Mr. Cope's Cave: What a Cock(us)-Up 

Hark, Idaho Democrats! I believe I have solved the problem you are having organizing and conducting your quadrennial caucuses.

Seriously, after Tuesday's experience, it should be obvious that Boise is no longer a quaint, New England township where everyone can fit into the high-school gym, Elks Lodge or Presbyterian Church, and perform this old-timey, colorful ceremony of literally counting the heads of those for this or that presidential candidate. That sort of theater might still work out in the provinces... say, Soda Springs or Athol—places where the whole community can drive to the caucus together in one mini-van... and where there aren't any Democrats, anyway... but surely you can see that Boise—or more pertinently, Ada County—has outgrown that ritual. We should have seen this coming the moment it was announced (somewhere back in the late-'70s, if I remember correctly) that eligible voters had come to outnumber dairy cows in the West Ada Territories—formerly known as "Meridian."

Yes, oh yes. I understand how thrilling it must be to have it announced on local news or the daily paper that we here in Boise are holding the largest presidential caucus in the history of the whole U.S.A. But I humbly submit that voting for one's choice in any election, presidential or otherwise, should not be looked at as an opportunity to get a mention in the Guinness Book of Records. Nor should it be comparable in any way to being caught downtown during the confluence of a Broncos football game and Treefort Music Fest.

Still, I can see that it has become a point of pride for you, and I don't expect you to do what seems logical to me—that being, to convert your caucus to the sort of primary procedure that 37 of those other states have decided is a way f***ing better way than throwing a stupid f***ing caucus.

Nor would it make a lot of sense to throttle down the present caucus system to a smaller, more operational level. Not in Idaho. I mean, if you insist on holding caucuses in Idaho, it only makes sense to have one per county, rather than one per precinct or even legislative district. At least, in the greatest share of our counties.

Which brings me to my solution for the "How-many-Democrats-can-we-fit-into-a-Volkswagen" model that appears to be the future of the Ada County caucus. It's quite simple, really: If there are too many people in a particular county to hold a manageable caucus, then divide that county up into smaller counties.

Huh? Huh? Don't you wish you'd of thought of it first?

I have always felt Idaho didn't have enough counties, anyway. Forty-four? That's nothing! Peanuts! Shoot, even Ohio has 88 counties, and it's only a third the size of Idaho. Texas has 254 counties, think about that! Almost six times the number of counties we have!

On the opposite end of the scale, Rhode Island has five counties, and you could fit six Rhode Islands into Owyhee County and have room left over for Delaware!

I submit that Ada County should be carved into four separate counties, each with their own county seats, their own county commissions and, of course, their own countywide caucuses. (I originally thought three counties would do, but then I couldn't figure a way that Kuna wouldn't be in the same county as Meridian. I don't know which sounds worse, sharing a county with Kuna or Eagle. Ugh! So as long as we're doing this, we might as well do it right.)

Other heavily populated counties could do the same thing, but probably won't, if only because the idea came from Ada County. But really, who gives a shit what happens over there around Pocatello or in Canyon County, anyway? (I know you know what I'm saying. You may pretend to be shocked but, seriously, when's the last time you got all spiffed up and went for a big night out in Nampa, huh?)

Obviously, if we do this, we're going to need some new license plates, and I've taken the liberty of coming up with potential names for the new counties. One, of course, would remain Ada County, in honor of whatever the hell an "Ada" is. My suggestions for the other three are:

1)"Wal-Mart County," to commemorate the distinction we hold in my neighborhood that, no matter which direction you go, you're no more than two miles from a Wal-Marts;

2) "Palindrome County," to acknowledge the memory of having once lived in a district that read the same backwards as forwards and, finally;

3) "California County," obviously, a nod to those intrepid pioneers who migrated to this area to find a better life, in spite of all sorts of primitive hardship—not the least of which was having no Nordstroms or Krispy Kremes in the valley for at least another decade.

As you can imagine, this re-sectioning should greatly simplify the selection of venues in which to conduct future Democratic caucuses. Whichever county Boise ends up in will still need the largest facility, we can be sure. But you will no longer have to worry about where to stick the country cousins who wander in from the bedroom-community badlands.

I figure RC Willey could host one of the other caucuses, and perhaps run a sale on dining room sets at the same time.

And who gives a shit what Kuna and Eagle do, anyway.

So I would hope you consider my suggestion. I realize you would have to give up your dreams of someday conducting the largest presidential caucus anywhere in the whole galaxy!!!... but there is another number to consider: the percentage of Ada County Democrats who didn't go to your caucus simply because of their deeply-felt commitment to never being caught for five hours in a thundering herd.
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