Even reliably Republican voters of Idaho's 1st Congressional District ignored partisan instincts on Election Day to show common sense about Rep. Bill Sali. They voted the Republican out of office after his one term in the U.S. House.
To say Sali was an embarrassment is being charitable. He once claimed abortions cause breast cancer. And one of his first acts in Congress was to introduce time-wasting, frivolous legislation to require obesity reduction, Sali's slapstick way of opposing a minimum wage bill.
Even when defeat was vivid and incontestable on election night, Sali refused to concede, hinting that maybe something was amiss with the vote count.
So much for Sali's brief time in the limelight.
His successor, Democrat Walt Minnick, goes to Washington, not only with the good wishes and support of many leading Republicans who understand the importance of competence over clownishness in Washington but also with entrée to the new Obama administration.
With sweeping change on the way for the nation, Congressman-elect Minnick, the only Democrat in the delegation, will have a preferred role when Idaho speaks to the White House about its needs and interests, especially economic stimulus, possible candidates for the U.S. Attorney post and any open federal judgeships.
If Minnick performs admirably for all Idahoans, he will be paving the way for more Democratic successes in the reddest of red states and thus begin an orderly swing of Idaho/s politics back toward the sensible center.