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Huckleberries Online

Landers: Don’t Deify McClure Just Yet

The legend-making began quickly this week with news that former Idaho Sen. James McClure, 86, had died. Even in the case of a politician’s death, Americans have a natural inclination to soften edges, revise history and speak kindly of the deceased out of respect for families. But out of respect for the national forests that suffered McClure’s tenure, the record begs a brief reality check. Certainly he was a refreshing gentleman in contrast to the volatile politics we must endure today, yet McClure was not always an adherent of inclusiveness, as some suggested this week, nor was he a champion of the public interest. He jumped on the Reagan bandwagon in the early 1980s to support Interior Secretary James Watt and his in-your-face Sagebrush Rebellion plan to privatize public lands/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Should we ignore the clay feet of the dearly departed -- in this case Sen. Jim McClure's weak environmental record?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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