Adam takes me to task for a couple of recent posts about Bill Sali, and invites me to clarify my thinking. After reading his post and re-reading mine, I agree that I didn't make at least one of my points well.
I'm sticking by my assertion that Sali will be ineffective for Idaho. I don't think he'll oppose corporate welfare and tax breaks for Big Oil, and he'll support the Bush Administration energy policy that has resulted in $3.00 a gallon gasoline at a time when Exxon is reporting the highest profit in history. I think he'll support tax breaks on unearned income, interest and dividends, and will not support tax relief on wages. Basically I think he'll be a toady for the Bush Administration, as is the rest of the Idaho delegation, most of the time, and Idaho doesn't benefit.
I know Sali suggests lifting the gas tax for 3 months, paid for by the surplus, but it's a zero sum game; what would he take the money from. School repair? State employee salaries? Half-baked, not serious, and stated for effect is my view of that proposal.
So, Sali might get on board of R-favored legislation, but that mostly doesn't help Idaho. Any legislation that Sali might think up and push on his own will require trade-offs and compromises on other issues in order to gain the political capitol to spend on his issues. Since he is very proud of not compromising, he won't have much political capital. Therefore, ineffective.
As far as my "decline into the low gutter of political attacks", I do need to clarify. Dogging Sali with a dunce cap and idiot label, and using his statements about being brain damaged, are not the type of politics I'd like Dems to engage in. But they might be politics they might have to engage in.
Sali did not hesitate to attack his opponents in the primary. For example, he made an issue about Sorenson sending out a postcard that resembled an NRA mailing, implying that she is dishonest. Was Sorenson's honesty a campaign issue and the postcard an example? No, it was just an opportunity to attack Sorenson and really had nothing to do with her fitness for office.
Dems nationwide tend to be patsies when Rs attack. Kerry got Swiftboated and it hurt him. Part of the problem was that voters perceived his lack of response as weakness, and voters don't want a weak president. If Sali attacks Grant with negative campaigning - and I guarantee right here and now that he will - I just want Grant to be ready with some ideas to attack back. Once one sides goes negative, the other side has to. I don't want Grant to conduct a negative campaign, but I want him to be ready if (when) Sali does.