And Colorado’s GOP bloodbath begins…

As predicted, the Republican bloodletting has begun. Over the weekend, The Associated Press quoted anonymous “influential Republicans” striking out against GOP Party Chairman Dick Wadhams. Predictably, Wadhams, responded in kind, calling such anonymous attackers cowards who don’t even have the guts to criticize him publicly. Even former state Senate President John Andrews has weighed in on the disarray of his party, going so far as to recommend radical intervention.

A week before the election, former Congressman Scott McInnis, of course, launched the opening salvos of what is likely to be a long and protracted soul-searching within the Colorado Republican Party. In an interview with the Colorado Independent, McInnis claimed that he could have beaten Mark Udall and criticized the more radical element of his party. And predicted that, come Election Day, the GOP would have some real come-to-Jesus moments (so to speak).

With the loss of a congressional seat, and the U.S. Senate seat, now others are joining the chorus — albeit anonymously for now.

From the Associated Press on Sunday:

“From just a pure party organizational standpoint, we failed,” said one party strategist, who asked not to be named. “That’s what’s giving people pause to say, ‘Are we headed in the right direction for 2010?”

And, “several influential Republicans, who asked not to be named, singled out state party chairman Dick Wadhams for criticism after he devoted much of his time to the U.S. Senate race rather than state legislative or other down-ticket contests.

Wadhams’ response?

“The people who are criticizing me don’t even have the guts to speak publicly. They are cowards. I didn’t see them step up and take on a $580,000 debt, recruit legislative candidates and attend 200 events throughout the state reconnecting with activists and county commissioners.”

In his Sunday Denver Post column, former state Senate President John Andrews bemoaned the direction of the Grand Old Party — and even went so far as to recommend an intervention:

“My Republican Party needs self-help if anyone ever did,” Andrews wrote. “Some of our gripe sessions about this year’s Democratic sweep feel like a sales meeting where everyone blames the customer. There are echoes of the East German party boss who said if the people didn’t like his regime, they needed to be straightened out. I mean serious denial.

“Having been a highly ineffective party since 2004 in Colorado, and since 2006 nationally, drunk on excuses and worse yet in 2008, maybe the GOP should check into detox.”

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Cara Degette

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