Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Newcombe, Ring, and Batt

Posted by Adam Graham on March 31, 2007

Mountain Goat Report takes issue with a recent Idaho Chooses Life commentary:

Well, if there was ever any doubt that the Idaho Republican Party is in some kind of turf war, this ought to help make it clear. The commentary at Idaho Chooses Life, a formerly effective and worthy advocate for their position, has strayed so far to the extreme it’s almost laughable. They have resorted to calling highly respected, long time Republican stalwarts such as Phil Batt and Bruce Newcomb, Republican In Name Only (RINO).

I generally avoid the term, RINO (at least in regards to Idaho politicians.) I frankly don’t care what the likes of Arlen Specter, Linc Chaffee, or Tommy Kean, Jr. think of me, but when we’re talking neighbors, you’re on another level. Locally, I prefer a more kind term such as Conservatism-Impaired.

What Idaho Chooses Life actually wrote was quite interesting:

Ring even claimed that he was denied a chairmanship on a panel where there is already a sitting GOP chairman with greater seniority. In Ring’s twisted and self-centered view, Denney ought to have stripped Chairman Block of her committee and given it to him – at least if Denney was “fair”.

Both Ring and Batt are full of dribble and guilty of avoiding the underlying facts in order to better deceive Idahoans into thinking that some right-wing fascist has suddenly seized control of the Legislature.

Both gentlemen are unabashed social liberals. Both are supported by the ACLU for their liberalism on issues like abortion and gay rights. So let’s establish one fundamental consideration: They both dislike Denney because he is an unapologetic conservative. But rather than have the guts to come clean and accept the consequences of their unpopular views, they hide behind rhetoric designed to mislead people into thinking that the democratic process has somehow been repealed by Speaker Denney. Instead of humbly accepting the simple fact they are grossly outgunned by conservatives in the Idaho Legislature, they would rather blame and malign the Speaker for their failings.

They also make the point that Speaker Newcombe wasn’t exactly Miss Congeniality as Speaker:

We have just survived the tenure of one of the most heavy-handed speakers in Idaho history. Bruce Newcomb was famous for his temper tantrums and threats against lobbyists, members of the public and other legislators. I witnessed many of these outrages first-hand, and suffered a few personally. The contrast between the Denney and Newcomb temperaments could hardly be greater.

But, of course, the central difference is the ideological complexion of the two speakers. Batt and the Statesman were undisturbed when former legislator David Callister endured years of abuse at Newcomb’s hands – because Callister was a conservative. And no outrage was expressed when Newcomb abused his authority by stripping Bill Sali of his chairmanship because Sali would not kow-tow to Newcomb’s liberal agenda. I don’t remember any Batt speeches from on high when Newcomb punished Rep. Tom Loertscher for years because he had the audacity to challenge Newcomb.

Indeed, I remember that when Sali was stripped of his chairmanship, it was all Sali’s fault, now if a liberal Republican is denied a chairmanship, it’s all the Speaker’s fault. Got that logic? Good, conservatives are always to blame.

So far, as I understand it, Lawrence Denney hasn’t threatened to throw a moderate out a third story window (like one of his predecessors did with Bill Sali) It seemed that the power antics of Speakers Simpson and Newcombe against conservatives were good for a few chuckles. However, now that Lawrence Denney’s in the chair and he’s using that same speaker’s office (the power of which was created by Simpson and Newcombe), it’s a threat to our Republic.

That’s absurd and hypocritical. That is the great point behind what Idaho Chooses Life wrote, and I hope liberals as well as conservativism-impaired Republicans get the point.


2 Responses to “Newcombe, Ring, and Batt”

  1. I’m having a hard time finding any sourcing for the claim in the commentary that Newcomb and Batt are “unabashed social liberals.” In fact Newcomb voted for HJR2 in 06.

    Unsourced and untrue claims like this call into question any claims made in the rest of the commentary.

    Phil Batt and Bruce Newcomb are highly respected all across this state. The commentary’s calling them RINOs is indeed laughable and by attempting to label them so, displays a hint of desperation.

  2. Adam Graham [Member] said

    First of all, the article didn’t claim that batt and Newcome were unabashed social liberals but rather that Batt and Ring were.

    Batt vetoed a Parental Consent ban and got an award from the ACLU after he left office as governor, Ring voted against the marriage amendment.

    Yes, these people are respected, but it does not make them conservatives.

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