Between the ‘dotard’ and the ‘jerk,’ bet on the ‘jerk’

Thomas Hennigan

It was disturbing, if not surprising, to hear the cheers at the Democrats’ last presidential candidate forum when Robert “Beto” O’Rourke declared: “Hell yes! We’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore.”

More disturbing still was the Sept. 11 statement by “Beto” in which he “urged banks and credit card companies to start refusing to provide services to some gun buyers and manufacturers.” (

In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Chief Justice John Marshall said the power of Congress to regulate commerce had “no limitations, other than are prescribed in the Constitution.”

Both the Second and Ninth amendments in our Constitution prescribe limitations on the kind of abuse in which “Beto” proposes banks and credit card companies indulge.

Not that “Beto” is much of a candidate; he hasn’t got a prayer of making the ticket let alone residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Among the reasons we know this are a recent USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times National Poll of voters.

Among the questions asked was: “On a scale from 0 to 100 where 0 is the most liberal and 100 is the most conservative, what number would you give to …” The box below presents the results.

The Los Angeles Times made much of Joe Biden’s closeness to the “yourself” scores in the second column. However, as The Daily Caller pointed out, the response from “all eligible voters” is worth a look.

Both Trump’s and Biden’s ratings would fall comfortably in the center section of a bell curve, i.e. neither have extremely progressive or conservative views.

Unlike “Beto,” Biden knows that Congress must take any national steps with regard to firearms and that even Congress must act within the limits of the Constitution.

It’s an intriguing coincidence that both Biden and Trump have “me too” issues and that what comes out of their mouths causes consternation. Joe comes off as an incipient dotard and Donald like a king-size jerk.

One of the main differences between them, though, is Biden has the favor of the media and Trump its disfavor.

That those polled by the L.A. Times saw past that barrage of #Resist negativity to correctly peg Trump’s politics as just to the right of the average bloke is a tribute to their perspicacity.

A choice between the dotard and the jerk will be close. My money’s on the jerk because “It’s (still) the economy, stupid” and Trump benefits from a good economy as we head to 2020. But we’ll see.

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Digital mailbag: My Reclaim Idaho column (Sept. 1) hit several nerves and there was significant feedback online.

Reclaim signature-gatherer Dan J. Schmidt included this nugget while defending his work, “… the Fairness Project chipped in a ton of money to get the extra 3 percent of signatures needed to clear the total by the deadline.”

So, the measure wouldn’t have been on the ballot without Fairness/SEIU’s out-of-state money.

From Reclaim’s Social Media Manager Alicia Abbot: “This just in, old white guy doesn’t want Idaho kids to go to college and be successful. It’s obvious this man didn’t even open a Sunshine Report before writing this.”

No one should have to go further than Reclaim’s website for full and fair disclosure of its finances and its leadership, Ms. Abbott. Full stop.

Lewiston Democrat Richard Kremer posted this tidbit on Sept. 7: “Oddly, in the past, tommy (he means me) has almost tried to push Idaho Democrats to do better, to be more marketable and connect with Idaho voters on their terms ... and when they did, when they first got the initiative on the ballot and then passed it with over 60 percent approval (emphasis mine); he decides to get butthurt (and in his case, that’s a whole lot of hurt ...) ”

Kremer is right about the size of my tuchus and equally right about Reclaim Idaho being a creature of the Idaho Democratic Party.

Idahoans should keep that relationship in mind when Reclaim comes around with its “soak the rich” taxation initiative.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to elect Democrats to the Idaho Legislature, then why help Idaho Democrats in Reclaim clothing pass their party’s legislative agenda via initiatives?

Hennigan, of Lewiston, is an instructional technology administrator at Lewis-Clark State College. His email address is

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