GOP caucus a preset MAGA sham

By Mike Weland

Mike WelandNo matter how it came about or what excuses they make in their attempt to sell it, the upcoming Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus is but one more indication of how far the Republican Party has fallen and of how abjectly incapable and unqualified this clan of new “leaders” is, with their vain promises to drain the swamp, promote “conservative” values and make America, meaning its government, great again. If by “great” these radical new Republican leaders mean dismantling our constitution, eliminating checks and balances and paving the way to install a fascist dictator beholden to no one or nothing but himself, they’re doing a fine job, indeed.

But to date, they are more Keystone Kops than statesmen. Like the more successful viruses that assail our bodies, the key virtue of these MAGA conservative government officials seems to be their remarkable ability to sicken the body politic without killing it even while convincing it and the many worried of its impending demise that it needs them for protection from the doctors and nurses that kept it reasonably healthy for years.

“And not only the doctors and nurses of the liberal left, either! We’ll pertect ya from the vermin what snuck into yer own party, them RINOS! You just lay back an’ lissen to us, now. Them othern … they’re sneaky an’ out to gitchee. But don’choo worry, we’re here now an’ we care. OOOH, LOOK OUT! AUGH! Whoo … dang that Biden! ‘Nother librul plot like nigh to have gotcha! But we got yer back … see how bad you needs us? You jus’ vote good conservative values like what we’ll told you to an’ you’ll be up again in no time, perky as a outhouse mouse!”

While we live in a nation governed by the people and for the people, the art of government to which many aspire is not a task befitting all aspirants. There are those running for office who ask not what they can bring to their office, but what that office can bring to them.

Fortunately, there is typically a stringent vetting process for those who would serve the public, and a public standing in line to ask the candidate questions to determine 1) if the candidate was fit to serve the public in the capacity required of the office and 2) if, when they said “we,” the returning echo replied, “me.” Without the appropriate answers, few candidates received the chance to let the electorate find out.

But on rare occasion, such as this interesting time we’ve now been given to share, we, the voters, seem to have become complacent, beguiled by candidates who know what we want to hear and who are more eager to hear what we want than the more difficult truths. More open to believe the simple platitude than the in-depth analyses. More eager to fear the lurking made-up monster than the bedeviling complexities that assail us every day without clear answers.

“The brown hoards are coming and they’re not nice people. They are coming to take what’s yours. I’m going to build a wall.”

“Oh, yeah? Who’s going to pay for it?”


“Why, you thought o’everthang! Ya’ll see how easy it is?! He says what he does and he means when he says it! Now ‘at’s what we need in a president!”

And somehow, the floodgates opened for those interested in putting “me” in public service, who put personal preference ahead of common good, party above principles. And we the people elected them to offices great and small.

And with but few holdouts, the Party of Lincoln, who abolished slavery as a tool necessary to preserve our constitution and hold our union together, has become the Party of Trump, in favor of abolishing the constitution and “national divorce,” a government of retribution and lies in which power belongs to the party rather than the people, a party now subservient to a failed president and would-be dictator.

Anyway, back to the upcoming presidential caucus now less than three weeks away. Last year, the legislature passed and Governor Brad Little signed into law HB138: A Bill Relating to Presidential Primary Elections before anyone seemed to realize a fairly glaring omission … instead of relating to presidential primaries, it eliminated them. Senate Bill 1186 was proposed to correct the oversight, but both sides blaming the other, and with a minus-three rating from the Idaho Freedom Foundation, the arbiter of conservative gospel as ordained by the Book of Donald, the bill died a quiet death and was not resurrected.

Why would that faction of the current Idaho GOP, led by chairwoman Dorothy Moon and those few Idaho legislators of the Idaho Freedom Caucus, realizing they could write their own rules for a caucus in the one election crucial to their cause, want to get in a hurry to rectify the oversight?

They wouldn’t.

Instead, at a closed door meeting last summer in Challis, the Idaho Republican State Central Committee “overwhelmingly voted to choose delegates for the 2024 Republican National Convention’s Presidential Nominating contest through a caucus system.”

They opted to disenfranchise all but their most loyal voters, holding in-person only caucuses at just over 200 sites state-wide, open only to Republicans who were registered to vote in 2023 and their minor children and each site open only a narrow window of time.

Their rules allow no reporters or poll watchers … only those qualified Republicans there to vote. They allow no caucus official or volunteer to release local results to local media; Dorothy Moon will give statewide results to reporters at her headquarters in Boise only after all have been tabulated behind closed doors, and those in the rest of the state will just have to wait until the results are posted on the GOP website.

“The Idaho Republican Party remains committed to upholding the principles that empower the citizens of Idaho to have a meaningful voice in shaping our nation’s future,” they write on their caucus website, taking their cue from Trump to says what they does and means when they says it.

An estimated 70-percent of Idaho Republicans still profess to believe that the 2019 election was stolen and that Trump remains the rightful president despite there being no evidence to support the notion.

Not that they all believe … they don’t. They “profess” to believe. To save you who excoriate me my propensity for using words of less common usage with which to convey my meaning with clarity, to “profess” is to proclaim as true that which isn’t. By professing to believe, the few can better keep those who do believe scared, angry and compliant, and so keep quiet those who hold more traditional forms of party power and want to keep it.

Those in our state crying loudest about an election stolen from Trump are those who have been putting together their own plan to steal an election for Trump. Though it’s “merely” a caucus to choose delegates to the Republican National Convention, to be held in Milwaukee in mid-July, the intent is clear and now that the caucus is upon us, they’ve dropped all pretense.

Their professed concern for the citizens is meaningless; they have their own vision of what a great nation should be; a patriotic and God-fearing white Christian nation in which freedom reigns and there abide no gays, no leftists, no perverts or abortionists and none who question our notion of our own superiority but who are all thankful to be blessed with the example of our high moral standards and so grateful to ever assist us and serve our needs, each happy to keep in their own rightful place.

Donald Trump may not be a paragon of virtue, but no other president in U.S. history has ever launched himself to power off the backs of so few, strewing a promise here and a tidbit there to convince them that their prophecies of he as the instrument that will be wielded to smite the heathen and the infidel and so bring about again their version of a great America that never was … he did so much last time, before he was robbed, but there’s one more chance, just one …

“I says what I does and I means when I says it!” he shouts at them assuringly, and lo! How mightily they do believe!

“Hey boss?” a small voice says from the very edge of the dark back row. “I hears what you said and I knows you means when you says it, but I been lookin’ and it don’t seem to me I never seen you actually did nothin.'”

A small flurry of activity, thumps, a few shouts and a groan. A dog barks menacingly, then quiets.

“It’s okay now, Sir! I don’t know how this heathen Democrat liberal got in, but he won’t be interrupting any more. Can you tell us again how you say what we do and mean what I say? I find it so uplifting!”