(Denver Post, Oct. 10) “Not so fast,” warns the movie hero. He’ll make sure the cad or the con man doesn’t get away with it. One side in American politics has always been the party of “not so fast,” putting the brakes on expansive government power. Today that’s the Republican Party, and they serve the common good in doing it, even when unsuccessful. But I’m concerned that in the governor’s race this year, Colorado Republicans may be so unsuccessful that their restraining influence on political overreach is lost for a long time. Even the most fervent Democrats, if they remember the corruption of power, shouldn’t relish that prospect – though one can see why they’re keeping gleefully silent as Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes rip each other.
“What do you make of the Maes-Tancredo situation in Colorado’s race for governor?” was our question to a friend we’ll call Flavius, a longtime Republican activist in metro Denver. His reply exemplified the agonizing complexities facing GOP loyalists in this campaign. Flavius wrote: My presumption is Tancredo will stay in and Tom is a polarizing candidate. I really like him but he has little support in the Hispanic community, for one thing, and he has upset many Republican activists who would support him except for his leaving the party. I’m in the latter group even though I understand why he did it and the way he did it. If the state GOP were to endorse Tancredo (as it happens in NY between their Conservative Party and the Republican Party) it would help Tancredo but I doubt our state party would do something like that. Some wonder if Tancredo is even legally qualified to be a candidate.
(Denver Post, Sept. 5) “McInnis: A Jobs Governor,” say the bus benches and billboards that were to give the former GOP congressman a lift toward November after he won in August; only he lost. Still you see the slogan everywhere, as sad as a Christmas tree in spring, a reminder of how strange politics can be. (And stranger yet if the Dan Maes candidacy also ends, a possibility when I wrote this.) Meanwhile the finalists for senator forge into fall with their own bizarre blemishes left over from summer – Democrat Michael Bennet alleged to have been a corporate looter, Republican Ken Buck scolded for joking that “I don’t wear high heels.” (Has declining to cross-dress ever before been deemed politically insensitive?)
(Denver Post, Aug. 1) The other day in Starbucks I overheard Reagana, a personal trainer and Tea Party mom, debating with McDole, her CPA and a moderate Republican. “You can still support McInnis after everything we know about him? With Colorado on the brink, you’re telling me he’s the governor we need?” Doggedly but without enthusiasm, McDole pointed out the GOP veteran’s experience as a legislator and congressman, his litany of endorsements, his feisty campaign style and fundraising prowess. As for plagiarism, heck, Joe Biden did it, Dr. King did it, and look where they are. Passing off that judge’s writing as his own – no big deal.
(Denver Post, May 30) An Alaska mayor shocks the governor in a primary, then humbles an ex-governor in the general election, then electrifies the nation as John McCain’s running mate. A legislator from the laughing-stock Massachusetts Republicans upsets the attorney general to capture a perennially Democratic Senate seat. A lowly Pennsylvania congressman ignores the president’s support for a party-switching senator and retires him in a primary, Obama endorsement and all.