Yesterday I told you about our old white supremacist domestic terrorist friends the Bundy clan and their latest armed protest against the government, this time in Idaho.
Under the Idaho Constitution, only the governor can call a special session of the Legislature — but the Idaho Freedom Foundation and an unregistered political action committee are calling one for Tuesday morning aimed at overturning the governor’s executive orders on the coronavirus pandemic, and roughly a dozen far-right House Republicans reportedly plan to participate.
Ammon Bundy says a group of his armed supporters will provide “crowd control” for the event, set to kick off at 9 a.m. at the state Capitol.
“We’re going to make sure that legislators don’t have any trouble and everybody is good and peaceful,” he said, adding that Idaho State Police likely will be there as well. Asked why additional security is needed if ISP will be present, he said, “What if they put their knee on someone’s neck? Who’s going to stop them?”
It turns out that Idaho Republicans don't have much use for Bundy's idiocy when it comes to attacking other Republicans, like GOP Gov. Brad Little.
Legal analyses from the libertarian group Idaho Freedom Foundation the Bundy-affiliated Freedom Man PAC had asserted that the legislators didn’t need the governor’s permission to call a special legislative session if the state was under “enemy attack.” The groups urged legislators to view the COVID-19 pandemic as such under state law, and exercise their authority to call a legislative session and limit the governor’s power.
But the attorney general’s office and a team of lawyers representing the legislature disagreed, and numerous legislators present Tuesday said they’d felt pressure from leadership not to attend.
So, from the start of Tuesday’s proceedings, passing any kind of legislation was off the menu. “This is not a session of the Legislature,” said Rep. Judy Boyle. “We do not have a quorum.”
The right-wing representatives would have needed half of the members of the 70-person state house to show up to reach a quorum. The number who did was far fewer.
So, instead of taking legislative action, the group of 15 Republicans sat in the well of the chamber and traded statements about the state of the state.
“We are an equal branch, we shouldn’t have to beg the executive branch to do our business,” said Rep. Judy Boyle.
“We have become, um, almost non-essential in this particular thing,” chuckled Rep. Tim Remington, who sported an American flag tie. “It’s scary when you feel non-essential.”
Eventually, the talk grew more heated.
Contact tracing “is the most unconstitutional thing I’ve ever seen or heard of in my life,” asserted Rep. Christy Zito, speculating that the state would separate parents from their children if they’d been exposed to COVID-19.
“I truly believe a Civil War is coming if we do not put an end to what we’re seeing,” said Rep. Heather Scott, known as a fringe character even in crimson red Idaho, a few minutes later.
Toward the end of the event, Rep. Priscilla Giddings compared Idaho under the governor’s COVID-19 orders to Afghanistan, where she served as an Air Force fighter pilot.
“The absence of freedom is fear, and that’s terrorism,” she said. “We’re being terrorized in our own country.”
If the speechifying made the event feel like a typical day at the Capitol, Bundy’s crew — doing “crowd control” outside — made clear that it wasn’t
On the building’s steps, Bundy said the state was risking violence if it continued with its emergency orders, reported Heath Druzin of Boise State Public Radio News.
The communications director for the state’s Democratic Party, Lindsey Johnson, told TPM that the intra-GOP divide was “just a mess.”
“It should make Idahoans really question their leadership,” she added.
Idaho Republicans went too far even for Idaho Republicans. And these guys, sitting, elected officials mind you, are slavering whackjobs who openly despise the entire concept of government to the point of being fundamentally hostile towards it, despite being employed by voters to run it.
And yet Bundy and his friends aren't done. Not by a long shot. Idaho Republicans will continue to support his terrorist insurgency in order to score points with voters.
Not much has changed since 1865, huh?