Writings and observations

Oregon Republicans are losing a capable party chair in Allen Alley, the former candidate for governor who led the party through difficult times, departing at the end of his term to return to relatively private life. How difficult the Oregon Republican situation may be in 2014 could relate to who becomes Alley’s successor.

In most cases it wouldn’t matter greatly. (Alley, who did reasonably well, nonetheless presided over a bad election cycle for Oregon Republicans.) But it might in this case:

The first public candidate for the job is former two-time congressional candidate Art Robinson, he of the, ah, unusual ideas about nuclear waste (sprinkle it on the ocean) and public schools (which he has equated to child abuse).

From the Democratic-supporting Blue Oregon blog: “I find it hard to believe that the money people behind the Oregon GOP would allow Art Robinson to be their spokesman in Oregon. It would basically be a sign that they’re just throwing in the towel entirely. But he’s not without his supporters – particularly in the Ron Paul wing-ding sector. And they’re fired up, feeling that they were mistreated in the convention delegate selection process. Pass the popcorn!”

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This may never materialize – for various reasons, probably won’t – but you can easily imagine the turn of mind that would cause it to be taken this far.

A story in the St. Maries Gazette-Record says that a survivalist group operating at The Citadel Project has plans to set up a walled community (with amenities including schools, medical facilities, recreational outlets and an armory) housing about 3,000 to 5,000 people, with an economic base consisting mainly of gun manufacture. A rural area in Benewah County, Idaho, is proposed as a possible site. (It’s not clear how many other places may be in the running.) And, as the paper noted, “Whether backers of the effort own anything more than a website is unclear.”

Why Benewah County? The indications were that it was thought to be amenable, generally. And as for the specific site, one backer wrote, “I have walked the ground on one mountain, and you’ll have to take my word for it at the moment, the terrain favors the defender.”

(Against let us say, one wonders, drone missiles?)

The groups statement said they’d comply with the laws of the United States, but only those they deem constitutional. You can see where that goes.

Guns are a big part of this. “Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older” would have to pass an annual shooting test and “Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will be armed with one AR15 variant in 5.56 mm NATO, at least five magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.”

Further developments will be awaited with interest.

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Idaho