Assuming Scott Bedke knows what he's talking about, the 2014 Idaho Legislative session is now a thing of the past.
Uh, I mean literally a thing of the past, as opposed to metaphorically a thing of the past--which the Idaho Legislature is every year. Including the years to come, for as long as the back-asswards Republicans are running things here in Idaho.
Speaker Bedke said sometime about two weeks ago--(which is also when I'm writing this, sometime about two weeks ago)--that he thought the session would be over on March 21. Or five days ago, counting back from when this piece will appear in BW.
Whether he's right or not--and if he's not, that means they're still here, in Boise, instead of back home in Bellygirthburg and Squatston--I believe it's time to take stock of what was accomplished, and by whom, since that opening day in January. Remember? The governor's rousing State of the State Address? The sharp rap of the gavel signaling the opening of official business. That tingly sensation that ran up our spines just at the thought of such an outstanding collection of human specimens gathered there in the Capitol Building to guide our dear Idaho into the future. Don't you remember?
Nah, neither do I. But I'm sure it happened.
And what, pray tell, did they do for us this year? Seriously, we give each one of them more than $16,000--plus per diem expenses--for approximately 55 days work, much of which amounts to schmoozing through the downtown bar and restaurant scene with lobbyists picking up the tab, and what did we get in return?
Oh my, what a haul! We finally got some pre-K learning for our youngest citizens so that they now stand a fighting chance in tomorrow's education and work environments. Thank you, Rep. Hy Kloc, for submitting that bill for approval by that outstanding collection of human specimens. Thank you, thank you. And I'm certain those toddlers will look back in 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, and say, Hy Kloc, you did more for us than all the guns on campus and whistleblower gag bills and restricted voting rights combined. So we're going to erect a statue of you, right next to the one of old Steunenberg out in front of the Statehouse.
Yup, I can see it happening. Can't you?
And speaking of little kids getting a chance to grow up without dying first, we got that legislation from Rep. John Gannon that made it a crime for delusional parents to deny medical treatment to their sick offspring, based on some backwoods voodoo which insists that God don't go in for that modern deviltry like antibiotics and appendectomies. Thank you, John Gannon, thank you. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised that 20 years, 30 years, maybe 40 years on, those grown-up men and women who managed to live long enough to grow up, in spite of being born to ignorant lunatics who would choose to grovel before a brutal God than have healthy children... I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't put a statue of you up, as well. It would say something like, John Gannon--The man who saved untold numbers of Idaho children from the stupidity of their own parents.
Yup, I can see that happening, too.
What they ought to do, in fact, up there in the future, is make it a triptych of statues. The Heroes of '14: Hy Kloc and John Gannon, arm in arm with Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, for the work she did to get those four words added to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Yes, yes, how many of our gay friends and neighbors will be spared a lifetime of persecution, humiliation and torment, only because Sen. Buckner-Webb convinced that outstanding collection of human specimens that the moral and decent thing to do would be to make sexual orientation and gender identity parts of our anti-discrimination laws?
So it was all well worth it, the good old 2014 Idaho Legislature. To have so many people-helping things passed in one year makes this... oooooh, wait a minute here. Hold on. I think I see what's happening.
Jeez, this is embarrassing. What happened is, at some point during the first two or three paragraphs where I was explaining the time differential between now, when I was writing, and then, when you're reading, I slipped into an alternate universe.
Yeah, it can happen, believe me. Anytime you combine such things as early deadlines and delayed publication with an intense yearning for "what might have been," you run the risk of finding yourself wandering through the dimension of "Wish-It-Were."
So see, while I was over there in "Wish-It-Were," I used up all those words and reminiscences on what the 2014 Legislature would have been had the Democrat members gotten their agendas passed. Hopeful stuff, life-affirming stuff, stuff actually beneficial to the citizens of Idaho. Shit like that.
But we all know--even now, two weeks before the sharp rap of the gavel signaling the closing of official business--it didn't turn out that way. What we got instead was a law that will lock up those willing to do something about the abuse of animals, a law that will allow knuckle-headed gun nuts to carry their weapons onto Idaho's sanctuaries of enlightenment and learning (college campuses), an attempt to make discrimination an institutional reality... all predigested crap handed to them by out-of-state legislation factories.
What a shame, huh? Another year of our lives gone, and these Republicans fill it with more meanness of spirit and failure of human potential. What a crying shame.