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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: If Hick, Tancredo are actually up and running, give the credit to Trump

Littwin: If Hick, Tancredo are actually up and running, give the credit to Trump

As if to prove that desperate times do, in fact, call for desperate measures, I bring you the latest in desperate-sounding Colorado political news in the time of Donald Trump.

First, in the shocking-if-it-were-actually-true news, Axios’ Mike Allen is reporting that John Hickenlooper is considering maybe possibly running with John Kasich on a presidential unity ticket in 2020. As you know, the two moderate governors — OK, “moderate” may be a stretch for Kasich, particularly on women’s reproductive rights — have been on tour together and are set to announce a detailed bipartisan healthcare-fix alternative that could have the support of as many as 11 governors.

If they were to actually pull this off, and their healthcare alternative were to gain some traction with (in descending order of likelihood) the media, the public, the Congress, the president, it could actually put them in that sweet third-way spot that could lead to, well, something.

Kasich, who would apparently top the ticket in this scenario, and Hick are talking about moving next from healthcare to immigration and jobs. And if they could fashion solutions for all three, they might as well skip the White House and head straight to the Vatican.

Could this happen?

I’d have to say it’s about as likely as Donald Trump getting elected … Oh, wait. It turns out Trump was elected president. Which means, we shouldn’t discount anything, although it seems to me that the publicity generated here would more likely fuel a Kasich primary run against Trump in 2020 and put Hick either in the Democratic mix for president (which he can’t win) or in the 2020 Senate race against Cory Gardner (which he could). Whatever else happens, Hickenlooper, finally term limited as governor, seems certain to be running for something.

And  the idea of a unity ticket to counter the deep Washington dysfunction is a sure attention magnet for, you know, the shows. We should get some idea of how real the Kasich-Hickenlooper tag team is by how angry Democrats become. If there were a viable third party, that would have to help no one more than Trump, who could conceivably win re-election simply by holding on to this base.

Speaking of which.

Not to be outdone, our old friend Tom Tancredo, who has twice run for governor and who has twice lost in races Hickenlooper won, is threatening to run for governor again. I’ve checked with the experts and apparently Tancredo’s threat is perfectly legal and not, to my surprise, a possible hate crime.

The reason Tancredo says he wants to run for governor this time — in 2010, it was to save the Republican Party by running as a third-party candidate and in 2014 it was, well, I have no idea why — is that Colorado Republican leaders are unwilling to stand up for the rights of white-nationalist fringe groups.

No, seriously. Tancredo was an invited speaker — of course, he was — at a VDARE conference scheduled for next April at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. VDARE is a white-nationalist organization (according to The Southern Poverty Law Center and nearly everyone else) that was involved, at least tangentially, in the neo-Nazi, KKK rally in Charlottesville. A writer for VDARE.com was one of the Charlottesville organizers.

Pressured by left-wing activists — presumably like Colorado Springs’ Republican Mayor John Suthers who had said the city wouldn’t provide security for the event — the resort canceled the reservation and most people, fearing another Charlottesville, were relieved.

Tancredo was not. He told Colorado Politics that the GOP silence on the topic was “infuriating” and “appalling,” which sounds very much like something Tancredo would say, and that he wouldn’t have to be pushed very hard to stick it to the already-crowded-and-still-growing Republican governor’s field by tossing his Make America Hate Again hat into the ring.

You can see why Tancredo would be tempted. He must be thinking, what the hell, Trump’s election was a sure sign that the crazy in politics is ascendant and particularly that part shared by Trump and Tancredo (anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Republican establishment, anti-media, pro-wall, pro-white-nationalist-leaning fringe groups, etc., etc.) As far as I can tell, the main difference between Trump the demagogue and Tancredo the carnival barker is that Saudi-loving Trump has never once suggested we bomb Mecca.

The strange thing about the VDARE issue is that Tancredo is not entirely wrong. There is a free-speech component to this argument, or would be if Colorado Springs had denied VDARE a permit. But no permit was requested. And I’m guessing that Suthers, who said the city wouldn’t get involved in security if VDARE came to the Springs, was actually bluffing. Or do you think he’d stand by if there was a Charlottesville situation? And, of course, free speech means we’re all welcome to suggest VDARE do its hate thing somewhere else.

Here’s what Tancredo told The Denver Post when saying he was considering running: “Not one Republican in this state, no one elected or running for office, has the guts to say, ‘What the hell is going on?’ Whatever happened with the First Amendment? Have we totally annihilated it in our rush to appease the left?”

What ties together the Hickenlooper maybe-news and the Tancredo maybe-news is the definite presence of maybe-not-all-there Donald Trump, who, we’ll recall, said there were some “very fine people” on the alt-right side in Charlottesville who were defending, presumably, “our” culture. Trump’s approval numbers seem to be sinking daily — Gallup had him at 34 at last count — and the Democrats have been struggling to figure out how to best take advantage.

At the same time, Trump is slamming the even-less-popular Republican Congress, his latest twitter target. And now, together, or maybe not together, Trump and McConnell and Ryan are facing the possibility of a government shutdown and/or a default on the nation’s debt next month. If you’ve got your Trump crisis calendar handy, September looks busy.

In other words, the timing for Kasich-looper, no matter how much of a longshot, looks pretty good, particularly if the health-care plan proves semi-workable. Of course, there have been very few days over the last seven months that haven’t looked pretty good for someone to be opposing Trump. And the only certainty is that there will be many, many, many, many more of those days still to come.

 

Photo credit: Left-VictoryNH: Protect Our Primary, Creative Commons, Flickr; Right-U.S. Department of Agriculture, Creative Commons, Flickr

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

1 Comment

  1. Don Lopez on said:

    Elections have consequences.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – GoodTherapy.org

    }{

    It seems redundant to point out that, once again, Mr. Littwin has been proven wrong but it’s still so very, very entertaining to do so. Mr. Littwin spent most of last year demonstrating why he and reality are in a trial separation and he and politics are divorced.

    This years it’s simply more of the same.

    When President Trump suggested that “removing Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues would mean that statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson inevitably follow.”, Mr. Littwin, in his usual dismissive manner said, “It’s an absurd argument. Washington and Jefferson, though both slaveholders, helped birth the nation and the very ideals that make America, at its best, great.”

    Well, that “absurd argument’ is gaining traction. This from Townhall.com suggests that maybe President Trump’s argument wasn’t that “absurd” :

    Last week CNN political commentator Angela Rye said that “George Washington was a slave owner, and we need to call slave owners out for what they are, whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not,” Rye said. “He wasn’t protecting my freedom. My ancestors weren’t deemed human beings to him.”

    “So to me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or a Thomas Jefferson statue or a Robert E. Lee statue. They all need to come down,”

    Mrs. Rye went on to say that only those who are “woke” deserve statues.

    If you think Mrs. Rye is an outlier, well, think again. This from chicago.cbs.local.com:

    “Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, said he wants the (bronze statue of George Washington on horseback at the northwest entrance to Washington Park) gone, and he wants George Washington’s name removed from the park.”

    Here’s more from the Land of Lincoln:

    The statue of the slave emancipator (Abraham Lincoln) appears to be burned, reported NBC 5 Chicago.

    And this from Reuters:

    “The Lincoln Memorial in the U.S. capital was spray painted with expletive graffiti that was discovered on Tuesday, days after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, over an American Civil War-era monument.
    The graffiti appeared to read “(f***) law” spray painted in red on a column of the memorial to Abraham Lincoln, the American president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the United States.”

    And this from CNBC.com:

    “(President Trump’s supporters) watch as liberal commentators call for an end to the veneration of figures like Washington and Jefferson, just as (President) Trump said they would and (have been doing for years), even as coastal elites insist that no one advocates such things”.

    Or this from columnist S.E. Cupp writing in the New York Daily News:
    “Whatever you think of the statue debate, one thing is now abundantly clear: President Trump has won it.”

    Mr. Littwin’s inability to understand “why so many stick with (President Trump)” mirrors exactly his inability to understand how or why President Trump was elected. Here are just two factors interfering with his ability to comprehend:

    – Victor Davis Hanson has said, “Many of President Trump’s enraged critics have failed to realize that, ”he is a reflection of, not a catalyst for, widespread anger and unhappiness with globalization, interventionist foreign policy, Orwellian political correctness, identity politics, tribalism, open borders, and a Deep State that lectures and condemns but never lives the consequences of its own sermonizing.”

    – Daniel Payne writing in The Federalist said, “Our media have a problem: they are essentially incapable of covering Donald Trump with anything less than full-on deranged hysteria.”

    But there’s much more to it than those two quotes, in an unexpected and extremely rare display of balance Mr. Littwin admits this:

    “….look at these numbers from the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll. Among all voters — not just Trump voters — 43 percent blame the white supremacists most for the violence in Charlottesville, but 36 percent, or nearly as many, say the supremacists and the counterprotesters were equally to blame, and nine percent blame counterprotesters more. So, we can do the math. A slight plurality — 45-43 percent, within the margin of an incredible error — thinks the counterprotesters were equally or more to blame for clashes with … Nazis, one of whom drove a car into a crowd and killed Heather Heyer.”

    According to Mr. Littwin: “That’s a lot of crazy.”

    But keep in mind since Mr. Littwin has already admitted he’s not a psychiatrist his use of the word “crazy” is not meant as a clinical diagnosis but rather as a way to denigrate those he disagrees with or, more precisely, those who prove how incredibly out of touch he is in his Colorado Independent cocoon.

    Those Politico/Morning Consult polling numbers were not reflected in the unhinged, hysterical reaction displayed by 99.9 percent of the mainstream media when President Trump said both sides were to blame.

    So exactly which side is the real “crazy” coming from?

    The answer to that question can be found in a Marist Poll for NPR and PBS conducted after Charlottesville. It found that only 27 percent of adults queried believe Confederate monuments “should be removed because they are offensive.” About two out of three white and Latino respondents said they should remain, as did 44 percent of black respondents.”

    It would seem the real “crazy” is somewhere in that 27 percent.

    And as if to reaffirm how far out in the political hinterlands Mr. Littwin remains here are a few quotes from his August 8th column.

    – “I’m not sure how it happened, why it happened or even exactly when it happened, but it seems that our own John Hickenlooper and his new pal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are now apparently in charge of fixing the health care system in America.”

    – “I always laugh when I hear Hickenlooper mentioned as one of many potential candidates in a wide-open presidential field in 2020.”

    – “I don’t think Hickenlooper is running for president, except in the wildest of his dreams, although a run for president to take another shot at vice president could make some sense.”

    Seventeen days later (17 days) Mr. Littwin isn’t laughing as hard and although he’s still “not sure how it happened, why it happened or even exactly when it happened” he quotes a story from Axios “reporting that John Hickenlooper is considering maybe possibly running with John Kasich on a presidential unity ticket in 2020.”

    Mr. Littwin does describe the story as “shocking-if-it-were-actually-true” but he spends so much time assessing the possibility that it would be shocking if it weren’t.

    But Mr. Littwin does seem to be inching oh so slowly towards reality as this rare bit of self deprecation suggests: “I’d have to say it’s about as likely as Donald Trump getting elected … Oh, wait.”

    The last sentence of his August 25th column also seems to suggest he’s come to the realization that President Trump’s tenure is office will last a long, long, long time: “And the only certainty is that there will be many, many, many, many more of those days still to come.”

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Green light a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

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