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GOP 'vetting' a sham; sycophants run wild

by LARRY SPENCER/Guest Opinion
| October 27, 2021 1:00 AM

Vetting candidates is an extremely important component of choosing who to vote for, but who really has the time to do it properly? That the Republican Party put together a committee and looked into these candidates before making recommendations seems like a wonderful step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, as we have now seen, they didn't actually vet the candidates sufficiency, at least not in the way that would expose a rotten apple. It is important to understand why they simply can't, or won't.

Committeemen who volunteered to be on the "vetting" committees are exactly the people you would not want to vet candidates. Those committeemen are the classic definition of the word sycophant. They want to be seen as important and they want important (elected) people to view them as a Kingmaker.

They want to have their ring kissed by candidates. When carpetbagger candidates move here, these members of the Republican Kingmakers Club are viewed as the low-hanging fruit to start a political career. So, they make friends with this select group of less than 10 people, stroking the egos of the self-perceived Kingmakers.

Six months later, when the newcomer or political insider announces that they want to run, their new friends immediately begin to help them campaign, rather than taking a step back and asking them about their past, which they never did in the first place.

To take a critical look at someone who has already become a close friend seems rude and they won't do it. They feel that they know this person well, and any dirt in the person's past must just be from somebody wanting to keep a good conservative down.

So can this type of Kingmakers committee in the Republican Party actually work as intended? To believe that it could would be no different than arguing that "real" socialism hasn't been tried. Both systems will self corrupt anywhere they are tried.

Additionally, the Republican Party will end up with nothing but political insiders instead of principled candidates running for office. Most of the conservative legislators would not be willing to ingratiate themselves with this type of committee, because they would see it as something that only a candidate of low integrity would do in order to win a race.

I have spoken to two of the most conservative legislators in Kootenai County, and they both agreed that if this committee had been in place when they first ran, they would not have been approved by the committee or they would not have likely made it through their primary.

The Republican Party thought this would be a powerful solution to influence their own primaries and nonpartisan races, but the law of unintended consequences will ensure that if this is kept in place the quality of Republican candidates will drop through the floor over the next few years. Only connected political insiders will even run for office, and those are almost never the best quality candidates, and they are almost always the most easily corrupted.

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Larry Spencer of Post Falls is a longtime conservative activist.

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