Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of January 24 through 30, 2001

Wild lands are at risk

If environmentalists welcomed President Clinton’s attention to Western states, they surely should shudder at the sort of attention President Bush soon will give.

Whereas Clinton acted as a guardian of the environment, Bush is of a mind to be the guardian of commercial interests who’re itching to exploit Western land tied up as parks and wilderness areas.

It’s not just oil interests, which onetime Texas wildcatter Bush has promised to help by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Lumber, mining and ranching interests are standing in line for their share of lands they’ll lobby Bush to unlock. And it’ll be no surprise if real estate developers in "hot" growth resort communities—ski resorts, such as Sun Valley--also plead for opening of public lands for more condos and estate homes to satisfy demand.

How ironic if Bush meets those demands. The progenitor of America’s spectacular collection of parks and wilderness areas was an icon of the Republican Party, President Theodore Roosevelt, whose vision of nearly 100 years ago may fall victim to another Republican’s shortsightedness.

If political statesmanship seems in short supply, pettiness of political party drones is the cause.

Idaho Republican Party chairman Trent Clark is an exemplar of political small-mindedness. Clark denounced Boise Mayor Brent Coles for participating in honoring President Clinton for his work with the nation’s mayors. Mind you, Mayor Coles was chairman of the prestigious, non-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors and as such was obliged to handle official activities, no matter what he might think of Clinton’s morals.

But Idaho GOP mouthpiece Clark would stomach none of that. The fact that Clinton’s policies were good for cities and that Mayor Coles has national obligations were irrelevant to Clark, whose party-first mentality should embarrass intelligent Republicans. Clark would’ve had Mayor Coles refuse to present the mayors’ honor to Clinton in protest, and thus bring undeserved national curiosity about the mentality of Idaho Republicans. Mayor Coles ignored Clark, upheld his duties and presented the tribute to Clinton.

Thinking Republicans should applaud Mayor Coles, but worry about party mouthpiece Trent Clark’s next adolescent gambit.

Henry Kissinger said it best – "Power is the great aphrodisiac." That probably explains the mindless, reckless sexual behavior of Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and a string of lesser political lights and televangelists who believed they could betray their public and marital trusts with adulterous affairs.

Clinton’s peccadillo with Monica Lewinsky was the most outrageous. His years of denials cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in investigation and prosecution expenses, plus the national humiliation of an impeachment and trial, and probably helped deny Vice President Gore the presidency.

If there’s any public satisfaction, albeit scant, it’s that the first paragraph of these men’s histories and obituaries will first note scandalous behavior that sullied their records rather than any good they achieved.

They each also proved that stupidity survives even among the privileged.


Back to Front Page
Copyright © 2000 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.