State Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, left the Republican Party this year and registered with the Independent Party of Oregon.
Don't get excited. He's still nuts.
Apparently, he just got tired of being part of a group of off-the-rails, semi-organized psychopaths and decided to go off and be insane on his own. Now he's just Independently crazy.
One would hope the Oregon Republican Party -- with all its recent talk of insurrectionist attacks at the U.S. Capitol being a "false flag" operation as a prelude to a leftist dictatorship -- finally became too wiggy even for G.I. Bo.
He's just his own brand of balmy, a unique blend of herbs and spices that makes it impossible for him to work and play well with anyone. That's why he's spent his past 15 years in the Lege mostly playing with himself.
This is the guy who, just last year, followed 11 other Republicans out the door rather than vote on a cap-and-trade bill. When Gov. Kate Brown talked about rounding up the truant lawmakers with the state police, Boquist told State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton to "send bachelors and come heavily armed."
He also addressed Senate President Peter Courtney directly. "If you send the state police to get me, hell’s coming to visit you personally," he said.
For some reason, many people sensed a certain threatening tone in those remarks. It could because Boquist has starred his entire life in a grade B action movie he's written and directed for himself.
After a career in a crack commando unit, he joined the A-Team as a soldier of fortune. Or something like that. You can read all about it in his official bio. Or just ask him. He loves to talk about it.
He's built his entire career on military machismo to the point where he's the only member of the Legislature who can swagger while sitting down. Well, that's not quite fair.
Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth, swaggers pretty well too -- showing up at virtual committee meetings with a military base superimposed in the background. Sigh. Boys and their toys. Still, Evans hasn't gone on record threatening to widow anyone.
Confronted with his remarks, Boquist realized Real Men don't accept responsibility or consequences. He promptly sued Courtney and other legislative leaders for having the temerity to feel threatened and placing restrictions on his access to the State Capitol.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled in June that Boquist's words were "those of a bully on the playground" and that the senator had been disciplined for perceived threats, not political viewpoints.
McShane added Boquist "seems to overlook the fact that he sounds more like a character out of a Clint Eastwood movie than he does Mother Teresa."
That goes too far. A few Clint Eastwood movies are actually worth watching. (Who can sit through "The Bridges of Madison County" without a box of tissue? And Clyde the orangutan deserved an Oscar for "Every Which Way But Loose.")
Boquist is more Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme with a dash of Dolph Lundgren for comic relief.
Our political folklore is the richer for it.
However, it's no wonder Boquist feels estranged from almost everyone. The man is the anti-Dale Carnegie as he tromps about the political landscape losing friends and influencing people ... to walk in the opposite direction.
Even his new compatriots at the Independent Party of Oregon want you to know he may have joined their club, but they don't hang out with him at the malt shop.
"With regard to the Oregon State troopers and various other inflammatory rhetoric, those things don’t align with our party’s values," Sal Peralta, the Independent Party's secretary, told the McMinnville News-Register.
Boquist also doesn't hold with the party's stance on environmental issues, the same sort of environmental issues that led to him threaten troopers in the first place.
Perhaps Boquist should just be unaffiliated until U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, and her confederates can start the Whack-a-Doodle Dandy Party. Unfortunately, the majority of the Oregon Republican Party would likely save up their box tops to join as well -- if only to get the super-secret QAnon decoder ring.
Then Boquist would have to leave again. It's a vicious cycle.
At least Boquist keeps us entertained, which I guess is all conservatives can do these days in lieu of actually doing their jobs. And Boquist is definitely a hoot, as seen in his email response to the News-Register (my old paper) about him changing dance partners.
"You represent another corporate special interest owned by the Bladines," he wrote to reporter Dora Totoian, lining her pockets on half-time pay. "If they have a concern about a bill their lobbyist is not conveying, please let me know."
Really? The Corporate Media card? Boquist should check his playbook. Conservatives talk about the Liberal Media. Only liberals decry the Corporate Media. Get it right.
By the way, the vast Bladine empire covers a printing press, small-town newspaper and a couple of specialty publications. Ewing Oil, it's not. Spending a political career defending plutocratic interests and then picking on a small-town family business makes you look like a ... a... what's the word?
Bully. That's it. Thanks, Judge McShane.
And no matter what flag he flies under, Boquist is still a bully. And still nuts.