Holy geekers, this has been quite the week. Monday was the first of the Presidential Primaries (Caucuses), Tuesday was the State of the Union Address, and Wednesday was the Impeachment Trial vote in the Senate. I have said it before, while you guys enjoy your football season and Superbowl on Sunday, my Superbowl season started Monday and will last through November with the big game.

Monday, Iowa had their presidential caucuses. A caucus is similar to a primary, in that the political parties vote on who they want to be their nominee in the general election. But, different from a primary like we have in Idaho, in a caucus everyone who wants to participate goes to a central location like a school gym or other public building and they discuss and debate who they want before voting on it. If you aren’t at a caucus you don’t get to participate.

Iowa’s caucuses were different this year because the Democrat Party wanted all the precincts to report through an app that had some coding errors. Two days later and they have fixed that, but the delayed results caused a lot of anger among Democrats running to be their party’s nominee. There have even been calls for a recanvas of the vote to verify the integrity of the system. Redos aside, the results are quite interesting. Bernie Sanders is essentially tied for first place (no surprise there) with Pete Buttigieg who had been polling lower than Biden or Warren. I look forward to New Hampshire next week!

The State of the Union was good. It had some great moving moments, some fact check moments, and some cringe moments. I love stories, especially history ones; having a Tuskegee Airmen be recognized was pretty dang cool. Even more moving was the soldier who surprised his wife and kids when he came back from deployment. His 3 year old son didn’t even recognize him, that is true sacrifice for this country. Thank you to all service members who make such sacrifices.

Trump put out a lot of numbers about the state of the economy, claiming that he has done a lot of things to improve it, and while he has done some things to improve the economy, not all of it was true. He did not turn around a slump economy, as much as Obama isn’t my favorite, Obama turned around a slump economy and pulled the nation out of the Recession. Trump has just been keeping us going up, which is great on its own, but the economy wasn’t down because of Obama like he implied.

While appearing moving, another thing in the State of the Union was actually quite cringeworthy. Giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh was one of these cringe moments. Limbaugh has made many many false statements over the years and this was purely a political move that was orchestrated to come after he announced that he had cancer to make it appear moving. While I would never wish cancer on anyone and feel bad for the guy, he doesn’t deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. Another cringeworthy moment, Pelosi tearing up the State of the Union speech at the end was just another stupid political maneuver like her attempt to have Trump impeached that is just going to backfire.

Finally, the Senate Trial and Vote. As expected Trump was found not guilty. I am going to say that this does not prove that he is innocent though. In the United States the way we conduct trials is that the defendant is under a presumption of innocence for the entire trial. It is up to the prosecution to prove guilt. Just because guilt is not proven doesn’t mean the person is not guilty. So any news media that says this proves he was innocent is wrong, it means they couldn’t prove he was guilty. The thing was a political sham in the first place so semantics aside, I am glad that it is over.

One note of interest though. While almost a party line vote, one Republican did vote that Trump was guilty of Abuse of Power. Mitt Romney. Now whether you agree with Romney or not, what he did was significant. 1) He is the first senator in all of US History to vote that a president of their own party was guilty (includes Johnson 1868, and Clinton 1999). 2) He did it despite knowing that it is political suicide. He will not be reelected as a senator in Utah, he will not be able to move anywhere and be elected in national politics ever again.

Once the leader of the Republican Party, he is now disgraced and politically dead. I read a lot about how he did this because he hates Trump, and he might hate Trump, I can’t speak for him. But, he did it knowing he would be politically dead, he did it because of principles that he believes in, and for that, sticking to his guns, he gets some respect from me. Hate him all you want, but respect him for sticking to his guns and gaining nothing from it, actually losing from it.

Charles Horikami is a Social Studies Teacher at BLMS, and the Legislative District 32 Chair for the Idaho State Republican Party, and a member of the Montpelier City Council. The views expressed are not representative of the BLSD, the City of Montpelier, or of the Idaho State Republican Party. He can be contacted at chorikami@gmail.com and welcomes all comments and critiques.

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