Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Self-interest, a Republican earmark

Dick Wadhams, Colorado's cutthroat Republican chairman, says Tom Tancredo's third-party bid for governor is based in his own self-interest.

So what's new about that?

All Republican Party politics in Colorado is driven by the self-interests of its rich, establishmentarian membership. Conservative or not, Republicans in the state consistently argue for the least amount of government in order to preserve their privileged existence. Most of Colorado's executive business community also subscribes to that party line.

Check out the rising percentage of poor children in Colorado: 15 percent of all children in Colorado lived in poverty in 2008 compared with 10 percent in 2000. In 2008, they numbered about 179, 000 kids, said Lisa Piscopo of the Colorado Children's Campaign.

Guess who was in power for most of that time: a Republican governor who did nothing for Colorado's poor through 2006, and diminishing Republican majorities in the legislature, although a quartet of Democratic millionaires started to chip away at that power base late in 2004.

Limited government, which Republicans in Colorado hold up as one of their highest values, naturally limits the ability of the state to care for its poorest citizens, and naturally leads to lower and lower taxes that eventually starve the government of any sustenance at all.

That's the philosophy Republican Party leaders are trying to take to Colorado voters in November, and only the financially struggling Republican middle class are politically blind enough not to see that's what their party stands for.

Tancredo's run for governor will not only split the Republican vote in Colorado, it will cut down statewide voter turnout. Self-interested people don't go to the polls when they know there will be no victor to throw them their rightful share of the spoils.

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