Elections really do have consequences and Democrats are ramming through their socialist agendas while too many Republicans are fixated on quixotic election fraud conspiracies.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their hapless sidekick, President Joe Biden, make no pretense about how far left they intend to take the country. The recently passed $1.9 trillion “covid relief bill” was more about bailing out financially irresponsible Democratic states and cities than it was providing genuine and targeted relief for those most affected by the pandemic shutdown.
Schumer, who helped write the 1994 crime bill and who voted for the Iraq War in 1993 and the border wall in 2006, and who Wall Street has always considered their guy in Congress, is terrified of a left-wing challenge in 2022, from the very symbol of Democratic Socialism, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. He is now the self-proclaimed champion of the left.
Pelosi is seeking to eject Republican Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks of Iowa — who won by just six votes out of the 400,000 cast — and install the defeated Democratic opponent, Rita Hart, even though the Republican’s victory was certified by Iowa election authorities. Meanwhile, Pelosi is a zealous defender of Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, who she refuses to remove as a member of the House Intelligence Committee even though he had a close personal relationship with a Chinese Communist spy.
Here in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis and his Democratic legislative majorities continue to assault rural Colorado by passing regulations that will kill mining and the oil and gas industry. They are proposing a ban on private prisons, and they are now undermining our state’s farmers and ranchers by assailing meat production while promoting plant-based fake meat.
Meanwhile, as former District Attorney George Brauchler recently pointed out in these pages, violent crime against people and property is increasing across the state but Democratic legislators are intent on reducing arrests for those guilty of these crimes. And in a terribly rich and disgusting irony, the very same Democratic leaders who remained silent during the many nights of attacks last summer on the state Capitol, are now considering building a huge fence around the Capitol that would inevitably reduce legitimate citizen access.
The list of Democratic ideological excesses and ethical lapses goes on and on, but what are the Republican activists and leaders focused on as we head towards the 2022 midterm election? Replaying the 2020 election and pursuing discredited charges of election fraud both nationally and here in Colorado.
Colorado Republicans will be electing a new state chair on March 27 and five candidates are running to succeed the outgoing chair, Congressman Ken Buck. The candidates are former Secretary of State Scott Gessler, GOP vice chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown, Jonathan Lockwood, Rich Mancuso and Casper Stockham. All of the candidates are articulate individuals who have their strengths and weaknesses, but it has been very disappointing to see four of the five contend that the 2020 election might have been stolen. They have expressed varying degrees of actions they would take to expose these conspiracies.
Every minute of time, every ounce of energy, every dollar of money spent on pursuing these conspiracy theories by the new state GOP chair is at the expense of being competitive in the 2022 election when governor, U.S. senator, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, a reapportioned state legislature, and eight redistricted congressional seats — including the addition of a new eighth district — are on the ballot.
Colorado Republicans already have a huge challenge in 2022 as the number of unaffiliated voters has exploded to 43% of the electorate while Democrats are at 30% and Republicans have slipped to 27%. In fact, since 2018, the number of Colorado Republicans has declined by 63,000 since the 2018 midterm election according to Denver Axios.
Ultimately, Republican success or failure will largely be determined by the quality of candidates and campaigns who are nominated by hundreds of thousands of Republican and unaffiliated voters in the 2022 primaries. We have seen this reality played out over and over again in the past twenty years.
Since 2002, when Gov. Bill Owens and U.S. Senator Wayne Allard were both reelected which culminated five consecutive Republican victories for governor and senator, Republicans have lost nine of ten elections for those offices between 2004 and 2020. The only victory was in 2014 when then-Congressman Cory Gardner unseated U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.
Several of those nine defeats were very winnable elections but our candidates failed to run effective, aggressive campaigns with agendas that would attract unaffiliated voters in addition to the Republican base.
Even though campaign finance laws have severely undercut the roles of political parties, the Colorado Republican state chair can still be very effective in pursuing a successful voter identification and turnout operation along with using the “bully pulpit” to highlight Democratic excesses.
Spending any amount of time and energy on 2020 conspiracy theories is playing directly into the Democratic opposition’s hands.
Dick Wadhams is a Republican political consultant and a former Colorado Republican state chairman.
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