Republican candidates for Congress appeared at a forum in Caldwell sponsored by the Idaho-Press Tribune Wednesday. Although each of the five candidates (Skip Brandt, Keith Johnson, Bill Sali, Norm Semanko, Shela Sorensen and Robert Vasquez) tried to separate him/herself from the pack, there was little to distinguish one from the other when it comes to blind ignorance about the issues.
For example, all five spoke with a common voice concerning global warming. Human-caused pollution has nothing to do with it.
“The science is anything but certain on this,” Semanko said.
“The science is mixed,” claimed Johnson. “A single volcano could change things.”
Sali said “The jury’s still out on this.”
Brandt said, “mother nature will just cycle.”
Sorensen said we should be “cognzant of our environment,” but Kyoto was not fair to the United States.
Vasquez said perhaps summer is global warming and winter is global cooling. “I’m worried,” he said, tongue in cheek.
How about heath care? What solutions do the Republican candidates have for a broken system where nearly 46 million Americans lack health insurance, and millions more struggle to pay premiums that are growing five times faster than wages?
Sali said, “The government should get out of the business of health care.”
Johnson said, “Government should emphasize personal choice and responsibility in people’s health.”
Brandt said, “Individuals should be responsible for their own health.”
Vasquez said he had been a longtime user of the heath care system and there are problems. “Yes, we need to review that,” he said.
Did any of the candidates have a solution besides “individual responsibility?” Well, Semanko, who had obviously not read this current research, advocated tort reform. Sorensen, a nurse practitioner, prefers “health savings accounts.”
The only issue where the five seemed to disagree was immigration. But the disagreement was really over whether Vasquez “owns” the issue just because he was among the first to fight “illegal” immigration. When it comes to workable solutions to difficult problems, the Republican party is bankrupt. The Idaho Republican five prove that point with depressing unanimity.