‘Alice in Wonderland’ scenarios 
continue in GOP nominating process

“Curiouser and curiouser” was Alice’s surprised reaction when the Victorian-era school girl fell through the rabbit hole in Lewis Carrols’ “Alice in Wonderland.”

That might very well also be the grammatically questionable but altogether understandable reaction from most folks to recent developments in the Republican Party’s nominating processes for local, state and national offices around here.

How else could you describe a scenario in which a two-term sitting congressman loses a third of the delegates at last Friday’s GOP’s Third District assembly to an Orchard Mesa peach grower with little district-wide name recognition and a criminal record? 

Seriously, is Scott Tipton, sporting a legislative philosophy that would seem to make the tea party a natural ally, not conservative enough?  Is there really any chance at all that David Cox, who wants to impeach the president and pledges to “expose, attack and destroy” the criminal operation that is Washington politics, will be your next congressman?

It boggles the mind.  But perhaps it shouldn’t.

After all, Tipton’s embarrassment comes just a few short weeks after state Sen. Steve King’s second-place finish to relatively unknown John Pennington for the nomination to be Mesa County sheriff. And to the derailment of sitting Mesa County commissioner Steve Acquafresca’s coronation as a candidate to return to the Colorado Legislature by local businessman Dan Thurlow, who came out of seeming retirement from active politics to gain a 2-1 edge among delegates to the county Republican assembly.

It’d be easy, but only partially correct, to attribute these surprises in the nominating process to anger and unrest on the part of a substantial portion of the electorate over what is seen as unresponsive and profligate government at all levels. 

“Throw the bastards out and let’s get some new ones” seems to be the driving sentiment, regardless of whether or not the targets of the bitterness are liberal Democrats, or, in these cases, Republicans that most sentient human beings would accurately describe as conservative.

The contributing reality, the one that makes it possible for party processes to be impacted disproportionately by the folks who populate groups like the Mesa County Patriots and the Western Slope Conservative Alliance, is the fact that those who used to be called the country club wing of the Republican party are on the sidelines, largely opting out of the internal party processes and instead exercising their community influence in other ways.

While some wonder if the pendulum might ever swing back or if it’s stuck in the far right position, others responsible for the swing have questions themselves.

I recall discussing about a year ago the ongoing starboard drift of the local GOP with one of the leaders of the successful effort to oust the country club set a decade or so ago.  Even he, without prompting, offered the opinion that “things have gone too far” along with a fairly unflattering assessment of some current leaders.

There’ll also be no shortage of contenders charging to the right as the hunt for the GOP gubernatorial nomination continues. 

Tom Tancredo, the one-trick pony anti-immigration activist and former congressman, made the primary ballot prior to the state assembly via the petition route.  Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, defeated by Democrat Bill Ritter in 2006 in an earlier gubernatorial try, will presumably do the same.  At the GOP assembly, delegates added two more contenders, former state Sen. Mike Kopp, the top-line designee, and current Secretary of State Scott Gessler. 

Given the need to differentiate themselves and the current philosophical state of the Colorado GOP, that’ll make for an interesting few months leading up to the primary election.

None of the four will want to be seen as a “moderate” alternative.  The need to cater to conservative party activists will leave whichever one emerges not only severely battle-scarred but also shackled with stances and rhetoric that won’t play well with typically moderate Coloradans, particularly those much-sought-after unaffiliated voters.

We’ll see how this all plays out soon enough and whether Jane Austen was right in “Pride and Prejudice” when she wrote that “angry people are not always wise.”

Jim Spehar is much slower to anger these days, but still not always wise.  Your thoughts are welcome at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Of course, Mr. Spehar has no problem with the far left, which completely controls the Democrat Party. These are the folks who think compromise means the republicans must come all the way to there side. The Left recognizes no middle.

Also amazing that Mr. Spehar had no problem when the Dems nominated Sal Pace, a man with a criminal background far worse than anything David Cox did, as the opponent for Scott Tipton last year.

I love the smell of Hypocrisy in the morning…it smells like Tuesday and Wednesday and columns by Jim Spehar and Bill Grant.

It’s easy to see Mr. Spehars problem, when you read his writings he shows his bias by including smears along with the name he wants to demean. Just one of the problem with his column is that the WSCA is no longer a functioning unit, it’s apparent he doesn’t keep up with the real world, only with the progressive side he aligns with.
He believes that our Congressman Tiptoe Tipton, is a Tea Party rep. Nothing could be further from the truth. He said he would fight for us, he hasn’t, he has yet to speak out about Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS investigation, spying on citizens and signed on with the NDAA act that puts all Americans at risk of arrest by our Government without cause, reason or judicial warrant. The fact that the Republican base is now trying to change that course is proof of his ineptness. Spehar is surprised by the fact that Cox is a contender, wait until the primary, Cox is a true Patriot and will bring a fresh breath of reality to bear on Washington.
The truth is, Spehar seems to remember someone (unnamed) who said something (“things have gone too far”) yet doesn’t continue the conversation, just bends it to his memory of a satisfactory blend of his own rhetoric. His distortions to make his points are akin to his progressive arguments on just about everything he writes about. In this county, the Country Club group is still there, some are dems in conservative clothing, some are in it for the power, and some are in it for much more than just pride, some actually work to make our lives better.

The problems we all have with politics are professional politicians.

I don’t know if the solution to professional politicians is unprofessional politicians but you guys seem hell bent on finding out.

Well stated Mr. Fenwick. It is far beyond the time that the good ol boy gang get their comeuppance. McInnis, King, Rowland, any past or present city council member, airport board, Gessler, and on and on and on will NOT get my vote. Someone recently said McInnis is “overqualified.” Plagiarism and pocket filling are still out there. One may not hide from one’s past.

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