Current events on political stage 
give a person cause to wonder

The awesome power of the United States government swung into action last week to protect a nifty natural resource in southern Colorado called Chimney Rock, when President Barack Obama invoked his authority under the Antiquities Act to prevent future development in and around the desert landscape.

I thought the president’s action was neat, but I can’t help wonder: Shouldn’t the president have used his presidential powers to protect our Libyan embassy instead?

Speaking of the attack on our embassy, on Wednesday, the president of Libya said that the much ballyhooed anti-Muslim film had “nothing to do” with the attack on the Libyan Embassy, directly refuting the White House’s phony account.

According to an online account from NBC News, the Libyan president also said there “were no protesters at the site before the attack” — again, a full frontal refutation of our president’s yarn about what happened during the seminal national security crisis of his term.

Sort of makes me wonder: Why didn’t the bulk of America’s newspapers and other media cover the story on Thursday?

Even NBC News, which broke the story, gave nary a mention of the matter during the “Today” show, choosing instead to lead its program with coverage of the NFL referees’ strike and sound- bite-laden coverage of the prior day’s presidential campaign stops.

Peggy Noonan, former Ronald Reagan speechwriter and normally a sensible member of America’s political establishment, used her bully pulpit on The Wall Street Journal editorial page to bludgeon Mitt Romney and his campaign during its by-all-accounts bad week, giving liberals and the media (pardon moi, that was redundant) all the cover they needed to proclaim with bipartisan certitude that the wheels had come off Romney’s presidential wagon.

George Will, suitemate of Noonan in Washington, D.C.‘s Ivory Tower of know-it-all-dom, earlier this spring declared that Republicans had no shot at beating Obama, and that conservatives would do well to focus our time, energy and dollar bills on keeping the House and winning the Senate.

If Noonan and Will are so angry at Romney’s campaign, and are so convinced they have a better plan, wouldn’t it be better to pick up the phone and call Mitt rather than become stooges for the media and Obama-nation?

Front Range airwaves are full of TV ads where various Democrats are accusing their Republican counterparts of being unconcerned with the plight of rape victims. Barack Obama, each and every Democratic congressional candidate, and the bulk of the 527 organizations doing voter “education” in state legislative races are all attacking Republicans for opposing abortion in the case of rape.

Rape, a vile word describing an evil act, has become the centerpiece of the Democrats’ strategy to win in Colorado, it would seem. But here’s the problem: In many cases, the underlying accusation is an utter falsehood.

Take Romney: His opposition to abortion includes an exception for rape, incest and the life of the mother. But that hasn’t stopped Obama from spending hundreds of thousands of dollars proclaiming Romney is blithe to the victims of rape.

Makes me wonder: When was it that Democrats became the party fixated on divisive social issues?

More fundamentally, makes me wonder if there is such thing as a boundary in our political discourse any longer.

Soon Democrats may find themselves wondering too — as in whether, in the long term, it was wise to make rape their political weapon of choice.

One GOP congressional candidate being subjected to the invidious allegation that he doesn’t give a hoot about rape is firing back, accusing his Democratic opponent of being on the wrong side of a different form of rape — child rape.

Turns out that the Democratic congressman in question voted against a landmark law that made it easier for Colorado prosecutors to prosecute child rapists. For the last five years, Democrats in the Legislature have voted along party lines to block minimum mandatory sentences of child rapists.

Wondering who’s soft on rape? Stay tuned, Colorado. Thanks to the Democrats’ decision to use rape as a political weapon, you won’t have to wonder. It will become big-time fodder for an election near you.

Which also makes me wonder: What happened to, “It’s the economy, stupid”?

Josh Penry is the former minority leader of the Colorado Senate. He is a graduate of Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College.


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Today’s typically sophomoric offering from Josh Penry – “Current events on political stage give writer cause to wonder” gives this reader “cause to wonder” when Penry will return to fact-based columnizing.

According to Penry, Romney’s “opposition to abortion includes an exception for rape, incest and the life of the mother”.  False!

In October 2011, Romney appeared on Mike Huckabee’s television show and affirmed his support for a hypothetical Massachusetts “life begins at conception” (“personhood”) amendment – akin to that introduced in the House of Representatives by Paul Ryan as H.R. 212 – which would permit states to ban all abortions regardless of rape, incest, or the medical judgment of her physicians as to the life or health of the mother.

Between October 2011 and August 19, 2012, Romney at least impliedly reiterated his no-exceptions position during the Republican primary debates and on the stump – as did Paul Ryan. 

Only after Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) made his now-infamous “legitimate rape” comment on August 19, 2012, did Romney “clarify” his position on national television, announcing that he favored exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.  Ryan then reluctantly confirmed that he would follow Romney’s lead.

The next day, Romney’s campaign staff “corrected the record” – stating that Romney did not believe in an exception for the life of the mother.  Thus, as usual, we (and Penry) don’t really know what Romney’s real position on abortion is – only Ryan’s for certain.

Likewise contrary to Penry’s claim, “landmark” minimum sentences for child rape make it harder – not “easier” – “for Colorado prosecutors to prosecute child rapists”.  Most judges, prosecutors, and legal analysts concur that sentencing flexibility – not minimum sentences – facilitate plea bargains which gain convictions without putting the victims through the ordeal of a trial wherein the defendant “takes his chances” and seeks to avoid the minimum sentence.

                Bill Hugenberg

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