Meet Idaho Senator 'Jim Risch,' Who Apparently Exists (And Voted For Default)
This feature brought to you by a conversation in the Sekrit Wonkette ChatCave! Iimmediately following the Senate's vote to end the shutdown. Yr Doktor Zoom, shaking his head, observed that both of Idaho's senators had voted for default. Yr Editrix recognized Mike Crapo on the roll call of miscreants, because who forgets a name like "Crapo," but the other Idaho senator's name left her asking "Risch? Who the fuck is Risch? I have literally never heard that name before in my life." A quick poll of other ChatCave denizens revealed that he was a cipher to them as well, one of Alex's "every 'Oh, that dick' in the world's worst deliberative body, plus a few 'Who?'s."
Rebecca S: I think Dok has infected my computer to put up a fake google saying " James Risch" is an Idaho senator. "Senator Risch was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2008..." HE HAS BEEN THERE FIVE YEARS????
And so, let's take a moment to confirm the existence of a U.S. Senator whose existence, like that of Sasquatch, is largely conjectural.
To start with, the main reason nobody's ever heard of Senator Jim Risch is that he replaced a guy that everybody knows: Larry "Wide Stance" Craig,* who increased the number of Things People Know About Idaho by 33%, joining "potatoes" and "Aryan Nations" on that list. Defying expectations that he'd resign, Craig actually served out the rest of his term after his restroom foot-tapping adventure, and Risch easily won over former Congressman Larry LaRocco (the Democrat who had been defeated in 1995 by Famous Idaho Crazy Helen Chenoweth -- he never had a chance). Risch has been blissfully unobtrusive ever since, which appears to be how Idahoans like him.
Risch was one of those guys who blandly moved through state politics, a big guy in the right circles, but mostly unknown outside the Capitol. State senator for a long stretch, and then served without a great deal of distinction as the state's lieutenant governor, and then briefly ascended to the governorship for half a year when Dubya appointed then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (another guy with a more exciting name) Secretary of the Interior. A reliable conservative vote, Risch probably has just slightly higher name recognition in Idaho than in the Wonkette ChatCave. Yr Dok Zoom honestly can't think of any legislative achievements to Risch's credit, and really, we only are reminded he exists when we get the occasional robocall inviting us to join him for a "telephone town meeting," which sounds like an ordeal we wouldn't wish on anyone.
So now you've met Senator Jim Risch. Don't feel too bad if you can't remember him in a half hour; he's used to it. As far as the national conversation goes, he's hardly made a blimp.
* No, we're not going to link to anything; if you didn't know who Larry Craig is, you wouldn't be reading Wonkette.