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.