light brightly enough for anyone outside his immediate family and neighbors to notice.

So to tell the truth, I was about to announce there would be no Official Idaho State Dumbshit awarded this year, due to lack of individual initiative. There's always next year—I told myself—as the dumbshits who voted them into office will undoubtedly do it again.

Wait! Wait! Right there is our third contestant. Yes!? Ask yourself—Who is demonstrably dumber than morons like Heather Scott and Sheryl Nuxoll?

Why, of course! The morons who voted them into office in the first place!

And could not the same be said for the majority of Idaho voters, who so consistently return the same shuffling dullards to the Capitol Building every two years, then bitch about nothing ever changing?

So we have not only our third nominee, but—in my considered opinion—the hands-down winner. I give you the Official Idaho State Dumbshit of 2016: the Idaho electorate—each and everyone of you who go to the polls thinking you're participating in the democratic process, only to cast your ballots for those who couldn't give a shit about your democracy.
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