Why I can't feel sorry for Steven Thayn

I'm trying to feel sorry this morning for Steven Thayn.

And I just can't do it.

I certainly feel sorry for Thayn's daughter-in-law, and wish the best for her and the baby she is carrying. I even feel a little sorry for Damon Mathias Thayn — to a very limited extent. Damon Thayn's domestic battery arrest and subsequent guilty plea on a disturbing the peace charge wouldn't have even made the newspaper, were it not for his state representative father.

But Steven Thayn? I can't feel sorry for him.

Thayn, an Emmett Republican, has tried to present himself as some sort of a leader of family values issues. He has headed up a House of Representatives style="text-decoration:underline;"> Family Task Force, to study "the magnitude of the decline of the family since 1950." Back when this task force was merely a bad joke, I thought it was sorely in need of a theme song: "Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1949."

Oh, but Thayn was serious all right. The first-term lawmaker and father of eight acted as if he had all sort of answers about how 1.4 million Idahoans should run their households. He set himself up as an authority.

He set up himself — and his family — for unpleasant scrutiny.

As we now know, Damon Thayn was arrested in connection with an April 3 domestic dispute. April 3 was nearly five months before Thayn's task force started running around the state preaching their narrow message to Idaho families. I can only hope Idaho families were sufficiently busy just keeping things together, so they didn't waste too much time listening to what Thayn and his ilk had to say.

Thayn talked plenty, but never about his son's troubles with the law.

I can hear the shoot-the-messenger cavalry on the other side of the hill. I know they're going to blame the left-wing blogger style="text-decoration:underline;">The MountainGoat Report for breaking this story, and kick us around for giving the story legs style="text-decoration:underline;">by publishing a followup today.

Nice try. I'm not taking the guilt trip.

I admit I haven't had any use for Thayn or his pious, more-knowledgeable-than-thou attitude about Idaho families. I'll stand by style="text-decoration:underline;"> every word. But nobody asked Thayn to present himself as the Man of the House of Representatives. He knew — or should have had the common sense to know — that news about his son and daughter-in-law might eventually break. Yet he kept plowing forward, and he made the skeletons in his family into a relevant story. What sort of family value is that?

A few days ago, the Statesman held an employee brownbag to discuss Idaho's other political morality play, the Larry Craig saga. One co-worker asked about the story's long-lasting implications. Never lacking for an opinion, I suggested that Craig's fall from grace might provide a cautionary tale for Congress: Focus on public policy issues, and quit wasting time on private issues that aren't government's business — and open the door to a lot of unsavory scrutiny.

Now, Steven Thayn has become the Larry Craig of the Idaho House of Representatives. I'm sorry, but I can't feel sorry.

Great Stuff

Great piece... except 2 things:
One, I'm not sure Thayne and Craig are in the same category.

And two, his party affiliation is irrelevent.

Every body has a skeleton closeted inside

get over it

Richert is typical Stateman Windbag

Liberals love to hear themselves talk or in Richerts case type. It amazes me they don't get tired of using so much energy to say nothing. It does seem like the brainwashing that takes place in our public education system through elementary, secondary, and college schooling somehow destroys the minds ability to think logically or understand basic concepts of reality. I'm sure Richerts parents are embarassed to have raised someone so mentally bankrupt.


I don't feel sorry for him, but I haven't heard him asking for anyones pity. Isn't your comment basically moot, and more a vehicle to get across your point that you don't like Thayn and his legislative focus. Which by the way, is just as useless to me as other groups efforts to "redefine" families.

Does the Statesman have to parrot left wing blogs EVERY TIME?

Lesser Charges?

Thanks for the link to the Mountain Goats.

After reading this better report of the incident, it leaves me with the question of why does the prosecuting attorney settle for disturbing the peace when it's clearly DV?

There is another good story!

Bruises on her neck?
This is not a drunkard in town yelling about jibborish that warrants disturbing the peace.

It's a person assaulting his spouse!
It should be legally dealt with as such. Let's see an article with interviews of severely battered women and show how many of them started out with a husband who "lost his temper" and forcibly restrained her.

Shame on the Mr.Thaynes, Shame on the prosecutors!

One more thing...your paper edition has this inside page 2 bottom, right under "Park Art Reflects Meridian's Heritage".

This ought to hot news! Senator Craig being lonely (front top) is old news. Bad placement of both articles.

Thayn needs to take care of his own families needs & morals

As they say, physician, heal thyself. The Idaho GOP has made family values an issue just like Larry Craig has done.

Republicans, "Go heal thyselves" and leave the rest us out of it.

I thought they did OKAY...?

The family issues are abuse and suspected homosexuality.

Very contemporary, indeed.

On Thayn

Seems to me Thayn should have spent more time concentrating on his own family rather than everyone else's. But then again, seems to me that's the whole point to begin with. Ultimately his son's legal woes are irrelevant; the bottom line is I neither need nor want advice on how to raise my daughter from some random guy in Gem County. I don't care what he's elected to.


All the religious leaders are doing it!


The bad old days

Thayn and his Pleasantville mafia seemed like a joke at first, but it's not funny anymore. Obviously, the Father-Knows-Best brigade wants to take us all back to the bad old days when women had almost no control over their lives, assaulting a wife was considered a man's right, and all a man had to do to make sure that his spouse could never leave (in addition to beating her, terrorizing her, and breaking her spirit) was to make her even more helpless by impregnating her, as Mr. Thayn's son has done. And if a woman managed to muster the courage to leave, there were few if any shelters to flee to, no support from the judicial system, and no such thing as a restraining order (another of Thayne senior's targets). I can't share your sympathy for Damon: he and his ilk are almost as much of a disgrace to humanity as that task force of legislators, who once appeared to be clueless buffoons but who now seem more like misogynistic ghouls cynically using their power to return our state to the time when terrorism against women was acceptable.

The Blog Is Falling!

Run for your wi--lives!

I just hate to think there might be a big stink left here and did this guy resign...is that what I heard?

EDIT: No, some guy from another state.

'Scuse Me Kevin..

The Statesman not only played a huge role in creating the Larry Craig saga, you perpetuated it as long as the newspaper sales could withstand it. I would strongly caution against talking about the Senate spending too much time on people's private lives when the Statesman is just as guilty. There's a lot going on in this world right now - our economy is sucking pond water, the Taliban is taking over Afghanistan again - and this paper isn't even covering half of it. Of course I wouldn't know if you managed to cover these things in today's edition because it's 8:30 a.m. AND MY PAPER ISN'T EVEN HERE YET!

We should be more thankful for the Statesman’s online edition

Whatever happened about being grateful for the online edition that helps fill the gap in rare instances when the paper runs a tiny bit late? And for the miracle Cal Ripken - level circulation workers who deliver the paper with well over a 99.99 percent accuracy rate? After all, the Statesman has been announcing all week on its front page that the Thursday and Sunday print editions may run late due to their large size and plentiful seasonal inserts – testament to the burgeoning Idaho economy for which we might also be a little more thankful.

Oh Please...

This isn't about the carriers JB...this is about corporate media greed during the holidays and this blog chastizing the Senate for not focusing on business when in fact the Statesman thinks slaying Craig over and over again sells newspapers. That's what we read about in this paper while Afghanistan burns and Afghanis are beheaded for supporting the US invasion.

JB, do you subscribe to the Statesman so you can refill your recycle bin every week - three times a week during the holiday season - with slick glossy ads and real estate booklets? Well guess what? I didn't. I subscribe so I can receive some NEWS and information about world events. And yes, I can get all that online, but I'm an old-school kind of person who likes the smell of ink and wants to support their local media.

And before you start passing judgement JBanholzer, I tip my carrier, how about you?

Steve Thayne

You know the only reason why you find it necessary to slam someone like Rep. Thayne, is because he himself actually has values and stands for something. How dare you take this incident and attempt to exploit Rep. Thayne and minimize what he stands for. You and your likes might find it "weird" or "outdated" to promote two parent households and family values, homeshooling education. However, when we really analyze the quality of public education out there along with the negative influences, it only seems common sense that any parent if given the opportunity would homeschool their children. The problem here is the fact that the left wing agenda has done it's part to help strip our country of almost all of it's traditional values and diminish the role of families as we know them. Divorces are at an all time high, which seems to be "the norm" for people as yourself. This is not an Idaho issue, this is not a Steven Thayne issue, this is much larger on a global scale. And when people such as yourself continue to trash people such as Rep. Thayne, you are continuing to be a part of the problem. We live in Rep. Thayne's district, and are very proud to have someone of his character representing us.

Kristy & Roy Sternes
Emmett, Idaho

Thanks for Speaking Truth to Socialist Power!

Socialists like Mountain Goat and Kevin Richert don't understand that Rep. Thayn, in taking up the mantle of "Protector of the Family" from Bill Sali in the Idaho Statehouse, is only trying to help all patriotic Idahoans realize the values embodied in the slogan "Work Makes You Free". They should check out Steve's personal website to learn about the evils of public education. Here's an example:
"Basic Americanism as give to us by our Founding Fathers has three main components. First, limited Constitutional government; second, free market economics; third, traditional morality reinforced by private religious observance. The courts have long ago expulsed traditional morality. It is even to the point where we cannot teach the Declaration of Independence in some places because it mentions a "Creator." Education is an important industry that is totally dominated by government regulation and control. This is the definition of socialism. Socialism and a free market cannot long co-exist. Finally, public schools are an arm of the government and as such continually press for a greater role of government in society. Public schools are waging a subtle but continual war upon the Basic American success formula. Freedom is the issue. We either deregulate schools or eventually we must live under a totalitarian state."

All right-thinking Idahoans should check out Steve's characteristics of Coercive Altruism to see if anyone they know or have heard of is displaying the warning signs!

My Patriotic Pro-Sali Website!

Most ridiculous post award goes to Bill sali Fan

Not one thing you say has been given to us is true. Go tell South Carolina that the Constitution gave us limited government. They ate their words like you should. I truely can't stand your kind and wish my government would take action. You should be brought fourth and your anti-american talk should be considered for what it is, treasonous. We should make an example of ya. Put ya in the center of town in one of those blockades where your head and hands are locked and the people walking by can spit on ya. That's what our founding fathers had in mind and did all the time. We've lost our true beginnings and should bring em back.
Free markets is the opposite of what the constitution calls for. It calls for protection of the people's well being which free trade threatens. Private religious B.S. isn't what you desire either. You want to shove your religion down my throat. Your definition of Socialism is absurd. Where'd you go to school, BYU?
Socialism is the combining of our efforts to reach a goal. Just because you don't want to participate in the developement of man doesn't mean the rest of us can't participate. It's that individualism that thinks laws of the people don't apply to them that are the problem or you people that work fevorously to stop the progress in America and return it to the 1950's. Good luck dreamboat, you gonna suffer come next November. We're gonna shove our beliefs down your throat and make ya swallow it. We should make you eat every word.
The evils of public education? My God, there's nothing patriotic about you.

You Clearly Weren't Home Schooled

Your spelling aside, it's clear that you don't recognize that Rep. Thayn and Congressman Bill Sali only want the best for all Idahoans, be they Christian, Mormon, or Jewish, white or mostly white, rich or middle-class, and married man or married woman. You should learn to trust smart people like them instead of so-called "pundits" who only want to tear down successful men.

My Patriotic Pro-Sali Website!

Thayn and Sali Liers and Con artists

How can public school have success when you try to destroy it? It is your ilk that is harming our schools. How can a marriage survive when you have to force a woman to be sub-serviant to the man? Trying to modify Restraining orders that were created by our society to protect our spouces not to subjugate them. They only wants what is best for themselves and whatever powers they hope to keep. Sali lied by inference on a bill that he sponsored yet it wasn't good enough for him to vote for it.


You know what BS means don't you? It's never held more truth than it does in a politicians name. Sali & Craig probably travel down the same old dirt road.

Craig is sending out a letter whining about the tough times he's had lately. He doesn't give much thought to how tough it is for all the taxpayers who watch their tax $ go to millionaire corporate farmers who contribute to his campaign. The same campaign $ he uses to pay his personal legal fees.

Not much though to the damage illegal immigration has done. Health care costs, Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid. How about that farm bill putting family farmer out of business while coprorations get $ for nothing?

You can bet BSali isn't pushing any bill unless there are contributors who beneft.

If the American people would take the time to think about why corporations contribute they might get on www.nextrevolution.net & sign up to put a tax on campaign contributions. We the People need to do as corporations do. As shareholders of the largest corporation in the world, America! We need to create a lobby for US taxpayers to offset the Washington lobby. If 1,000,000 people signed on to an idea like, tax campaign contributions & we sent it to all our representatives would they do it? 10,000,000 people? Are their 50,000,000 people in America who want to pay less property taxes & have more $ for education.

It's called representation. When enough people make clear what they want & your representatives don't do it, it isn't representation.

Be a shareholder like those in the Washington group & demand more money. Don't sell at too low a cost.

Be a shareholder & demand your CEO, {President} & board members, {Congress, & Senate} work for US!

If everyone signed up to something like taxing campaign contributions you might not have high property taxes. You would have $ from billions paid to Senators & Congressmen who pay their personal legal fees with campaign contributions. $ for education!

There is a reason those corporations pay their CEO millions of $. They get billions of $ which we pay in taxes which they evade!

It isn't hard to do, don't have to pick up a gun & shoot anyone or be shot at. All you have to do is decide what you want out of life. Or if you want to settle for less while someone buys your representation & lives a better life than hundreds of Americans who pay taxes evaded through campaign contributions.

Is that the American dream. It is if you're BSali.

I'm not sure what 'the norm' is

First off, thank you for taking the time to share your opinion. I appreciate it, even though we're going to have to agree to disagree.

A few points. I couldn't define 'the norm' in the 21st Century American household, but I can draw from my experience. I've been married once. My wife and I celebrated our 18th anniversary last weekend. We have two kids and a pretty harmonious household. My mother and father were happily married for nearly four decades until my father passed away a few years ago. I'd be the first to tell you I've been fortunate. I would also be the first to say I'm not sure why I've had such good fortune.

The fundamental issue here, in my view, is that we all have to fight the impulse to act as if we have all the answers about what makes a strong family.

I'd also point out that I know a lot of good people who simply could not make their marriage work. And I know good people who found a strong marriage the second time around. They didn't become "better" people because their second marriages succeeded. Wiser? Sure. Better? No.

I think we can agree that divorce is a sad event. I just don't like it when people make value judgments about other people, simply because they have gone through a divorce. That isn't necessarily fair or accurate.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

you kevin

your so polite. I quess ya have to be. You can't tell these people anything. They believe god is on their side (typical of southern conservastives). You have to force it. You're learning but you just can't believe it can ya? People here are dumb. You know public education is evil, ha ha ha ha. Let's hope they keep that attitude, soon they won't be able to write.

Yea, we need to listen to guys who think

throwing your wife down and covering her mouth so she can't call for help is non-violent.

"He's quite an emotional guy," Thayn said of his son. "Damon really wants to have a strong relationship with his wife, and he realized that he had let it get out of control. There's not physical violence, this is a misdemeanor case." (see Thayne's response to criticism at BoiseWeekly.com)

That's some moral values and great character, Kristy and Roy.

Silly Sali

What is with this state-----
Silly Sali from Kuna, this guy from Sweet, it must be the water, certainly understand why it's the reddest state, with low wages, poor education but lets hear it for "family Values"
Bet the "son" is single by next year! with a child he had better support!

Steve Thayn

I have known Steve for 40 years plus ... he has ALWAYS danced to his own drumbeat and stated what he felt -- even as long ago as junior high school.

But to besmudge Steve for the actions of his son are preposterous !! Show me ANY parent ANYWHERE that can control the actions of our children -- especially when they grow to be adults.

Sure, Steve's values may be "out there" for many but they are probably supported by the majority of Idahoans. There has to be balance in all things. Preach your liberal values if you wish from the pulpit of the newspaper. You reside in one of the most conservative states in the nation.

I live in the Holy Crade of Liberalism -- Northern California -- now. I see the banter both ways every day. The funny thing about this is when the vast newspaper chain that you work for moves you on to a larger newspaper in perhaps a more palatble location for your values ... Steve will still be here representing the values of those who elected him ...

At least that is how I "think" the democratic process works ... have the courts changed that yet ????

The great thing is

The toughest pill to swallow is your own. The reason why everyone in jumping on this is because this gentleman feels it necessary to pontificate about how much of a prophet he is regarding family values when he has obviously failed so miserably in this regard. To say that he has no control over the actions of his children, or that any parent has no control over the actions of their children is just absurd and directly contrary to the message he is trying to spread. If Mr. Thayn wants to be an example, he should set the example first, unless he thinks slapping your wife around is an acceptable family value.

You completely miss the point

that we have Thayne telling us his solution to numerous social ailments is for the women to stay home on the family farm and raise the young 'uns, just like his situation. And then you have his adult son, presumably raised on the family farm with his stay at home Mom, who in spite of this grows up to abuse his wife. THEN you have Thayne claiming that throwing your wife down and covering her mouth with your hand is non-violent.

He doesn't have the answers, and stating that he was misunderstood and that what he meant is that women ought to have the choice to stay home is disingenuous. Of COURSE women ought to have the choice, but unless we can live on the family farm or have husbands that make danged good money, that's not an option in the current economic climate.

Thayne touts a lifestyle that is apparently no better for bringing up children than other styles, as evidenced by how his own son behaved when let out on his own.

Sorry Rev

didn't mean to reply to your post. Good one, by the way.
The reply is for socal spud.

No Sweat

I figured as much.

Oh this is wonderful!!!

Mr. Richert,

We are currently studying about logical fallacies in our class. Your article on Mr. Thayne has provided the most wonderful example of an illogical argument! I will explain, first the definition:

Tu Quoque - dismissing someone's viewpoint on an issue because he himself is inconsistent in that very thing.

The fact is that after looking at the Task Force recommendations I simply cannot find anything wrong with strengthening families, aiding character education in our schools or encouraging parental involvement in a child's education.

Mr. Thayne's personal life has nothing to do with this great policy. My own view is that once your kids are adults they can make their own decisions and whether or not they reflect how they were reared is really not the parents' fault! I wish people would stop laying a guilt trip (like you mentioned in your article) on parents for their childrens' poor decisions!

Again, I will use your article as a wonderful example of a logical fallacy called Tu Quoque in our class today. Thank you so much!

A. Rice


You write:
1) "Mr. Thayne's personal life has nothing to do with this great policy."

2) My own view is that once your kids are adults they can make their own decisions

3)and whether or not they reflect how they were reared is really not the parents' fault!

I don't need the definition of TQ and all that stuff to focus in on your main point (#3). It is the parents doing. As to the importance of that fault, well, sometimes all we can do as parents is our best. Parents are not perfect; not able to be there every day; and certainly don't have all the answers. That being said, there are essential principles we should be teaching our children. Not abusing your spouse is one of them. When such principles are broken, it is only evidence the parents did not effectively teach that principle.

More importantly, for one parent to tell others they themselves are walking the righteous path is for them to walk on thin ice... Rep Thayne has fallen through the ice.
(I'm trying to walk carefully here btw).

Plus there's this 'opinion':
“Fathers, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. … Its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity” (Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 48).~ President Ezra Taft Benson

Look up

Causal Reductionism. Tu Quoque is not what you're looking for, as "two wrongs nake a right" is not the assertion here. Causal reductionism is what Thayne uses when he claims to have the answers to society's ills.

This "great policy" is nothing new. We all want strong families, a well rounded education for our children, and increased parental involvement in children's education. Thayne put himself on the front page with his claims that stay-at-home moms create healthier children. Those who claim Thayne has the answers are appealing to false authority, as evidenced by the results of his parenting.

Dennis Mansfield

He lost a primary because of revelations of issues concerning his oldest son. His youngest son is an accomplished young man and a student at West Point. To which one are you going to point as evidence of child raising "skills?"

We all do what we can to raise our children the best we can. At some point what they do it theirs to do. So spew your bile towards Thayn because you never really liked him anyway, but what happened with his son really has nothing to do with this.

Truth is hard to come by