Today, I had every intention of delving into the bill Rep. Phil Hart brought to the Legislature that would allow anyone who was chewed up by an introduced animal species to sue the pee-waddin' out of the feds for allowing the beasts into Idaho in the first place. It was to be the third installment of what I—belatedly—decided to turn into a three-part series on the sort of $30,000-per-diem buffoonery that Idahoans so often get from the people they elect to represent them in state government. Part One came two weeks ago and concerned the attempt by Rep. Tom Loertscher to protect pharmacists who refuse to sell birth control. Part Two was about the efforts of Rep. Lenore Barrett to dissuade any of her fellow Republicans from cooperating with what she termed "wacko enviros."
In Part Three—which I won't be writing now because something more urgent came up—I meant to investigate the carnage that has resulted from the introduction of animals foreign to the hills and dales of Idaho, and it was meant to be a response to this ongoing campaign by certain hayseeds to convince us that the re-introduced wolves shouldn't be here eating our elk because they are, damn their hides, Canadian wolves.
So I was going to ask: How do the anti-wolf dopes know for sure that the wolves aren't eating Canadian elk? Eh? Answer me that, Gillette! What exactly is stopping Canuck wapiti from wet-backing into Idaho from B.C., and would you deny that Canadian wolves have a right to eat Canadian elk? Yeah. Figure that one out, you hillbilly feebs.
Furthermore, I wanted to ask Rep. Hart if his proposal covers all the people who will be harmed by non-indigenous animals that didn't happen to be wolves. For instance, I know for a fact that bulls have killed far more Idahoans than wolves have—especially considering there are no known deaths in Idaho, or the whole United States, for that matter—as a result of wolf attack, but there were at least two farmers killed in Meridian alone when I was a kid, crushed into the corral dirt by non-indigenous Herefords.
And don't forget those Old Europe horses. How many Idahoans have gone to their graves as a result of Flicka getting frisky? Or pit bulls. Believe me, there's a hell of a lot better chance of an Idaho child being gnawed on by some non-indigenous pit bull or Rottweiler that your trailer-trash neighbor can't seem to keep in his own yard than a wolf. So who ya' gonna sue when some cowpoke's dingo eats your baby?
In reality, this three-part series—uncompleted as it will remain—had to do with me reminding myself that I have an obligation as an Idaho opinion columnist to issue an occasional opinion on something happening within Idaho, no matter how boring, petty, asinine or meaningless that something may be. As a rule, I leave it to other observers to report on the boring aspects of Idaho governance. And since the boring aspects are usually the most vital—i.e., education funding, transportation issues, transparency in government, water allotment, etc.—that is as it should be. There are far more qualified writers than me to take on the complex questions.
No, when it comes to Idaho, I am content to restrict myself to the petty, the asinine and the meaningless. And I regret not having finished the three-parter with the entry on Rep. Hart's vicious beasty legislation, for it is exactly that sort of thing—along with Loerstcher's bill and Barrett's hysteria—that illustrate how damn little our lawmakers are actually accomplishing for the state, even while they're going through their private wish lists like gangbusters.
But as I said, something more urgent came up, and it needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand. As we approach Barack Obama's 100th day, I sense there is a shroud of discouragement and depression creeping over my brothers and sisters in America's liberal community. I sense exasperation and disgust and pessimism. I sense a growing hopelessness. I sense that those same people—the whole substantial majority of 'em—who were so overjoyed that night back in November are starting to despair that nothing will ever change, after all. That 'til the end of time, Republicans will continue to gnash and yowl and claw at the rocks. I sense that my brothers and sisters in sentiment are thinking that, one way or another, the eternally sour, eternally wrong Right will tarnish—perhaps spoil—whatever Obama accomplishes with their eternal negativity.
In part, this has to do with those freak shows that Rupert Murdoch's monkeys staged two weeks ago, the teabag parties. But more than that, it is about the realization that the ultra-Right—which is all that's left anymore of the Republican Party—will never cooperate with our president, no matter how helpful their cooperation would be in resolving the troubles they got us into, and instead will bitch incessantly about any and every little thing—from whom Obama shakes hands with to how many times he shows up in a church pew—until something sticks.
Relax, fellow travelers, and get back your happy faces. I come today to remind you, while it is true that strident negativity has always been the Right's strength, it is simply not working anymore. No matter how isolated and desperate you may feel when you listen to the carping from landfill rats like Gingrich and Armey, you are not alone, and neither is Obama. Aside from the increasingly creepy conservatives, the American people are solidly behind him. Even Independents support him at the 62 percent level.
Essentially, Republicans are left with about 25 percent of the people on their side—approximately the same number (and undoubtedly the same numbskulls) who stood with Bush in spite of everything he did for us. They make a lot of noise, that's for sure, but they are nothing to worry about.
And as to those tea-bagging parties, don't let them get you down. Estimates of the total number of demonstrators nationally hover at around 250,000. And consider this ... here in Boise, in a most reliably Republican stronghold, they only pulled 2,500 tea-baggers. Piddle! With two weeks' notice—I have no doubt—Obama supporters could triple that number. And if you doubt what I say, recall the 15,000 that showed up for his rally a little over a year ago, or the 8,000 that came to the local Democratic caucus.
But listen, if that many men and women in funny hats and clowny get-ups still bother you, just think of the tea parties as the Right's version of gay pride parades ... only a lot smaller and a lot less interesting.