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October 30, 2008 06:06 AM UTC

McInnis Speaks out against the Good Old Boys that Hijacked the Colorado GOP

  • by: gopstudent

Even a casual political observer can see that there are many problems within the Colorado Republican Party.  As Bob Schaffer and Dick Wadhams face an inevitable defeat, Colorado continues to go Blue on every level. The NRSC has abandoned all hope in Musgrave country and John McCain will likely have to kiss our electoral votes goodbye while Barack Obama hums “Hail to the Chief” to a relatively easy victory on Tuesday.  Now is the winter of our discontent (to borrow a line).

But what happened?  In just four short years Colorado Republicans have managed to completely lose control of a solid Red State.  It would be easy to blame Bush’s policies or just a general swing of the public opinion pendulum for the transformation.  But as illustrated by the heated response to former Congressman Scott McInnis’ recent comments, the problem seems to be more internal and self-defeating than anything else.

McInnis’ comments were not a shot at Conservatives, but an observation of the facts and the situation on the ground.  The Colorado GOP has completely neglected to sway independent voters.  This should have been a relatively simple task considering that the Republican nominee for president is one of the more moderate Republicans in the U.S. Senate.  However, instead of taking into account the necessity to appeal to independent voters and even moderate Republicans and Democrats, the good old boys of the Colorado GOP decided to nominate Bob Schaffer and then run a smear campaign.  The problem is that while Schaffer and Wadhams were attacking Udall for being a “Boulder Liberal,” Udall was discussing the issues and appealing to moderate and independent voters.  And while the Party’s resources and Chairman were diverted to the self-serving Schaffer cause, state Republican candidates suffer defeats across the board.

Wadhams gambled by focusing Party efforts on arousing the far-right base and nominating his friend Schaffer.  This gamble has not paid off and come next Wednesday Republicans will be singing the blues in Colorado.  On the other hand, McInnis put Party above self-interest when he had the foresight to see that the battle for Allard’s seat would be contentious enough between Republicans and Democrats, without first dragging Republicans through a bloody primary with Bob Schaffer.  And because of his appeal to independent voters and his conservative record, McInnis would have had a much better shot at beating Mark Udall than Bob Schaffer.  

McInnis’ comments infuriate the good old boys because they are not yet free from their failing efforts to spin and cover their costly decisions.  It is time for the Colorado Republican Party to redefine itself and get in touch with mainline conservative values that appeal to more than just the fringe.  The Party needs to bring back the McInnis’s of the world and leaders who understand that there is more to winning than just appealing to the radical base.  So as the voters put the final nails in Schaffer’s coffin on Tuesday, it would be wise of the Party to throw Wadhams, Andrews and the rest of the good old boys in there with him.


9 thoughts on “McInnis Speaks out against the Good Old Boys that Hijacked the Colorado GOP

  1. I say that in regard to your analysis of the implosion of the Colorado GOP. But there’s more to the picture…

    First, we can see this happening in the national GOP as well. Seriously, when your Veep candidate is already looking forward to 2012 before the election is over, you know that a schism has occurred.

    Second, I question the assumption that Colorado is a “safe red state.” There certainly are “conservative” values* that I’d say a majority of this state’s residents share, such as government out of people’s business, fiscal conservatism, and 2nd Amendment issues come to mind. But valuing personal independence is counter to the social conservative agenda – if you really want government out of your life, then you want it out of your bedroom too. If you value fiscal conservatism, you look at the Bush policy of slashing taxes while jacking up spending with dismay and nausea. If you value your fellow American, you reject the xenophobia that has come to dominate right wing rhetoric in the past 4 years, from the barely-disguised racism fueling 90% of the anti-immigration movement to the disgusting Muslim-baiting of the McCain supporters.

    When you’re a moderate and you look hard at what the GOP has chosen to run on, you start voting a straight Democratic ticket, because what the Dems are selling today is a lot more in line with your values.

    In short, the GOP has abandoned the center (a point you touch on) while the Dems have moved to embrace them.

    Quick quiz: Which of the following liberal issues have been a major part of Obama’s campaign?

    a) Abortion rights

    b) gay rights

    c) gun control

    d) affirmative action

    e) none of the above

    Even with one of the more moderate ‘pubs running for President, the GOP as a whole has been digging itself into a social conservative hole and is only now realizing that they can’t get out. Contrary to what you assert, it would not have been easy for McCain to win over the independents this time. The independents have been scared away by the GOP.

    * These issues may include some that conservatives associate with their movement but are not actually values their politicians embrace. Privacy issues are a big one.

    1. The same thing has happened nationally that happened here in Colorado.  Republicans are still worried about “gangs of gays and lesbians who were raiding Mexican villages, taking away children, only to place them in single-sex households without the benefit of a firearm or the Pledge of Allegiance,” as House Speaker Romanoff once noted.

      Democrats, in the meantime, have been talking about getting some serious work done.  Most of those issues you point out will naturally fall into a position where Democrats are comfortable with them once a new Administration is in place, or (gun control) where we already are comfortable with the current position.  Abortion is the exception, but it’s going to be a long haul before we can get the anti-abortion folks to admit it’s sometimes a necessary procedure and realize that Democrats don’t generally think abortions are something every girl should have…

  2. You mean to use the phrase “Old Boys Club,” not good old boys. The Old Boys Club is made up of the powerful; the good old boys never have any, except maybe as a mob.

    It’s a common mistake, but you can now be one of the few who know the difference.

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