Conservative commentary: Progressive groups remodeling Colorado

Advertisement

— So you didn't know that Aug. 1 was Colorado Day, the anniversary of our admission to statehood in 1876? That's no surprise, since many now regard this as a dusty bit of historical trivia, irrelevant today. It's not.

Colorado only was allowed by Congress to become one of the United States on the condition that its form of government would be "not repugnant to the principles of the Declaration of Independence." This is a good time, once a year at least, to see how we measure up to that standard, sort of like taking a physical on your birthday.

The principles to be cherished are that we're all created equal; that our rights are God-given, not manmade; that government must therefore be limited not unlimited; and that tyranny whether from monarchs or majorities is an ever-present danger.

What this means is that the power of the state, its laws and taxes, commands and prohibitions, police and jails, meet boundaries in our lives and liberties that they may not trespass. Not everything is political. If someone believes everything is political, even the carbon dioxide we exhale, even men's and women's restrooms, he's crossways to the Spirit of '76, 1776 and 1876. That's why Colorado Day still matters.

A study text for this year's self-examination was provided by the Weekly Standard, a national conservative magazine, in its July 21 cover story by Fred Barnes, "The Colorado Model: The Democrats' Plan for Turning Red States Blue." The Dems' electoral winning streak here since 2004 isn't just cyclical, Barnes contends. He thinks they've invented a whole new way of doing politics, potent and ready for export.

The darker implications of Barnes's analysis deserve attention no matter which party you favor - since a competitive and open political system is in everyone's interest. If he is right, a lockdown for one side could happen in Colorado.

What the Standard calls "the Colorado Model" consists of a single, shadowy power supply with a seven-way delivery system that molds public opinion and ultimately moves votes. The Democratic Party itself plays little role until Election Day. But ostensibly unrelated outside groups churn out a permanent campaign every day year-round, like turbines driven by a river of undisclosed money from rich liberals.

Voter attitudes in our state constantly are pushed leftward, as Fred Barnes tells it, by such silent partners as (1) the Bell Policy Center crunching numbers, (2) Progress Now mobilizing activists, Colorado Ethics Watch (3) investigating and (4) litigating, (5) Colorado Media Matters scolding PC violators, (6) the Center for Progressive Leadership training cadres, and (7) ColoradoPols.com rousing the blogosphere. It's some machine, and its end product is Democratic dominance.

Conspiracy theory? Hardly so, not when it's all done in the daylight (financial disclosure excepted). Not when the liberals boast of what they do and we conservatives extend grudging admiration. Some of us founded the Independence Institute two decades ago in the belief that the battle of ideas ultimately determines the battle of votes. The other side's "Colorado Model" takes the same premise and has trumped us for now. Fair is fair.

Where a problem may arise is in the sophisticated and coordinated scale of this new swarm offense from the left. Inside their echo chamber, with the mainstream media naively cooperating, how can you be sure what's true? How much power do you want Tim Gill, Pat Stryker, George Soros, and a few other zillionaires to have?

If by leveraging the liberties of limited government, the zealots of unlimited government were to entrench themselves in power, what freedoms would remain for the rest of us? What antitrust law restrains the progressive cartel? These questions need pondering if we're to make each Aug. 1 a truly happy Colorado Day.

John Andrews of Centennial was president of the Colorado Senate in 2003-05. He is now a Claremont Institute fellow, a member of the Conservative Leadership Counsel of Northwest Colorado, and host of Backbone Radio, Sundays at 5pm online at 710knus.com. You can e-mail John at andrewsjk@aol.com

Comments

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Huh? The "Be afraid of progressives because they're progressives column"? How do you get space for that?

I am sick of these politics of division. What is the possible good of suggesting half your countrymen are the enemy?

We have real, important problems to solve! Our contribution requires we have respectful conversation which allows the possibility of you and I CONVERGING. Toward solutions.

0

Fred Duckels 5 years, 8 months ago

This situation has been obvious to me for a long time. The west has been won and it is time for the liberals to take over to micromanage and deny all responsibility for knee jerk fiascos that seemed like a good idea at the time. Colorado unfortunately is their target. I think that conservatives are losing by default. We seem to lack the energy to stand up and make a difference. Public meetings are well attended by the opposition but we seem too tired to care. Time to get with it!

0

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Hi Fred, I doubt you saw my post before making your own.

Can we disagree on just half the possibles for starters? We agree on something...

For instance... I don't like the new Senate any better than the old. Some slight policy shift may be there, but the special interests have the same leverage as before. Spending is still out of bounds.

Been to a few CC and PC meetings. Seems to me the attendance still leans your way. Guess its just a matter of perspective. Either way, more folks should care enough to go.

I could just hang with my choir, its easier. But today at least, I'd rather converse with people I disagree with and learn something new. Trying to make it a habit. I regret passing up a chance to sit with a tableful of people I disagree with a couple weeks back. Could have learned a lot.

0

Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 8 months ago

It's not that conservatives are losing by default. They're losing for lack of new ideas. To paraphrase Paris Hilton's ad (best campaign ad yet, since it actually has ideas in it and isn't just pointing at what the other candidate's personal faults- Simply amazing!):

the one guy wants new, cleaner energy alternatives (Beijing Brown Cloud, anyone?) while the white-haired dude wants to drill for more stuff that helps make those brown clouds. One wants the new; one wants the same old.

Conservatives had it right when they wanted to overhaul social programs like Medicare, Social Security, etc. They just haven't done it properly yet. These are things we all grew up on and you can't just take them away without consequences.

Liberals had it right when they wanted universal health care. They just haven't done it properly yet. We all deserve medical care in this country, but it's expensive as heck and some people are born with problems or have them thrust upon them thru no fault of their own. Insurance only lasts so long until it runs dry.

0

Fred Duckels 5 years, 8 months ago

Matt; for better or worse we are stuck with oil far into the future. Why not use our product rather than buy foreign oil that is killing our balance or trade and our economy. If the nuclear power and global warming statistics are remotely accurate. I prefer nuclear. liberals used nuclear as a political tool and it has backfired. admitting the mistake would certainly make things easier.

0

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Nuclear has serious drawbacks with its toxic (possibly catastrophic) leftovers, but does offer clean power otherwise. The country most reliant on nuclear (and pleased about it) is France. Conservatives admiting France has good ideas would be a welcome new note.

It is reasonable that conservation is also applied, and on a large scale, with some pain for consumers. Can conservatives go there?

0

Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 8 months ago

I wouldn't mind nuclear, personally. Toxic leftovers would pose a problem, though, I agree. As far as catastrophic, when you really think about it, there weren't that many instances like Three Mile Island, and that was 30ish years ago. (Granted- we haven't built any newer ones.) There should be enough newer technology to help avoid those situations by now, I'd think.

Oil doens't have to be stuck with us into the far future. If we start lowering incentives for oil and start putting that money into alternative sources, those sources can start becoming more prominent; more widespread. We can start leveling out those prices to make them more competitive with oil. Plus, drilling won't make all the difference if we don't have the refineries to it. Drilling here just adds 2 twists, ultimately.

We can then drill in less amounts, and keep more in reserves in case of a major catastrophe. It can work as long as someone wants it to. To say it can't means that we as a nation are saying this is beyond us. That's not what a leader in the world does, in my opinion.

0

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately Matt, increased use of nuclear power has consequences other than innocent mistakes. Most concerning are security and proliferation implications. Much as we would like to say only Democracys can use nuclear, that's already proving impossible. N Korea went there. Pakistan is growing unstable. Another war in the middle east with Iran?

Nuclear may be one strategy we use, but its the wrong emhasis by far. We should lead toward other soultions. Conservation is looking better all the time.

0

billinboat 5 years, 8 months ago

We now have the best opportunity we have ever had to move away from an oil based energy economy toward renewables. Why has no one mentioned that conservation is the best current option rather than drilling our way out of it. T Boone Pickens gets it, says it, and is putting his money behind renewables. Ethanol is a boondoggle funded by our tax dollars. Wind and solar are the future and if we are going to subsidize some sort of energy, this is the direction to go. MIT has just announced a major breakthrough in solar. I say we cannot afford to allow gasoline to be cheap again. It will only delay the opportunity we have in front of us now. Behavior will change, consumers will adjust. No one should be guaranteeing that our gas guzzlers should be inexpensive to operate.

0

billinboat 5 years, 8 months ago

See Thomas Friedman's column "Eight strikes and you're out" in Thursday's (8/14) Steamboat Today.

0

Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 8 months ago

billinboat- I read that one. Obama's missed a few votes this year, too, but not as many as McCain on this issue, at least. Pretty messed on that either of them missed any of the votes on energy this year, though. You'd think they'd at least get around to voting on key issues during the election year.

0

shoe_Z_Q 5 years, 8 months ago

Hi everyone, T.V. as we know it is about to change. Coupons are available from our government to help with the cost of converting T.V. So, why not sent a coupon out to every home that would like to convert to solar or wind. The tax insentives are not even helpful. Some states do not "have to by the power" you feed the grid from your system. (So here is a coupon to encourage more T.V. so more power gets used.) DUH!! I think the "help" we get sometimes is useless. I also think we need to be very careful in the decisions we make about bettering the world. The paper vs. plastic war for instance. We can't cut trees down so lets go plastic, now Earth is smothering as a result of plastic. Thy Y2K hype. Think about it. Not all good intentions work in the long term. Now I am all for other energy methods but, caution is needed. My answer is grow hemp for paper. (Not Pot) Go back to the glass deposit program, Recycle more.

0

Fred Duckels 5 years, 8 months ago

Pickens is on TV to get government aid for wind power. When the wind stops we need power plants to pick up the slack. Since they need to run anyway the net benefit from wind is not good. Nuclear is the only proven alternate.

0

Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 8 months ago

That might be true, Fred, but wind can also lessen the overall dependency on oil. I don't think wind is the solution, but I think solar can be more viable. If photovoltaics are used more, they aren't bad on the eye for buildings and could help lower heating/power needs over oil. Hybrid cars are already working in that capacity for gasoline, but just aren't a large market yet. That could change with the ever-fluctuating price of oil.

Pouring money into alternative sources can help make them viable, I'd think.

0

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Fred, The wind spike is a drawback to wind power. And while its already competitive, its potential will not increase much further. But as Matt says, wind energy is energy we'd otherwise be importing. Seems to me any energy that is totally renewable and clean should be tapped. Solar has a ton of potential to increase its efficiency.

Is nuclear a problem when other country's use it? How do you advocate using it here, but restrict it from others?

0

Eric J. Bowman 5 years, 8 months ago

Isn't it time to put the "conservatives favor limited government" canard to rest? The past 8 years of GOP rule speak for themselves. How much power do you want Red McCombs to have?

http://www.durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=news&article_path=/news/06/news060206_4.htm

Any similar evidence of meddling in Colorado affairs by George Soros? Or is he just a convenient boogeyman?

0

Fred Duckels 5 years, 8 months ago

If the global warming research is 50% accurate, the nuclear downside is a drop in the bucket. And the Bush thing? I hate to see grown men cry. Remember Harry Truman? He was run out the white house and I admire him and his courage. We won't know how the Bush decisions play out for decades.

0

Steve Lewis 5 years, 8 months ago

Sorry Fred, You might want to tune into a few other news and commentary channels. His legacy is soooo toast. Plenty of Bush's mistakes have already come home to roost. His saber rattling rather than talking with Iran accomplished ONLY more security uncertainty which caused oil prices to go up.

I cannot believe how even those channels have yet to mention the utter hipocracy of his Georgia reprimands to Russia. "No one invades in the 21st century". Bush firmly established the precedent in 2003.

Were our satellites aimed in the wrong place, or were we simply too impotent to offset? "Strong on national security" doesn't work for anyone who let Georgia's critical energy pipeline sector be jeorordized as he did.

0

Fred Duckels 5 years, 8 months ago

Matt and Steve. I am going to a lot of effort to convert you guys. Please let me know when the job is done so I can slack up a bit.

0

Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 8 months ago

Fred- I can't be converted since I'm a Republican. I'm just a moderate one who sees that we need to move into the 21st Century. It's the far-right that needs conversion, in my opinion. (And the far-left.)

And maybe that's the problem with the far-left/right: their too busy trying to convert people instead of promoting new ideas. Good luck with that, though, Fred. I wish you the best!

0

billinboat 5 years, 8 months ago

A few observations;

I agree, the success or failure of Bush's policies may not be be known for years, but one thing is certain, we will be paying for them for those many years. George Will likes to call these "transaction costs" as a way of dismissing them. Some costs!

"Conservatives favor limited govt." No evidence from Bush's regime except that there has been a sbustantial privatisation of services during the last 8 agaonizing years but these are being paid for by the people so I don't see where this has gained much, if anything. It seems to me this canard holds true until a conservative wants a favor. I would like to update Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2, where he says "the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers". Change lawyers to read lobbyists. Come to think of it, this would do away with a lot of lawyers too.

When the wind stops? You're right, it does, but this argument has NO validity whatsoever in relation to why we should not move to tap wind and solar (which only stops in the dark). Isn't this why any NASA mission to the sun would have to be at night?

Global warming-I wonder how many people who dismiss this as fuzzy science willingly accept intelligent design?

Ich bin nicht ein Georgian.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.