The Republican Party in our area has indeed "fractured" as reported in the Coeur d’Alene Press article “Republicans: Party Has Fractured” which appeared in today's October 5, 2010 edition.
I'm just going to get right to the point...I believe it is a shame the Republicans in our area are standing behind Phil Hart and I think it is way past time that he resigns. There-in the so called "fracture" in our party could be avoided. If Mr. Hart was a Democrat, the Republicans would be doing all they could to see that he was removed from office and we would be "up in arms" by his behavior. I have never believed that Mr. Hart’s issue was entirely about the 16th Amendment. Now it seems, even Mr. Hart is finally ready to admit the 16th Amendment is for a fact Constitutional, if he was quoted accurately in this Press article. (Sometimes ya just gotta wonder.)
I believe anyone with any character at all, would step down over a divide that ones actions are causing in their party. But not Phil Hart. He continues to justify his actions and refuses to admit it was wrong, or at the very least that it is something that could be construed as divisive.
While I don’t agree with the statement Senator Jorgenson made in the article, (if he indeed did make such a statement) that “A group of wackos have taken over the party.” (Big mistake there, if you wanted to be effective, Senator Jorgenson), the truth of the matter is the Republican Party in Idaho is in trouble if they do not weed out troublesome candidates such as Phil Hart.
I heard over and over in the last election, "well, I have to vote my conscience". "I want to vote for someone with character." We all want that, don't we? But will someone please tell me, where is the character in someone who will not get behind the candidate that won in the primaries? Phil Hart sure seems to understand that now when he and others he wants elected need the votes, but he neglected to do so in the Presidential election by supporting Ron Paul, and he took a lot of people with him to support a candidate that had no chance to win, thus dividing the GOP and giving us Barak Obama. You don’t think that happened? Trust me; it happened all across this nation. And I, for one, believe it was intentional. Ron Paul, supposedly the man with all the character, in fact, held his National Convention at the same time as the Republican National Convention. Tell me where is the character in that? When he lost in the primaries, he should have gotten behind the Republican candidate that won. We have a two party system that works best with TWO parties! And now it seems, at least here locally, that we have some of the same people demanding that people resign from their position in Republican party politics if they don't support Hart because he is the chosen candidate! Isn't that a bit hypocritical? That ain't what Hart did last election!
I’ve noticed that sometimes we voters tend to put the candidates on a pedestal; like they can do no wrong. We will defend them vehemently at times and at all costs. The truth of the matter is we would be much better off if we just admitted they are all simply humans and they are going to make mistakes. But it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to vote for the BETTER candidate whether we agree with them totally or not. None of them are perfect, so there is no perfect vote.
Though Senator Jorgenson lost in the primaries, and was viciously attacked by members of his own local party - which I believe had a great deal to do with his loosing the primary - he has still come out in support of a candidate that he did not fully agree with in a letter to the editor of our local paper. Though he has not totally agreed with Raul Labrador, he still understands the importance of getting behind the Republican candidate. To me that shows true leadership. Name-calling does not. And lately it seems that we are seeing more and more of that.
Due to a misinterpretation of a letter I wrote to the editor of our paper concerning this name calling, instead of people recognizing that as my point, I have been accused by some of not supporting Raul Labrador. So now it comes down to why I so much wanted that misstatement and accusation toward me corrected. Now, because of someone’s misinterpretation of my beliefs, I look like I am not justified in stating “I strongly believe in voting for a less than perfect candidate!!” Always have, and I always will. I ALWAYS knew I would vote for Raul Labrador when he won the May primaries, though he was not my candidate of choice in the primaries. I believe it is extremely important to do so, if we want our party to win. Call it voting for the lesser of two evils if you want. I don’t care. I think we are all evil because the Bible says "the heart is evil and desperately wicked"…but I’m still going to vote for the better candidate! My letter was not intended to be in support of, or against Raul Labrador. It was intended to be in support of a citizen’s right and responsibility to ask questions and receive answers to those questions without getting blasted in the media. I wanted to defend and lend support to someone asking questions. It is a shame someone decided to pull out something else from my letter.
But I am getting a bit off track with that. That issue has little to do with the article in the Press today...other than the name calling aspect taking place. However, I believe that little fact is very much a part of the fracture the Press is talking about and that is unfortunate.
It’s also unfortunate that the Press today in their article did not mention that there is a viable candidate for Phil Hart’s District 3 position. He is a Republican with conservative values and his name is Howard Griffiths. Mr. Griffiths is not like one of the candidates that came along as a “write-in” after they already lost in the primaries, as in the case of Murkowski in Alaska and our own Rick Currie here in Idaho. Rather, Mr. Griffiths decided to run as a write-in candidate (his only option) after Mr. Hart’s tax problems once again surfaced, becoming more and more troubling as well as more public. Griffiths added his name as a write-in correctly and respectfully. I believe that is noble and offers hope for ridding the party of someone as divisive as Phil Hart has been. I, for one, will be marking the bubble next to the spot where I write-in Howard Griffiths’ name. I don’t care if he is perfect or not either. Phil Hart has got to go.