Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Why I Support Larry Grant

[Local Idaho politics warning!]

Idaho had their primary election this Tuesday, and the slate for the open 1st Congressional District race is set: Democrat Larry Grant vs. Republican Bill Sali. Earlier this month, I blogged about why I, a lifelong Republican, was going to be voting for Democrats this November. When it comes to the national aspects of the race, I admit that there's a little bit of a "lesser of two evils" going on there -- two years of Rep. Pelosi as Speaker is a price I'm willing to pay to get the current crop of Republican legislative leaders to realize we're upset and to change the way they've been doing business (or get the voters to replace them with someone who will). In this race, however, I'm supporting Larry Grant not only because Bill Sali is a bad choice, but because Larry is a good one.

I first became aware of Larry Grant when I read a newspaper article about his campaign blog. I posted a snarky comment asking some questions about an entry his web manager had posted about Iraq, and was surprised to receive a thoughtful reply from the candidate himself. I did some more research, and found that Larry's really a moderate -- in most states I've been stationed in, his views were pretty much in line with mainstream Republican thought.

While people might be expected to emphasize their more "extreme" views during the primary race, and move back to the center for the general election, Larry was willing to take positions his Democratic "base" might be expected to oppose (like during this liveblog session, where he supported the concept of free trade). This showed me that he has actual values that he believes in, as opposed to those who will say anything to get elected. He's been a businessman his whole life, so he knows the importance of being fiscally responsible. He's also willing to admit that there are times he might change his mind if he gets additional information, which is why I'm not worried that some of his ideas on Iraq don't square with mine (permanent bases, etc) -- as he says: "I do not have, of course, access to all the military intelligence that would be available to me as a member of Congress...". He seems like a smart guy, and once he gets some more information, I'm sure he'll apply his business acumen to the problem and be a strong voice for innovative solutions.

Larry's opponent, Bill Sali, is a very, very conservative politician. His main monetary support has come from the "Club For Growth", an organization that exists solely to oppose taxes, as near as I can tell. Sali frequently mentioned that there are 105 congressmen who support the Club's activities him from the Republican Study Group (sentence edited; see below) -- I wondered if they've been putting their rhetoric into action. Sali says he supports reducing government spending; have his 105 friends been voting that way? This year's Agriculture budget bill increased President Bush's proposed spending by $564M; only 46 congressmen voted against it; of these, only 24 were Republicans. I'm pretty sure 24 is less than 105. The Energy and Water Development Budget was the same way -- only 14 Republicans voted against it, despite the pork-laden nature of the bill. Could we expect Sali to vote any differently than his 105 anti-tax buddies?

From his campaign website, it looks like Sali will be running on the issues that appeal to hard-core conservatives most. He lists 10 issues of importance to him, and expands on his views on five of them. Interestingly, the only mention of the military comes last on his list, and he apparently doesn't feel it's important enough to explain more about how he feels about the issue beyond "supporting our troops". He also obliquely mentions national security when talking about immigration. He supports using the National Guard to police the border without ever explaining how he would get around that pesky "Posse Comitatus" law.

Sali said on election night that people should vote for him, or otherwise Nancy Pelosi would become Speaker of the House. However, if current trends hold, the Dems are probably going to take control of the House no matter who's elected in Idaho's 1st district. I submit that it'd be better for western Idahoans to have a moderate Democrat who has a voice within the new House leadership representing them, rather than a bomb-throwing extremist from the opposition.

My good friends Adam Graham and Clayton Cramer are supporting Bill Sali, so I expect some interesting debate about the issue within the Idaho blogosphere. Hopefully this race can focus on the issues and the direction our country is heading, but based on the nastiness of the Republican primary, I don't think this will happen. So far Sali seems to be trying to paint Larry Grant as a liberal, which I think won't work... in addition to being incorrect, I think there will be a lot of traditional Republicans who come out to express their concern with Sali's strident ways.

Should be an interesting 5 1/2 months between now and November...

Update 1518 27 May: Edited to change the identity of the 105 supporters from "Club For Growth" to "Republican Study Group", although their announced goals look pretty much the same. I also forgot to mention that my good friend girlfriday had previously come out for Sali. Also, Diana says some nice things about me over at her place.

Update 0703 28 May: Adam Graham responds to my post here, and I gave a little bit of a rebuttal in his comments. I also found this compilation of quotes and links about how regular Idaho politicians, the ones who know Bill Sali best, really don't like him (don't like Sali, that is, not Adam).


Blogger Julie Fanselow said...

Bubblehead, thanks very much for this endorsement. It means a lot for us to have the support of someone who understands from the inside how the military works, as well as from someone who realizes how far today's Republican Party has fallen from its traditions of fiscal responsibility and keeping government out of people's private lives. As Grant's chief blogger, I've posted an official welcome to those many Republicans and independents who will now be seeking an alternative to the GOP nominee:

One note about Sali's remarks about the 105 who support him: This is actually the Republican Study Group,
Some of its aims certainly dovetail with those of the Club for Growth. As near as I can tell, however, the Club for Growth is more interested in advancing disproven supply-side economic theories and in dismantling government services than in promoting a fundamentalist Christian social agenda - one of the RSG's main aims.

Also speaking of the Club for Growth, it poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Sali's primary run, mostly from out-of-state donors. In order to compete with what will surely be another Club for Growth push for Sali in the fall, Larry Grant will need contributions from thousands of Americans - Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike - who want to see Congress get back on track and back to doing to business of the American people.

This is a race in which people can really make a difference. We gratefully accept contributions by mail to Grant for Congress, PO Box 489, Fruitland, ID 83619, or online via this page:

Thanks again, Bubblehead. We truly appreciate your support and your help in spreading the word about Larry Grant, the sensible moderate choice for Idaho's 1st District.

5/27/2006 10:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, "supporting our troops" isn't a very controversial stance. It's essentially an empty phrase. Buying a $1 Chinese-made magnet and putting it on your 12 MPG SUV doesn't do anything to support the troops. Ensuring a sensible foreign policy, ensuring war is a last resort, creating an exit policy, etc., those are ways to support our troops and I have every confidence in Grant in this respect.

5/27/2006 10:36 AM

Blogger Just Callin' It Like I See It said...

On August 16, 2005 I started my own blog because I needed a safe place to explain how I felt that my lack of support for the war in Iraq in no way meant that I did not "support the troops".

I completely agree that "supporting the troops" is becoming a lazy phrase repeatedly expressed by ignorant citizens who think a ribbon magnet on their car fulfills their patriotic duty. The name of my blog "We Have Failed Our Duty As Americans" was specifically meant to represent how I feel about how we've let our troops down by not doing OUR duty to protect them.

As I wrote in my very first (ever) blog entry:

"If I were sent to fight a war that I questioned, I would hope and pray that my country -- the Americans in which I swore to protect -- would care enough about ME and would try to protect ME by demanding accountability and legitimacy so I would NOT be asked to risk my life for "nothing". These soldiers are not disposable resources... they are valuable human beings who deserve to only be risked when necessary... and some of us believe it is not necessary. Is that really so wrong? Don’t we have an obligation to protect THEIR lives as they are sworn to protect OURS?

I value our troops enough to not be willing to risk their lives over an illegitimate war. I consider that "SUPPORT". If others believe the cause is worthy enough to die for, then they have the right to believe in that cause. But do not deny the rest of America the right to make sure that our troops are valued enough to ONLY be sent out to risk their lives for a LEGITIMATE purpose."

I only ask that ALL Americans step away from the three-word sound bites that seems to be the limit of their attention spans these days ("War on Terror", "Support The Troops", etc.) and put forth the energy to consider what is happening with our leadership: our system of checks and balances set up by our founding fathers is being systematically destroyed, our country/our freedoms/our citizens are being sold to the highest bidders, and people are making decisions either based on fear or greed. Something has to change and I truly believe that Larry Grant and Jim Hansen will provide the leadership to be part of those critical changes.

5/27/2006 3:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead, while I respect you for your integrity, the problem is it comes down to raw power.
While Larry Grant may be best choice, he has no voting record. Once he is elected to the house he will submit to the power structure there. And he will do the will of the party and not the will of you (yes bad English).
Just look at the voting on the immigration bill. Illegal aliens were given social security benefits. The ammendment to prevent this went down 49-50.
44 pubs and 5 demos voted for it.
Till things change I have to vote for a party. Till we get control of this ship (boat) we need to hold our noses at time.
Do you really want Pelosi as speaker of the house. She a flaming socialist at best, communist at worse.

5/28/2006 9:19 PM

Blogger Glenn A. Primm said...


as a lifelong independent, i had occassionally voted for both republicans and democrats, but back when i saw george bush's mug for the first time, i knew that the gop had lost it completely. things have only gotten worse.

pay no attention to those who accuse pelosi of being a "socialist"; she is no such thing, and the least of our problems (actually, i wish she were; at least we would have a chance at decent health care for the 40 million folks that have been dropped from the system due to corporate hugger-muggery).

as a "troop" myself, i know that we veterans can tell when the boys (and gals) are getting the short end of the stick by this congress.

5/29/2006 3:43 AM

Blogger half said...


SSGN Florida has matured enough to change colours. Orange and Blue have been removed. Now Garnet and Gold - a much more warlike combination. :>

5/29/2006 6:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pelosi is from the 8th District in San Francisco. I guess that might represent the majority of Americans. One of her better moves was to bring the Battleship Iowa to her home district.
Sadly the people of SF have rejected the Iowa as a symbol of war. So I guess that she can't even represent her own people very well. Feel free to review her voting record......Found this one interesting:

5/29/2006 11:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

5/29/2006 11:51 PM


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