In a case of the life of the Idaho Legislature imitating the art of Bob Dylan, here's the latest verse in the ballad of state Rep. Curtis Bowers.
Last week, you'll recall, Bowers wrote a rather bizarre newspaper guest opinion, chronicling his covert operation to infiltrate a 1992 Communist Party meeting. There, he said, he heard Communists espouse feminism, environmentalism and gay rights — policies that have worked their way into the political mainstream.
Unmoved both by Bowers' reasoning and his stealth, Eileen Wight of Nampa has launched an online petition drive targeting the Caldwell Republican.
"As Democratic, Republican and Independent Idahoans, we urge Rep. Bowers to apologize to every hard-working, patriotic citizen offended by his absurd accusations and get back to doing the people’s business. Either that or resign so that someone else can."
So let's recap. Bowers has never stood before the voters in Canyon County's District 10. He was appointed in April, in a less-than-inspired moment, by Gov. Butch Otter, who passed over two other finalists to pick Bowers. Never elected, Bowers is already under heat to resign. That, sports fans, takes some doing.
Say this for Bowers: He keeps on writing. In today's Idaho Press-Tribune, he responds to critics of his first column.
"Trying to silence anyone who disagrees by labeling them 'hateful' or 'intolerant' is a clever way to take away their freedom of speech, but one that should never be used," he writes. "Any group or individual that tries to label a difference in opinion or woridview as 'hateful' should kindly remember this isn’t the Soviet Union yet."
Well, that ought to smooth everything over.