As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:
The last time the personhood amendment made the Colorado ballot in 2008, a number of anti-abortion Republican leaders either distanced themselves from it or outright opposed the idea because they said it went too far.
None of that seems to be the case with the 2010 version of the measure, political observers say.
As a result, all of the top-named GOP candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate have publicly supported the ballot question that would declare that life begins at conception. [Pols emphasis]
That’s a big contrast from 2008, when such top GOP people as then-U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer and Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams, among others, were outspoken critics of the ballot question that voters ultimately trounced by an overwhelmingly 3-1 margin.
This year’s ballot question, known as Amendment 62, is written virtually the same…
“There isn’t a big difference,” said Gualberto Garcia Jones, director of Personhood Colorado, the group that put both measures on the ballot. “It’s a technicality, but it’s not meant to mislead anyone or give us an excuse to do it again.”
According to the Sentinel, Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams–who advised his candidate Bob Schaffer to oppose “personhood” in 2008–believes that the climate has changed sufficiently that supporting it in 2010 won’t hurt Republicans. 2010 will be a conservative year, so the narrative goes, and it’s more important for GOP candidates to motivate the base this time around than they risked alienating the large majorities who turned out to oppose personhood in 2008.
It’s not altogether different from the argument made about GOP candidates rushing to embrace Arizona’s new immigration law, which we also don’t think will work out for Republicans at the polls as they believe: in the case of such a clear-cut attack on choice, in this demonstrably pro-choice state, voters will turn out to vote against the “personhood” amendment–and candidates who support it will have it hung around their necks. Played well, it could be just the motivator Colorado Democrats need to get their Obama majority back to the polls.
We know some of you are quite taken with the notion that all these GOP electioneering standbys are going to work brilliantly this time, like rolling back the clock to 1994. We’re not in the same environment as 2008, true enough, but to seriously believe the electorate has transformed in two years from 71% against to anything remotely close to in favor of a radical abortion ban–meaning a situation that helps Republican candidates more than it hurts–is pure faddish delusion.
And evidence of just how little they’ve learned from their defeats: less than we thought.