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Posts tagged as “Idaho republican”

First take

Whatever your religious views, this much about the Bible should be clear and broadly acceptable: It is great literature and full of flourishes of brilliant use of language. High profile atheists routinely have said as much. And for that reason there's a clear case for placing the Bible in schools as a reference. But it's not equally useful for everything. The Idaho Republican Party last weekend proposed the Bible be “expressly permitted to be used in Idaho public schools for reference purposes to further the study of literature, comparative religion, English and foreign languages, U.S. and world history, comparative government, law, philosophy, ethics, astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, sociology, and other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.” Comparative religion? Okay. Comparative government? Debatable at best. Philosophy? As one source among others, could be. But astronomy? (Does anyone remember Galileo?) Geology? Biology? Music? You get the sense the agenda here runs something beyond what most of us think of as education.

Where did the early inhabitants of Europe come from? Apparently from Russia, around 3000 bc, and with a genetic switch that made cow milk drinking practical. Another piece of history filling in.

ID: The partisan/non-partisan thing

There might be some useful lessons drawn (for both parties, really) from the first paragraph of this post today from Spokane Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell:

After the Idaho Republican Party took the unusual step of passing a central committee resolution backing party involvement in non-partisan city races, one county’s GOP central committee endorsed a challenger, Alex Creek, in a city council race in Idaho Falls; some party activists portrayed a Boise City Council race as partisan because one candidate, T.J. Thomson, was a key organizer for Barack Obama’s Idaho campaign; and a non-official GOP group endorsed and campaigned for a city council challenger, Jim Brannon, against councilman Mike Kennedy in Coeur d’Alene. The result: Creek lost 2-1; Thomson won handily; and Kennedy won by five votes.

Not that one expects the lesson will be quickly learned.

A divided camp

Tea Party II at the interim statehouse in Boise was, by several accounts, lightly attended, but it was a marker of one side of an opposing group: the Idaho House Republicans, who are representative in Idaho conservative circles of more than just themselves. On the other side is Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and another substantial cadre. We'll not get into civil war comparisons here, but there are two distinct sides here, and the sense that there's more to it than just as a disagreement over a few pennies of gas tax.

Now, let's switch to another arena, the presidential.

When the 2008 presidential campaign started to crank up, a large portion - maybe an outright majority, but certainly the largest segment - of Idaho Republicans happily jumped in with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The upper levels of the state Republican structure was solidly represented in Romney's campaign, until he withdrew. After that, and after John McCain's nomination, the new vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin of Alaska, became highly popular among Idaho Republicans. Maybe Romney's Mormon faith and Palin's Idaho background contributed, but those weren't the only factors behind the support. But they also are highly distinctive personalities, suggesting the question: How could someone be an enthusiastic supporter of both? And what would happen if time came to choose?

Re the latter, here we are. From Politico: "In the latest instance of a high-profile GOP member taking a passing swipe at the party's 2008 vice presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney jokingly dismissed Sarah Palin’s inclusion on Time’s list of influential people in an interview broadcast Sunday. He asked, was 'the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people?'”

And some blowback from the Palin camp.

So, how do Idaho Republicans choose? Or split? And if they split, would the split bear any resemblance to the Otter-House breakdown?