Could it be the past is prologue in terms of a political price to pay for letting the national debt grow endlessly? With high stakes electorally as fiscally in the upcoming battle over raising the debt ceiling, hop in my time machine and travel back a third of a century to 1978.

Bill Armstrong, president of Colorado Christian University today and a young congressman back then, warned in his underdog campaign against Sen. Floyd Haskell that the incumbent was reckless and wrong in having voted to let America’s borrowing go north of $700 billion. (Whoa, It’s now 20 times that much!)

See Armstrong on the attack, and Haskell glumly wishing he was somewhere else, in a priceless debate video from the ‘78 race that Bill came from 30 points down to win. It leads off an 8-minute tribute to Colorado’s Mr. Conservative, presented to him by surprise at a Boulder County Republican dinner on May 21. Watch it here.