Idaho, Republicans and the trend

There was a temptation to say something a little snarky about the proposal, which was narrowly defeated in committee, about the state militia. The scene is the Idaho Republican Party convention at Idaho Falls, at the committee level, where ideas get thrashed around, some of them a little more solid than others. The ideas aren’t yet, to be clear, at the full-convention level; quite a few original concepts don’t quite make it through there.

But at the committee level, there was a proposal to establish a state militia. This sounds at first like, well, what you might expect. Except that the rationale of the proposer was a little more thoughtful than that: Yes, Idaho has a militia now, the National Guard. The problem is that it ultimately is subject to federal control and being whisked off to Iraq or Afghanistan, and part of the reason we need a militia is to help with natural disasters and the like here at home. There are some problems with the idea (it probably would never pass legal muster – two state militias? and how exactly would the feds not be able to mobilize the second one?), but the concern and thought process certainly weren’t off the rails. It passed the committee.

Harder, much harder, to explain this: A committee voted in favor of repeal of the 17th amendment, which would mean that state legislatures, rather than individual voters, would choose United States senators. This is an idea that has been unearthed and gotten a pretty good national thrashing in the last few weeks. These people must have known what it was.

They were warned. State Senator Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, and as solidly conservative as they come, told the committee, “You’re giving up your right to vote for people who are representing you in Washington, D.C.”

Wonder what else will emerge at the Idaho Republican convention before it ends.

UPDATE (a few minutes later) Well, that didn’t take long. Another committee, uncertain that the state’s extremely clear restriction of marriage to man + woman isn’t enough, agreed to a plank barring transgender people from marriage as well.

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