Rusche: Many Republicans 'have abandoned the values of reasonableness'

Republicans have strayed from reasonable governing, the leader of the Idaho House's Democratic minority says, and the GOP's closed primary will only aggravate the issue.

"Reason and concern for the common good are clearly not GOP priorities, Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, wrote in a guest opinion distributed today. "With the new closed primary laws, one can only expect that their priorities will only get more foolhardy. Closing the Republican candidate selection to the 'chosen' will not make the winners more reasoned and reasonable."

Alert readers will note that Rusche is latching onto a quote from state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, reported in a recent Dan Popkey column on fractures within the GOP in North Idaho.

Here, in full, is Rusche's guest opinion:

“If I wanted a reasonable Republican, I’d vote for a Democrat.”
Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens.


In this recent comment Rep. Barbieri summarized what I have been saying for years: if you want a reasonable leader, vote for a Democrat. Many of the elected officials in the GOP have abandoned the values of reasonableness long held by Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

Need some examples? How about these:

• Demonizing those who seek to make government effective.

• Refusing to address ethical issues such as tax cheats and the theft of state property.

• Supporting nullification of federal law and constitutional principles by a vote of the Idaho Legislature.

• Denying scientific evidence on a wide range of topics e.g. climate change, preschool’s positive effect on educational performance, or best practices to protect our air and water quality, just to name a few.

• Introducing cronyism and “special favors for special interests” into the Tax Commission decisions.

Reason and concern for the common good are clearly not GOP priorities. With the new closed primary laws, one can only expect that their priorities will only get more foolhardy. Closing the Republican candidate selection to the “chosen” will not make the winners more reasoned and reasonable. Candidates will continue to feel pressure to “prove” their conservativeness by becoming more extreme in their ideology and political posturing.

I want a reasonable Legislature, with solution oriented members able to hold complex and conflicting ideas up to scrutiny, and make decisions that serve the common good. I want leaders that serve all Idahoans, who cooperate across the aisle to ensure effective and responsible laws are passed.

If you want that too, look to the Idaho Democrats.

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I know enough Idaho Democrats to know that they can be just as unreasonable as anyone else. The fact that Rusche thinks that reason is a party virtue makes him suspect in my book.

That being said. Our legislature has been bordering on shameful obtuseness for a while now. They need to clean up their act too. That will only happen when the people of Idaho hold them accountable and kick the unethical ones out as fast as they can.

Truth is hard to come by

Nothing can be improved in Idaho by electing more Rs -

as balance usually brings more "reasonable" public policy and more effective government.

Politically, Idaho is further from balance than ever. Thus - whether you agree with every Democratic position or candidate, you'd be well served by electing a more balanced government. Get there by voting for every reasonable Democrat you can - and by rejecting the crazies from either party. If it's a tossup, or even close, vote D -- until balance is achieved.

Right on!

This is exactly the point!


Neither party is using reasonableness.

And it's state and national.

Everyone thinks it has to be "it's our way or nothing".

If I was a R governor of a healthy economy as a result of a D legislature, I'm pretty sure I'd still get reelected. AND vice versa.

Bottom line- the middle makes sense and is reasonable. If you are not in the middle you have to ask if you are reasonable.

No quite

You can't blame the Democrats for any unreasonableness in Idaho - the Republicans have complete, uncontested control of the legislature and executive branch. Don't lump state and national politics as the same thing. At the state level, the Republicans take all the blame for anything you consider unreasonable. They make all the decisions (and lack thereof).

Sort of

The Democrats don't have enough power for any unreasonable actions to make any difference. If they ran the show their radicals would be just as bad.

Truth is hard to come by

No so

You assume that all Idaho Democrats are identical; a bunch of radicals. No group of people are identical, be they of the same political, ethnic, socio-economic, or religious stripe. I think the comment by Republican Vito Barbieri in the article above is closer to the truth: "If I wanted a reasonable Republican, I'd vote for a Democrat" (which locally would be an Idaho Democrat).

Instead of assuming the worst about Idaho Democrats and painting them all the same, give them a chance. Vote out Republicans you deem unreasonable and vote in a reasonable, local Idaho Democrat. See how what they say and how they do. Then draw a conclusion based on fact, not assumption. (And in the process, you'll be letting the Republicans know they can't take your vote for granted anymore.)

Ah yes......

by all means let's vote out Republicans like our 1st district congressman and replace him with a Democrat who's only qualification is playing college football. This guy wouldn't know the difference between a Resolution and a hole in the ground. Grant is doing a bang up job of looking into every alleyto find democrats to run for office.