GOP ASSET Switch Good Politics, Policy

We would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge passage in the Colorado Senate of Senate Bill 13-033, the bill providing for in-state tuition rates for undocumented graduates of Colorado high schools–with the support of three Republican Senators emerging as a major part of the story. FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

For the first time in a building where in-state tuition proposals for undocumented students have been debated for the last decade, three Republican senators did something historic Friday…

Senate Bill 33, which got an initial okay from the full Senate Friday, was going to pass with or without any Republican votes; and with Democrats holding a large majority in the House as well, the measure is certain to finally become law this year.

But the three floor speeches by the three supporting Republicans Friday reflected the public’s growing support for immigration reform — and a divided GOP slowly coming to grips with the undeniable political power of Latino voters just months after another bruising election cycle.

“This is a country where you’re supposed to be able to pursue happiness and I want the GOP to be the Grand Opportunity Party,” said Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, a longtime lawmaker who, until Friday, had only spoken in opposition to the bill dubbed “ASSET.”

Given the latest defeat for the GOP in the 2012 elections, wherein Hispanic voters again flocked to Democratic candidates and Republicans really began to face generational electoral abyss if they continue to alienate the fastest-growing minority in America, we will concede that it's easy to be cynical about support for this bill from GOP Sens. Owen Hill, Larry Crowder, and Greg Brophy. We've spent a lot of time over the years on Sen. Brophy in particular, someone who we think on balance is much more of a liability to Republicans than he is helpful. Owen Hill is young and not fully in control of his stage presence–it's too early to assess what this vote means for him as a Republican legislator.

Despite our frequent displeasure with Brophy, we take him at his word when he says, as he did Friday, that he has come to know students who might benefit from the passage of ASSET in the Eastern Plains agricultural community he lives in. Sen. Crowder, a southern Colorado rancher, can legitimately tell a similar story. We understand that Brophy has come down on the wrong side of this same bill in previous years, and there are lots of politically expedient–as opposed to morally genuine–reasons for this change of heart.

But this is one moment where, instead of letting the usual cynicism prevail, maybe we should just be happy about it.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. roccoprahn says:

    You gotta be kidding me! Brophy? CROWDER?

    Like you elequently put it, the gregsta's never impressed me as anything but a nut job zealot, whether it be on the issue of something like ASSET, being pro school shooting massacres, automatic/semiautomatic firearms, "entitlements" calling Sandra Fluke a slut, or bashing the right of people to love who they wish to love.

    At first blush, this seems the move of a pinko that thinks a little too much of his own upward mobility potential. As he has never championed this before, and last year was used by mcnulty to absolutely villify it, all you can say is "I don't think he's voting his "concience".

    But you can't ignore it, it's the move of somebody thinking about statewide evil guvbmint benifits, free postage, great medical coverage, salary, retirement, and access to a whole lot more gun industry cash. The gregsta's thinkin' big!

    Crowder? Maybe the redistricting thing in 35, barely beating Crestina Martinez, who I can tell you would have been a GREAT voice for 35, I just can't figure it.

    I mean the goober voted nay on Civil Unions, and in most teabag households, "them illegals gettin' sumpin for nuttin" ,ASSET was even MORE  "unmericin".!!! Remember, to a teabagger, "in state tuition" translates to "freebie" if the person getting "in state tuition" isn't white, christ-ee, and extreme right wing.

    Oh well, no matter how bad the pinko casting the right vote smells, the correct vote is the correct vote.

  2. Gray in Mountains says:

    Several from GOP are going to make some smart moves this session. These are a couple. Waller is going to run a felony DUI bill. Wonder if Baumgartner will take a page from the Montana GOP a few years ago and go against it because of "cultural values"

  3. DavieDavie says:

    All it took for Brophy to do a 180 on ASSET was for him to "come to know" some students that would benefit from this bill.  So is it tribalism or narcissism that drives GOPers?

    Dick Cheney supports gay marriage because is daughter is gay and got married to her partner.

    No overarching principles involved — just "it affects me personally, and it doesn't seem so bad".

    Nobody will ever accuse the GOP of having too many visionaries in their ranks.

  4. AristotleAristotle says:

    Pols, you can set aside the cynicism if you like. But I'll keep in mind just how power mad the GOP has become over the past couple of decades, and how they were uniformly opposed to anything helping immigrants (regardless of their status) before November of 2012), and all the stuff they've said to explain their defeat, and actions taken since then.

    The conclusion looks inescapable – that some Republicans are now pandering to Hispanics, a group they believe to be largely open to their agenda so long as their agenda isn't anti-Hispanic. That whole condescending "they're Republicans, they just don't know it yet" notion. The only good thing I see in this is that they've shut up about "illegals voting in elections." But I know that they have absolutely zero qualms, so that only makes me worry that their efforts to disenfranchise lawful voters will be more stealthy in the future.

    Republicans – I don't trust a single one as far as I could throw them.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

       Agree. But if we can accomplish some good things with the help of desperate pandering we'll take it. I think, especially where Brophy is concerned, we can count on an inability to go for very long without saying something stupid and alienating. Therefore, while the benefits of this legislation will last a long time, the benefits of pandering on a few things to the Brophy wing of the Colorado GOP won't last long at all. Probably not beyond the next time one of them goes on righty radio and drops some more gems of bigoted, paranoid, fear mongering, birther friendly wisdom.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Daaaahh, you mean like their short-lived attempt to change electoral vote allocations in GOP-gerrymandered states that otherwise vote Dem?

      Subtlety isn't the GOP's strong suit.

      They just want the chance to steal elections, fair and square.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        We'll see. Even  R Governors in several states where it's being attempted are stepping back. I don't think they will succeed in the attempt to change the system in a sufficient number of states.

  5. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    ASSET isn't an immigration bill.  It is a spending bill that just so happens to touch on immigrant issues. 

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      How about the efforts for "English only"? Are those immigrant bills? I'm teaching my dogs Spanish so if they ever need adoption a Spanish speaking person can take them? It will be awhile. I, and they, just began class.

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      Given that your side of the aisle has been arguing that giving "freebies to illegals" encourages more illegal immigration, you might be technically correct but innacurate. Well played, counselor.

  6. Theo says:

    Three cheers for all those who voted for this bill.

    It's the right policy, and it's terrific it will pass.

    I may not agree with a particular Senator on anything else, but I applaud a YEA vote on this, whoever casts it and for whatever mix of reasons.  And a change of heart by someone like Senator Brophy is far likelier to begin to change the thinking of people who think as he does (or, in this case, did).  That's a group who would not likely be swayed in the least by me.

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