Immediately following the state's ceremony commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., members of the Gem State Tea Party and Tea Party Boise had different ideas about how best to mark the day.
Huddled under the Capitol Rotunda, a group of approximately 100 voiced their dissatisfaction with President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's suggestion to install a state-run health insurance exchange.
Following a daylong Tea Party event taking up the issue of the ACA at the Boise Hotel and Conference Center, a group of speakers moved to the Capitol to urge Idahoans to reject both a federally implemented health insurance exchange and Otter's plan for a state-based version. One sign in the audience called it "Ottercare."
"It was three years ago that Obamacare was passed," said Domenic Gelsomino. "It was three years ago that war was declared on the 10th Amendment."
"We're a sovereign state, not an administrative unit of the federal government," said Steve Ackerman.
Speakers also invoked the Dred Scott decision and MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech in an attempt to tie the civil-rights crusade led by King to their cause. His causes of equality and liberty, they said, were consistent with the charge to reject the ACA.
When asked about the significance of holding the event on Jan. 21, Chad Inman, president of Tea Party Boise, said, "it was a day off."
"Our first speaker was Darryl Ford, the son of a Tuskegee Airman," said Inman. "The fight that MLK led—a lot of people today say 'civil liberties'—what's our first civil liberty? It's the Bill of Rights. The bottom line is, we see, as you saw in that sign over there, that Obamacare is not about health care, it's about control. It's taking that Bill of Rights and throwing it right out the window."