Mark Udall won't skate to election to the US Senate in Colorado because of people like me.
I write, and write extensively for Schaffer v Udall under the pen name "A Watcher," which is the pen name I use here. There will come a time when I won't be able to put the time into it that I currently do, but for right now, I am both a guest author on that blog and its major contributor.
Today, I ran across a left wing blog (allegedly funded by Tim Gill) reference to Schaffer v Udall that said this about me:
The far-righties are holding on tight to BS, while writing wild-eye attacks against Udall and treating BS as their lord and savior (it's very coulterish, or cultish?). They even go as far to claim Shaffer is a "realist" while Udall is extreme. It's comedy at it's best, since they think they are doing their guy good.
Anyone who has read this blog with any consistency would have a hard time describing me as a "far-rightie," especially those in the more conservative part of the Republican party.
I am sufficiently moderate that I couldn't possibly be elected in either my state house (Lambert) or state senate district (Schultheis). There are enough of my neighbor's values that I don't share that I would only get elected if I misrepresented myself. I have enough ethics that I couldn't, and wouldn't do that.
Contrast that attitude with people like Mark Udall and Bill Ritter who routinely misrepresent themselves. In fact, Mark Udall is so far to the left that it is hard to see how he can possibly be elected without extensively camouflaging his values. He has to know that. He is a close match to his Boulder district, but not to all of Colorado. By choosing to run for the US Senate, he is showing disrespect for the values of most of his Colorado neighbors in a way I would never consider doing. He has a different ethical standard than I have.
So, lets examine my views:
1. Abortion. I oppose Roe v Wade, but do so strictly on intellectual and constitutional grounds. Liberals tend to circumvent constitutional provisions that they find inconvenient, or flat out make stuff up, and that is what happened here. In the constitutional scheme we live under, states should be making those decisions. It is not a Federal issue, and neither is the regulation of dog fighting.
2. Education: I don't write much about education because I have a conflict of interest. If I were to write, I might say that my view is that both parties are totally messed up with their education policies. Neither has a solution. Education unions ought to be outlawed, and so should CSAPs. With few exceptions CSAPs measure the demographics of the parents in the surrounding neighborhood. Poor, unstable neighborhoods have parents who don't value education or they would have become educated themselves. Teachers can't overcome parental influence and indifference. It is unrealistic to think that they can. Teachers unions are a scourge on the education system and are, in my view, the root cause of many of the problems and "solutions" visited on the public schools, including CSAPs.
3. Tax and Spend. I voted for C & D. I'm not afraid to vote for higher taxes when they can be justified. I have since learned about the level of fraudulent newspaper coverage involved in procuring my vote, and will not consider voting for a follow-on. Some might consider my writing too critical of the Post, the Rocky, and the Gazette at times, but I have learned through the bitter experience of C & D that one must examine the agenda behind the coverage and the editorials of those three papers.
4. Gays. Some gays go out of their way to make themselves and their lifestyles repulsive to most of society. Some of their public antics are stomach turning, particularly their more recent election tactics like their "definition" of "Santorum." But inappropriate behavior by a few probably doesn't mean that the majority shouldn't enjoy some of the formalized protections that society provides other citizens. Don't ask, don't tell is an appropriate compromise. I'll get beat up for making this statement, but Republicans should be looking for other appropriate compromises.
5. Evolution. One can believe in evolution and still believe in God. To not believe in evolution is to close one's eyes to all of the evidence, modern and ancient that supports it.
6. Immigration. I've written at length about immigration. To say that I am not a fan of Tom Tancredo might be one of the biggest understatements of the year, though I have limited my criticism of him to times when he attacks other Republicans and threatens to try to cause their defeat.
7 Environment. I come late to this issue. Until about two months ago, I had never written a word about the environment. I took a vacation to Glacier National Park and saw 120 square miles of burned forest. Worse, I saw unburned forest in the park that can only be described as a fire waiting to happen. The more I thought about the issue, it began to seem as though the policies of environmental extremists like the Sierra Club intentionally make the problem worse. Most conservatives don't write about this, so I don't know where I am on the political spectrum when I advocate trying to make the Sierra Club and its allies like Mark Udall take more responsible positions.
8. Legal Ethics Reform. Conservatives don't seem to have an opinion on this issue. Liberals look to lawyers for campaign donations so they are willing to allow the legal profession to do anything. Republicans would do well to latch on to that as a campaign issue.
Do any of those views make me less than a good Republican. Some on the far right of my party would claim that they do, and they are entitled to their view. In the past, some have expressed their view in very colorful and unprintable terms, though that seems to have stopped.
Now, I find myself being described as a "far righty" by an idiot who can't be bothered to read what I have written and learn my politics.
The question he should be asking is "Why would this guy spend so much time on the Schaffer-Udall race?"
There are several reasons. 1) I truly consider Mark Udall to be dangerously naive on labor issues, environment issues regarding forest policy (let them burn, let the bugs have them but don't cut a single log), war and peace, keeping Colorado water in Colorado, on his opposition to nuclear energy, on his insistence that the public have no access to Federal lands, the Roan, and other issues that I routinely write about.
2) Bob Schaffer has principles and character. He is out of office because he made a term limits pledge and kept it. Few politicians, conservative or liberal, have the integrity to do that. He is NOT a Washington insider. While I will vote for increasing taxes when they can be justified, Democrat politicians are mindless tax and spenders. Schaffer is for lower taxes. Personal responsibility made the country great. Democrats like Mark Udall are nanny staters, but Bob Schaffer promotes personal responsibility. Bob Schaffer likes small businessmen while Mark Udall sees them as a piggy bank for his next hair brained scheme.
3) Most important, Bob Schaffer is not beholden to unions, trial lawyers, and environmentalist extremists while Mark Udall lives off of them and their campaign contributions. Schaffer would represent all of Colorado. Udall would be the Senator of, by, and for the people of Boulder.
There is only one thing that would shake my faith in Schaffer: evidence that he wants to erect a small tent and explicitly or implicitly promote Republican purges. I don't expect that to happen, but others are hoping it does for reasons that are unfathomable to me. He must be very careful about choosing his language when talking about past events, or the kind of party he wants. If he is not careful in the choice of his language, he will come off as a small tent Republican, and folks who want to purge other Republicans will sieze on it as justification for their actions.
No matter how much he raises from his left wing money men, Mark Udall will be in trouble because of people like me who can't be tagged as right wing. We have thought through the issues, support Bob Schaffer, and are willing to work hard to see him elected. Mark Udall doesn't own the center and can't get near it. Bob Schaffer owns the center.