We often ask ourselves how many of our Washington legislators who we thought were conservative republicans turned out to be nothing more than puppets for the corporate lobbyist establishment. Just look at Congressman Paul Ryan or Senator Mitt Romney to see my point. Or how about the 40 republicans who retired in this past year because the gravy train was over when the Trump Train rolled into Washington. These resignations were part of the reason republicans lost the house to the democrats in the 2018 elections.
My point is that a similar process is happening in many of our state governments across the country, even here in our beloved Idaho.
Over the past 15 years, many of our Idaho politicians have been moving slowly toward the left in order to continue to be reelected by the change in the makeup of their districts’ voters who have become more liberal every year. An Interesting example is our own retired three-term Governor Butch Otter who had been moving toward the left since he married Liberal Laurie, his second wife.
The people of Idaho are going to wake up one morning thinking they are living Oregon or Washington State. We are seeing liberal creep right in front of our nose; a lethal osmosis that will turn our legislators from conservative to centrist to liberal slowly but surely over time.
If you want proof of this anomaly, you only have to look at what has happened in the Idaho legislature this year. How could you miss the fact that more and more bills will never see the light of day because they are being held hostage by committee chairmen or by House Speaker Bedke. This is all because of pressure from lobbyists or anticipation that their current constituents in their district will rebel and vote them out of office for being too conservative.
Our state has become a melting pot for out-of-state liberals who settle here and engage in politics at a much higher level than most of the conservatives who have lived here for years. We have become far too complacent when it comes to recognizing who the real conservatives are and this needs to change.
This current session of the legislature has become a harbinger of things to come in our state starting with the reversal of their position on repealing the grocery tax after the 2018 election. But that’s not the only indication of liberal creep. Other examples are HB 206, which allows for constitutional carry by 18 to 20 years olds, being held hostage for almost the entire legislative session by committee chairs and house leadership. Now it is being held up because the gun grabbers in Boise have insisted that a vote take place on House Bill 70 (now replaced with HB 276). What are HB 70 and HB 276? Well, they are gun control bills, and the Democrats are threating to stop Constitutional Carry Expansion if their bill is not heard first.
Have the republicans lost their cotton-picking minds? They outnumber the democrats 3 to one in both houses. Why would they even worry about such a threat? I’ll tell you why, they are afraid of a backlash in their districts by moderates and liberals in the next election.
Another example is HB 203, which is being held up by Representative Steven Harris, a republican legislator from District 21. This bill would protect our children in classrooms by allowing qualified teachers to carry concealed firearms in their schools. Or how about HB 133, which is being held up by our illustrious Senator Fred Martin, who is depriving parents of their right to know that immunizations for school are optional not required. He said he would take the heat for holding it up. Maybe it is time for the conservative citizens of District 15 to turn up the heat on this senator and primary him in the next election. I could go on with a long list of these types of bills, but you can see where I’m going with this.
You only have to look at the districts that these republican legislators live in to realize that many of them are becoming more liberal each year. They believe that if they want to keep their seats, they need to start moving toward the left. Many have already done so and have forgotten that they were elected by conservative republicans. You can expect them to wear a republican button but when they turn around, you will find a sign on their back saying make more left turns.
This is no different from the referendum rules that skew the process to allow the more populated liberal counties to control what does or doesn’t get on the ballot. How do you think we got Medicaid Expansion? Money for advertising from left-wing activists and those that will profit from this referendum. They promised we would get lots more money from Washington to which we are entitled. What they forgot to tell you is that it is borrowed money that must eventually be paid back. We need to admit that the landscape of our state is changing more each year and it will not stop any time soon as Idaho is a very desirable place to live.
The only way we can stop this conservative creep is if we run more true conservatives for office and more conservatives actually get off their butts and go to the polls to vote for them. We also need to be sure our voters are armed with enough information to make rational judgements about the candidates instead of voting for the same people year after year. We try to help with those assessments here at the Gem State Patriot.
Some of you think term limits are the answer but you’re wrong. Idaho has had many opportunities to install term limits and each time they have been rebuffed by our very own legislators who want to keep their jobs and their power. If you are interested and want to read a history on term limits, we have provided a link here.
“We Get the Government We Deserve”
“Knowledge is Power”
Note: Both HB 276 (gun control) and HB 206 (permitless carry expansion) passed the House while we were going to press with this article.