The Benefits of a Romanoff-Bennet Primary

(Since the last Romanoff post on Friday received more than 225 comments, we’re guessing you’re interested in the topic. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The big political news over the weekend is (obviously) the Denver Post story about former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) likely throwing his hat in the 2010 Democratic primary ring against appointed Sen. Michael Bennet (D). If it happens, it is fantastic news for a number of reason – and I’d say the primary would rank right up there with the Sestak-Specter race in importance for the progressive movement.

First and foremost, a strong primary against an appointed senator is a democratizing process, especially when that appointed senator is someone like Bennet who has never been elected to – or even run statewide for – public office. Right now, Colorado is represented in the U.S. Senate by a person who has received just one vote – that of Gov. Bill Ritter (D). A Democratic primary gives Democratic voters a choice in who gets the party nomination. And though the Denver Post’s Mike Littwin regurgitated the tired old notion that primaries “put at risk” party control of the seat, there’s not much evidence to support that cliche. I’d say that’s particularly true when it comes to attempted coronations of untested candidates like Bennet – primaries, as, say, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) show, often result in a much stronger general-election nominee.

Second, and just as important, a Democratic primary will force Bennet to take more concrete positions on issues. Whether he comes down for or against progressive positions is anyone’s guess – on many key issues from health care to EFCA, he has tried to take multiple positions so as to not alienate anyone. But at least a primary should force him to take positions and stick with them.

Third, Romanoff’s clearest way to the nomination is to run as a progressive – something he can do, considering his fairly progressive (though certainly not perfectly progressive) record as a legislator. As the Littwin correctly notes:

The way to run against Bennet in a Democratic primary is from the left. Bennet has been mostly silent on labor- backed card-check. He voted against the “cramdown” amendment in a bankruptcy reform bill. There is skepticism about him in parts of the Latino community, if only because Ritter didn’t seriously consider a Latino to replace Salazar.

It’s pretty clear Bennet is a flawed candidate. He has few roots in state, has never run for any office (much less a statewide one), has weak poll numbers, has refused to take concrete positions on the most important issues, has a well-earned image as an aristocrat/D.C. insider and is being floated by out-of-state special interest cash. That’s not to say he won’t win a nomination fight, nor is it to say he won’t get better on issues and be a great senator. We just don’t know.

That’s exactly why a primary from a known commodity like Romanoff is great for the progressive movement: it increases the prospect that the nominee – whichever candidate wins – is a better general-election candidate and a better progressive. And having come to know Romanoff fairly well over the last few years, I expect (though certainly can’t guarantee) that if he runs he will run an earnestly progressive campaign against his opponent.

I say that not because of any personal “trust” in Romanoff and his decent progressive instincts, but because politicians tend to embrace ideological formulas that are most politically opportune. Though the Obama era of political sycophancy has convinced some to put their blind faith in the hearts/feelings/brains of individual politicians, the truism persists: Politicians tend to prioritize strategic/ideological paths that provide them the most electoral opportunity, regardless of what is in their hearts/feelings/brains. Put another way, politicians are first and foremost political animals (That was proven by the formerly conservative Democrat Gov. Howard Dean becoming the Progressive Champion Howard Dean for President* in the 2004 primary – and it continues to be proven in almost every election campaign). So when there’s a big Senate campaign where a major candidate has an incentive to run as a progressive, that’s good for progressives because the candidate will likely run as a progressive and therefore will both A) push the debate in a progressive direction and B) potentially give us a more progressive public official in the end (or at least one who has made his/her political future more reliant on progressive support).

To be sure, the Washington Democratic establishment is going to be screaming and whining and moaning if/when Romanoff formally announces his candidacy. The folks in D.C. continue to subscribe to the “primaries are always bad for the party” theory of politics, even as it has been debunked over and over and over again. But that’s to be expected. Party bosses – whether Republican or Democratic – despise grassroots democracy. And their successful efforts to crush primaries have created many of the serious legislative obstructionism our country is being held hostage by right now. As just one of many examples, the party’s success in crushing any strong Democratic primary against Max Baucus has helped create a lawmaker who feels so free of accountability to his Democratic Party base that he is happily shilling for the insurance industry by working to destroy this moment of health care opportunity.

Political movements, by contrast, should – almost as a general rule – support the concept of primaries, even against decently progressive Democrats. Primaries make lawmakers more accountable to a public that polls show is far more progressive on issues than the Washington consensus. That accountability comes from a vibrant grassroots democracy that is the most powerful tool for change we have.

We’re going to be discussing the potential for a Romanoff-Bennet primary on my drive-time radio show on AM760 here in Colorado this morning between 7am-10am Colorado time (9am-12pm ET). You can stream it at

* By the way, I think Dean went through a genuine conversion on the 2004 campaign to the point where I sincerely believe his current progressivism is who he now is in his heart. I have no idea if that genuine conversion happened during the 2004 campaign or afterwards – but it is absolutely true to say that Dean as governor was far more conservative than he became in the 2004 primary and remains today.

UPDATE: I find it absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious that the same people in the comments who assail me for only living in Colorado for 3 2+ years** and therefore “not knowing what I’m talking about” are the same people who say that Michael Bennet, who has lived in state for all of 9 years, knows so much about Colorado that he deserves an uncontested walk to the Democratic nomination for United States Senate. I mean, that’s just fucking FUNNY. Oh, and one note: I may only be living here for few years and may have some more to learn about Colorado politics, but just remember that there’s a difference between me and, say, Michael Bennet: Namely, I’m not trying to claim that I, David Sirota, deserve an uncontested coronation for the nomination for one of the highest offices in the state.

** I originally put “3” years as shorthand for 2+ years – for parts of 2006 and 2007 I was in Denver staying with my family that lives here. I was looking for work/housing/schools. I regret if this shorthand obscured exact, to-the-minute precision and hence offended any obsessive stalkers interested in my whereabouts at all time (though I’m guessing these are likely the same kinds of people who are obsessed with things like birth certificates, too).

184 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Sirota nailed what makes a primary such a healthy thing for our democracy.

    a Democratic primary will force Bennet to take more concrete positions on issues.

    Primaries make lawmakers more accountable to a public

    I support Bennet and I think Bennet will comfortably win the primary. But I also think a primary is a good thing for all of us – and for Michael Bennet.

    • Retired says:

      A primary helps hone your message, build an organization, and raise interest, which in turn raises your name ID and money.

      I have watched Bennett and must say have been underwelmed. I will support Andrew over Michael.

      On the Governor side we really need a primary to get Gov. Ritter to show us he really even deserves the job. He is so arrogant and tone deaf thus far.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      I disagree with this portion of your diary:

      That’s exactly why a primary from a known commodity like Romanoff is great for the progressive movement: it increases the prospect that the nominee – whichever candidate wins – is a better general-election candidate and a better progressive. And having come to know Romanoff fairly well over the last few years, I expect (though certainly can’t guarantee) that if he runs he will run an earnestly progressive campaign against his opponent.

      First off, you offer no evidence that proves that whoever wins will somehow mutate into a “better progressive.” If anything, they are both more likely to run to the middle to appeal to Independents in the GE.

      Second, for those of us that know Romanoff and his record, it could hardly be called progressive by the progressive movements standards and this is where you and Wade and Square State’s arguments fall apart. Andrew’s record on social issues isn’t progressive by any stretch of the imagination. What Andrew excelled at is compromise and bringing together both sides of the aisle to get something done. And we all know how much you dislike bipartisanship so I can’t imagine that’s a huge selling point for you.

      Third, to compare this to Sestak/Specter as far as the importance to the progressive movement is a load of horseshit. I’m sorry but it is. You can spin this all you want but these two races are nothing alike. For starters, you don’t have a progressive running against Bennet.

      If a primary between two centrists is the new standard for the progressive movement, someone should tell your members.

      And speaking of not having many roots in this state, David…that would also apply to you, no? After all, he’s lived here quite a bit longer than you. By your standards, that makes your input completely worthless, doesn’t it? There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that turns me off more than someone trying to insinuate that someone doesn’t quite “belong” and isn’t a “real” Coloradoan.

      The bottom line for me is if the Democrats have a primary, more power to them. Is it a smart political move? Probably not in this case. But the larger issue for me and one that I am going to continue to counter with every single time folks like you and Wade regurgitate your peculiar version of the “truth” is this–you hate that Ritter didn’t appoint who you wanted. You dislike Bennet because you never saw him coming. You both want something that you feel was “owed” to you as progressives. I also wanted Andrew. Badly. It didn’t happen. I got over it. I suggest you do the same.

      If you support a primary, find real reasons for your support. You can’t. Your distaste for not getting your way drives your support of a Romanoff/Bennet primary. And I think that’s a shame because once again, you are working overtime to cut off your nose to spite your face.

      Oh and I would suggest giving the Tester example a rest unless you are finally willing to get loud and public about why he isn’t supporting a public option. Your golden progressive isn’t really holding up so well in the light of political reality. A shame, too, since I sent him a load of money to help get him elected. I can’t believe how much money I’m going to save in 2012 when all these “progressives” and “better Democrats” come up for re-election.

      • twas brillig says:

        I think DavidS’s assumption that a primary will inspire massive pandering to the ultra-left is misplaced. Perhaps he’s right, but Colorado Democratic primary voters aren’t exactly Bernie Sanders acolytes, and moaning about the “establishment” won’t change that. For evidence, witness the brutal defeat of Mike Miles in 2004.  

      • BlueCat says:

        even though I was all for Romanoff and very disappointed that Bennet got the nod. Was bummed.  That’s life. I still kind of like to stay in touch with reality.

        Don’t think a primary will be a tragedy, though, and if Romanoff insists, let him go for it. I don’t think he’s got much of a chance.

        Especially agree that Bennet/Romanoff is absolutely nothing like Specter/Sestak, a pair that offer wide and obvious disparity.  I was going to say ideological disparity but I think the main difference is that Sestak has an ideological viewpoint where Specter’s only ideology is keeping Specter in the Senate.

        Agree about Tester.  Having majorities in both houses was supposed to be more fun, wasn’t it?  

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        nominate my favorite candidate.

        Ritter basically gutted a deep political bench by snubbing both Romanoff and FitzGerald.  He had a former President of the Senate and a former Speaker of the House and gave both of them the finger for an unknown.  What’s the point of building boots on the ground experience on legislative issues when it is going to be ignored when the next level opens up.  This was another strategic blunder by Ritter and shows his inability to integrate his mavericky style of governing with his own party.  Democrats in Colorado worked really hard to help FitzGerald and Romanoff gain control of the state legislature after 44 years of John Andrew type rule and Bennet was nowhere to be found during that transformational period.  If Ritter loses in 2010, he earned it.

          • MtSherman says:

            It is not Bennet’s fault, but it is not to his credit that Ritter picked an unknown who was not a known “A-list” candidate.  All would have been forgiven had Bennet then gone on to show that he was just unknown and in some other way he is an “A-list” politician.  He could have had made a case for being a savvy politician, having a compelling personality, or plain ol’ competence in legislation.  But instead he’s not particularly bad, but not particularly good either.  He may have been a great superintendent but politically he’s a mediocrity.  Given that he has hardly any seniority I’m enthusiastic for replacing him with a known candidate who’ll in all likelihood be a great Senator.  

            We need to reach for putting the best and brightest in charge rather than settling for second best.

        • twas brillig says:

          I would call that a classic “insidery” response and accuse you of “power worshipping” because Ritter made an unconventional choice that didn’t reward someone from the entrenched power structure to which you must somehow be beholden unlike me…. But that would be so clichГ©, wouldn’t it?

          Instead, I’ll just say that this is another example, pointed out by many, of confusing the person with the process.

          Does this appointment make the case for setting up a special election process for senate vacancies? Perhaps. The reason direct appointments are common is to make sure one’s state isn’t left without representation for the better part of a year. What an interesting conundrum! But it has nothing to do with Michael Bennet’s demonstrated suitability in office.

        • One Queer Dude says:

            I don’t think Ritter would have ever selected J.F.G. for the Senate seat because she was one of her most vocal opponents within the Democratic Party when he first ran for Governor.  IIRC, she and Alice Madden were desperately seeking anyone who was pro-choice to take Ritter on in the primary.

            Romanoff, on the other hand, was the first Democratic leader in the legislature to endorse Ritter.  

            Picking Bennet over Romanoff was not a very nice way to show appreciation for Romanoff’s support.

            I agree that if Ritter loses, he earned it.  Maybe David Skaggs will take Ritter on in next year’s primary.

      • Littletonian says:

        and how do I get to be one?

        I describe myself as a liberal Democrat. But I’ve ragged on Republicans for years for using litmus-test politics to decide who’s a true partisan warrior and who’s some wimpy moderate centrist.

        It’s abortion. It’s immigration. It’s gay rights. Whatever.

        But it now appears that my own party is doing the same thing. Bennet doesn’t support a public option?* Off with his head!

        *(oh wait, he does? Well, crap).

        As a Coloradan, I would like to be represented by a Senator who supports pragmatic legislation, listens to her/his constituents, works to amend bills to build support so that they’ll actually pass, keeps her/himself and other leaders accountable to the Constitution, and condemns tea party/Minuteman-style hate politics.

        The above qualities are much more important to me than whether or not my Senator supports every item on the President’s agenda. I want cap-and-trade to pass, and I want healthcare reform with a public option. But if I were a Senator, and an overwhelming majority of my constituents disagreed with my personal views on a particular issue, where do my obligations lie? I know a lot of Polsters will disagree with me on this question, but I think representative democracy needs to be just that – representative.

        If the primary were held tomorrow, I’d cast my vote for Andrew Romanoff. I was enormously impressed with his work as Speaker, and I think he’s the type of leader who would have a long and productive tenure in the US Senate. I’d agree with David’s premise, as well – a primary will be a good thing for both candidates. But the discussion of ideological purity that permeates the diary and many of these comments sickens me.

  2. JeffcoBlue says:

    David, you didn’t live in Colorado to know about it, but your assessment of Romanoff’s “progressive instincts” is just silly. Romanoff helped engineer the 2005 special session of the Colorado legislature, and took credit for that session passing some of the “toughest immigration laws in the nation.” It set back relations with the Latino community tremendously, and the current problems with Bennet are related to this as much as anything else.

    Romanoff is, I believe, a  good man but he’s a DLC member and a very cautious moderate player. I really hope Jane Hamsher and the rest of the purity troll caucus haven’t decided that Romanoff is any better than Bennet for them, because they’re going to be disappointed. Again, those of us who know Romanoff and have lived here long enough to know what we’re talking about (that’s not you, David) know better.

    • davidsirota says:

      OK – well, I guess I’m in the minority in thinking elections are a pretty good thing. And I guess me only living here for 3 years somehow means I’m in the minority in thinking democracy is a good thing. Oh, and I guess Howard Dean wasn’t a DLC Democrat who then ran as a progressive in 2004 because that was the most opportune political dynamic.

      Strange, but hey – you are entitled to your (odd) opinion.

      Again, very odd.

      • twas brillig says:

        Right on time.

        ‘You disagree with me, so you must hate elections and democracy. Me so snarky!’

      • ThillyWabbit says:

        Name one progressive achievement Andrew Romanoff has on GLBT rights.

        Hell, name one progressive achievement of any kind.

        Andrew is a great guy, but he is no progressive. There’s a reason he became Speaker of the House and it’s not because he’s a champion of progressive values. It’s because of his affable nature, his willingness to give away the farm when necessary, and his skill at trading horses.

        All good things. All things you hate.

        • farleftfagala says:

          While as speaker he wasn’t the primary sponsor of GLBT friendly legislation, during his time as speaker, the following passed through the legislature..

          ENDA (vetoed under Owens, signed by Ritter)

          Hate Crimes legislation (same story)

          Referendum I (disappointment in the election, but the legislature held up their end)

          Non-discrimination in public accommodations (signed by Ritter)

          So no, I wouldn’t say he accomplished nothing, and certainly wouldn’t say he accomplished nothing for GLBT rights, definitely no giving away the farm there!

      • BlueCat says:

        Nobody is against elections and whatever you are trying to say with the Dean example is pretty muddled.  So you’re for political expediency except when you’re against it? Not sure where you’re going with that.

        My guess is that what you’re mainly being criticized for here is being your usual sophomoric self.  

    • Car 31 says:

      Owens engineered the special session in 2006. Owens called the Legislature back, not Romanoff.

      Romanoff, as alluded to in a different post, was brilliant in heading off Republican efforts at making immigration an election year issue.  

      HB06S-1023 (Romanoff, Fitz-Gerald) avoided unfunded mandates, struck a balance between enforcement and common sense and, when introducing this bill, Romanoff created a middle ground that the more radical elements responded to (as opposed to the middle responding to the radicals).

      If your beef is with Romanoff’s moderate nature, okay, but your statements in the first paragraph are wrong.

      • farleftfagala says:

        And further more, what they passed took the wind out of the Republicans on the immigration issue, by taking it off the table, and what they passed was not some Republican monstrosity.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Bennet wasn’t even on the sidelines when this political hand to hand combat was being waged.

        Bennet reminds me of Will Shafroth with his Pollyanna attitude that we can all get along and if you just say pretty please in a nice enough tone, the Republicans will reasonably respond.  The guy should go back to being an administrator.  He has no experience or background in dirty dog politics.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          The way to be most effective right now is to speak in a bi-partisian manner while pushing through effective legislation. Lets see what Bennet manages to get passed on healthcare over the next 6 months.

          And if he is part of passing serious change in healthcare, then this primary is over.

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    of Andrew, the proud progressive.

    The “potential progressive” you are touting is a proud DLC Fellow–Class of 2009.  

    • davidsirota says:

      I say that not because of any personal “trust” in Romanoff and his decent progressive instincts, but because politicians tend to embrace ideological formulas that are most politically opportune. Though the Obama era of political sycophancy has convinced some to put their blind faith in the hearts/feelings/brains of individual politicians, the truism persists: Politicians tend to prioritize strategic/ideological paths that provide them the most electoral opportunity, regardless of what is in their hearts/feelings/brains. Put another way, politicians are first and foremost political animals (That was proven by the formerly conservative Democrat Gov. Howard Dean becoming the Progressive Champion Howard Dean for President* in the 2004 primary – and it continues to be proven in almost every election campaign). So when there’s a big Senate campaign where a major candidate has an incentive to run as a progressive, that’s good for progressives because the candidate will likely run as a progressive and therefore will both A) push the debate in a progressive direction and B) potentially give us a more progressive public official in the end (or at least one who has made his/her political future more reliant on progressive support).

      • Middle of the Road says:

        calling us names. That’s worked so well in the past, hasn’t it?  

        • davidsirota says:

          Evidently, you take discussions of overall principles and political dynamics personally. I might suggest you take a look into Narcissistic Personality Disorder – thinking everyone is talking about you personally is one of the symptoms.

          • Middle of the Road says:

            I expect no less of you than insults. Since you replied to my comment, I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to assume you were including me in your “reading impaired” crowd, now is it?

            Why are you so thin skinned? And how do you see your ongoing deplorable reaction to legitimate debate and criticism as helpful to the candidates you are touting?  

            • davidsirota says:

              Again, I would encourage you to go re-read my post and my comments. Saying the are a “deplorable reaction to legitimate debate and criticism” is very odd – as is the implication that I’m “touting” any of these candidates. I’m touting democracy – and contested primaries. Nothing more, nothing less.

              The person who seems to be “thin skinned” – and frankly narcissistic – is you. And narcissistic is name calling – it’s a description of something quite specific.

              Anyhow, I gotta run – I have an appointment back on the Planet Earth.  

              • davidsirota says:

                my typo – I meant to write that “narcissistic” ISN’T name calling – it’s a description of something quite specific: namely, taking a general discussion of principle and dynamics as something personal.

                OK – now I’m beaming back down to the Planet Earth.

              • twas brillig says:

                someone recently bought David a copy of “Malignant Self Love” as a gentle hint, but he failed to pick up on the unstated message.  

            • twas brillig says:

              Perhaps David is ironically offered that up to serve as an example of a non sequitur, another one of his trite and formulaic insults he routinely deploys with no apparent understanding of the concept involved.

              Another possibility is he actually isn’t totally devoid of humor–and actually he is a tremendous wit, and all this time on the blogs he’s been taking the piss by copying and pasting from a “randomized BBS insult generator” and watching the hilarious consequences. If so, hats off!  

            • EMRosa says:

              When one routinely throws unhinged tantrums you eventually learn to tune said person out. That’s why if he happens to respond to my last comment, I’m not going to waste my time responding back.

          • EMRosa says:

            coming from you, David.

            Getting back to the actual issue at hand, I must say, this post speaks volumes about just how much you truly know about state politics here–3 years in the metro suburbs or not. Not only are you ignorant about Romanoff’s history (have you actually tried talking to any of his former constituents who are progressives?), you also appear to be blissfully ignorant of how a campaign and/or community organizing works.  

            Regardless of what one thinks about the possibility of a primary–I’m neutral at the moment–I, and people who have lived in the state for years, can’t help but wonder about the pertinent variables. You know, facts. Who is Romanoff going to hire? Not RBI or the Kenney Group, I’m thinking. Is he going to file his FEC forms soon, and if so, when? (As a friend already pointed out to me this morning, 3rd quarter fundraising deadline is next month.)  How in the heck is Romanoff going to tackle the Democratic establishment in this state, while these questions are lingering and time is ticking away? Do people outside of Denver even know who this guy is? If you’ve met Andrew, you know just how much of a political wonky nerd he is, which is fine, but really, the guy (I’ve heard) was doing work at the capitol while taking a whiz at the urinals. Is that technocrat kind of personality going to connect with voters in this state? Prospects were doubtful when rumors started circulating about the Governor position, and that’s not even federal office.

            To be brief, a Senate race is very serious business, and these are all very important questions to think about before automatically assuming that all primaries are good.  Just ask Mike Miles. It was a costly and bitter fight that didn’t end up with a “progressive” in office. Oh, but you weren’t even around when that happened, were you? All I’m saying is be smart and try and think about these things. This is why a great majority of the progressive blogosphere here things you’re a jerk, whether you’re a successful “nationally syndicated columnist” or not.  

            • redstateblues says:

              Thank you for the insightful commentary on the race.

            • farleftfagala says:

              Mike Miles was not that appealing of a candidate to begin with.  And yes there’s a lot of unanswered questions, but I don’t think its fair to assume this is a bad thing right off hand, yes there’s a lot of serious issues facing the country so even a simple primary could have huge consequences, but it won’t necessarily be a repeat of that primary.  

              I also think there’s a lot of unanswered questions about Bennet.  Being unknown even in Denver can he really reach out to the rest of the state successfully?  Would he even be the strongest candidate against any republican at the end of the day?  Does he appeal to voters?  Can he successfully reach out to Latino voters who are only growing in importance with each election, when its highly publicized that he was some white guy picked out of know where to replace a latino in the senate?

              So while its difficult to say whether we’ll be better or worse off with a primary, I think its equally difficult to say if we’ll be better or worse off without one!  Do we really want to let our hopes for retaining this seat rest on someone so untested?  Do we want to allow a first time candidate to go up against one of 3 tested candidates who will have been further tested by their own primary?  Wouldn’t that be the greater risk?

              • EMRosa says:

                I know this Web site has written in detail about Bennet’s name recognition problem. I’m not trying to discount that.

                I do think you’re reading the Latino issue wrong though. If Bennet, as he has said on the record he will do, supports legislation like the DREAM Act and other immigration reform measures, it will be better. Not to mention the SCOTUS confirmation. Romanoff is certainly no friend to Latinos. He might not have officially had the authority to call for the special session, but he did support it, and even tried to come out in front of Owens with such an idea.

                Ultimately I think it comes down to fears over the possibility of infighting much like with Holtzman and Beauprez. If Romanoff doesn’t have the resources needed to truly defeat the Dem establishment, then what’s the point?

                • farleftfagala says:

                  But I don’t think Bennet is in a better position to reach out to latino voters either, Romanoff is well liked and very appealing, and not everything that happened in the legislature under his watch was anti-immigrant by any means, but if immigration reform and the DREAM act come up soon then Bennet could benefit, just as of right now that’s a weak spot for Bennet that Romanoff could take advantage of since he does have way more connections in the state

                • davidsirota says:

                  That is the question folks like you in Montana asked about Jon Tester – and what do you know, he’s a U.S. Senator from a far more conservative state than Colorado.

                  Again, this is classic power-worshiping – because the governor appointed Bennet, it means Bennet is entitled to a coronation. That is precisely the kind of sycophancy to expect from ex-reporters who pride themselves on being “political gurus” (even when they’ve never actually worked on a political campaign of any sort).

                  Again, it’s absolutely hilarious, if you ask me.

                • davidsirota says:

                  That is the question folks like you in Montana asked about Jon Tester – and what do you know, he’s a U.S. Senator from a far more conservative state than Colorado.

                  Again, this is classic power-worshiping – because the governor appointed Bennet, it means Bennet is entitled to a coronation. That is precisely the kind of sycophancy to expect from ex-reporters who pride themselves on being “political gurus” (even when they’ve never actually worked on a political campaign of any sort).

                  Again, it’s absolutely hilarious, if you ask me.

              • Middle of the Road says:

                over and over and it continues to be white noise to me:

                Can he successfully reach out to Latino voters who are only growing in importance with each election, when its highly publicized that he was some white guy picked out of know where to replace a latino in the senate?

                Pointless argument since the guy you are glowingly recommending is pretty darn white, about as white as white gets.

                Would you have been objecting this strongly if Romanoff had been picked to replace Salazar ’cause last time I checked Romanoff wasn’t a Latino.

              • Einstein's dreams says:

                and speaks it well enough to do interviews with Univision and Hispanic media.  He will still have to pass the issues test with the Hispanic community – and those are no more monolithic that the community itself – but it certainly helps.

                So if they do a candidate debate with an Hispanic media outlet, Romanoff will be the one answering without a translator. Think of the atmospherics on that one.

                And yes, by keeping those godawful anti-immigrant measures off the ballot, he stopped a lot of hate speech and helped a lot of Dem candidates.

            • davidsirota says:

              I still see no argument against a primary, other than, perhaps, Romanoff won’t have the political consultants you like.

              It’s pretty hilarious, actually. Having worked on a bunch of underdog campaigns – both in the region and elsewhere – these are exactly the sad, insidious insidery arguments that are always made. You would be embarrassed looking at yourself when cross-referencing your banality with what is always said in situations like this.

              BTW – I don’t live in the “metro suburbs.” I live right here in the city.

              Careful, Erin – your bitterness at being an unemployed journalist is showing.

              • twas brillig says:

                Good luck repackaging Andrew Romanoff as an “outsider” in your ludicrous quest for authenticity. A former Speaker of the House is not an outsider. He’s just a fairly recent insider who doesn’t like being on the outside looking in. I don’t really blame him, but that’s not a good enough reason to mount a primary challenge.

                This entire bitchfest over Michael Bennet’s selection is because he wasn’t insider enough to satisfy a few people who keep score. Andrew Romanoff’s great career checked enough of the “insidery” boxes that his selection made a lot of sense and became a common wisdom. When that insider common wisdom was frustrated by the Bennet pick, it was insiders who pitched a fit. Most got over it and have moved on.

                I’m sorry, but in this situation your usual “black versus white” sanctimony in a square peg confronted by a round hole. Good luck.  

            • Middle of the Road says:

              And very good questions.  

            • PolitianWatch says:

              To be brief, a Senate race is very serious business, and these are all very important questions to think about before automatically assuming that all primaries are good.  Just ask Mike Miles. It was a costly and bitter fight that didn’t end up with a “progressive” in office. Oh, but you weren’t even around when that happened, were you? All I’m saying is be smart and try and think about these things. This is why a great majority of the progressive blogosphere here things you’re a jerk, whether you’re a successful “nationally syndicated columnist” or not.  

              Things are not the same anymore as the depression continues to deepen.  You’re still living in the past whereas Americans have awakened to an unprecedented mess. We need change and we need to send a message to our politicians that special interests no longer are welcomed.

    • farleftfagala says:

      Its not exactly a list of Clintonites, seems like the DLC likes them because they’re successful democrats more than anything, or I don’t think the likes of Malcom Smith of NY or the Mayor of Salt Lake would be up there!

  4. Ray Springfield says:

    I sure got beat up for suggesting it in February.

    We’ll see what happens.  

  5. redstateblues says:

    Because we all know that Colorado voters just need someone who’s way, way to the left of how they actually think politically.

    If Romanoff and Bennet run as progressives in the primary, there won’t be a ruler large enough to measure how much they backtrack when they get to the general.

    What David and others are suggesting here–that the primary will make them both run as progressive liberals–is exactly the same thing that happens to Republican candidates in the primary. Then, when they get to the general, they end up having to resettle back in the middle, and the voting public sees that they’re full of shit and they vote for the Democrats.

    This is what I was talking about all weekend when I said Romanoff’s presence in this race could cause the eventual Democratic nominee to lose. If they both run as the pols they actually are–centrist Democrats–then all may very be well (I tend to think that’s what they will do, but that’s just my opinion.) However, if they do try to “re-imagine” themselves as progressives, then the voters will punish them for their lack of straightforward talk.

    Voters aren’t dumb. If a real progressive ran in this race, and won the primary, they could very well vote for that person. But if the Democrats are telling their primary voters one thing, and then telling the general election voters a totally different thing, then the Republican (Jane Norton, Ken Buck, whoever) will have no shortage of “Both Ways Bennet” or “Andrew Pandrew” catcalls to dish out.

    If there is to be a primary, let’s keep it honest shall we?

    • farleftfagala says:

      I don’t think anyone thinks Romanoff is gonna run as Bernie Sanders, but “progressive” gets thrown around a lot, so I don’t think its unreasonable that he’ll cast himself as the progressive between the 2 of them, even if he is not the most progressive guy even among state democrats.  All he would need to do in that regard is to support EFCA (he has a record of supporting labor, even against the will of the Governor) and supporting cram-down, and then just being ahead of Bennet in saying where he stands everywhere else, even if they’re close in ideology, Romanoff being the one pushing the issues, while Bennet is responding will make him the more progressive candidate in the race!  And the fact that Romanoff has a record to run on as Speaker in supporting many progressive ideas (though not all) that would also give him more ability to run as “the progressive”

      Bottom line; this won’t be like Specter v. Sestak, but I would still expect the progressive v. “conservadem” element to be in the race.

      • redstateblues says:

        EFCA is weak anyway, so I expect Bennet will probably support it when it comes to a vote when they get back in session.

        I don’t disagree with your analysis that Romanoff will be able to run as “the progressive” while not actually being all that progressive policy-wise, but it gets tricky because Bennet self-identifies as a “progressive” too for whatever that’s worth.

        What I take umbrage with are the people who are supporting this primary because they personally dislike Bennet (either Bennet himself, his upbringing, his family’s wealth, or his politics) and then saying it will be “good for Democracy”.

        Like I said before, I’m not necessarily against a primary because all primary elections are bad, what I’m saying is that we have to look at this race strategically, and it was going to be a tough race even without Romanoff coming in on, if you ask me, a weak basis.

        Is it so much to ask the people who run for office to run on their records, and not some fabricated titles that belie who they really are as politicians?

        • farleftfagala says:

          It may not even come up until a primary is well underway and if cardcheck ends up in it (since the house has to pass it) then it could make a difference having pressure from that end!  

          And I wouldn’t label Romanoff as some conservative either, the things that came out of the legislature under his watch were almost entirely left of center!  Like I said, he’ll have a record to run on that includes many progressive items, even if they aren’t exclusively progressive.  And he’ll be running against one of the so-called “conservadems” so by default more progressive members of the party may gravitate towards him.

          And I think simply having that accountability to the party that got you elected is understated, politicians will keep happy who they need to, Ritter doesn’t have a primary and so is free to drift further to the right so that he can pander to the folk he doesn’t think he already has wrapped up!  (disregarding the fact that they hate him anyway)  And the same is true of many primaries of democratic congressmen, a primary does a lot for your voting record, so even if we end up with Bennet at the end of the day, a primary will more than likely make him more accountable to democratic voters in the state, rather than just the “middle” and republicans!

      • wade norris says:

        and we can’t forget that politicians who are in primary races must answer to their constituents – i don’t want a person who only has to appear more sane the republican candidate.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          Then let Romanoff primary Ritter, which is who most of you that support a Romanoff run are pissed off with in the first place.

          Let’s face it–there’s very little daylight between Senator Bennet and Romanoff. This isn’t about the issues. This isn’t about being progressive. This isn’t about grassroots in action. This is about a bunch of folks that are still pissed off that their candidate of choice didn’t get the nod and that you were kept out of the loop by a governor that picked a guy no one saw coming.

          Since you and David love democracy in action and believe primaries are the very heart of that, then put your money where your mouth is and ask Romanoff to primary the guy that really does have a piss poor record with the Democratic base–Governor Bill Ritter.

          But you don’t love the primary process that much, do you? No, you sure don’t and you admitted in another thread that you didn’t want Romanoff to primary Ritter because it would be tough to defeat an incumbent. At the end of the day, that’s more of a pragmatic approach than a progressive one that you espouse yourself to be, Wade.

          Shame on you for your double standards.

  6. DaftPunk says:

    I listen to DS on AM 760, and occasionally the KOA fools too when my stomach can stand it, but the degradation of conversation when someone disagrees with you is pathetic.  This diary is an example, as was last friday’s discussion of medical liability reform as part of reforming the costs of healthcare.

    When anyone challenged you that malpractice issues effect the cost of medicine more than the ~1% figure cited by the CBO, you cut them off and snidely asked them what made them think they were better actuaries than the Congressional Budget Office.

    For a substance based discussion of this issue, I would argue that the CBO addresses only the direct costs of medical liability, and not the indirect costs of practicing defensive medicine.

    When I was in medical school not so long ago (mid 90’s), Appendicitis was a clinical diagnosis, meaning symptoms, simple blood tests, and physical exam allowed a surgeon to decide if you needed surgery.  Things worked pretty well this way.  Then someone discovered that CT scans could improve the diagnosis in a small percentage of cases, and became the gold standard for diagnosing Appendicitis.  Now you can’t visit an ER with abdominal pain and not get a CT for fear that in a small percentage of cases something will be missed.

    In modern medicine we have many great high tech tools for diagnosis and treatment, but because we CAN do something doesn’t mean in all case we SHOULD do it.  Fear of medical liability drives costs in this manner that cannot be measured directly, and has nothing to do with my skills as an actuary.

    Now, go ahead and accuse me from coming from another planet.  Your argument tactics do you no help among people who are basically on your side, and make you look like a petulant child.  To those who aren’t already sympathetic to your arguments, they will stop reading or listening as soon as you go snotty.

    • davidsirota says:

      Sorry you disagreed with me, and have some sort of issue with the empirical data I offered up – as well as the empirical data from the University of Pennsylvania professor who wrote the book on medical malpractice.

      May I suggest that what you mostly didn’t like was the empirical data which countered your anecdotal points. That’s understandable – data and facts contradicting impassioned feelings doesn’t, well, feel very good. But just because the data and facts don’t make you feel good, doesn’t mean that radio shows – or any media for that matter – should back off those facts.

      If you are looking for fact-free rants and dittoheads – then I urge you to start listening more to KOA. You’d be more comfortable there.

    • davidsirota says:

      Also, I’m sorry you didn’t hear – or shut your ears to – the long discussion we had on defensive medicine, and the very question you raise. You might have enjoyed that discussion. We discussed it very thoroughly and spent a huge amount of time on it. Maybe you weren’t listening – or again, perhaps you didn’t want to hear it.

      You can always podcast it – it’s up on the website in perpetuity.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Got a kidney stome down in the Florida keys. I’ve had it 3 times before – I didn’t need a doctor to diagnose. What I needed was major pain killers FAST.

      $2,000.00 later with the CAT scan, and an X-ray I had the pain killers & a prescription and was cut loose.

      Here’s the thing – I know my medical insurance would pay for everything and still I asked them to just assume a kidney stone and get me drugs. They wouldn’t do it.

      • Canines says:

        Because you were clearly displaying what they like to refer to in ER lingo as “drug-seeking behavior” (I read that term in an emergency medicine trade magazine, recently).

      • sxp151 says:

        I actually got some painkillers at first, but they weren’t nearly strong enough, and they didn’t believe me when I said I needed more. Then they did yet another exam and realized, “Hey there really is something there!” So they loaded me up.

        Drug-seeking behavior, as Canines says.

      • Canines says:

        Just found this Department of Justice pamphlet, as well:


        Common Characteristics of the Drug Abuser:

           * Assertive personality, often demanding immediate action;

           * Unusual appearance – extremes of either slovenliness or being over-dressed;

           * May show unusual knowledge of controlled substances and/or gives medical history with textbook symptoms OR gives evasive or vague answers to questions regarding medical history;

        Modus Operandi Often Used by the Drug-Seeking Patient Include:

        …* States he/she’s traveling through town, visiting friends or relatives (not a permanent resident);

           * Feigns physical problems, such as abdominal or back pain, kidney stone, or migraine headache in an effort to obtain narcotic drugs;

        How were they supposed to know at the hospital that you weren’t a druggie looking for a quick Vicodin fix?

      • DaftPunk says:

        …You wou would not be surprised by the gall of drug-seekers.

        I made a police complaint this weekend against a former patient of our practice who called me up lying about surgery my partner had supposedly done on her the day prior.  Her story sounded fishy, and I couldn’t find her in the hospital database.  The druggies and pill dealers don’t realise it (though this patient should have since I’d caught her lying to me a year ago) but Colorado has institutued a prescription drug monitoring program for controlled substances where providers and pharmacists can look up a patient’s prescription history to see if they’re doctor-shopping etc.

        She had gotten THOUSANDS of Percocets and HUNDREDS of Ambiens from numerous doctors in our slice of Denver metro in only a few months.

        How do you know when a drug addict is lying?

        Their lips are moving.

        w/ a history of kidney stones, an ultrasound would have been much more cost-effective.

        • Canines says:

          It works only if someone with access to the data base bothers checking if someone’s being over-prescribed; and it turns doctors into narcs.

          • DaftPunk says:

            …It allows doctors who are being lied to by drug addicts or drug dealers to put law enforcement on the tail of felons.  (Rush Limbaugh anyone?)  Or it allows pharmacists to alert docs that the sad story patient you just called in narcs for has 10 prescriptions from as many doctors in the last week, and you might want to investigate your patient’s story a little better.

            To call us “Narcs” is to imply we’re harshing on someone’s buzz.  Legitimate users of pain medication won’t be impacted in the least, but if it acts as a deterrent, maybe the next weekend I’m on call, I won’t have to spend a half hour in the middle of rounds on a busy sick inpatient service to investigate some lying sack of crap’s bullshit story.

            Or should I just have called her in the Vicodin?

            • Canines says:

              To call us “Narcs” is to imply we’re harshing on someone’s buzz.

              Here’s what I’m flat out saying (not implying): many doctors, unfortunately, have become apparatchiks of law enforcement, due to the War on Drugs.

              Furthermore, contrary to what you’ve stated, legitimate, long-term pain patients often find themselves under-medicated, because pain management doctors are scared shitless of being perceived as over-prescribing pain meds — and facing jail time as a result — due to the War on Drugs.

              Let’s face it: based upon what’s been cited in the posts above, anybody who legitimately goes to the emergency room seeking pain medication will probably be suspected of being a “sack of crap” and treated accordingly–until tests, hopefully, prove otherwise–due to the War on Drugs.

              • DaftPunk says:

                …If there weren’t drug dealers and drug addicts masquerading as legitimate patients wasting the time of busy doctors, the suspicions wouldn’t be so high, so the incidence of this behavior has as much to do with this legitimate suspicion as does the supposed “war on drugs.”

                I put that in quotation marks, not because I don’t think it exists, but I don’t think this is the best example of it.  I think the term applies better to the racist war on low level users that overburdens our legal/penal system.

                As for being an “aparatchik”, I’m sick of being lied to and having my time wasted, and I think this database is a great tool for determining who is a legitimate patient, and who is a felon.  The woman I dealt with last weekend should be in jail, IMNSHO.  

                Do you think someone who’s gumming up the medical sytem for legitimate patients and putting thousands of powerful narcotics and sleeping pills on the street shouldn’t be?

                • Canines says:

                  not prison. I’d like to see them registered with a health care system that presents both options.

                  That’s my opinion. You’re free to agree or disagree with me.

                  Don’t get me completely wrong. Frankly, I see where doctors are in a bind presently, under our current system. So, I very much blame the War on Drugs — especially in how pain management doctors have been the subject of witch hunts.

                  I think we both have very strong feelings on the subject, a subject that is certainly not free of emotionalism. I want to thank you for engaging in dialogue with me on the topic.

  7. Nomadic Politico says:

    The short of it is that voters, especially Colorado voters, don’t like having things forced on them.  

    Colorado is a place where people have chosen to live — whether they are natives who stayed or others who wanted to move here for the quality of life.  Our state constitution is open to ballot initiatives (despite all the problems it causes).  The conversation about the GOP primary shows the conflict that occurs when outside forces want to “help” choose candidates for a party.  It’s all about choice.

    So essentially, no matter how left or moderate Romanoff runs as, he offers the party a choice.  One of the key things that bothered a lot of people about Bennet is that no one told Ritter they wanted him.  Remember that open email line Ritter opened to send in suggestions?  Of course the votes weren’t released but it’s no secret that a lot of people said Romanoff…

    So, if Bennet wins the primary voters feel confident that they chose him and he wasn’t just chosen for them.  If Romanoff wins, it shows voters will throw off decisions made for them and choose for themselves.  At the end of the day, voters will be confident that they had their voice in the process.

  8. meandmyuncle says:

    The main people who’ll benefit from a Democrat primary is the chattering class, bloggers and the press.  Everyone else will have to get down to work to elect the person of their choice, which will divert from all the other important work we have to do, like push progressive legislation at the State House and prepare to defend against against initiatives from the right.  

  9. Ron-Westminster says:

    I have nothing against Bennet per se, I simply feel that Romanoff will make an all around stronger candidate against any potential Republican opponent.

    I like Romanoff’s voting record versus the almost non-existing voting record of Bennet which is not to slam Bennet, I mean heck the guy has barely been in office long enough to establish much of a voting record.

    I’ve attended and volunteered at some of Bennet’s town hall/get to know me as I get to you events and find him to be very likable but his often times wishy-washy stances on important issues gives me cause for some concern.

    • twas brillig says:

      I think we are seeing an extremely strong federal voting record emerging from Bennet’s tenure so far. There is a lot on the Senate’s plate too, so the picture will become even clearer over the next six months or so.

      Here are just a couple of examples from his voting record:

      1. Lilly Ledbetter legislation

      2. 4 million more kids in SCHIP

      3. Expanded hate crimes legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity

      4. Extremely public support of Sotomayor

      5. Supported the Recovery Act

      6. Increased protections for consumers from predatory credit card company practices

      7. DREAM Act co-sponsorship

      And he’s out in the open supporting a public option in any health care reform package, in the face of all this summer’s craziness from the LaRouchie/Republican axis.

      Part of a successful primary challenge will involve arguing that Bennet doesn’t respect of represent Democratic values. And I think a primary challenger trying to make such a case would have to be deliberately disingenuous to sell that.  

      • Middle of the Road says:

        It’s my line in the sand for any representative in the House or Senate, from either party. I’m ashamed to admit that torture, the Iraq War and transparency are not but the public option is. Those that work hard and publicly for it have my time and dime. Those that don’t have my time and dime…for their opponent.

        Bennet has my support, my time and my dime for standing up for the public option. Period. I like both of these guys a lot and I wince to think what a primary is going to do to State Democrats but if there is a primary, so be it. I’ll be working for Bennet. If Romanoff had gotten in six months ago, I’d be open to either. But he’s a day late and a dollar short (well, actually about $2.5 million short) with his ambition.

        • davidsirota says:

          Yeah, “standing up” means saying you are technically for it, but won’t fight for it because you think it won’t pass…that’s real “standing up”:

          Bennet said that he favored a so-called public option, which would provide an alternative insurance source for those who can’t get private insurance. “But as I stand here today, I think it’s very unlikely that the public option part of this will pass.”

          Now that’s real courage. I’m inspired. Really.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            If Bennet doesn’t force 49 other Senators to vote for the public option – replace him! Yeah that’s the ticket, insist that he not only vote as you want, but he must bring along a majority in both houses on each vote.

            Have you listened to Bennet? I listened to him today and his approach to healthcare goes to the systemic problems and he says anything he votes for will address those issues.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Same reasons both of you posted. He’s had time to show us what he’s going to do and I find it very compelling.

  10. Doppleganger says:

    Romanoff was approached by many power players on the left to primary Ritter.

    Romanoff doesn’t really want to be governor, but would really like to be senator, so he is testing the waters to see if he could slide these parties interested in a primary for governor in to supporting him for senate.

    Problem is state government support and hate for Ritter is not fungible with support for federal office and bafflement Bennet.

    Romanoff will take the temperature, find out the money is not there and then cautiously not throw his hat in.

    • PERA hopeful says:

      I don’t know the inside story, so I don’t know about your analysis, but this sounds more like testing-the-waters than really-running.

      I’d like to know what the “insiders” here thought about Mike Littwin’s story in the Sunday Post.  Littwin basically said that Romanoff got his knickers in a twist because Ritter didn’t appoint him, and that’s the one and only reason he’s running.  I don’t know Romanoff personally, but nothing I’ve ever read about him sounds like he’s the kind of person who would run for the Senate just for spite.  

      My mental image of Romanoff is a sensible, level-headed guy who is more interested in getting some good things done than in maintaining ideological purity.  I don’t think Sirota would be happy with a Bennet-Romanoff primary, because they are both pragmatic middle-of-the-road politicians and neither would start spinning left.  Since I’m a pragmatic middle-of-the-road Democrat, I’d be happy with that, but it doesn’t make a lick of sense for Romanoff to jump into this race.

      • wade norris says:

        i have it on solid source that he was to make a surprise announcement on the 16th of sept. but it got leaked at the capitol and to the post – he is not ‘testing the waters’.

        • MADCO says:

          Which is he?

          I can’t believe he’s really in until he puts up $2.5-3mm.   Bennet is probably already there.

          Romanoff has got a lot of cash to raise just to look serious.

        • twas brillig says:

          Please forgive if your pronouncements somehow don’t impress anyone.  

          • wade norris says:

            were from sourced people as proven in this past diary


            • twas brillig says:

              You mean the post that amounted to the “For Whom the Bell Tolls” moment for your “Draft Romanoff” circus? In which you name one person (singular, not plural) after incessant claims of the broad support behind you? And then all your claims about the broad support you were getting at the dinner completely fell apart? Thanks for the reminder.

              • wade norris says:

                that singular person represents the democrats in the state house as the Majority leader and he speaks for many people.

                so yes, he is just one person i decided to quote, one of many, and I figured why not go to the top of the list among democratic leaders rather than naming lots of names of others just to please bloggers like you.

                After talking to you and reading your tired attacks I wonder, as others do,

                why do i waste my time?

                • twas brillig says:

                  if you can’t keep your own statements from disagreeing with each other.  

                  • wade norris says:

                    agree, that I have no reason to make up names of supporters. if your goal is to win at a grammar lesson then fine, you win.

                    • twas brillig says:

                      you like to hype things and make vague, unverifiable claims, and then whine like a little girl when people call bullshit on you.  

                      You have a history as an particularly inept propagandist, so in that respect your abuse of language is worth pointing out.

                      Before you offer some sniveling reply, keep in mind that your recent purity trolling and your douchebag treatment of rsb warrants all that and more.  

                    • redstateblues says:

                      And has since reached out to me outside of Pols to make it clear that he was, indeed, being a sanctimonious ass, and I have forgiven him.

  11. H-Dog says:

    Why is is that smart, powerful, accomplished guys (women are never quite so arrogant) think that running for petty elected office (city council, county commission, school board) is beneath their dignity, and that, in their greatness, they don’t need to know anything about, like, actual government to be the Lords of All?  Bennet’s a smart, decent man, but so what? Give me a man or a woman who has paid his/her dues, sat through boring meetings, worked with neighborhood groups, and had to make difficult decisions as an elected official.

    Give me Andrew Romanoff.

  12. Middle of the Road says:

    It appears you need to clarify your update.

    I find it absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious that the same people in the comments who assail me for only living in Colorado for 3 years

    Oh, and one note: I may only be living here 3 years

    You didn’t move to Colorado three years ago. You moved here in July 2007. You have lived here two years, not three.


    I just knew you would want to correct your update since you are suck a stickler for truth and accuracy.  

    • davidsirota says:

      How do you have any idea who I was and wasn’t living with before that down here? Recall that I have family here.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        I’m quoting you from an interview you gave in June 2007 to The Denver Post about moving to Colorado.

        So you lied about living in Montana when you were actually living in Colorado? Which is it? You lied about Colorado or you lied about Montana? I mean, why lie to a major newspaper about moving? That makes no sense.

        I would just assume you added incorrectly but for the fact that you have consistently and continuously claimed for quite some time that you lived and worked in Montana during the 2006 election. If you were living here in Colorado, then that would be a lie, no?

        And to think I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you just misspoke.

        • EMRosa says:

          Good catch Middle of the Road. Now, if you excuse me, I have some power worshiping to do! It must be because I’m so bitter ‘en all, ya know? Good thing we have “nationally syndicated columnists” to tell us “unemployed” (Ha, ha again.) plebeians in  Colorado what to think!

          • Middle of the Road says:

            to you. He totally ignored the merits of your comment and instead focused on your current job situation? WTF? I feel like I’ve entered the Twilight Zone of arguing. 🙂

            • EMRosa says:

              That’s Sirota for you. If he can’t win an argument he apparently has to personally attack a 22-year-old girl and her supposed employment status. Classy! And…kind of creepy in a way. But no, it must be because I’m jealous! Seriously, I am laughing out loud.  

              • davidsirota says:

                I mean, this is really, really, really funny. Genuine comedy.

                And if y’all are taking this seriously, you really have got some severe problems.

                • twas brillig says:

                  Your comebacks really suck.  

                • Aristotle says:

                  is that you were caught saying something untrue and now you won’t clarify things.

                  David, let me ask you… how long will you have lived here by next year? Five years? Will you be a 10-year resident in 2012? That seems to be the timeline you’re operating with.

                  I personally don’t care how long you’ve lived here. You’re a registered Democrat in Colorado? That’s all you need to have an opinion about this primary. More power to you.

                  But you’ve made this an issue because you said you’ve been here for three years when it’s only been two. I instantly knew that was wrong because I remember distinctly that you arrived well after the 2006 election because you were a leftwing celebrity already. Hell, just click on your name and see that you registered on June 29, 2007.

                  So why don’t you clarify things. When did you move to Denver? If it was 2007, was it just an honest mistake that you said three years instead of two?

                  • Aristotle says:

                    … although it’s pretty funny that you wrote “2+” rather than “2.” I mean, you must really feel a need to state your time of residence in the maximum term, eh? So you’ll probably start saying you’ve lived here three years on 1/1/2010 even though that’s 2 1/2 years.

                    As I’ve said, I really don’t care how long you’ve lived here, but I do care how you tell that to people, especially since you’re the one making a big deal about “facts” and “empirical data.”

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      since he touted his credentials on every fucking blog from here to Hawaii, as a “true” Montanan. If he didn’t live in Montana, then he lied. If he did live there until 2007, then he lied in his diary yesterday when he claimed he lived here for 3 years.

                      Any way you slice it, when David is caught making an “error”, he goes into whiny ass, defensive prick mode and it explains why his credibility continues to take a beating. It also explains why he blogs here–because he has no audience at Open Left or Square State and he left Daily Kos after being called out one too many times for his assholish behavior there.

                      Let’s face it, folks. Colorado Pols is the last stop on the gravy train for David. The last place with any sizable readership in this state to whore his radio gig.

                      And I don’t recall that last book of his doing all that well. Yes, it made the New York Times list but it seems that I recall quite a few of his hardcore fans lamenting that it slid into oblivion mighty fast. When you behave badly to your base, you do pay the consequences and I think Sirota is going to find that out the hard way pretty damned soon, if he hasn’t already.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      that makes Sirota’s honesty the issue. My point is that he ought to feel comfortable in telling us how long he’s lived here in terms most people would use (e.g., just say you’ve lived here for two years – who says “2+”?)

                      He did live in Montana – that’s verifiable. Of course, if you want to present yourself as a “real Montanan” or “real Coloradan” you have to have lived someplace a long, long time. Which just goes back to Sirota’s credibility – why present yourself as something you’re not? Some close-minded dopes will harp on your short time here as reason not to listen to your opinions, but they’re ultimately showing themselves up to be fools because they can’t come up with a better way to answer an opinion they don’t like. But it’s legit to dismiss the opinions of someone with a record of misrepresentation without addressing those opinions on their own merits; after all, if the person making the case has no credibility, then neither does their argument.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      You said it much better than I did, Aristotle. As usual…:)

          • davidsirota says:

            That’s for sure. It’s also nice to have family in town – and have some things kept private from the rabble.

            Erin – be careful: your jealousy and bitterness is still showing.  

            • redstateblues says:

              And even if they are, they certainly didn’t take that into account every moment of every day, and related to every political issue in this state. Your self-important, bloviating, insulting, tone is great for radio though.

              But how long will you be on the radio? I hear that Jay Marvin is slowly but surely recovering, and maybe some of the reason you’re getting so bent out of shape is that you know that soon you too will be unemployed. Don’t worry though, I’m sure your job as a NATIONALLY SYNDICATED NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST will sustain you if that does end up happening.

              This is really getting old. It’s not even funny anymore. Thanks for ruining a great joke, ya douche.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              Do you get it that these are your homies, and you’re crapping all over them?

              This blog represents (mostly) the farthest left 10% of the Dems.  Why are you alienating the only people that might listen to you or buy one of your class-warrior books?

              • davidsirota says:

                Right – they are the “only ones” who bought the books…despite them both being on the NYT bestseller list. Great point.

                Here’s a better question: Why do about 3-4 people on this blog insist on hijacking the comments section of every diary I write, and using the space to vent their strange, obsessive, stalker-ish hatred for me personally?

                It’s positively hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

                • DaftPunk says:

                  I count more than three or four (You’d think a NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMNIST would know that numbers less than ten are spelled) people criticizing your bitchy ‘tude, and I’ve never commented on one of your posts.  

                  Consider that maybe you bring out the worst in people.  Perfect for talk radio.

              • Aristotle says:

                … this is Pols, not Square State. You’re confusing blogs again…

            • Ralphie says:

              But then you’re a professional writer.

        • PolitianWatch says:

          I fail to see why you are bringing this up. The topic is on a primary and whether you agree or disagree.  I happen to agree primaries are good for our democracy. I wish someone would challenge Bill Ritter.

  13. daunteblue says:

    I really don’t understand the flippant dismissal of Michael Bennet.  Bennet has a proven business and professional background, in addition to government experience. AND Bennet is one hell of a smart guy.  Romanoff is also a smart guy with legislative experience but he is largely an academic and professional politician. Romanoff would do a good job but first tell me what the hell is wrong with Bennet? Give Bennet a chance to prove himself first, especially since he certainly hasn’t failed.  A contested primary is great democracy but the shady maneuvers and bitter/hurt feelings are not going to help the party or our country.  

  14. DavidThi808 says:

    I told me wife about this and her reply about Romanoff was “is he the cute one?” Apparently quite a few women down at the capitol were madly in love with “Mr. Speaker” and that then carries over to their girlfriends & moms.

    It’s not a lot of people, but still a vote is a vote.

  15. redstateblues says:

    If anyone is acting like a troll in this thread, it’s you. So, for the sake of sanity, step down from your ivory tower for five minutes and have a real conversation with us.

    • davidsirota says:

      What? What are you even talking about?

      Jesus, I think there are some really strange people here. That’s what I thought I was doing – until the personal attacks came out.

      Look, there are clearly about 3 very angry, very passionate people in the comments section who are specifically passionate about not liking me personally (even though I’ve never met any of you face to face). Fine. You’ve made your points. Great. Congrats. You are teh awesome. You hate with the best of them. AWESOME.

      But to say I haven’t put forward substantive points or “engaged” is just silly.

      How about this: How about you step off your ivory tower and stop lecturing people – and stop letting whatever personal beef you have with me get in the way of a substantive comments section about a primary.

      Ha…that’s prolly too much to ask.

      • redstateblues says:

        Seriously. You need to calm down my friend. You take things more personally than anyone I have ever read on this blog. Almost every comment that disagrees with you turns into a personal attack FROM YOU. You are a public figure, people are responding to your provocative diary, so they use your name. If they even slightly disagree with you, or maybe even strongly disagree, they are met with being called names.

        You dole it out, but you can’t take it. What I am saying is that it’s not you personally, it’s the way that you go about responding. I tried to extend the olive branch to you earlier, and instead of taking my advice and treating people with a little respect, you fall back on your same old habits.

        You proceed to make an edit to your diary where you say that we’re all trolls, all the comments are personal attacks, and perhaps the most ludicrous: that nobody has come up with a decent argument against a primary. That, my friend, is simply wrong. There are many valid arguments in this thread both for and against Romanoff running a primary. That’s what this site is about for the few dozen of us that post here regularly. It’s not about winning and losing, which is what it seems to be about to you.

        So that’s what I’m talking about. I’m about to eat dinner and my wife is yelling at me to stop blogging, so I will bid you adieu.

        Maybe I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning and we can talk about it on the radio. I would really enjoy that.

        • davidsirota says:

          But as I said – I haven’t seen any substantive argument against a primary in here, or on the 3 hours we did with full lines of calls this morning. The arguments have been for one candidate or another – but no substantive argument making a really compelling case that a primary is out of line.

          And yes, please do call up the show. Would be happy to talk it over. And please identify yourself – too many people on this site hide behind anonymous screennames, and feel empowered, therefore, to say things they would never say in public. I’ll put it in a Montana way: If some of the people on this site ever said any of these things to my face in the exact same way they write them here, there would be a serious, um, problem.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            You talking about the “Montana way” reminds me of Chevy Chase taunting the bartender in Vacation: “Hey – Underpants!”

            You are the epitome of the effete, snobby East-Coast (Philly, right?) liberal that’s sheltered away and looks down his nose at everyone.

            You simply don’t realize how many people on this blog work their asses off and don’t look down on anyone.  They just have their own beliefs and want them respected, which they almost always are here.

            You waltz in here and tell everyone how stupid they are and how great you are and how they don’t like democracy and you’re surprised when they make fun of you?

            Get real, David.

            PS I’ll out myself and come on your show, but only in studio. The offer is there.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        I’m a Republican, but I really like most of these guys.  Most of them are really thoughtful, intelligent people.

        You’d have to look hard to find a poster that’s been more obstinate and nasty to a larger percentage of the folks here, and that even includes the four R’s that bother to post in here.

        I don’t hate you – not even close.  

        Your opinion is totally inconsequential to me because we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, but your chest-pounding about ’empirical evidence’ makes you more invisible.  Why bother to engage someone that’s awful to anyone that doesn’t acknowledge it’s possible for him to be wrong about anything?

        Good luck with your syndication and the bestseller list.

      • sxp151 says:

        That’s not a word.

        Ooh, I totally feel like one of the gang now! Let’s trash Sirota! BOO SIROTA BOO!

        Wait, what was the actual subject of debate again?

        Oh yeah

        BOO SIROTA!

  16. Littletonian says:

    there’s a difference between me and, say, Michael Bennet: Namely, I’m not trying to claim that I, David Sirota, deserve an uncontested coronation for the nomination for one of the highest offices in the state.

    Care to point us to any source that where Bennet says that he deserves an uncontested Senate nomination?

  17. PolitianWatch says:

    I for one am going to vote for him and I’ll bet labor after being burned by Ritter will also support him.  

    Did you hear that the Democrats stand to lose 20-50 seats in the House?  This is out from an eerily accurate statistician and Democratic strategist? This is because Americans are fed up with Washington politics.  And they are going to continue to kick politicians out of office who don’t tow the progressive line in my opinion. Democrats need to grow a spine or get out of politics.  

  18. Chef says:

    I have to agree with Sirota totally. Bennett is about as exciting as watching paint dry, and this would be great for Dems all around. If Bennett is unopposed, there’s no guarantee where he would stand on anything, since he has been so back and forth already. GO Andrew!

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