Bernie Fever in Idaho Leaves Opening for Republicans

sanders“Be it resolved we adopt in total Senator Bernie Sanders campaign platform for our legislators to work toward.”
Idaho Democrat Resolution – June 17

Now, that’s a break from tradition for Idaho Democrats, who for years have assured voters that the Gem State variety of Democrats were far different from those liberal kooks on the East Coast.

That’s not the case this time around. Delegates at the state convention, inspired by Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ spirited presidential campaign, have decided that Democrats here should move left of the national ticket. As if Hillary Clinton is not “left” enough. But Clinton, who lost badly to Sanders in the Democratic caucuses and was perhaps even more badly outnumbered in the party’s convention earlier this month, is not the guiding light for the new wave of Democrats in Idaho that showed up for the convention.

Bernie is. And this new wave of Democrats wanted a resolution reflecting their sentiments.

For Republicans, the resolution was a combination of Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July rolled into one. Dave Johnston, the state GOP’s executive director, wasted little time blasting out the news.

“You’ll never believe what just happened at the Democrat State Convention,” Johnston wrote just after the resolution was approved. “They passed a resolution that tells lawmakers to act more like Bernie. What does this include? A weaker military. Support for the Iran deal. Climate change regulations. A higher minimum wage. Socialized healthcare. Free college. All paid for by higher taxes.”

Johnston’s job of uniting the divided Idaho Republican Party may have gotten a bit easier – at least for this election cycle.

“From a strategic perspective, they just gave us gold,” he said.