Dave Simpson: A Couple Very Tough Nuts To Crack

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Cheyenne guy and Casper guy can't figure out why Liz Cheney is on such a crusade against Trump, while representing a state where the former president got 70 percent of the vote highest of any state."

Dave Simpson

July 11, 20225 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

“Did you ever think you’d see a guy from Casper and a guy from Cheyenne wishing the wind would blow?”


A Casper guy and a Cheyenne guy are sitting on the porch of a cabin high in the mountains – a cabin they built by the sweat of their brows 40 years ago – swatting mosquitoes. They’re soaked in Deet, and mosquito coils set up curls of smoke. A puff of wind would blow the mosquitoes away.

“Little bastards!” Cheyenne guy mutters, waving his sweat-stained “Tractor Supply” hat to ward off a squadron of tiny raiders. It’s mosquito season, and nerves are frayed. It won’t let up until the first cold night in August, when the mosquitoes suddenly disappear, and people with better sense know it’s safe to come up here.

Cheyenne guy heard on the radio that scientists can’t figure out what possible good mosquitoes serve in the ecosystem. Only the females bite (no comment) and if they draw blood, they’re too heavy to fly very far. So apparently this biting deal serves no practical purpose. And there isn’t enough meat in a dozen mosquitoes to provide a meal for a trout.

Nature needs to answer the question: Why mosquitoes?

“You listen to too much radio,” Casper guy says. “Like the news. Same stuff, over and over.” He gets his information from YouTube.

The discussion moves on.

They disagreed for years on Rep. Liz Cheney. Casper guy always said she was a carpetbagger from Virginia, and he never voted for her. Cheyenne guy voted for her three times, arguing that she grew up in Virginia because her dad was our congressman. “Didn’t you live where your dad lived growing up?” Cheyenne guy always asked.

Casper guy never bought it.

“She should run to represent Virginia,” he would say. “Carpetbagger.”

They agree on Liz now, though. Both can’t figure out why she’s on such a crusade against Trump, while representing a state where the former president got 70 percent of the vote – highest of any state.

“Her dad didn’t get involved in suicide missions like this,” Cheyenne guy says. “Al Simpson was the lightning rod back then. Always up for a good fight.”

“Dick Cheney was from Wyoming,” Casper guy concludes. “Liz is from Virginia.”

Cheyenne guy likes Harriett Hageman, but Casper guy isn’t jumping on any bandwagons. He’s proud of his fierce skepticism.

Casper guy announced 20 years ago that he’d never vote for a Democrat again. (I wrote about that at the time, and it really ticked off some Democrats in Illinois.)

Casper guy explained that Democrats are way too crazy with money – Republican’s aren’t much better – and they love big government, which goes hand-in-hand with their spendthrift ways. Cheyenne guy agrees, and says the last Democrat he voted for was conservative Democrat Dave Freudenthal. Casper guy says he didn’t even vote for Freudenthal.

Tough nut!

Cheyenne guy worries that Liz can cobble together enough never-Trumper Republicans and born-again Liz Democrats to win a five-way primary in August.

Casper guy snorts his derision. “Not enough Democrats in Wyoming to make that happen,” he says. “No way.”

Cheyenne guy says he looks forward to hearing Democrats, who always hated the Cheneys with a passion, singing Liz’s praises this year,. Their hatred for Tump exceeds their longstanding hatred for Liz and her dad.

 “Hypocrisy knows no bounds,” Cheyenne guy says. “Great entertainment.”

They move on to discuss that “Building Off the Grid” show on TV, where they commonly use heavy equipment, and sometimes even helicopters, to build remote mountain cabins.

“We could show them a thing or two about building off the grid,” Cheyenne guy says. He could never afford stuff like that when they built this cabin. Renting a helicopter would have cost a year’s salary.

Young muscles and weak brains were the only heavy equipment they had, and they agree on the Off the Grid crowd:

“Rich wimps. Cheaters.”

The hoped for wind does not materialize, and the swarm of mosquitoes is worse than ever, perhaps attracted by the hot air of political discussion.

Cheyenne guy lights another mosquito coil, and applies a fresh layer of Deet.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.