Former Speaker of the Colorado House Frank McNulty, as you know, did not even attempt a run for House leadership in caucus elections held a little over a week ago. The reason is pretty simple: McNulty presided over a disastrous and sweeping loss of the GOP’s House majority, ensuring through his ham-fisted bungling of reapportionment, and his thuggish mishandling of civil unions legislation that enjoyed majority support, a shriveled GOP minority with greatly diminished hope of recapturing a majority for years to come.
But as the Highlands Ranch Herald reported last week, there’s a different story McNulty tells himself–presumably out of denial, because we don’t know anybody who would buy it.
McNulty, who has served in the state House since 2006, was elected as speaker in 2010. And despite easily defeating Democratic challenger Gary Semro 63-37 in the election, the decision was made afterward that the Highlands Ranch incumbent would not seek a leadership role within his party this time around.
McNulty said that “maintaining and growing a majority is a much different proposition” than maintaining continuous leadership, and he pointed to the fact that he is term-limited as one reason he chose not run for the role of minority leader in 2013. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs, one of 10 Republicans who were elected without Democratic opposition, will fill that role…
“Regardless of the agenda that the Democrats push, our goal will be to work in a strong bipartisan manner,” McNulty said. “The people of Colorado don’t like gridlock, they are tired of gridlock and over the past two years we showed that we don’t have to have gridlock and that Republicans and Democrats can work together. Hopefully that will continue now even that the Democrats have the majority.” [Pols emphasis]
Got that, folks? “Maintaining and growing a majority” is more important than having the same leadership! So naturally, McNulty didn’t see the need to stick around.
Now is not the time to point out that McNulty neither maintained nor grew his majority.
Because, you see, Republicans will “work in a strong bipartisan manner.” Because “the people of Colorado don’t like gridlock” and “over the past two years we showed that we don’t have to have gridlock!” Hopefully this Golden Age won’t end now that the Democrats are back in charge.
As long as you don’t let reality intrude on this wholly fictional version of history, it sounds really great for Republicans. No need for introspection, or to change strategy or message. In fact, reading Frank McNulty’s recap, you might not realize that Republicans lost at all!
Alternatively, we understand modern psychiatry has a pill for this condition.