The Idaho legislature is about to evaporate into thin air. Monday, the 105 of us likely will vanish with a lingering anti-climatic hiss… having cobbled together some fiction of a budget, some duct tape and pine pitch plan to make the nightmares we are brewing stay quiet until after the elections.
I do not recall a session this short in my six years in the legislature. The primary election is rolling toward us. May 25. Like many of my colleagues, I face a tea party opponent this year, but mine I do not face until November.
With the many May primaries, the Republican party will start to consume itself as soon as the gavel falls. Moderate Republicans face the worst of it and seem frustrated. Some have suggested that if it gets much meaner they will be joining us on the "D" side. If enough came over, and the House or Senate were then fairly evenly split, they'd have a good chance at more power and at not being marginalized as they are by more conservative leadership. But all these are just thoughts said many times before over the years. How long does it take to grow few up? I don't know. If Democrats continue to bash Walt Minnick I suspect our moderate friends will be highly disinclined to feel welcome in our party. If progressive people want more power over policy, over health issues, the environment, education and human rights, I know it is unpopular to say, but we will have to be more accepting of a wider range of political perspectives. We will have to learn to hold on to the gains and the points of common ground without dividing ourselves over the things about which we don't agree.