The worst kind of nonsense

I'm so excited! As a good Republican, or would-be Republican, or once-was-a Republican, or name-turned-up-accidentally-in-a-Jack-Abramoff-mailing-list Republican, I just got my quadrennial "Republican Party Census Document," with all kinds of neat questions for me to answer. For example:

Do you support the use of air strikes against any country that offers safe harbor or aid to individuals or organizations committed to further attacks on America?

Hmm, that's a tough one. Well, there's Palestine, whose democratically elected government wants to destroy Israel, and doesn't seem real fond of us. And there's North Korea, Iran and Pakistan (not doing much about getting ol' Osama, are they?) and China (buddy-buddy with the North Koreans), not to mention Cuba and Venezuela and Bolivia (lefties down with Che, every one of 'em). And what about France? The world's a target-rich environment let's get goin'!

Do you think Congress should pass legislation on the Federal Marriage Amendment?

Nothing worries me more than the prospect of (choke! gasp!) married gay people!

Do you support the President's efforts to save Social Security for future generations?

Save it? I thought he had some cockamamie scheme to get rid of it and create a lot of commission income for Wall Street in the process. But what do I know?

Should the U.S. continue work on building a defense shield against nuclear missile attack?

Only if it costs tens of billions, doesn't work and diverts money from frivolous projects like up-armoring Humvees.

You get the idea: It's time for the worst kind of political nonsense. (And, yes, the questionnaire touched on abortion, the "death tax" and U.S. troops serving under U.N. commanders.) Time to throw red meat to the slavering right-wingers of the GOP, folks who actually so support "yes" answers to these questions that they'll send checks, walk precincts and do the thankless scut work of politics. Like their counterparts on the left, you can't get 'em goin' with thoughtful, nuanced commentary. They don't want to hear about the real world.

Another letter appeared in my mailbox, this one from Don Hodel, Will Perkins and Mary Herald, local pillars of the Republican right. They want me to jump on gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman's creaking bandwagon, on the grounds that he's the man to return us to our Reagan roots.

Holtzman, who carved out a distinguished career as an entrepreneur, educator and public servant, has moved sharply to the right of Bob Beauprez, his rival for the Republican nomination. That's usually good strategy: Scoop up the true believers before the nominating convention, then scamper to the middle and get elected. Alas, for Marc, it probably won't work this time.

Remember the summer of 2004, when it looked as if the estimable leftie Mike Miles was about to be nominated as the Democratic Senate candidate? The minute that moderate/conservative Ken Salazar announced, Mike was toast the Dems just wanted to win, ideology be damned. Beauprez may be significantly less conservative than Holtzman, but he's got a much better shot of winning the general election, especially if Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper runs. The Republicans, still stunned by their 2004 losses, just want a winner.

Meanwhile, up in Denver at a recent legislative Republican-a-thon, the emcee asked all of the term-limited GOP state senators to stand and identify themselves. Up popped Ed Jones, who had to be reminded that, no, he's not term-limited.

You can bet that the Dems would be much happier if he were, since, in the absence of a credible candidate, they have no shot at his seat. Amiable and (usually) well-coached, Jones has improved a lot since ditching his toupee last year. I wonder whether his advisers didn't quietly fly in the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" crew for a makeover.

And, finally, I need your advice! Don, Will and Mary earnestly asked whether I'd consider running for State Assembly delegate as a Holtzman supporter. Sounds like fun, but I'm not sure I'm well-suited for the position. So e-mail and let me know I'll go with the majority. Democracy's great, ain't it?!

-- johnhazlehurst@earthlink.net


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