State Democrats could face trouble if Republicans can stop infighting
I read something sad last week. It may not turn out that way but it certainly is shaping up to be a sad story.
It was an online article from usnews.com, which I believe is what remains of the old print magazine US News and World Report. I had assumed it had slipped into the rearview mirror along with Look, Life and Modern Buggy Whip Monthly. Nevertheless, there it was, an article titled, “6 Reasons Colorado Is the Left’s Political Epicenter.”
I checked the date to make sure it wasn’t a few years old, as I assumed we passed that line in the sand some time ago, but the article was bylined just last week by a fellow named Scott Keyes.
I noticed information in the short biography at the end of the article that explained why he might be misreading our state. It appears he had written for a number of left-leaning publications such as Slate, Politico and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Clearly, he believes that Republicans have reached the point — at which liberals long ago arrived — where they can eventually agree on a candidate and get them elected.
It’s understandable then, if you have that point of view, that you see Colorado clearly in play to be partially, if not fully, pulled back into the Republican column.
If one looks at the numbers of registered voters and acknowledges that not only is there a Republican advantage but that the large swath of independents in the state probably contain a majority of libertarian-leaning voters, it would seem a real danger for Democrats in the upcoming election.
However, let’s remember that these numbers have been similar in the recent past, and yet Republicans have managed to lose the governorship, the state Senate, the state House of Representatives and a United States Senate seat.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the GOP has also managed to lose the governorship when it was an open seat and the United States Senate position to an appointed placeholder, Michael Bennet, who was considered to be one of the weakest Democratic candidates in play during the 2010 election cycle.
Keyes does have a keen eye and has summed up six areas of concern for Democrats: guns, marijuana, voting rights, immigration, environment and abortion. I mostly agree with his areas of concern, although it’s not exactly a revelation. After that, most of the analysis boils down to the fact that these issues are dangerous for the left only because of the evilness of Republicans. For instance he refers to voter ID laws essentially as electoral restriction and Secretary of State Scott Gessler as having a “long history of voter suppression.”
Liberals fear these issues might have a galvanizing effect on Republicans.
Of the six points Keyes lists, the two most electrifying in this election cycle are probably guns and fracking, which is what he’s talking about when he says environment.
Anti-fracking legislation is just another specious attempt by those on the far left to consistently raise the price of oil and render the personal use of automobiles either too expensive for the average person or too embarrassing for others, forcing them to travel in slow, electromagnetic fire traps that some refer to as electric cars.
The fact that attempts to ban the practice for political reasons have enormous and direct job consequences is a real problem, and progressives would prefer that Republican candidates and their supporters spend their time violently disagreeing over who is more like Ronald Reagan than point this out.
Guns are probably the strongest of the galvanizing forces, as shown by the first-ever recalls of two state senators last year. The point is not so much about the actual firearms but over the fact that progressives seem to believe Second Amendment supporters are either untrustworthy children or an armed menace. Both of these identifications and the treatment of individual liberty they portend alarm people who don’t even own firearms.
In short, if Republicans and conservatives can stop seeing others in their camp as more troubling than the progressives because they initially supported a different primary candidate who held slightly different views, then Keyes may have something to worry about after all.
Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.