Tom Tancredo says the time for bipartisanship is … never. In an online column penned for WorldNetDaily, Tancredo criticizes former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens for signing on as a member of Governor-elect John Hickenlooper’s transition team.
He calls on Republicans — both in the Colorado Legislature and in the U.S. Congress — to take advantage of hard-fought victories by drawing a line in the sand.
Running on the American Constitution Party ticket, Tancredo two weeks ago lost the governor’s race to Democrat John Hickenlooper by a double-digit margin. He is a former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
To have a chance at genuine compromise and honest bipartisanship, Republicans must first have an agenda of their own. When leading Colorado Republicans like former Gov. Bill Owens join the Democratic governor-elect’s transition team, that serves to give the Democrats’ agenda a patina of “bipartisanship” at the outset. When the Democratic agenda is baptized a “bipartisan agenda” on Day 1, by not only the liberal media and interest groups but by a group of co-opted Republicans, legislators who don’t buy into that agenda can be easily stigmatized as “partisan obstructionists.”
Selling out your party’s platform and policy agenda before the first shot is fired is a form of pre-emptive compromise that ought to be called by its right name: surrender. It is not bipartisanship in search of genuine solutions; it is gamesmanship in search of favorable press clippings. Such behavior may be acceptable to “party elders” who are accountable to no one, but it is not acceptable for elected representatives sent to the capitol to tackle tough problems and seek real solutions based on constitutional principles.
At the state level, he says Republicans need to push for across the board cuts to state agencies and a complete elimination of state funding for state universities.
In Colorado, for example, Republicans in the state legislature would be smart to offer their own agenda as quickly as possible and not wait for the Democrats’ “partnership” agenda, which will validate the status quo and seek “innovative” and “creative” (read: deceptive) ways to finance the continued growth of government. They could start with proposing a voucher system for public schools, adoption of the federal E-verify program for denying jobs to illegal aliens, a 10 percent across-the-board reduction in each state agency’s budget except transportation, and phasing out state support for the state university system.