Helping Is Hurting
Women. It was a good idea for The Salt Lake Tribune to ask legislators what they do to help women. The result was anything but good. Of the 104 lawmakers they asked, only 24 answered—and only eight of those were from the supermajority Republicans—you know, the ones who really make the laws. Some of them think banning transgender girls from female K-12 sports "helps" women. Housing was a big issue, and equal pay got one vote as did the long-stalled Equal Rights Amendment. While one mentioned access to family-planning services, no one mentioned making abortions still more difficult might not be helping women, who are, let's face it, simply the vessels that carry a fetus in Utah. No one mentioned the unpopular and medically unsound do-it-yourself rape kits, either, although those may pass into law. It might have been a better idea to ask legislators what they are doing to hurt women. Those roll off the tongue.
Lambasting the Left
These days, electing someone to Congress is less about legislation and more about the bully pulpit. Deseret News opinion writer Brian Ericson hit on the subject, targeting Twitter and the shenanigans of Georgia's far-right conspiracy-loving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Illinois' Democrat Rep. Marie Newman, whose offices are across the hall from each other. Their dueling antics over transgender rights blew up on Twitter. Then, The Salt Lake Tribune gave Rep. Burgess Owens what he wanted—a forum to spew hate against the "left," which the 4th District Republican claims is destroying the nuclear family and taking away "manhood." The left, he said while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, wants to "devalue womanhood, devalue manhood and destroy our kids." Men apparently are supposed to sacrifice everything for the family, but they can't do that anymore. No one's sure why, but we'll await whatever legislation he is proposing on the issue.
Seeing the Light (Maybe)
As we approach the inevitability of redistricting, San Juan County and the Navajo Nation are hoping for the best. The courts required politically gerrymandered lines to be redrawn, but that could change with new population figures. There are still good things happening in Utah's only minority-majority county, so let's start with voting. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the County Commission just voted to extend a voting rights settlement to 2024. The settlement allows both mailed ballots and in-person voting—important for those without home postal service. Also, while the Navajo Nation had the highest per-capita COVID infection rate in the country, a collaboration with public health nurses has ramped up vaccination efforts and has even provided home health-care services, according to the Farmington Daily Times. Equal rights for this underserved county may still be in the cards.