I remember when Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Tea Party Snugglebunny for Utah’s 1st Congressional District, was a sensible gentleman. He was good-humored and easy to like.
He would come to meet with the Standard-Examiner’s editorial board, cheerfully guzzling Dr. Pepper and grinning out from under that disgustingly full, age-defying head of white hair. His responses to our questions could be professorial, which we forgave because he was a retired schoolteacher. He would explain his proto-conservative positions with a confidence born of being Republican in a bulletproof-conservative district — and in a way that made you believe you could probably pass whatever civics quiz he was about to yank from his vest pocket.
Those were the days: post-Clinton, George W. Bush-era America. Most of Bishop’s righter-wing stances were indistinguishable from his predecessor’s, retired Rep. Jim Hansen. You remember Hansen? He’s the guy who wanted the Giant Farmington Cemetery Tombstone because the normal-size grave marker just wouldn’t be large enough to list All His Amazing Accomplishments.
Anyway, like Hansen, who was elected to the seat 11 times — a fact not lost on Rob — Bishop was apt to give full-on bear hugs and saliva-dripping kisses to legislation involving gun love, anything military and whatever amounted to a fork in the eye of the environmental movement.
In other words, he was standard-issue Utah GOP.