JEERS ... to George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson, the talent pool behind the Lincoln Project.
Responsible for some of the hardest-hitting TV spots against President Donald Trump’s reelection, these GOP campaign consultants released another one this week:
“Someday soon, the time of Trump will pass. This circus of incompetence, corruption and cruelty will end. When it does, the men and women in Trump’s Republican Party will come to you, telling you they can repair the damage he’s done. They’ll beg you to forgive their votes to exonerate Trump from his crimes, ask you to forgive their silence, their cowardice and their betrayals as Trump wrecked this nation.”
Next come the names and images of Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both R-Texas, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Susan Collins, R-Maine, James Inhofe, R-Okla., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
Where’s Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. None of them comes close to Risch’s total and complete subservience to Trump.
If Trump ignores reports that Russia placed bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Risch labels press accounts “grossly inaccurate.”
If an inspector general gets fired while closing in on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s use of government staff for personal errands, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looks away.
If the president of the United States believes he alone — not Congress — should fire the first shot against Iran, so be it.
Who cares if Trump bungled the response to a COVID-19 pandemic that has taken close to 100 Idahoans’ lives? Risch would rather echo Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization.
Impeachment? Risch snoozed through it — literally.
Whether it was Trump’s refusal to challenge Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the president’s betrayal of the Kurds in Syria or Russian interference in the 2016 election, Risch has never once said or done anything that would antagonize his president.
At least Collins voted to stop Trump’s repeal of Obamacare.
Cruz and Cornyn opposed the president’s tariffs against Mexico.
Rubio once condemned Trump’s tweets against four Democratic congresswomen of color as “identify politics (that) is a poison, it’s toxic.”
Even McConnell now wears a face mask in public.
They’re on the Lincoln Project’s hall of shame; why not Risch?
Unlike Risch, Cruz and Rubio aren’t even up for reelection this year.
Come on, guys. Feature Risch in your next ad.
Just dub him in Russian.
Use English subtitles.
CHEERS ... to David Hopkins of Kootenai County.
A former Kootenai County Jail staffer and a National Rifle Association member, Hopkins saw something he didn’t like during the recent armed protests in his community — much like those held June 6 in Lewiston.
Some of the people carrying firearms were drinking.
Idaho law prohibits carrying a concealed weapon under the influence.
But drinking while openly carrying a firearm?
“It should be a misdemeanor,” Hopkins told the Coeur d’Alene Press.
He’s asked officials in his area to draft local ordinances and has extended his reach to state legislators.
Open carry should be sober carry.
JEERS ... to Congressman Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho.
As the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org reported last week, Fulcher placed his daughter, Meghan Fulcher, on his campaign payroll.
During the past two years, she’s collected $69,000.
In other words, contributions from individuals — as well as special interests — are finding their way into the congressman’s immediate family.
Among 435 members of Congress, OpenSecrets.org found 14 who engaged in it. Among them were Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
Fulcher offered a fresh start from the four terms of his predecessor, Raul Labrador — who paid his wife, Rebecca, about $2,000 a month for 20 hours of work on his campaign. For almost two decades, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, paid his wife, Susan, a total of almost $200,000 from money his political action committee, Freedom Fund, collected.
Fulcher is no novice who lacked the means to hire a professional staff. He was a legislative veteran who ran a statewide campaign for governor in 2014.
And while the Idaho Republican allocates his campaign money toward family, he’s not too averse to raiding the taxpayer’s wallet.
In May, he used public funds to air self-serving radio commercials ostensibly providing help to Idahoans during COVID-19 pandemic — but offering no other resources than his own congressional staff.
Last fall, the taxpayers allowed Fulcher to fan out across the 1st Congressional District with a loaded questionnaire that funneled like-minded constituents into his office database.
The typical member of Congress needs at least a couple of terms to reach a sense of entitlement.
Fulcher got there in 18 months.
CHEERS ... to U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Ty Seidule (Ret.).
Professor emeritus of history at West Point, Seidule has proposed rebranding 10 Army posts that now honor Confederates.
Case in point: Fort Benning, Ga., as in Confederate Gen. Henry Benning, who bitterly opposed emancipation and made sure his state seceded from the Union.
Why not, Seidule asks, give that distinction to Idaho’s Vernon Baker?
Baker, a Medal of Honor recipient, either single-handedly or with the help of his platoon disabled six German machine gun nests, two observer posts, four dugouts and killed 26 Germans during a battle near Viareggio, Italy in early April 1944.
The African American also saw combat in Korea and served in the military for a quarter-century. Baker died in 2010 at his home near St. Maries. He was 90. — M.T.