Idaho Senate leader: If GOP ditches 'big tent,' Romney loses

In a strong appeal for party unity, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill said intraparty rifts could cost the GOP a shot at the White House.

And the Rexburg Republican also directed a broadside at some of the candidates who ran in the Idaho GOP's historic closed primary election in May.

Here's an excerpt:

"As I was traveling recently, I picked up a campaign brochure in which the candidate described himself as a 'Constitutional Republican.' The implication was that his fellow Republicans were somehow not 'constitutional' — that they cared little about protecting the God-given rights delineated in the U.S. Constitution. Over and over again in the recent primary election campaign, candidates touted the Constitution as if they were the only ones who loved, honored or understood that great document. Such rhetoric is not only demeaning but dangerous."

And here's a link to Hill's full guest opinion, which first appeared Thursday in the Idaho Falls Post Register.

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The Republicans are 'big tent'? Talk about marketing spin!

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Funny, but it's always the

Funny, but it's always the R's in the general elections who like to say that they are the only ones who "loved, honored or understood" the Constitutions as opposed to the D's. I guess that's OK to say in a general race but not in a primary? Don't like their own words used against them, I suppose.

Shame on Brent Hill

Is Senator Hill failing to practice what he's preaching in this guest opinion by criticizing Republican candidates who describe themselves as Constitutional Republicans? The term Constitutional Conservative is also thrown around a lot these days, and I think all it means is an affirmative recognition by the candidate of the principles upon which our government was founded and a commitment to not deviate from those principles if elected.

For a broader perspective on this subject Senator Hill should read George Will's column in the Washington Post yesterday on President Obama's lukewarm commitment to upholding the Constitution. I've yet to meet, read, or hear from a Republican who doesn't fully grasp what Obama meant by "fundamentally transforming" America, and I believe Progressives who have long favored this transformation away from individual liberty and the Constitutional restraints on government power likewise understand what's at stake. With all due respect to Thomas Jefferson and Brent Hill, if this isn't a disagreement over principles - those enshrined in our Constitution - I don't know what would be.

Senator Hill would be well advised to spend his time between now and election day working to elect all Republicans who won their primaries instead of publicly critiquing their campaign brochures for language that offends him.

Which principle should they stay true to; the 5/8ths person?

First, Will's column was a nonsensical 'here's a few quotes from some people, so they're obviously evil and out to take your rights' piece of tripe. His opinion piece consisted of, most likely, non-contextual mish-mash of quotes from Wilson, FDR, LBJ and an Obama staffer. Funny how if it was all about Obama’s intent, why wasn’t Obama quoted directly? Furthermore, nowhere did he even note actions to satisfy the premise that Obama is attempting to subvert George Will’s interpretation of the founder’s intent, let alone actually subverting the Constitution itself.

Second, a Republican can call themself 'Mary Poppins', but it doesn't mean they can open their umbrella and fly. The constant barrage of pitiful parlance from the right regarding their love of the Constitution and how everyone else is trying to subvert it, may be sustenance to their base, but is in reality nothing but a cerebral laxative with the resulting anticipated mess.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Silly Boisepoet

Didn't you tell me you have a degree in political science (major, minor, or Masters, I don't remember)? I take it you were so busy writing papers about the Republican southern strategy that you never got around to reading the 26 Amendments in our Constitution, several of which render your question moot.

Re George Will's column, I suppose he could have re-inforced his opinion with this 2001 quote by Obama, the Constitutional law scholar, in an interview on public radio:

"If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement... the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society... It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf...."

Those "negative rights" have been a source of contention with Progressives since the turn of the last century, because they prevented elites from being able to engineer and micro-manage society, though they have managed to make some inroads over the years short of re-writing the Constitution as Wilson would have favored doing. No one explained our "outdated" Bill of Rights better than Woodrow Wilson. If you haven't taken time to read Wilson's speeches and essays on this subject, that's your fault, not George Will's fault for neglecting to include the d*mning context of the Wilson quotes. I'm sure the Washington Post imposes some column-length restrictions on Will. Btw, I provided the elipses in the Obama quote. You can find the full quote and the sound audio on the internet if you are concerned about my choice of ommissions.

Do you agree with Obama that the Supreme Court needs to "break free" from the constraints the Constitution imposes on government?

Re Mary Poppins, a lame ad hominem argument.

I'm with Hill on this one

I don't see how these attacks on people in their own party can be good for the GOP long term.

if we had more Hills

we'd be better off