I recently read a book called The Big Sort, all about how America is being hurt by the way many of us are increasingly choosing to live, play, and worship with like-minded people. Yet there's less of this happening in Idaho than elsewhere. Even in blue Boise, there are healthy numbers of Republicans, and Democrats are proudly emerging in some of the most unlikely places in our state. We may disagree with one another's political views, but we are basically a civil people.
But not everyone fits that description. Wayne Hoffman, a former newspaper reporter, has lately launched way, way off the deep end into partisan hate in his role as spokesman for Rep. Bill Sali (and, curiously enough, for Sali's congressional campaign) - an office which has lately come under withering scrutiny. Hoffman and Sali have become national laughing stocks for their inept, classless, and perhaps illegal operation, yet when a conservative Idaho newspaper dares to criticize any of these well-documented problems, he accuses its editors of sliding into "a sea of liberalism, filth and innuendo." Whew. In Hoffman's world, anything but absolute fealty to reactionary Republican principles will not be tolerated, even when the editorialists in question made pains to note that their criticisms weren't politically motivated but lodged out of a desire that Sali must take action to retain the public trust.
As much as I dislike Bill Sali's politics and policies, I have to believe that even he realizes this level of rhetoric from a government employee is way beyond acceptable. If Sali still has any hope of having his 1st District constituents believe he represents them all, he should fire Hoffman immediately - from both of his jobs - and hire replacements who will keep the work of his taxpayer-funded congressional office and his partisan re-election campaign truly separate.