Hope and fear in Idaho

We’re up in the Idaho Senate this morning, and it’s too close to call.  Northern Idaho and western Montana are the strongholds of the John Birch Society, and the vote today is a contest between their paranoia and the promise of reform through Article V.  Loren Enns is on hand, and I suspect Greg Casey as well.  We’re counting on the leadership of Senate President Brent Hill, backed by Senators Hagedorn, Lakey, Rice, Anthon, Siddoway and Lodge.

If the vote was purely on the merits we would win easily, but Idaho Senators, like politicians everywhere, are susceptible to public pressure, and the Birchers are pulling out all the stops.  I doubt there’s anywhere in the country where the sentiment against the federal government runs as high as in northern Idaho.  This is the scene of the Ruby Ridge massacre, where the family of Randy Weaver was besieged by rogue federal agents.  His 14 year old son was killed, and his wife, Vicki, murdered  by a federal sniper.  It hasn’t been forgotten, and shouldn’t be.

A few years ago Babbie and I toured the Panhandle, staying at a lodge on Priest Lake.   I felt right at home.  These are my kind of people  — libertarians.  If only they could see that Article V is not a threat to our liberty.  It’s a weapon in its defense..

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