Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In the klieg lights

    Smoke-filled rooms, where political functionaries make decisions outside public scrutiny, would become more numerous and the people in them more powerful if Idaho Region 4 Republican Chair Rob Beck has his way.
    For him, candidates who simply declare fealty to the Republican Party and who identify as Republicans would not be able to run for office as such unless they receive approval from the state Republican Central Committee, a district legislative committee or a county precinct committee. The central committee will take up the proposal in a meeting starting today.
    Imagine the scenes as they might unfold all over the state: Klieg lights on, candidate perspires as questioning begins:
    “Before we begin, put your guns on the table. Thank you.”
    “On a scale of pink to deep red, how strongly Republican are you?”
    “You say you’re yellowish-orange?
    “You’re asking us to excuse you for thinking that Idahoans should get to vote directly for U.S. senators instead of giving that right solely to the state Legislature?
    “Do you agree that the only good wolf is a dead wolf?”
    “What do you like best, hatchery trout or wild salmon from a wild river?”
    “Your children attended kindergarten year-round? Whatever for?”
    “You say everyone should be required to buy health insurance? You say old folks on Medicare have socialized medicine?”
    “Would you prefer human chains, armed vigilantes or none of the above to take over federal lands?”
    “Do you understand that we will not clear you to run for office a second time if you cast a vote contrary to the wishes of this committee?”
    Candidate nods. Buzzer sounds.

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