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April 27, 2009 05:51 PM UTC

Dems Agree: That Was Stupid

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Grand Junction Sentinel asked for a response from Colorado Democrats to last week’s “Homeland Security tracking wingnuts and vets” Janet Napolitano gaffe. Helpfully, too, since it’s out on the beet-red Western Slope–where only AM radio and Fox News seem to penetrate many canyon walls–that Glenn Beck reality-based antidotes are needed most:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano should have treated left- and right-wing extremists equally in a recent report, U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colorado, said…

“I believe the intent of the recent Department of Homeland Security reports on left-wing and right-wing extremist threats was to make our country safer and I appreciate the effort and the transparency,” Salazar, a Vietnam-era veteran, said in a statement.

“In the future, I think it will be more productive if the reports include less generalities and include more specific threats like those outlined in the report on left-wing extremists.”

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said Homeland Security missed the mark.

“The (Department of Homeland Security) report should not have characterized our veterans in this way, and I understand their frustration,” Bennet said in a statement. “DHS needs to do a better job communicating the challenges we face keeping our nation secure.”

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., also was critical, said his Washington, D.C., spokeswoman, Tara Trujillo.

“National security should never be a partisan issue,” Trujillo said. “Veterans who have fought and died for this country did so wearing an American flag, not the emblem of a political party. Sen. Udall can understand why veterans are frustrated – and rightfully so.”

Thanks for clearing that up, but unfortunately, the panic sale of guns and ammunition in Grand Junction does not appear to have slowed. Then again, it’s tough to reason with crazies once you’ve validated their paranoia, however speciously–you might ask Mark Udall’s staff about phone calls he still gets regarding this “weather modification” bill he introduced in 2005, an enduringly popular subject on the late-night conspiracy theory radio show Coast to Coast.

That’s enough nutter-bait, let’s see who the real Americans are on this blog.

Okay, that last sentence was also bait.


27 thoughts on “Dems Agree: That Was Stupid

  1. …that right-wing extremist militia types are aiming their recruiting at Iraq-Afghan War veterans…NOT that these veterans are inclined towards signing up in any significant numbers. Any evidence that perceived left-wing groups (e.g. animal rights activists) are going after veterans in particular? No. The criticism was based on a complete distortion of the report’s conclusions, and Salazar is merely pandering to those distortions.  

    1. We shouldn’t be calling it that, since it was commisssioned during the Chertoff reign, the work was done then, and it was only published recently after some delays due to wording.  Attaching her name to it only allows Rs to make partisan claims.

        1. You don’t need to go there; it doesn’t do anything for your credibility.

          The report was drafted during the Bush White House (source: InfoWars) and its release was delayed to “fix” some issues with wording.  I’m actually impressed the Bush DHS was writing this report; after they released the earlier report claiming that environmental extremists were pretty much the biggest threat to the country, I didn’t think they had the objectivity to issue a report on right-wing fringe groups.

  2. Just when we thought we were done with a government that distorts intelligence to support their pre-planned war… now we have to distort intelligence to fit the world-view of people we want to be all bipartisan-y with.

    Fact: Certain groups have a right-wing ideology, recruit heavily among veterans, and pose a threat to our country.  Whether Republicans are made uncomfortable by this fact is neither here nor there.  It doesn’t mean we should refuse to say so aloud.

    1. Earth Liberation Front (ELF) completely burnt shit to the ground with locally available accelerants.

      What is the evidence to simply state that …

      Salazar is merely pandering to those distortions.  

      1. 1. The report, which was not very long (which helps explain how I came to read it), focused on the recruitment efforts of right-wing militias, NOT the tendency of veterans to go along with those efforts. (See background in WSJ story here:

        2. Right-wing Republicans (redundancy I know, but…) distorted the conclusion by falsely claiming Napolitano’s report was asserting that the militias were successful and therefore cast aspersions on veterans.

        3. By objecting to the report, Salazar was effectively pandering to the distortions. He was not introducing any new evidence of left-wing recruitment efforts towards, or involvement by, Iraq-Afghan veterans, for example.

        If this was not “merely pandering,” then what was it? Adding facts, e.g. evidence that left-wing radicals were also trying to engage veterans? Refuting what the report said about right-wing militias? Or….  

        1. but it makes a nice simple short attack sentence like the equally misleading line that card check takes away the secret ballot.  That gets repeated in the media ad infinitum, too. This is the one thing the Rs are still occasional good at and the Dems still occasionally bite and apologize all over themselves out of knee jerk fear left over from the please-don’t-hate-me because-I’m-a-Democrat-era when the message seemed to be “See? We’re almost as tough, pro-troop and patriotic as those he-man Repubs”.  

          Naturally the Repubs ruled doing those years because why vote for the runners up when you can have what even the Dems are telling you is the real thing, the standard setter?

          Since Rs have no solutions to offer, can’t dent the Obama approval rating yet and the social wedge issues aren’t bringing them anyone outside of the shrinking base anymore, expect them to keep trying to get this old tried and true tactic working again: Weak unpatriotic, blame America first Dems hate the troops.  If Dems  go back to taking the bait, cowering and apologizing,  they’ll just re-enforce the R message.

          1. According to Outer Space Times, Colorado is a blue state: governor, both houses of state legislature, both senators, five of seven representatives.

            Is there some reason to imagine this will change anytime soon in the era of Obama?

            The reality, which Reps. Markey and Salazar seem to resist embracing, is that the tide has turned, Colorado has entered the Modern Era, and the local Republicans are in a day-dream (“daymare?”), imagining that they can return to yesteryear.

            Ain’t gonna happen–unless, of course, the Democrats reinforce the R’s message by voting against the president’s budget, or slamming a perfectly reasonable DHS report by agreeing with a wholly distorted, intentional misreading. With Democrats acting like this, who in hell needs Republicans?

            Memo to John and Betsy: Turn page of calendar. Get wih Program.

                  1. it may be smarter to leave Mesa and El Paso Counties to the R’s.  That way we can keep holding up the likes of Doug Bruce, Josh Penry, Dave Schultheis and Janet Rowland as the faces and leadership of the Colorado Republican Party.

                    That alone, should be a worth of 40,000 votes.

              1. or just Dems alone? I would have thought that (a) Democrats + “Independents” outnumber Republicans; (b) the trend is towards Democrats and away from Republicans; (c) election outcomes are of more interest than voter registration.

                However, I stand to be corrected.

                    1. has gotten better statewide for Rs since then.  Know that in Arapahoe it has completely flipped.  Was Rs, Us and Ds in descending order.  Now Ds (not by much) Us and Rs last.

                      Still close all round but dramatic increase in percentage of Us voting for Dems over last four years, just like everywhere else. Us can turn on a dime, though. It’s the Dem’s to blow. All it takes now is some smarts for Dems to hold the advantage.

                    2. dated July 8, 2008. I remember seeing an article in October that showed that democrats and republican registration was almost a dead heat in Colorado. I can’t find the article. If I recall it was in the Rocky? From July to Oct 2008 there were thousands of new registered voters and unf that changed their affiliation between July 8th, 2008 and October 2008.

                      redstateblues said that R’s were up 9,000 registered voters in the state. Is that current? What are the current reg voter #’s from the Sec. of State?  

                    3. to the Secretary of State’s website as of election day 2008.

                      I’m not sure if it’s changed since then or not. It was the most current report I could find when I was looking for the numbers the other day.

            1. The Colorado Independant reported active D’s out number active R’s:

              As of Saturday, Colorado voter registration rolls showed 876,498 active Democrats, 870,435 active Republicans and 789,200 active unaffiliated voters, according to the secretary of state’s office. Despite the lead among active voters, Republicans still maintain a slight advantage over Democrats in registration numbers when inactive voters are included in the tally. When both inactive and active voters are combined, Republicans have nearly 13,000 more voters, with 1,062,773 people registered, compared to the 1,049,912 registered as Democrat. The total number of active and inactive unaffiliated voters is 1,069,634.

            2. Seems to me that party affiliation when registering–not like government itself–is a trailing indicator. Time was (c. 1980) when the notion dominated that decisions taken on the basis of ownership of property were superior to public decisions taken on the basis of popular consensus. Short version: Reagan era.

              Now we’re in a new era. The page has turned. During the 2008 election, in CO, the Obama organization long maintained a separate identity from the Democratic party…even after the nomination was sewed up and we were into the election campaign. Granted that this may have been dictated by laws restricting the activities of the Main Political Parties–nor is this to say the Democrats of the Democratic Party weren’t pulling for Obama–but it’s also the case that some/many/a few/more-than-one Obama backer(s) didn’t identify with the Democratic party so much as with a candidate who seemed nonideological and dedicated to the proposition that we as a society need to find the best solution(s) to problems, whether they come from government or “private sector” (defined as owners of property, but not called that in case it would seem, well, overly left-wing).

              Given that the era of the Cold War is long gone, as is the accompanying era of America the Superpower (can’t have one without the other) AND as is the era of Capitalist Reconstitution that started with Goldwater and ended with Bush 2… might not the same be true for the era of Republicans and Democrats? Does party registration matter any more?

              1. The major party that first truly understands the unaffiliated voter in a comprehensive way (and maintains that understanding) will have longterm success.  Unaffiliated voters (or independents as some like to call themselves) are unaffiliated as a matter of belief, maybe ideology.  They don’t relate to the “party politics” of either party, and – I’m guessing – are conflicted by the fact that they want to vote independently but they don’t have the time (or don’t want to spend inordinate amounts of time) trying to determine the best candidate on their own.  The unaffiliated “party” is a strong and growing party – it is essential for candidates to find ways to connect with them.

                1. Unaffiliateds act as political ballast. If one party tacks too hard port or starboard (as the R’s did after 2001), the Unaffiliateds slosh to the other side…and put the D’s in charge until such time as hubris by the D’s causes the opposite reaction. Second, the infamous Ship of State tends to turn slowly, ergo these shifts tend to take a long time; ergo eras. There are lots of people who buy into the Blandings Castle Motto (R) “Moderation in all things except alcohol” without regard to specifics. Not so much ideology, perhaps, as being prone to seasickness and not wishing to ride on violently rocking boats. [The foregoing was brought to you by JO’s Cliche Generator, “Shallow Thoughts for Shallow Waters.” Just $19.95. Order this evening and we’ll throw in a free Swirlee Toilet Bowl Cleaner at no extra charge. S&H extra, of course.]

  3. that President Obama will most assuredly get Sporting Goods and Gun Shop owners votes next time around.  Wow, is that man great for business interests or what? He leaves no stone unturned in securing our economic recovery.

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