The Economist thinks it knows why Colorado has gone to the Democrats (via Paul). More Californians, more Hispanics.
But there is a more important reason for the Republicans’ woes: their elected representatives are bonkers.
In the 1970s the state party came under the sway of an anti-tax, anti-big government group known as the “House crazies”. This included Tom Tancredo, now a congressional scourge of illegal immigrants. The House crazies eventually joined forces with an equally fierce group of social conservatives rooted in Colorado Springs, headquarters of the evangelical Focus on the Family. …
More than one lawmaker has got into trouble for comparing homosexuality to bestiality. The small-government wing remains incensed that voters suspended a tax-restraining measure in 2005, even though it was crippling the state’s finances.
This is part right, part wrong, and part stupid.
Let’s start with the stupid. How exactly is forcibly preventing Colorado businesses from hiring workers from Mexico and elsewhere consistent with an “anti-big government” stance? Instead, Tancredo represents the populist wing of the Republican Party that has alienated both metropolitan sophisticates — Colorado is a highly educated state — and Hispanics. (It turns out that people tend not to vote for you when you threaten to forcibly round up their friends and neighbors and kick them out of the country.)
Now on to the wrong. The claim that taxes restraints were “crippling the state’s finances” is just recycling The Denver Post’s garbage. What was crippling the state’s finances was the insatiable spending habits of politicians.
What The Economist gets right is that Republicans have alienated independents and secular free-marketeers with their incessant calls for faith-based politics. Republicans complain that the left has been spending money like crazy. Well, maybe if the Republicans hadn’t constantly berated and condemned homosexuals, they wouldn’t have induced rich homosexuals to fight back. (Not that that’s where all the money is coming from.) Only Republicans act surprised when people get offended when they’re told they’re going to hell, tearing apart the culture, corrupting the youth, and engaging in sex comparable to bestiality. Who ever would have thought?
It turns out that Westerners get a little nervous when a Republican running for governor gets a running mate who claims we have no constitutionally-protected freedom from religion.
But Republicans finally seem to be figuring some of this stuff out. For example, Bob Schaffer, who has claimed he wants to end all abortion, recently came out against Amendment 48, which seeks to define a fertilized egg as a person. However, now Schaffer just looks like a spineless jerk. He told the Rocky Mountain News, “I think there are other strategies and tactics that get us far closer to advancing the cause of human life.” Is that squishing sound water in your shoes? We’ll see whether Schaffer’s dodge can save him. Meanhile, his opponent, Mark Udall, has strongly endorsed the separation of church and state. Does that matter? I’ll put it to you this way. I cannot think of a single issue other than that where I agree with Mark Udall (though I’m sure there’s something). Yet, this November, I’m going to hold my nose and vote for him. At least he knows what he believes on the matter and isn’t afraid to say.