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July 07, 2009 12:36 AM UTC

Andrews: "Unbeliever in the White House"

  • by: JeffcoBlue

(Andrews isn’t known for his subtlety – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I was stunned by this Facebook message from former Colorado Senate President John Andrews. Where does this rhetoric logically end?

From: Facebook

Date: Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Subject: “Backbone Americans” sent you a message on Facebook…

John Andrews sent a message to the members of Backbone Americans.


Subject: Unbeliever in the White House

July 4, 2009, finds me filled with positive patriotism as always, but with a shadow of concern. Our country has had the occasional president who did not believe in the truths of the Declaration or the restraints of the Constitution.  But we have never had one who did not believe in the essential goodness of America itself.  In Barack Obama, sadly, we now have a president who is an unbeliever of all three.

I am confident we will defeat him and survive him.  Yet this is a somber Independence Day for me, because of the grave danger Obama and his personality cult and his socialist agenda pose to this land we love.  With this bad man in power, Americans face a new and deadly challenge to our ideals.  Let us rise to the occasion.


Host, Backbone Radio

Director, Centennial Institute

Former Colorado Senate President

That’s the whole message. I don’t know what he means by Obama “not believ[ing] in the essential goodness of America,” I assume it’s baseless Rush Limbaugh clap-trap. I’m fairly sure that George W. Bush cared far less for the “restraints of the Constitution” than Bush does, more unsupportable nonsense. We’ve all heard about Obama’s “personality cult” and “socialist agenda” from our Tea Party friends. And Andrews is certainly not the first person to call Barack Obama a “bad man.”

But a “deadly challenge” to our ideals? Since Andrews wasn’t trying to use metaphor anywhere else in the message, do you think he was here? Or does he really believe Obama represents a “deadly challenge” to American ideals? And if so, what do the “truths of the Declaration” say you’re supposed to do about that?

Where does this stop being flowery prose and become…incitement? I’m not saying Andrews is committing a crime, but this rhetoric seems very irresponsible coming from an elected official.


81 thoughts on “Andrews: “Unbeliever in the White House”

  1. He’s a former elected official.

    And whatever Andrews is smoking, I want some. This e-mail is especially incoherent–even for Andrews, which is really saying something.

    1. Andrews is a has-been. He’s on the radio because he can help keep the ditto heads occupied in the hours Rushbo isn’t on the air.

      It is a new low for Andrews, however.

  2. Because Obama is still polling very well nationwide. This strikes us as a completely senseless line of attack, particularly when there are other Democrats you could more easily latch onto.

    But then again, Andrews is a big reason why the GOP is no longer in control of the state legislature.

    1. It is exactly this kind of nonsense from Mr. Andrews that drove many Republicans into the Democratic column. Over the years he belonged to a prayer group, based in Illinois, which attempted to levitate mung beans through prayer; took the pledge on a website called the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thereby endorsed the complete termination of public funds for schools (K through college)and other just plain silly positions that have nothing to do with either traditional American or Republican beliefs even though he tried his best to dress them up as a return to American traditions. Mindless ideology with very little basis in our history.

      Beyond that, there is an arrogance running through his statement. Within his statement is the belief that only he can define America, that only he knows what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution stand for.

      In relaiton to policy, he like many Republicans today are utterly devoid of factual basis for their opinions. The only thing left is their baseless ideology. To people like Mr. Andrews facts are useless things to be ignored. If you don’t have any facts, then to people like him the only thing left is to call President Obama names like “socialist,” a “deadly challenge,” and a “bad man.”

      More importantly and by far most disturbing is the tone this sets for people who may believe this nonsense. It is empowering them and giving them the endorsement to do things they shouldn’t do. Bottom line: Mr. Andrews should be ashamed.    

      1. I wish I could rest with the notion that it’s arrogance alone that is running through this statement, and I am surprised and a little stunned that no one so far has raised the obvious issue of racism.  These guys are the legacy of a Klan controlled Denver in the 1920s, and I don’t need an historical thesaurus to know that “good” and “bad” are defined in terms of “white” and “black” in this canty rant!

        Maybe no one wants to admit this down in Denver, but take a walk along a rural county road anywhere else in the state, or in a remote campground in the hills, and its clear that for most of the extreme opposition to Obama, the “deadly challenge” is not a “bad” man in the White House, it’s a “black” man in the White House.

        Andrews deserves to spend his patriotic holidays “tarred and feathered” for this sort of rant, and we should all look back to the father of Conservatism, Edmund Burke, for our own talking points on this one:  “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”

        1. While President of the State Senate, Andrews actually got the moniker “klukker john”.

          He earned it. What he’s doing now is pandering to the same base (mostly old as in 65 plus but some younger whites as well. Rurals mainly) with a hate message that keeps him employed and advances his pure, flat out dislike of non whites. Add to that all his other “phobes” and you know why he was and is “klukker john”.

          To people like Andrews, a black man as President of the United States is blasphemy, I tell you, blasphemy!!!! Add to that the fact the President’s popular, he’s effective, and his agenda’s moving forward, and the resentment goes to boil.

          Really, that facebook spew is not remarkable or unusual. This guy says stuff like that all the time. Ever listen to 710? That’ll give you an education. These people ain’t conservatives, pal. They’re haters.  

    2. If memory serves, Andrews started the Independence Institute. It’s now Caldara’s bunch, and they’re a montage of anti-tax, anti- immigrant, anti-government (unless it’s red) and mostly anti-Obama folks that eat up Andrews’ pablum like it’s mother’s milk.

      Andrews has Peck-Corry, Armstrong, and about all the institute’s yappers as guests, guest hosts, and “contributors”. The rhetoric is about this nasty every weekend.

      I’m thinking the same cult that listens to “backbone radio” listens to cunny bob newman and rima as well.


  3. These noise makers are going to incite someone to violence. I just have to wonder how many of them care about that being a possible outcome.

    1. particularly when he uses rhetoric like …with this bad man in power

      All kidding aside, that’s just kind of crazy talk. And no, I don’t think this is incitement, to answer the question posed in the diary. I do, however, think it is irresponsible and over the top rhetoric that is designed to divide folks, with the usual flare for fear and drama thrown in for good measure.

    2. Deadly challenge?  We need to rise to the occasion?  Just what the hell is that supposed to mean.  

      The only thing I can think of is that this nut job thinks we need to get rid of Obama and not just in the next election.  

      Is he suggesting a coup or is he suggesting an assassination?  Seems like he’s suggesting something. Of course there isn’t a shred of evidence that Obama isn’t a thoroughly patriotic “believing” American.  

      Andrews has gone over the edge and he shouldn’t be getting published in any reputable publications anymore, certainly not in the Denver Post.

      1. Is it irresponsible? Sure. Do I think that Andrews is encouraging violence in any way? Absolutely not.

        I think the only thing John Andrews is guilty of is having terrible rhetorical skills.

        He’s angry, but he’s not inciting violence.

        1. isn’t that what it might sound like to a certain element? Haven’t there been enough nasty racist “jokes” sent to the e-mail lists of prominent Republican officials?   That’s why it’s so irresponsible and why he should lose his job with the Post. We don’t need to encourage anymore of the kind of “patriotism’ that leads to murder, as has so recently occured courtesy of the anti-abortion fringe.

    3. Conservative cop-killers and doctor-killers are running rampant.

      They are very unhappy with this outcome though, since it’s only happened a couple times.

  4. another apology tour…in Russia?  Do you think Obama will bow again?  What’s going to happen first..10% unemployment or a foreign policy disaster from like North Korea?

    1. What did President Obama say or do that can be construed as an apology to Russia. In a more general sense, isn’t it polite to apologize if we did something wrong.

      Second, what specifically do you think our President should do about North Korea?  Do you want a naval blockade, bombing or should we land our army in North Korea?

      Please be specific.

      1. Yep, it’s true, North Korea fired test shots back in ’06, I think. Uncle Awol, shooter, and rummy all threatened, then cut a deal.    

    2. I guess I missed that. Or maybe you missed it when he got rave reviews both here and abroad for his diplomacy during his visits overseas.

      You know, I’m sure you can find plenty of legitimate things to be concerned about regarding Obama, like his economic policies, for example. Do you think folks might take what you have to say more seriously, if you focus on tangible, legitimate issues and lay off the petty bullshit that seems to be the backbone of most of your comments?  

    3. who has never learned the definition of “diplomacy”.  There are occasions when speaking with your enemy is in your best interests.  We call it the adult approach to international relations as opposed to cherry picking facts to manipulate peoples fears to start unnecessary wars for greed.

      Of course anything that smacks of a more peaceful world through global cooperation must send shivers of fear through those who hope Obama fails in his position as president of this great country.  It’s fear that he will succeed and we will all enjoy a peaceful and prosperous world that has their hate meter red lining.  If he succeeds then their victim/terrified approach to dealing with the rest of the world is kaput.  “How can we promote war and torture if Obama is working with the rest of the world to create more stable relations”?

    4. He’s been very strong on American interests and very honest about facing facts, including some of the mistakes our government has made.

      Insisting that the US has never made a mistake isn’t strong and patriotic. It’s childish and arrogant, like former President GW Bush, and does us a whole lot more harm than good.

      States, like individuals, need to act like grown ups and be led by grown ups.  Obama is a grown up.  I personally thank God every day that we ho longer have, as leader of the US and the free world, a stunted adolescent, dry drunk cheerleader.

  5. do to keep from heading for the hills to form the Brokeback Militia. How strong of him.

    But seriously, the vaguely ominous and apocalyptic rhetoric, combined with allusions to violence, is deeply irresponsible.

    While this doesn’t characterize nearly all of the Republican rhetoric and opposition since January, it seems there is a contest among the radio talking head set to out-reactionary each other in a quest for some kind of strange legitimacy. It is becoming increasingly disturbing.

    1. who have informed me they are ready to “take up arms” against the “socialist” in the White House. Out here in the blinding redness that is Mesa County, there is, potentially, a small army of nutcases who are as wound up as John Andrews,whose words, I believe ARE intended to incite.

      These bad boys are armed, angry, and delusional. I know I sound like an alarmist…it’s because I am convinced the hatred these people feed on has reached a very dangerous level. A little time spent leaning on the counter at one of our local gun stores will convince you.


  6. the desperation of those on the extreme right whose agenda has been summarily rejected in the past election.

    Further demonstrates how little respect he has for the American voter who overwhelmingly elected this person who, “…does not believe in the essential goodness of America.”

    Andrews is a tired, bitter old man.  

  7. You are on the wrong side of Reason, the wrong side of Good Will, the wrong side of Human Consciousness, and the wrong side of History. While I am not personally inclined to invoke God and the Devil in most political debates, I would like to point out that that angel you, in the throes of your delusions, have your arm around, actually has a pitchfork in his hand.

    The endeavor of confronting the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities we individually and collectively face, in order to improve our lives and the lives of generations to come, is daunting enough without having an army of organized ignorance massed across the line, battling zealously against all of the assets that humans bring to bear, and in vigorous support of all of the liabilities that encumber us.

    Please, if you are unwilling or unable to join the effort of reasonable people of good will to arrange our lives to the best of our ability, then just get the hell out of the way.

        1. there are few things less “succinct” than repeating the same tired old attack at every opportunity (which, for you, is every time I post, whether a long post or one of moderate length such as the one above).

          Insatiable antagonism is nothing to be proud of. It tends to reflect more poorly on the one so obsessed than on the target of his obsession. You might want to think about giving it a rest.

          1. You’d better hire a real hardass to run your campaign (and keep you in line), because your message control sucks.

            I poke you in the eye once, and that’s all it takes for you to go off message.

            Your opponent, whoever it is, will kick your ass in debates because all he has to do is bait you, as I have done, and you’ll get flustered.

            Every little dribble of verbal diarrhea you issue here is a gold mine of opposition research to your eventual opponent.  All he needs is enough money to buy enough NoDoz for his staff to go though your posts.

            In politics, less is more.

            1. I just watched “The Princess Bride” for the second time in two days with my daughter. One of the characters keeps saying “Inconceivable!” and another eventually says, “You keep saying that word. I do not think that it means what you think it means.”

              I don’t think your unhealthy and remarkably hostile obsession with me, or my pointing it out to you, means what you think it means.

                1. I can grant you all of your assertions. As I’ve said before, I’m not running a campaign to satisfy your political archetypes. My motives for posting here are obvious: I enjoy it. I enjoy engaging in political discussions and in sharing my analyses.

                  I don’t need to defend my participation here in terms of how well it serves my campaign. Choices which are detrimental to my campaign are the concern of those who have an interest in my campaign’s success, and choices which are advantageous to my campaign are the concern of those who have an interest in my campaign’s failure. It is transparently disingenuous of someone who so frequently expresses such hostility toward me to feign concern for choices which are detrimental to my campaign.

                  I’m something you don’t seem to understand: A person who is simply what he is. That seems to offend you. We both (all) know that if you have any preference regarding my political fortunes, it’s that I lose my race.

                  So all of your advice, all of these points you imagine that you are scoring against me, all of these “pokes in the eye,” are nothing more than expressions of empty hostility. You insist that it is against my political interests not to ignore them. You may be right. But who cares? Certainly not you.

                  I’m engaging in a political experiement. I’m exploring the possibility of someone like me, the complete package of positive and negative qualities, laid out in plain view, winning an election on the merits.

                  The question is: What prevails in the end, shallow and empty form (such as our friend Mr. Andrews so vividly exemplifies), or clear and undisguised substance? You’re certain that it is the former (though you may tap-dance now to redefine your position as the latter). You may be right.

                  But how I run my campaign is my choice, certainly not the choice of someone who holds only ill-will toward me.

            2. Steve’s right, Ralphie – you’re antagonized, for whatever reason. You’ve picked this bone so often that it’s gotten tiresome for everyone.

              Steve is who he is. I’m a fan of “less is more” myself, and I’m guilty of skimming through, or even skipping past, his posts. (I also read some all the way through. It depends on my interest level and my mood.) But he wants to give the full account each time, every time. Just let him.

              1. I’m not antagonized at all.  I just like the reaction when I poke him in the eye.

                Actually, I hope he wins.  His district could use a Democrat.

                But he needs some seasoning, you know?

                1. Or something like that.  Or possibly something a bit more robust: garlic, black pepper, sea salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, and maybe some coriander…

                  Hmm – maybe not.  Just don’t tenderize him too much, ‘kay?

                2. When and how did it fall to you to decide what I need, and to insist on providing it? It is generally good advice that those who feel they have a service to offer either refrain from forcing that service on others against their will, or impose it only on those with whom they are intimate enough to justify such imposition (e.g., “an intervention”). Your insistence fails on both accounts.

                  It was a nice back-peddle, trying to dress up aggression as virtue, and if its success facilitates the end of this tedious need of yours, then I wish it all the success in the world.

                  1. Not that he would care, I’d bet. He could put his eye out with that. But you’re not doing yourself any good.

                    Remember the adage about apologizing for a long letter, because there wasn’t time to write a short one.

                    Best of luck in your campaign.

                    1. If you two don’t stop it this instant we’re turning the car around and going home!

                    2. But we pick on politicians all the time here on Pols.  Any and all politicians.

                      By declaring his candidacy for office, Harvey has made himself a public figure.  He doesn’t get a free pass.

                      He’s fair game, same as Obama, Bennet, Salazar, Penry, Gardner, McInnis, or any other politician you care to mention.

                      I’m not going away.

                    3. …doesn’t mean you should

                      (in the vein of obvious mom-isms that people seem to forget)

                    4. but doesn’t work on me.  My mom’s been dead since 1994.  I’m on my own now.  And used to it.

                      No politician deserves a free pass.  They should all earn their way to office.

                      Thanks anyway, Jamba.  Bless you.

                    5. Because this arbitrary hostility (based, as you admitted not long ago, on my discourtesy of making you feel inferior) all began when I recently announced my candidacy….

                      Not, for instance, during the first “polster of the months,” long before, when I noticed your first expression of it, nor the many times since.

                      It has nothing to do with “politicians” being fair game, Ralphie: It has to do with those who don’t like being reminded of their inadequacies lashing out at those who don’t share them. It’s an old, old story, and one which isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

                      But, in all sincerity, I have no hard feelings toward you. If you want to start anew, in a different tone, the invitation always stands. While I won’t let anyone obscure demonstrable truths with their self-serving fictions, there is no malice in it on my part, and no grudges held. I’d be happy to buy you a beer anytime, and laugh at our shared folly.

                    6. Because this arbitrary hostility (based, as you admitted not long ago, on my discourtesy of making you feel inferior)

                      Um, Stevie, you make ME feel inferior?


                      I think the quote was about making voters feel inferior.  No way you can make ME feel inferior.

                      What’s your MENSA number, by the way?

                    7. 1) You responded to a reply of mine that apparently cut too close to the bone by saying “Nobody likes a smart-ass. While you’re demonstrating your expertise, you’re making the voters feel inferior.” (Kind of like “I have a friend with a problem…).

                      2) Your favorite complaint, so essential to your concerns about me that it bore repeating at least three times (despite it being an utterly unimaginative phrase), was that I “can’t say ‘good morning’ in two words.” In other words, you were annoyed that my posts didn’t achieve the perfection represented by that phrase, the perfection of being short, devoid of content, and utterly unintimidating.

                      3) So, my posts, that are so incredibly offensive to you that you have to comment on nearly every one, whether long or short, because I’m a “smart-ass” who “demonstrates his expertise” with posts that are “too intimidating” (to others, of course), and aren’t enough like the phrase “good morning” for your taste (which, coincidentally, is also notable for being utterly non-intimidating).

                      I’m sure it’s all just a big coincidence, and that all of your tap-dances explaining away your obsessive hostility (all self-evidently dishonest: That it’s because I’m a candidate, that it’s not because you are in any way antagonized but just having fun, yada yada yada) don’t disguise any unflattering explanation for your otherwise inexplicably and exaggeratedly hostile behavior toward someone who had never addressed a single comment to you until that behavior began.

                      My mistake, clearly. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

                    8. The appearance to the contrary, including your obsessive need to bring me down which coincidentally seems to embue those words with some other meaning, is just a mistake that others might make. Not me, I assure you. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you.

                    9. 1) your way-over-the-top obsession with taking me down a notch, including your use

                      of the diminuitive when addressing me,

                      2) your need to disguise, from yourself and others, whatever it is that is motivating this obsession.

                      3) your own statement that I’m a “smartass” who “intimidates” people,

                      4) your frequent repetition of the fact that the thing that offends you most about me is that my posts aren’t short and inoccuous enough,

                      5) your desperate, nervous response to my pointing this out (“hahahahaha,” and an insecure playground challenge to compare “mensa numbers!”)


                    10. you do recognize, don’t you, that responding to my suggestion with “you make ME feel inferior? Hahahahahahahaha!” is pretty strongly indicative of the accuracy of what you are refuting, right?

                      Again, you know that you’re oozing self-confidense (“hahahahahaha”), and I know that you’re oozing self-confidense (wink, wink), and we all know that you’re just a suave as can be with your completely “unantagonized” need to “poke a stick in my eye to see the reaction” every time I post. Nobody is deceived by the appearance of a deeply petty urge to bring someone else down (who, of course, you are utterly unintimidated by), because it’s just too obvious that you have no reason to succumb to such an urge. But, gee, I hope everyone else knows it too! I’d hate to see people get the wrong impression about you.

        2. Think of it as Cliff’s Notes for Colorado Pols.

          As an editorial aside, I should note that the editor is in definite agreement with He Who Was Paraphrased.  Mr. Andrews is a yutz, is not helping, and should go home…

      1. of why fewer words aren’t always better. I think it’s more useful to state what it is about someone’s position that is offensive, rather than save words by merely being offensive in return.

        1. Your second paragraph is a bit more expressive than my paraphrase of it.  Here’s a re-edit:

          Dear Mr. Andrews:  You are a yutz.  We have enough problems without you trying to “help”.  Go home.  That is all.


  8. I’m sorry but I don’t see why this guy gets any attention. His writing is at the level of a 2nd grader and his logical reasoning is that of a pre-schooler.

    We should treat him as we would anyone who is mentally incompetent and just smile, pat him on the head, and say “that’s nice John” when he spouts off some random words.

    1. if he weren’t basically the heart and soul of Colorado’s modern Republican Party. And that would be true even if he weren’t Bill Armstrong’s bag man.

    2. “. . . I don’t see why this guy gets any attention.  His writing is at the level of a 2nd grader and his logical reasoning is that of a pre-schooler.”

      Well, I think ya answered yer own question!  He’s not alone in this world.  

      Seriously, experts could take a look at his writing and come up with a threat assessment.  Perhaps not at the level of inciting to riot, but rhetoric that is worrisome nonetheless.  It could influence disturbed people in a very dangerous way.  

      He and his Party are very angry, and still suffering from shock and disbelief from their recent electoral losses.  They were true believers in the mantra that they would become the dominant political party.  For the most part they haven’t yet been able to think through what happened and why.  I believe the Party of responsibility is having a very difficult time looking inward.

      1. It is not about different perspectives and different points of view on common issues.  It is High Noon at the OK Corral with good guys and bad guys and the good guys can never lose.  The have a “winners” complex which is either a phobia or an neurosis which means they can’t stand being anything other than a “winner”.  Instead of concentrating on producing good ideas that create good government, they try to demonize everyone else so they don’t have to try to find ways to make government work.

        Andrews is as big a loser as anyone in the Colorado Republican Party and has a lot of responsibility for the implosion and collapse of Republicans as the dominate party in the state and the losers keep looking to him for advice.  Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  The Colorado Republican Party qualifies by following this fool.

    1. He may have an outdated understanding of politics in America, but he’s one of a handful of figures from either side of the aisle whose heart is in the right place.

      And the original post noted him as “an elected official”, but that hasn’t been the case since he was the president of a Republican majority in the state senate. Right now he’s a private citizen airing grievances… kinda like all of us.

      1. in that he also sleeps and urinates.  His mental picture of the world and how it works is the kind of stuff that psychiatrists do research papers on.  He also has a megaphone that those of us who trend towards normal will never have.

        The dude is so extreme that if he lived in the Middle East he would be learning how to fly planes with bothering to learn how to land them.  In the Middle East he would be executing women for not wearing their burkas.  He is the epitome of an unthinking extremist.  The Republican mindset of violence solves all problems and women are slaves is perfectly mirrored in the Muslim fundamentalists.  Traitors to Peace all of them regardless of which God they pray to.  Andrews is probably worse in that he claims to believe in the Prince of Peace.  What a Judas.

      2. his heart’s not in the right place. The fact that one believes they are doing good isn’t enough: White supremicists and terrorists believe they are doing good as well.

        Could the definition of not having one’s heart in the right place be limited to a generalized, explicit ill-will toward others? No, because, for instance, terrorists often lack that (their violence, in their minds, often being seen as “an unfortunate necessity” rather than an expression of ill-will toward the victims). Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, by such a definition, “had their hearts in the right place.” The phrase loses all significance when applied so broadly.

        The correct definition for not having one’s heart in the right place, I posit, is placing blind ideology above a generalized good will exercised through carefully reasoned judgment and a modicum of restraint. When people love their ideology more than they love the ongoing struggle of reasonable people of good will always to do a little better, then their heart is not in the right place.

        Andrews’ heart is not in the right place because he would rather try to rally people in opposition to a president who, right or wrong in any given instance, is clearly a reasonable person of good will trying to do a little better on our behalf. There is nothing wrong, in that context, with making arguments about why his policies won’t work, or will do more harm than good, or, if it were ever to happen, violate the law. But the attempt to stoke a mob mentality, relying on mindless reaction to certain buzz words, against the efforts of reasonable people of good will to do a little better, is, to me, the definition of not having your heart in the right place.

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