In Idaho Democrats win some and they lose some-- for the most part they are ALWAYS losing. Near the November election I commented on the Bannock Six (there are now five--another loss), promoting Marley, Malepeai, Boe, Smith, Anderson, and Martinez, but this one is not a promotion...so hear me out.
It seems to me that the "we're gonna lose" attitude has not only taken over the National Democratic Party (except possibly Barrack Obama...he seems to be oblivious to any losing streak), it has hit the Idaho Democrats HARD. Losing Anderson in November could not have caused this downward spiral.
As I keep tabs on the Idaho Legislature, I'm beginning to notice that the Democrats are battling less and losing more. Though the same-sex marriage victory was encouraging and what seems so far to be a significant piece of legislation for this session, it is the smaller losses that are really beginning to add up.
There are three big legislative issues right now that the Democrats are taking a beating on:
1. Education (the fight for tuition in Idaho's public universities, excluding the University of Idaho, is only one of many fights)
2. Water Rights (striking a deal with the Nez Perce tribe that will impact the Snake River, Salmon, and Clearwater basins)
3. Family Planning (a bill that will fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, but seems to be, as some radical lobbyist believes, an attempt to fund abortions)
The problem isn't the issues coming before the legislature, it's the ambition the Democratic delegation is lacking when it comes to defending the issues. Nearly everyday in the Idaho State Journal two things appear, one, Senator Bert Marley's picture appears next to an article about a failed piece of legislation that the Democrats introduced, and two, Ken Andrus (the Republican freshman senator who took Anderson's seat after the November election) is applauded for hitting the ground running. He's been behind every key piece of legislation and has been on the forefront fighting the battle.
I realize in Idaho the Democrats are extremely outnumbered, but that's no excuse. Malepeai needs to step up to the plate every time just like he did with the same-sex marriage debate and Marley needs to find some friends. If Bert Marley had five friends as concerned with education as he is, the international studies proposal would have passed and the school worker's right proposal wouldn't have met harsh debate and postponement. And that's just the Pocatello senators... if Kate Kelly, Mike Burkett, Clint Stennett, Langhorst, and Werk could all step up and start fighting we'd have a serious battle on our hands.
Of course our congressional delegation to Washington is going to side with the state Republicans, but that doesn't matter...just read Senator Craig's comments on the Nez Perce water issue and you'll quickly understand that in Idaho all the majority means is that all the fools are on one side. So John Kerry lost the election, GET OVER IT! It's time for the Democrats (Idaho and nation-wide) to get back in the game. Put the issues back on the table, get those boxing gloves on, and don't walk away without a victory!