Op-Ed by Ester Tilly
On September 14, Idaho’s House Speaker Scott Bedke, who no doubt fancies himself the Emperor of the House, issued a press release. Here’s what it said:
After President Biden’s Idaho visit, the Idaho House Republican Caucus acknowledges that we need to step up our efforts to fight federal efforts to limit state independence.
“The federal vaccination mandate was only the first volley in what appears to be an ongoing assault on how states manage themselves,” said Speaker of the House Scott Bedke. “The President showed himself to be insensitive on this issue and others during his visit, forcing me to more immediately address the need to protect us all from predictable federal overreach. I am tasking House members on the ongoing Committee on Federalism to provide a comprehensive plan to vigorously defend the Idaho values we hold dear against this administration’s unrelenting acts of federal overreach.”
The Committee on Federalism will meet Tuesday, September 28, 2021 to begin structuring subcommittees addressing the issues.
Funny how this press release implies the “House Caucus” finally had enough. Dozens of House members have been asking for months for the House to reconvene to address the draconian burdens being placed upon Idahoans. No, these few paragraphs read more like campaign puffery to make Bedke look like a leader – when, to the contrary, he’s been deaf to the cry of Idahoans for months.
The federal vaccination mandate was a “first volley in what appears to be an ongoing assault?” I’m curious how Bedke thinks Biden’s vaccine mandate is a “first volley.” The first volley started on January 20. Everything the Biden administration has done since then has been an assault on the people of every state in the union. You’re a little late to the game, Mr. Speaker.
Why the change of heart? Maybe this new federal overreach makes Mr. Speaker a little nervous. He now has a professional politician threatening his ability to do his job the way he’s been doing it for years.
All I can say is, “How does it feel, Mr. Speaker when your livelihood is threatened?” Maybe now you’re getting a glimpse of what the citizens of Idaho have felt when their bodily autonomy, right to privacy, right to earn a living, and right to protect their property is taken away by a professional politician.
Cry and scream, “Federal overreach” all you want, but your cries ring hollow, especially since you have continuously ignored the cries of those you claim to serve. You have done nothing to stop businesses from bullying their employees, but now you expect to become a hero by enacting a committee to form subcommittees?
Really? Your plan is to wait two weeks, then engage a committee to form subcommittees while Idahoans by the thousands lose their ability to provide for their families? This is what you call leadership? If we’re lucky, your sub-committees might come up with wonderful insights sometime next spring.
Mr. Bedke, your campaign press release also said, “The President showed himself to be insensitive on this issue and others during his visit, forcing me to more immediately address the need to protect us all from predictable federal overreach.” Are you completely DAFT, sir? Do you not understand that to the rest of Idaho, YOUR NAME could be substituted for the word “President” in that sentence? It is YOU who has been insensitive on this issue!
Why is it that the people you supposedly serve and work for can’t get you to “more immediately address the need to protect us all from predictable” bully business overreach? And what exactly does “immediate” mean to you? You are waiting two weeks to have a committee meet in order to form subcommittees? Again, sir, are you absolutely DAFT!
We don’t need subcommittees; we already have the ninth and tenth amendments. Do they mean nothing to you? If they are not sufficient enough, then what about referencing existing Idaho code? Here’s one to start. It’s one you should know about, because you were in office when it was written. The Idaho Health Freedom Act was signed into law in 2010.
Idaho Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 90, Section 39-9003
39-9003. STATEMENT OF PUBLIC POLICY.
(1) The power to require or regulate a person’s choice in the mode of securing health care services, or to impose a penalty related thereto, is not found in the Constitution of the United States of America, and is therefore a power reserved to the people pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, and to the several states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The state of Idaho hereby exercises its sovereign power to declare the public policy of the state of Idaho regarding the right of all persons residing in the state of Idaho in choosing the mode of securing health care services free from the imposition of penalties, or the threat thereof, by the federal government of the United States of America relating thereto.
(2) It is hereby declared that the public policy of the state of Idaho, consistent with our constitutionally recognized and inalienable rights of liberty, is that every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty by the federal government of the United States of America.
(3) The policy stated herein shall not be applied to impair any right of contract related to the provision of health care services to any person or group.
Mr. Speaker, YOU voted for this bill! It’s been 11 years, so maybe you forgot while you focused on gaining more power, but it looks like someone was predicting our current situation WAY before the sky opened up and Biden’s Bully Brick fell on your photo-op cowboy hat. Some of us saw this coming YEARS ago and made sure it was addressed in Idaho code. Many of us saw it coming again last year, and even more of us saw it coming the past six month. And you, the Speaker of the House, the voice of the people, you’ve kept your back turned to the cries of the people. Your silence has been deafening.
If you are truly looking to make a difference, Mr. Bedke, perhaps you could call the legislature back into session…oh I don’t know, maybe today, September 15th? Many representatives will already be at the capitol, trying to get some real work done, despite your constant roadblocks and delays. Why don’t you take this existing, amazing Idaho Code and add some words to it? If you need help, please allow me to offer a few suggestions.
Some Animals are More Equal Than Others
In addition to addressing federal overreach, how about we also address state and local government overreach? And business overreach. As the Idaho Statute already states, “The power to require or regulate a person’s choice in the mode of securing health care services, or to impose a penalty related thereto, is not found in the Constitution of the United States of America.” In case you’re unaware, it is also not found in the Idaho State Constitution.
Please tell us, Mr. Speaker, why do you continue to refuse to protect Idaho residents from ALL entities seeking to regulate their choice in the mode of securing health care services?
Also, riddle me this. Why is it not okay for the federal government to require people partake in particular health care decisions, but it is okay for the governor of Idaho to issue an executive order that protects YOU, other elected officials, unelected state bureaucrats and hirelings from being required to partake in that same health care decision, while leaving the rest of Idaho residents to fend for themselves or “just go find another job?” And why is it okay for you to deny the same protection to those Idahoans not protected by the governor’s executive order?
It looks to me like you and others in leadership are advocating for an Idaho with two classes of citizens: those whose personal choices are essential and those whose choices are not essential. It seems, Mr. Speaker, that in your world, some animals are more equal than others.
Your Words and Actions Do Not Match
It’s all well and good as long as you’re the pig on top. But now, when your body is being taken to the butcher’s block and you’re about to become bacon, suddenly you start squealing? Unfortunately, that is all you are doing.
Speaker Bedke, your “conservative” rhetoric of “not telling businesses what to do” rings hollow. Idaho is full of laws you voted on that tell businesses what they cannot do. I challenge the people of the great State of Idaho to begin searching all the legislation you’ve voted for over the past 20+ years you’ve been in the legislature to see exactly how you’ve “not told businesses what do.”
The people see through your lies, deception, and misdirection. There is an obvious difference between protecting yourself from a tyrant President who might curtail your power in Idaho and protecting the rights of Idahoans from big businesses’ financial interests. It is obvious what you are doing Mr. Emperor, and you are wearing no clothes.
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