The political world is the best place I know to find non-sequiturs and real ironies. Sometimes they come about by accident. Sometimes by the hubris and arrogance of someone who’s in charge of something but shouldn’t be.

The latest example to cross my computer screen comes out of the Idaho Legislature; a body that has been out of touch with the mainstream of life for years. Several reasons for that.

One is an almost complete lack of a second political party across the board, so the decades-long, one-party domination of has been unabated. Continued inbreeding of either party, in power for 30-40 years, can produce some odd species.

The other is that the heavy majority GOP, moving ever further to the right for so long, has been more effective turning out the vote and Democrats haven’t been able to successfully or consistently appeal to whatever independents might be around. Since there’s no registration by party in Idaho, it’s hard to find them. I used to be one. Seldom heard from Democrats; always heard from Republicans.

Anyhow, back to today’s irony and hubris example.

Some years ago, Oregon wisely and humanely put an assisted suicide law on the books. It’s served us well. You couldn’t do that in Idaho, even if it only applied to stuffed animals. The far right wouldn’t hear of it. And if the far right doesn’t want it, it won’t happen.

No, what the far Idaho right did was enact a “conscience law” which has almost the direct opposite affect. It covers anything medical from doctors to pharmacists and all in between. The intent is to allow medical folks to not do anything medically that bothers their conscience or their ethics and to turn away people wanting … or even needing … their professional services for no other reason than that. Without penalty if problems later develop because of a failure to act.

One of the most publicized 2010 stories of the law’s consequences came when a pharmacist would not fill a prescription to stop cervical bleeding because he believed the woman had had an abortion and he didn’t believe in abortions. She and her bleeding condition were turned away. Whether she had an abortion or not. And the pharmacist didn’t know for certain.

So much for the past. Here’s today. Same “conscience law” which has now raised a new issue: possibly nullifying Living Wills executed by people who want to control their end-of-life affairs and who may not want to be kept around on machines. The AARP of Idaho, with some 180,000 members, got a bill introduced containing amending language that says no health professional can refuse to follow a patient’s or physician’s directions conforming with the “Medical Consent and Natural Death Act,” another Idaho law. Simple, straight-forward and no problem. Right? Not in Idaho.

Now to that inbreeding. The chairman of the assigned committee is an old East Idaho dinosaur. Been around far too many years. He says it would weaken the “conscience” law so he has put it in his desk drawer, effectively killing it. Along with two others.

The AARP dropped 500 letters of support for the bill on his desk. His response? He’ll look through them to see if any of his constituents wrote any. Appears if nobody did he’ll just ignore the situation.

So, thousands of Idahoans, concerned their Living Wills will be ignored, are confused and/or mad. And there’s damned little they can do about the dinosaur from a little farming community who could be re-elected forever by his like-minded constituents, regardless of the rest of the state.

So, hundreds of thousands of Idaho seniors, concerned about control of their own lives, are being held hostage by another senior concerned only with his. It’s that irony thing. That, and the inbreeding.

The late, longtime Idaho Governor Robert Smylie told me once, it makes no difference which party is in control, “after a while, you need to open all the closet doors and clean out what’s in there. Both parties.”

My former state is long overdue for some closet cleaning. And some dinosaur hunting.

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