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December 02, 2022 10:26 PM UTC

Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Freedom is not of use to those who do not know how to employ it.”

–Sylvia Plath


27 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. The math is pretty self evident. The Colorado Republicans who won their elections are pretty far right. Colorado Republicans who want to win going forward, should move right.

    1. When the Republican party nominates the right wing crazies, then by definition the races Republicans won are won by right wing crazies. If the Republican party continues with go right, all they'll do is accelerate Colorado's transition to a one party state.

      And growing up in a one party state (Hawaii), the political sphere becomes both corrupt and static. It's not good.

      1. Well.

        I guess this opposite day and by having worse R candidates, Colorado Dems should help the Rs get better… by moving the bar so the middle leans right.

        Wait- I forgot to carry the 1.
        But Colorado D should get better opponents and have competitive races with them. Since D's have all the power it's up to them to fix it.

        Although you cite Hawaii – I'll cite Chicago. I live there for five years in college – the D primaries were all that mattered in city and the city worked fine.


      2. Shocking news for you, David- you live in a one party state now. Except for a few beet-red districts, Colorado is Democratically run, and has been, pretty much, since 2013. Would you describe your state as “corrupt and static”?

        The few remaining honest, traditional Republicans like Colin Larson and Kevin Priola are bailing , because their party really is corrupt, having  been wholly taken by the Trumpists. 

        Buck, Lamborn, and Boebert do very little for their districts, as they live in fear of being seen voting with Democrats.

        1. To the extent that Colorado has been a one-party state since 2013, it is an ideologically diverse one-party state. It has a pro-business governor who in any normal world, would be a liberal Republican.

          It has a couple of hard lefties in the US House (DeGette and Neguse) as well as some center left members (Pettersen and Crowe). It has a couple of center-left, pro-business senators. And the legislature has been neutered by TABOR, so it is safe to elect liberal to the General Assembly. 

          One party government doesn’t become corrupt overnight. As I write this post, I am in Mexico, a country which in 1929 inaugurated one-party rule. It started off so innocently and idealistically – the PRI was considered reformist and populist. But after a couple of generations of marinating in its own graft, abuse and corruption, it became what one-party governments ultimately become – an organized crime operation.

          Chicago is the closest comparison inside the US to Mexico under the PRI. In fact, the Democrats have had a longer run in the Windy City than the PRI had in the Mexican federal government. Does anyone consider Chicago a success story be it on crime, education, or quality of life?


      3. I'm not certain that there is a cause & effect relationship between "one party" states and the "political sphere becomes both corrupt and static" — especially the corrupt part. 

        One dimension of "static" — open partisan warfare. As Democracy Docket points out:\

        The Arizona state legislature is one of the most closely divided in the country. The Senate has 16 Republicans and 14 Democrats; the House has 31 Republicans and 28 Democrats. Unfortunately, there’s another superlative that Arizona earns — the highest percentage (81%) of the state’s Republican legislators worked to discredit or overturn the 2020 election. The state Senate focused its time after the 2020 election on a costly, fraudulent “audit.” The Speaker of Arizona’s House of Representatives Rusty Bowers (R) — a staunch conservative who dared to reject the false claims that the election was stolen — lost his reelection bid this year and was censured by the Arizona Republican Party.  

        According to Democracy Docket’s case tracking, as of Oct. 7, Arizona is also the state with the largest number of voting and election lawsuits filed in 2022. The Grand Canyon state is a hotspot for voter suppression legislation, often focused on improperly removing eligible voters from the voter rolls.

      4. You could also reference states like Texas and Missouri that are one party states and stink with corruption and cronies.  The thing about Colorado is that they have really competent Democrats running things.  Polis, Weiser, Crow, Neguse are all people of integrity and are service oriented.  Having the state dominated by one party doesn't automatically lead to corruption and decline.  When you have one party that is so dysfunctional that they view climate science as evil then you have to crush them at the ballot box and elect people who want to do something to mitigate the problem.

        1. "Having the state dominated by one party doesn't automatically lead to corruption and decline"

          True, but give it a few decades without any competition and Lord Acton's aphorism comes to fruition.

          1. Utah has had a Republican governor since 1985, a Republican lieutenant governor since 1977.  They have had an uninterrupted Republican trifecta since 1992 (as early as Ballotpedia reports).  Any hint that their politics are more corrupt or in decline than Colorado's? 

    2. those far right winners will make up 31 of 100 State legislators. 

      so, they can win — just not enough to do much to influence policy or appointments.

    3. Right or Conservative is not equal to batshit nuts. MAGA is batshit nuts 

      There are few real conservatives running anywhere in US. If the US had a real viable not nuts conservative party to engage then I would agree with your premise. 

  2. Yes the math is clear, most of those few Republicans who won their elections are in districts that are so red, that Satan himself could win if he had the R after his name, but then so could a Boulder liberal if they changed parties to R.

    I said most, because there were a few that were close (CD3!) and the right Dem with proper support could potentially win them.

    1. So my mom represented district 50 in Hawaii for 30 years. She generally pulled in 60+% of the vote as a Republican.

      She retired 4 years ago and in the two elections since then the Democratic candidate has pulled in 60% of the vote. In both cases against a very right wing Republican.

      Republicans in this state can do much better if they run their thoughtful moderates.

      1. “…run their thoughtful moderates.”

        Before or after they excoriate them in the party and the primary?

        Colorado D’s could get organized and efficient in the legislature and run the table for couple of cycles.  And I hope that’s what happens. I am skeptical.

  3. I spent much of yesterday at a high school speech tournament, watching leaders of the future hone their craft.  Debate rounds on the value of US participation in Great Power Competition and what the US can do with NATO to address concerns about autonomous weapons.  I find it fun to get a perspective about important matters that are NOT constrained by the daily partisan conflicts in our state and nation.

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Denver Urban Debate League would welcome assistance with the growing number of students competing in our post-COVID live tournaments [even if we aren't post-COVID].  The next one will be at the University of Denver's law school, December 16 and 17 — Friday afternoon and Saturday morning look to be the times we need the most judges, with Saturday afternoon devoted to a Middle School competition (prepared speeches and public forum debate) and encouraging the high schoolers to try a different event for them, public forum debate. 

    If anyone has an interest, I'll add a note when the specific schedule and sign-up as a judge is posted, sometime in the next couple of days.

    1. I would, but I’m moving again that weekend. I agree with you on the value of young people practicing fact-based civil discourse, and learning to recognize shaky arguments and fallacies when they hear them. I’ve taught and coached speech and debate. 

      Props to you for keeping the civic arts alive.

      1. Former Arizona Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe dead at 80.  He was pro business pro free trade, pro environment and, in his final years, openly gay.

        RIP, sir.  Your race was well run.

        1. He lived long enough to see his own party in his home state become completely batshit crazy with Kari Lake, Blake Masterson, and that pair of assholes, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs.  

          RIP, Representative Kolbe.

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