Sunday, June 26, 2022
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In this case, the numbers don't lie

| May 20, 2022 1:00 AM

If you can’t beat ‘em, berate ‘em.

Wait, that’s not how it goes.

If you can’t beat ‘em, belittle ‘em.

Poo. That’s not it, either.

Despite what the open warfare rules of politics might dictate these days, maybe there’s still something of an approachable middle ground out in that bloody battlefield. Joining ain't gonna happen, so how about this for a compromise:

If you can’t beat ‘em, congratulate ‘em?

What unfolded in Idaho during this week’s primary election gave both sides of the Republican Party something to celebrate. And yes, there most certainly are two sides, one more moderate than the other.

In Kootenai County, less moderate conservatives rolled to victory in each legislative and county race. The Brent Regan-led Kootenai County Republican Central Committee pulled off a clean sweep of its preferred candidates, whom they backed as if their political lives depended upon it. And maybe they did.

Without tongue in cheek or a snarky comment lurking right around the corner, The Press congratulates the KCRCC for its impressive performance. The Press and KCRCC are known for some brutal disagreements, but Tuesday’s results clearly show that KCRCC represents the will of the voters here, at least for now.

Never mind that voter turnout was low — 35%. Primary turnout tends to lag behind general election participation, and the reasons for that are confounding but real. KCRCC went up against several local organizations that differed with them on preferred local candidates, and KCRCC conquered the field.

KCRCC’s lodestar, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, got a bloody nose in the primaries, losing four of the five state offices it fought so hard to capture. Only Raul Labrador, who is a known and widely admired entity, prevailed. IFF darlings Janice McGeachin, Priscilla Giddings, Dorothy Moon and Branden Durst all fell, and IFF board member Bryan Smith came up way short in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson.

Even so, KCRCC’s slate of state office candidates all won Kootenai County, so if you hear Brent Regan crowing about batting an unheard-of 1.000 this week, well, you really can’t argue with it because it’s the truth.

So we won’t. You won this round, KCRCC. Your side of the Republican Party is the undisputed champion for now.

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