Before unleashing the worst Idaho political news I've heard all week, let me start by saying there are sensible, intelligent, and loyal Democrats in this state. One is at the helm of the state party. One isn't in Congress.
Keith Roark, Chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, has gone on record as saying that the health care crisis in Idaho and this country is going to get better if the Democratic White House and Congress do not act soon. He said:
Roark is correct, though health care in this country is nearly unattainable for some of us, it is bound to get every day, week, and month we do not reform the system.
“Hysteria over healthcare reform is being driven by Republicans and their allies in big out-of-state insurance and pharmaceutical companies who have a huge stake in keeping the status quo...It’s unconscionable that rather than try to guarantee better healthcare for everyone, including the millions of Americans who like their insurance, Idaho Republicans are resorting to lies about what reform will mean for Idaho families and businesses. Fear mongering won’t obscure what the vast majority of our citizens know: The healthcare system is broken, and if we don’t fix it now, it will get worse.”
What is even more unconscionable than Republicans lying about reform efforts to keep average Idahoans from supporting any of those efforts is the fact that Congressman Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) is going to speak to those who have halted civil discourse across this nation--teabaggers. Our one and only "Democratic" congressman, Walt Minnick, conducted a telephone town hall last night and will again on the last day of this month, but has otherwise avoided meeting with average constituents throughout his district (he's happy to meet with business leaders and corporate interests) who have real concerns about health care reform. The sting of Minnick's conservative positions and opposition to health care was made exponentially worse today when the Statesman reported that on Saturday Minnick will speak to TEA Party Boise at the Owyhee Plaza.
Congressman Minnick is willingly going before a potential group of extremists who are gun toting, anti-Obama, health care reform obstructionists. He has chosen principles, if he has any, over party. He is catering to the lunatic fringe in ways we haven't seen an Idaho politician of either party do since Congressman Helen Chenoweth.
We have all had our doubts about Congressman Minnick. We've questioned his loyalty to the party. We've written about our many disappointments in him. We've wondered if this is the same man who ran as a Democrat in a campaign against an extreme, hardly liked one-term congressman. Yet, all we can say today about Walt Minnick is that his meeting with big bucks Democrats who partially bankroll campaigns like Minnick's 2008 run for the House was an attempt at damage control, something he and his staff are going to need to employ a whole lot more of after he stands before the teabaggers on Saturday. And, it is suddenly all the more telling that Minnick ran from Mike Stark of Huffington Post and FireDogLake.