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August 17, 2007 09:21 PM UTC

"The Fix" On Colorado

  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Washington Post blog “The Fix”:

1. Colorado: The challenge before former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) became clear late last month when a liberal activist group — known as ProgressNowAction — accused him of selling his vote on the state’s Board of Education for a campaign contribution. Whether the accusation sticks is beside the point. Colorado has an incredibly well organized and well funded group of progressive groups that will be blasting away at Schaffer every day of the campaign. That means Rep. Mark Udall (D) can keep his hands clean, focusing on courting the political independents who will likely decide the race. (Previous ranking: 1)

Perhaps the really important issue here is that this Schaffer donor story is being noticed nationally, despite poor attempts by the GOP to dismiss it outright.


12 thoughts on ““The Fix” On Colorado

  1. Depending on who the Dem nominee is, the GOP might be forced to cede Colorado to the Democrats, in order to protect incumbents.  Did someone say “quagmire”?

  2. “Colorado has an incredibly well organized and well funded group of progressive groups that will be blasting away at Schaffer every day of the campaign.”


    1. those progressive groups focused on providing brilliant policy ideas, and supporting the candidates that would put those ideas into action. But the reality of electoral politics, independent of party affiliation, is that that’s neither the way we do things, nor a strategy that would be effective. Be the change, but don’t be the change unilaterally -for the same reason that rational people oppose unilateral disarmament: As Kissinger put it, extreme pacifism simply surrenders the world to the most ruthless.

      So what we need are bipartisan “arms control” treaties, in which both parties work toward an electoral system of offering positive ideas and letting those which are most attractive prevail, rather than a cut-throat system of getting your candidates elected by any (hopefully legal)  means possible. Unfortunately, we are light-years away from even taking the first steps in that direction.

      1. the bell does a pretty darn good job of putting together progressive policy positions.

        As for this bi-partisan fantasy land, it’s never existed and it never will. Why? Because people have honest disagreements about these issues. In addition most of these issues are important. Add those two together and you get passionate people who fight hard to get their guy elected and beat the other guy.

        I honestly don’t see what is wrong with people caring a lot about the issues and fighting out their disagreements.

        1. As I stated, I agree that I am espousing an ideal from which we are currently far away, but you seem to have either misunderstood or distorted what that ideal is. Since I made an analogy to an arms race and arms control negotiations, it is no more “bipartisan” than the Cold War was (recasting nations as parties). I am not referring to the elimination of differences, but rather to the elimination, or reduction, of the total warfare between the opposing camps, and a movement toward a true marketplace of ideas. Passionate promotion of disparate and competing ideas is implied by such a marketplace.

          To use another analogy, academic disciplines are arenas of passionate conflicts and bitterly opposing factions, but ideas remain the principle subject of the debates and conflicts, and the combatants win or lose largely on the strength of their ideas. In politics, conversely, the “win at all costs” mentality causes ideas to be partially displaced by “tactical political warfare,” focusing parties more on the art of winning than on the art of governing (or the art of producing ideas which serve the art of governing). I do not consider this a maximally efficient system for collective action designed to promote (or facilitate) the welfare of the governed.

          As I said, no reasonable person (or party) would unilaterally embrace the reorientation I have outlined: It would simply result in their own defeat. An informed electorate’s willingness to consider these dynamics, however, and hopefully to act in small ways to promote developments that favor shifts in more functional and efficient directions, do indeed have value. The future is a long and unpredictable road, one which will pass through many as-yet unimagined and undoubtedly surprising social and political landscapes. With that knowledge, extravagant hopes are nothing to be scoffed at, and the willingness to act in practical and realistic ways to promote those hopes is precisely what may cause their eventual realization.

        2. Honest disagreement on how to address issues followed by a compromise between the approaches. That served our country very well.

          I think one of our most successful times was Clinton in the White House, Gingrinch running the House, and blow jobs in the future. They dramatically improved welfare, eliminated the deficit, and had numerous other improvements.

          It’s not agreeing that is necessary, it is working together with the aim of improving the country for all.

          1. was a key player in both identifying the growing polarization, and exploiting it in such a way as to accelerate it enormously.

            That said, the political arena is a hard one to sanitize, because it isn’t just about identifying and implementing the ideas that serve “the nation” best, or even that plus the complicated task of determing the algorithm by which to serve the nation (e.g., Maximizing GDP? Minimizing the Gini coefficient? Maximizing security, literacy, per capita income, and worker productivity, while minimizing infant mortality and poverty, and improving health care? And how should different goals be ranked?). It’s also an arena in which many people, both politicians and constituents, cynically seek to maximize their own welfare, with little or no regard for the welfare of others. That’s one big part of the reason why different demographic and socioeconomic groups vote in certain patterns, and support certain ideologies.

            Once, years ago, an affluent conservative friend asked, “How can you vote for HIM? HIS policies don’t serve YOUR interests!” And, from the context, it was clear that she meant my PARTICULAR interests, not our COLLECTIVE interests. The competition of competing interests, not just the disagreement over what works, is a very big part of the political free-for-all, and, to some extent, a necessary and functional part. But I’d still love to see people strive to be a bit less self-serving, and a bit more committed to the development and implementation of GOOD ideas, independent of sectoral interests.

            Ah, well, welcome to The Planet of the Apes.

            1. I agree we can have very different goals and people will tend to focus on items in their narrow self interest.


              Even with that there is a big difference between working for a compromise all can live with (pre-Rove) and getting 50%+1 votes for what you want and screw the 49% (Rove).

              I’m not asking for agreement on goals or interests. I’m just asking for a process that tries to bring more interests to the table when hammering out a compromise.

        3. Either it’s very general statements that most everyone agress with but don’t say much about how to get there or they’re proposals that don’t seem very workable.

          Ocassionally one comes out that is really good. But that seems to be rare.

  3. When Boulderite Rollie Heath started Progressive Now along with Michael Huttner no one could have anticipated what a huge boost it would give to the Democratic Party. Way to go Mike and Rollie

    1. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that Jared basically funded the thing while it got going. He seems to know how to pick the good ideas, especially as it relates to Democratic/progressive infrastructure.

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