We were not among those who jumped on Senator Larry Craig's case on grounds of pushing for one policy while (apparently) doing just the opposite in his personal life: Craig's leadership issues have had to do with natural resources, balanced budgets and the like, more than with social issues.
But Idaho state Representative Steven Thayne, R-Sweet, has made himself the point man for the state's setters of policy - the Idaho Legislature - both by his positions and comments and formally as chair of the interim Family Task Force, set up "To study the magnitude of the decline of the family since 1950; the effects the decline has had on state social policies; the reasons for the decline, and ways to strengthen the family."
Moscow Republican Senator Gary Schroeder remarked of the group, "Basically, they are people who think women ought to stay home and take care of the kids." And the Idaho Statesman added, "Thayn does not shy from this view, calling pre-kindergarten education a 'free babysitting service' and suggesting that early childhood education, day-care and Head Start may hurt families by keeping mothers away from home."
Thayne's own approach to family values, noted distinctly in his campaigns, has cropped up occasionally. Back in February we quoted from an email by Thayne concerning the Idaho Summit on Hunger: ‘Hunger is not always a negative as the report indicates. Without hunger or the threat of hunger probably half of humanity would not get up in the morning and go to work. Hunger is one of the great motivators of humanity. It is one of the tools that I used as a parent to encourage my children to do their choirs [sic] as young children. When used properly, hunger can motivate people so they can experience the joy of work and accomplishment.’” Hunger, in other words, can be a family value.
And apparently the picture fills in further with a post on Mountain Goat Report, about the April 4 arrest of Thayne's son on charges of domestic battery against his newlywed wife. (That post has a thorough rundown of the situation.)
So the policy question logically presents itself: If, as Thayne suggests, it is the breakdown of the traditional family structure that causes such problems as domestic violence, what was the cause in the case of his own family? Might not his proposed view of women have something to do with it? And should not the Task Force address that?