JEERS ... to Ammon Bundy of Emmett.
With a mob behind him on Tuesday, the professional insurrectionist invaded two private homes.
First came the Emmett residence of Gov. Brad Little.
Bundy doesn’t like Little’s stay-at-home order, a mainstream response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So along with his fellow fanatic, Diego Rodriguez of Boise Freedom Tabernacle Church, Bundy and company carried a lawn sign proclaiming “Governor Brad Little is a disgrace” and left behind a list of grievances.
No one answered. But for all the world to see, they depicted on social media the fact that the chief executive of the state of Idaho may lack adequate security.
Next came the home of a Meridian police officer, who earlier in the week arrested protester Sara Brady at a city park playground.
Brady practically goaded the officer into detaining her.
Had a group of fellow officers not blocked them at the driveway, Bundy’s buffoons would have gone right up to the front door.
So he bellowed instead: “You will not go into parks and arrest mothers, and you will not go anywhere and arrest us for exercising what our rights are.”
Who gave Bundy the right to trespass on private property or intimidate an officer’s family?
Twice, Bundy has escalated political disputes into acts of violence — first in an armed standoff with federal agents at Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014, and then again in 2016 when he seized and held at gunpoint the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore.
Was that his intention here?
JEERS ... to U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, both R-Idaho.
Almost three years before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to eliminate the Centers for Disease Control’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. Almost two-thirds of that $1 billion helped states identify and counter outbreaks.
Hundreds of health organizations warned of “dire consequences.”
Nevertheless, McConnell persisted. At 1:24 on the morning of July 28, 2017, Risch and Crapo voted to do McConnell’s bidding.
Only the defections of Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska killed the measure.
But four months later, massive income tax cuts that the GOP engineered stripped $750 million from the CDC’s pandemic response program. This time, with Risch and Crapo again voting yes, the measure passed.
In other words, Risch and Crapo were willing to weaken the nation’s defenses against pandemic outbreaks in order to lavish more tax breaks on corporations and the wealthy.
JEERS ... to Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.
Remember back in March when she was so alarmed about the coronavirus that she abandoned her post as the Senate’s presiding officer so she could rush home to Idaho Falls?
Now Idaho’s second banana is backstabbing Gov. Little’s attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic by following the CDC guidelines and keeping as many people as possible safely in their homes.
In an April 17 letter, she called on Little to risk public health by prematurely reopening the state and then bankrupt already struggling school and local government budgets with reckless tax cuts.
She summoned the lexicon of paranoia by conjuring up a “dark narrative emerging on social media that if you are a nonessential worker, you are not important.”
Neither was she shy about mentioning her own business, an Idaho Falls bar and restaurant that has been closed by the stay-at-home order.
It’s one thing for a lieutenant governor to privately express herself frankly to the governor. She is, after all, elected in her own right. Even when Idaho’s No. 1 and No. 2 positions were held by people from different political parties, however, they managed to maintain some degree of professional courtesy.
McGeachin would rather score points with the GOP’s right wing. Not only did she email portions of her “private” letter to supporters, she has also signed up for an anti-Little rally in Rexburg.
If McGeachin is so intent on running against Little in two years, why doesn’t she make it official?
CHEERS ... to Idaho House Judiciary Committee Chairman Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell.
Virtually alone among Idaho Republicans, he has come to the defense of Gov. Little — while stripping bare the motivations of Bundy, Brady, Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett and McGeachin in opposing the governor’s attempt to save lives during a once-in-a-century pandemic.
“There’s a group of people you need to be a whole lot more afraid of than Brad Little, and those are people who are manipulating you, manipulating you by telling you they’re concerned about your liberty,” he said in a video blog. “They’re after something. Sara is after attention. Pruett is after donations. And McGeachin wants to be governor.”
JEERS ... to state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard.
In a week when the worst political impulses were openly displayed in Idaho, Scott once again took home the prize.
She of Confederate battle flag fame went there. She invoked the Holocaust: Nonessential workers were no different than the Jews that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis sent by rail to the death camps.
“I mean it’s no different than Nazi Germany, where you had government telling people, ‘You are an essential worker or a nonessential worker,’ and the nonessential workers got put on a train,” Scott said during an April 16 interview.
In case anyone was still confused, she referred to the Idaho governor as “Little Hitler.”
In American life, there is at least one profound line not to be crossed: You do not make Nazi analogies. The crimes of the Third Reich may not be unique in the sad history of the world. But can we agree that a stay-at-home order is not genocide? And that the governor is not a murderous tyrant?
Why does anyone have to spell this out to a state legislator who represents a corner of a state stained by the history of the Ayran Nations?
Perhaps this time, Scott has reached the depths of her rancid soul. Don’t bet on it. — M.T.