Labrador Loves His Enemies
by Lucas Baumbach
Labrador's procurement of Dan Popkey as press secretary is at best a matchup of job qualifications and at worst the pinnacle of a long string of disappointing appointments.
The first test is on qualifications. Popkey passes. Who better to deal with media than a media person? Dan Popkey is respected by the media elite, which respect will accrue to Labrador with Popkey as a hired hand. This type of appointment is nothing new or abnormal. Innumerable ex-media personalities have gone into lobbying or running campaigns because reporting pays nothing, and often less than nothing. Reporters are what the liberal elite likes to call the working poor. Because reporters are so poor that they tend toward socialist convictions as a means of getting even with their educated and successful peers, who chose a career in business instead of journalism. So, maybe if Dan Popkey makes some good money at his new job, he won't be such a capitalist-hating malcontent. In a few years he could be yucking it up as a Blue Cross lobbyist that promotes universal healthcare. I see a new Dan in the offing.
It may be seem incongruous to imagine Labrador hiring a reporter whose penchant has been to attack politicians. Even so, a few high-level conservatives trust the honesty of Dan Popkey more than any other reporter in Idaho. I don't strictly adhere to this optimistic and often Pollyanna-like appraisal of Popkey. Too many of today's reporters are inclined to report innuendo and hearsay, like Dan is renowned for doing. But, at least Dan is willing to put his name on the slander and libel he produces. He's malcontent and proud of it. But, even the targets of Popkey's wrath were in some way deserving. Senator Larry Craig was a fop. Candidate Vaughn Ward was a puppet. Representative Patterson was a wild man. Clearly Popkey has been used by God to humble the proud. Today the proud are rejoicing that Popkey is off the streets and on a leash.
Still, what is Labrador thinking? You have to look at Labrador's past choices. Labrador has hired multiple people with questionable backgrounds and allegiances, including Phil Hardy who has been and is now an outspoken, brash minion of the establishment. Hardy was fired after he posted sexually provocative comments online in Labrador's name.
The explanations I have to give for Labrador's hiring practices are two-fold. One, he doesn't have human resource skills, hiring whomever is available, which is usually an establishment groupie without a job. Two, growing up as an immigrant, Labrador has developed an affinity for people who are unlike him. You could call it stranger-in-a-strange-land syndrome. Labrador has a reputation for being friendly with his enemies in Congress. This would explain why he is friendly with these people, but he maintains an impressively unswerving voting record. Labrador befriends his enemies not because he lacks principle, but because it is a principle in and of itself - not unlike what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount: love your enemies. Jesus took a principled position. Jesus did not lack principle, as the superficial appraisal of the Pharisees would have had people believe. Whether knowingly or not Raul is a great politician because of this way of dealing with others. In political circles it is called keeping enemies close. In Christian circles we call it a Biblical Worldview.
The hiring of Popkey supports my analysis that Labrador should have run for governor of Idaho in 2014, because he would have had a friendly media on his side. In hindsight we can see that if Russ Fulcher, a relative unknown, gave Otter a black eye (Otter lost the three biggest counties to Fulcher), Raul Labrador would have given Otter a knock-out punch. I maintain to this day that Labrador should have run for governor, and Fulcher for Congress. They both would have won, and we would have had the added bonus of a unified Republican Party, instead of our current defunct organization.
One question remains. Why does Raul Labrador refuse to hire a single person from the Republican Liberty Caucus? What is the excuse for hiring people, who are so consistently against what he believes? He clearly excludes hiring libertarians, and then he goes on Meet the Press as a libertarian perspective. Hypocritical? Along a similar vein, Raul Labrador promised before he won the primary in 2010 that he would use his influence to help conservatives win elections and I haven't seen a lot of follow through on that promise. He has been stingy with public support of conservative candidates which tells me that he is not ready to lead a state, even if he has some of the necessary skills of befriending enemies. Why should we want Labrador as governor, if he prefers to appoint democrats and RINOs to all the agency positions? We need Labrador to clearly favor the individuals who will promote the values of limited government. He can surely manage that while still being nice to the enemies.
Everyone should remember that in 2010 Dan Popkey wrote the article that uncovered Vaughan Ward's plagiarism of Obama. Vaughan Ward was Raul's primary challenger, heavily favored by the establishment. If Labrador owes anyone for where he is today, it is Popkey. It's Popkey's article that inspired my video in the eleventh hour of the primary. I am posting a link to the video here. Notice the credit I give to Popkey. Without Popkey's research, the origin of the speech may never have been revealed.