My Kind of Republican

Ryan Frazier favors Amendment 47, the so-called “right to work” measure, as Joel Warner writes up in an excellent article for Westword. On this issue Frazier is wrong, for reasons I’ve discussed, but his is a forgivable sin.

(The fact that a union thug called Frazier a “House N—” who bends “over for the white man” makes me sorry that I have to vote with the unions on this one. But I have to do the right thing even if the unions oppose 47 for the wrong reasons.)

From what I can tell based on the Westword article, Frazier is otherwise moving toward Team Liberty.

Frazier told Warner, “I chose the Republican Party because of the principles the party was founded on. This was the party of freedom. This was the party that sought the abolition of slavery. The principles of the party are relatively simple: Keep government to the lowest practical level, fiscal responsibility, strength in the free enterprise system, and protection of the rights of every individual. Man, I identify with those.”

Warner also writes this extraordinary segment:

In 2006, [Frazier] stood alongside Democratic Denver mayor John Hickenlooper in public support of Referendum I, which would have allowed domestic partnerships… He’s also ambivalent when it comes to pro-life [sic] issues: “I am not a fan of abortion, but I struggle with whether it is the appropriate role of the government to place itself there.”

… [H]e isn’t the only Republican who seems to be eschewing the state party’s long-held cultural-conservative playbook. Other GOP thirty-somethings, like state senator Josh Penry and state representatives Frank McNulty and Cory Gardner, are shying away from the culture wars and sticking with fiscally conservative stances. Even prominent state Republicans like party elder Hank Brown have come out against Amendment 48 on this November’s ballot, which would define a fertilized human egg as a person and therefore, many believe, outlaw abortion.

It could be indicative of a fundamental shift within the statewide GOP apparatus. After Republicans saw that their fixation on unborn babies and marriage licenses got them nowhere except out of office, they’ve opted for a reboot, a return to the small-government, personal-freedom ideals of old.

“I think that’s an astute and correct observation,” says Steve Schuck, a prominent Colorado Springs Republican and onetime contender for Colorado governor. “I am pleased that the Republican Party is moving in that direction, higher regard given to policy issues than social issues. Partly, it’s a failure of them to be effective. There are so many examples of us not being successful that can be attributed to a preoccupation with social issues.”

Of course, there’s a big difference between being right on social issues and hiding one’s wrong views about them. As far as I can tell, practically all Republicans who aren’t completely in step with the religious right are doing the latter (which is why, for instance, Bob Schaffer has come off looking two-faced).

Still, Warner’s notes on Frazier give me some hope that there are a few Republicans who believe in individual rights and a government limited to protecting them.