The GOP has been holding their Idaho Republican State Convention today. Most of the reports I've seen from the convention are about deciding what their platforms are going to be in this upcoming campaign season. In the midst of the ongoing economic crisis causing severe budget cutbacks in education and social services, important issues ranging from maintaining the State's infrastructure, to cleaning our lakes and rivers, and supporting drug/alcohol prevention and rehabilitation, I'm bewildered that the GOP has not raised any measures concerning these issues.
This morning, Governor Butch Otter told the delegation that the convention is where "magic" happens. He also rambled about the evils of big government. Here are five magical resolutions approved by the state's GOP committee.*
1) They denied "Jedi" as an official religion. Note: the US Constitution prohibits the "establishment of religion" so I'm not sure why this was even a resolution up for debate.
2) They want to repeal the 17th amendment. Keep in mind that Idaho's GOP delegation is claiming a desire for smaller government. Repealing the 17th amendment would mean the Idaho State Legislature (big government) would select US Senators (big government) instead of letting us little people vote for them.
3) They're rejecting the federal health care bill. No one should be surprised by that. However, Idaho lawmakers have taken it a step further (along with a few other states) threatening to sue the federal government over the HCR bill. The GOP dominated state legislature have forced themselves a step further away from their claim of fiscal conservatism by passing a law requiring the state of Idaho to sue, which means big state government will be using wasting tax dollars to take on the big federal government.
4) They passed a measure to support Arizona's immigration reform law. Key word: support. They did not propose passing a similar law here in Idaho (which would find support in legislators like tax-dodging Hart and lame duck Mike Jorgenson). No clear intention to pass immigration reform in Idaho, just a proposal to support Arizona. My question: how? Moral support? Financial support? I sure hope the small government/lower taxes GOP isn't planning on sending any state tax revenue to Arizona. We have schools that could use that money.
5) The passed a resolution to define marriage. And I get what they're trying to do - they're trying prohibit trans-gendered individuals from getting married. But the language they used was "naturally born." In other words, you can not get married unless you were a naturally born male or a naturally born female. Unfortunately, that would also prohibit kids born of in vitro fertilization. Sanctity of marriage? My son marrying a test tube baby would shatter that sacred image. We can't have that happening can we?
* Disclaimer, in no way shape or form should this be construed that the State Democrats are perfect because they're not as silly as the Republicans; I believe we live in an idiocracy where no single party has sole claim on stupidity. Nor should this be interpreted as a prediction that the GOP is doomed in November's elections; sadly, Idaho is a state where the voters tend to vote for the letter behind the name more than they do the name on the ballot.