Is Celebrating Non-Victories the Utah Democrat Way?

When you’re part of a losing team, you start to grasp at straws for anything you might be able to sell as a victory. As a long-time Cubs fan, I’m pretty used to being in that position. (Yes, go ahead and crack your jokes. I can take it.) I completely understand the need to turn lemons into lemonade, but at some point you’re filling a pitcher with water and some yellow food dye and calling it the same thing. It very much appears that the Utah Democratic Party and many Utah Democrats are now at that point.

A good case in point is Angela Romero’s HB 74 clarifying what incapacitated means when defining rape. My own reading of the bill is that it makes a few minor technical changes, the kind of boring work that is about 90% of what the legislature does for little fanfare. If not for some rather, er, ill-considered comments by another legislator, it likely wouldn’t have even gotten much press attention at all. In fact, it went through all committees, the House, and the Senate without a single nay vote.

So consider this reaction by the Utah House Democrats:

It seems a little odd to be so excited about some simple technical changes, no? But that’s not where the irrational exuberance ends.

Brian King’s HCR 2 to recognize Religious Freedom Day in Utah is similarly a head-scratcher. It doesn’t say anything new or novel and is, in fact, a rehash of legislation passed in Virginia well over 200 years ago. It also passed the House without a single nay vote, but it doesn’t even have any kind of force of law. Yet to hear Democrats tell it, this is some kind of huge victory for…something? I still can’t figure out what. The bill itself is the kind of rote, bland, “mom and apple pie” fluffery that they’d usually mock the legislature for even considering.

And yet, here’s the cheering that it’s something that it’s, well, not.

Combined with the “we didn’t really lose” talk from the Utah Democratic Party after a rather severe trouncing in the last election, it seems as if the party and many of its members are more interested in manufacturing victories than pulling them off. That might help rally some troops, but the majority Republican electorate isn’t likely to be buying anytime soon.

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