NEW YORK -- Anyone bemoaning the standard of political debate in the UK should watch the Republican Party's governor’s debate in Idaho on Wednesday, an event that featured a bald, leather-clad biker, an ageing cowboy with a preposterous beard and two men in suits, one of whom is called Butch Otter.
The primary debate, which sitting Governor Otter had insisted was open to all candidates, featured a raft of racist jokes (the broadcaster put a 30-second delay on the transmission), while the Governor and his more mainstream challenger Russ Fulcher struggled to contain their laughter as the biker and the cowboy ranted on such disparate issues as Biblical prophecy, thyroid glands, political correctness and Chernobyl.
Dressed in black, Harley Brown, who took to the stage with a cigar in his top pocket and several missing teeth, spent much of the debate complaining about law enforcement, arguing that bikers are “cop magnets, like a playboy bunny in a mini-skirt gets hit on all the time”. He followed that unusual simile by comparing bikers to blacks before the civil rights movement.
Sporting a biker jacket scared with the slogan, "Hey diddle diddle, right up the middle," Brown proudly stated that he is "about as politically correct as your proverbial turd in the punchbowl. And I'm proud of it, and I'm going for it."
Brown set out his credentials to be Governor, as well as his plan once in office: "I've got a Master's in raisin' hell, okay? Here's my plan of attack. You go in there, and you use spiritual warfare. You bind those evil spirits that are behind the feds with the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, the power of entombment of the Holy Spirit, the power of agreement, the word of God. Take air superiority, and then roll in with your tanks on the ground, like... lawsuits. Blitzkrieg!”
The bearded Walt Bayes was equally colourful, ranting against the Governor for the state’s history of jailing parents of home-schooled children, telling Otter that if law enforcement came to take his kid, “Well, I’d shoot ‘em”. Bayes then set about educating the audience on nuclear energy, claiming the Bible foretold the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
“You remember Chernobyl, where the Russians had a little problem with their atomic energy?" he said. "Chernobyl – when you translate that into English it comes out ‘Wormwood’. Wormwood is mentioned in the Bible a whole lot where you're studying the last days, and it's radiation." He also instructed those in attendance to take potassium iodide pills to stop the affects of radiation poisoning.
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