Penry’s Shame

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

If there were ever a time in the Republican Party for a Sister Souljah moment, this is it.

With Schultheis and Renfroe serving as the local public face of the party and Rush Limbaugh as the national head of the Republican state, the party has gone completely off the rails. Once known for his death grip on the message, Dick Wadhams seems to have been forcibly retired in all but title as the puppets of industry and the religious right have moved front-and-center.

There’s not much Penry can do about Limbaugh, but he is the guy who theoretically controls the message of his party within the State Senate. But instead of showing leadership, he put out a milquetoast response about disagreeing with Schultheis on HIV testing but defending Schultheis’s self-annointed position as the spokesperson for Senate Republicans.

Penry is no leader. He should go back to Grand Junction in shame. Saner voices within the Republican Party (they actually do exist) need to stage a coup. Extremists are going to get elected and re-elected. That is just a fact. But they should never be allowed to control the message, because extremism really displeases the 1/3 of Coloradans who are independent, not to mention moderate Republicans and Democrats. Even the extremists know that.

Penry should resign. And if he doesn’t, his caucus should make that happen for him before it’s too late.

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. WritterWrocks says:

    I say we keep these clowns in front of every TV camera and radio mic that can be found.  They’re a great daily reminder of what this country has dismissed as “leadership”.  

  2. Craig says:

    You have just shown the exact reason why a life-long Republican and former Jeffco GOP Chair has left the party.  The problem is that these “extermists” dominate and completely control the party.  Yet, people like you keep saying the “moderates” in the party need to take control.  BS.  There are no more moderates left in this party and even if there were, they don’t have the power to do anything.  

    To the few Republican moderates I say, join me, leave the party, vote Deomcratic until the neo-Republican party is bombed into oblivion and a new party of Goldwater can rise from the ashes.  It won’t happen in my lifetime, but the past two elections are a good start.  These idiots are using you “moderates.”  They call you RINO’s.  They insult you.  The prevent you from holding office at a party or elected official level.  Let them wither and die.  It has to get worse before it gets better.  Most of you RINO’s out there know who I am.  Just get out of the party.  It is using you, just like it used me for years.  No more. Destroy them.

    Finally, I am laughing about Wadhams not being able to control the message.  Seems to be his theme song these days.  See macacca.  The only message he could control is his own.  Welcome to the real world Dick. The world that you helped to create.  Fun, isn’t it.  Get out while the getting is good so they can’t take you down any further.

    • Republican 36 says:

      There are no moderates (RINO’s) left in the Republican Party and certainly not in positions of power either within the party itself or in elected office. The fanatical right has taken over the Party and unless an individual is willing to agree with every single right-wing litmus test on every single issue, they are not welcome as either a party leader or candidate. The Republicans are devoid of policy positions because they don’t believe the government should exist.

      Some have suggested that the moderate wing call these people out for their comments but one has to realize two things. First, the statements referred to represent core beliefs within the Republican Party. Renfroe and Schultheis represent the true beliefs of the Republican Party. Second, any moderate who stands up to these people will be told point blank to get out or the party. Dissent and thoughtful insight is no longer allowed within the confines of the Republican Party.

      And as far as Dick Wadhams goes, these people were in control of the Republican Party long before he returned, from a five year absence, to take over as chairman. He can’t control them and, if he tried, they will turn on him in one second as not a true believer.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Look at Hawaii where you have a moderate Republican governor and a couple of moderate Republicans in the House. Yes the wingnuts rail against them, but they are there governing and winning elections.

      The trick is to have a thoughful moderate Republican win the race for Governor. From that position they can then start effecting some real change.

      Of course, that requires winning the general election and I don’t see that happening for awhile with some of the GOP elected running off their mouths like we have seen the last couple of days.

      • Republican 36 says:

        I don’t know how the nominating process is structured in Hawaii but here with a caucus system literally one-tenth of one percent of the registered Republicans can control who is nominated. The Republican Party has been taken over by the right-wing fanatics because of this system and the fact we moved the primary from September to August. They did it fair and square and as long as they remain organized I just don’t see how one dislodges them except by voting for Democrats.

        • matchbooksandsarcasm says:

          how switching from a primary to a caucus would absolutely reduce turnout, but I’m curious, how do you see moving up the primary to August effect things?

          • Republican 36 says:

            The original intent for moving the primary to August was the belief of the Republicans in the legislature that there wasn’t enough time between the September primary and the general election to defeat the incumbent Democrat Governor (Governor Lamm). The unintended consequence was the decrease in turnout for the primary election which again helps the true believers maintain control of the Republican Party.

  3. bmenezes says:

    Once known for his death grip on the message, Dick Wadhams seems to have been forcibly retired in all but title as the puppets of industry and the religious right have moved front-and-center.

    Dick Wadhams, for whom public debate means referring to various and sundry fellow Americans as “scumbags?”

    Dick Wadhams, whose response to a public policy issue during an election is to threaten the shoving of attack ads up an opponent’s ass?

    Dick Wadhams, who in past election campaigns has relied on the exact same tactics of smears in South Dakota and Virginia?

    Dick Wadhams, who is such a coward that he never makes such attacks face to face with the target, but relies on media lapdogs to carry the message for him?

    What we’re seeing the past couple of days is exactly the culture that Dick Wadhams has fostered in the Colorado GOP: Demonize the opposition regardless of whether it makes sense or whether it shocks moderates and independents into voting against his candidates and causes.

    Opponents are gay? They’re an offense to God. Opponents want to AIDS test pregnant women? They’re facilitating promiscuity and their kids deserve to be born with a potentially fatal disease.

    That is 100% Dick Wadhams, my friends. And the fact he’s hiding in the shadows on this one doesn’t change that fact.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      But Dick Wadhams has always positioned himself as the lightning rod who can rev up the base while his candidates and electeds pretend to be moderate.

      And let me be clear that I am engaging in a bit of concern trolling here; I am not a Republican, nor will I ever be a long as leaders in their party advocate the death penalty for my very existence. I do find that I agree in principle with a lot of classically Republican positions, but the only home for those positions is in either the insane Libertarian Party or the big-tent Democratic Party, of which I am and will probably always be a member.

      We have our crazies too, even some elected ones. Not to the extremes that the Republicans have, of course, but that’s because the sane people are in control for the most part. Sister Souljah was on our side.

      I never thought I would see the day when I was pining for Dick Wadhams to be the grownup, knowing all that I know about Dick Wadhams. But then again Alberto Gonzales taught me to pine for John Ashcroft knowing all that I knew about John Ashcroft.

      • Barron X says:


        as long as leaders in their [GOP] party advocate the death penalty for my very existence.

        Unless, of course, you are an admitted serial murderer, which I would be unaware of.


    • Sir Robin says:

      From the Nuts and Boltons of the world:

      “The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks it’s a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” – here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly – “pick one at random – Chicago – is that a tiny threat?”

      Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause.

  4. Awen says:

    You have to wonder what kind of impact the lack of leadership by Penry has on his political future. At one time he was thought of as a serious contender for a whole lot of things: CD3, governor among them. Then he came up with that silly ballot initiative that went nowhere in November, and his political stock dropped. Then with his election as minority leader, it started to go up again.

    Now we have a demonstration of just what kind of leadership skills he possesses. If he can’t rein in the lunatic fringe of his party, how could he be considered for any other (higher) political office?

    • Republican 36 says:

      They may be the “lunatic fringe” in our minds but I can’t reiterate this enough. They represent the true beliefs of the Republican Party at this time. The “lunatic fringe” completely controls the party period. They are the party.

  5. WestSloper says:

    Notice how moderate and sane Republicans like Al White, Russell George, etc are lacking in party roles? The Right, now led by Penry, sits in the driver’s seat and all others are asked to stand in the back of the bus.

  6. AMeade says:

    Josh Penry shouldn’t be ashamed just because he chose not to censure his caucus.  Seems to me he’s respecting two legislators’ freedom of speech.  And I think he made it pretty clear he disagreed with Schultheis’ comments completely.  I mean he said this to 9News last night:

    I strongly disagree with the comments made about the HIV infant bill. As a co-sponsor of the bill, I believe HIV screening for at-risk infants is responsible and humane public policy. These children are, after all, innocent human lives, Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction) told 9NEWS in an e-mail.

    I don’t think Schultheis and Renfroe are “controlling the message” just because the news media jumped on the sensationalist bandwagon.  Maybe the Rocky and other newspapers across the nation wouldn’t be going out of business if they focused on real issues–like balancing the state budget–instead of drivel like this.

    • Aristotle says:

      Hmmm… AMeade, if you’re a real person expressing your own opinion, and not a shill doing damage control for your boss Josh Penry, you ought to be aware that posting the same thing to multiple threads is what shills do. You’ll need to refrain from that if you want us to regard you as your own person. (And no, you aren’t entitled to that right off the bat.)

      Welcome to Pols.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      like a bunch of fundamentalist stark raving idiots under the dome is now “micromanaging”

      Has he been to W’s school of management or something ?  I guess its’ not that important when you’re “going to be governor someday” he he.

  7. AMeade says:

    But just because I want to stick up for Josh Penry since I actually think he’s doing a pretty good job in Denver doesn’t mean I’m doing “damage control for my boss”–your assertion is a little ridiculous. Both these posts were one-sided (I expect nothing less from pols) and when I saw Penry’s statement on 9News last night, I thought his comments summed up how a lot of us Republicans feel about Renfroe and Schultheis’ actions and wanted to share it twice. Sue me.

  8. AMeade says:

    I’m just guilty of “crossposting”and failing to use the reply link. Wow, I had no idea the pols protocol was so rigid.  Anyway, I just don’t think it sets a good precedent for legislative leaders–Democrat or Republican–to have a litmus test for what is acceptable behavior at the the capitol.  

    And here’s the link the aforementioned 9News story.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      If a legislator is a murderer, child molester, etc. – how dare we have a litmus test saying actions like that are unacceptable…

    • ClubTwitty says:

      Penry, Schultheis, Brophy, Gardner, Renfroe…

      Thus you will keep ‘winning’ your primaries as you run your party–as a whole–over the cliff…

      They do truly represent what CO’s GOP has become–shrill, irrelevant, mean-spirited, and utterly convinced of their superior righteousness, just like the hypocrites and pharisees of old…

      Ironic, yes, and humorous, in its own offensive way…

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      In 2005 when the usual suspects used similar language (though not as severe), Governor Owens chided the Republicans for their coarseness.

      In 2006 when Jim Welker blamed “welfare-pampered” and “immoral” black people for the Katrina debacle, he was forced to apologize on the House floor and then not-so-gently invited by his own party to never run for office again.

      In 2008 when Doug Bruce kicked a Rocky Mountain News photographer, the Republican caucus voted unanimously (except Lundberg) to censure him.

      There is no precedent to be set. The precedent is already there. Penry is breaking precedent by not enforcing decorum within his caucus.

    • Aristotle says:

      then it’s spamming, not crossposting. That word describes posting the same thing to different blogs.

      Glad to help you learn the ropes, noob. 🙂

    • redstateblues says:

      Treat people with respect. It’s that simple. Don’t try to score political points off of making people out to be less than human.

      That being said, thank you for posting the link to the quote from Josh Penry that you were talking about. We usually have a “can’t link it, don’t post it” policy here. It’s sometimes not as rigidly enforced on people who post frequently because there’s a modicum of trust.

      If you’re here as a real conservative poster (and not a sock puppet or shill) then welcome. I think you’ll find that while the debate can get pretty heated, it’s a place where people who disagree can have a real conversation.

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