Thursday, March 20, 2008



I've been mentioning that the Republicans have had so much trouble recruiting credible candidates to run that virtually their whole starting team for November is made up of misfits and self-funding vanity candidates. Idaho is trying to pick a successor to convicted Republican toilet troll Larry Craig-- he's not gay-- and the Democrats have already united behind Larry LaRocco. But can a Democrat win in deep blood red Idaho, home of the Aryan Nations? Last time Craig ran-- when his predilections and bizarre lifestyle were only rumors-- he took 65% of the vote. In 2004, the other extremist nutcase, Mike Crapo, won with 99% of the vote, The Democrats not even giving it a shot, The same year Bush took 68% of Idaho's vote, about the same as he did against Gore. At every level of government the extreme right dominates.

Still, even in Idaho, people don't like being lied to and Bush's job approval has been sinking. And there is a serious split in wingnutia. Yesterday we mentioned one loon who has changed his name from Mel Pro-Life Richardson to just the snappier Pro-Life (kind of like a Madonna or Prince move). Still, the Idaho GOP Establishment is firmly behind Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who-- though a decade younger than John McCain-- is considered by some as too old to start a Senate career. In fact, another Republican, Rex Rammell has decided to run as an Independent, citing Risch's age as a reason he wants to jump in.
"It has become apparent to me, that too many people in the Idaho Republican Party no longer embrace the conservative principles of lower taxes, limited government and private property rights that I hold dear," said Rammell.

Rammell, campaigning to the right of Risch-- as is Pro-Life-- could siphon off enough votes to help LaRocco win the senate seat, especially if the size of the anti-GOP tsunami turns out to be as big as I think it will be.

Rammell also represents a very specific Idaho constituency: angry elk ranchers. And Risch had Rammell's elk herd killed after they escaped from the ranch in 2006. 160 elk were shot and it cost the state nearly $61,000. But he says he isn't running because of rancor over the elk. He says Risch's career is nearing its end, making '08 a bad time to run for the Senate. "Jim Risch is too old to become a U.S. senator. You don't become a U.S. senator in the sunset of your career. I am a member of the LDS church, which is a significant portion of the electorate."

And Risch is a Catholic. Rammell thinks he can unite the huge Mormon base behind him. And hunters; he breeds the elk for hunters to shoot. It's their own private Idaho.

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At 1:04 PM, Anonymous drobnox said...

Why does that guy have a pencil dangling from his nostril?


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