Littwin: Is the Colorado GOP afraid of its own base?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but in the year in which small-d democracy — for both good and ill — has taken over the presidential season, the Colorado Republican establishment has chosen to opt out of the process.

If there’s a fever out there — and there undoubtedly is — the typically anti-vax Republicans have gone full immunization protocol to combat it.

As you may have heard, the GOP executive committee members decided to do away with the popularity polls on caucus night in March because, we were told, they don’t want Colorado delegates to be locked in to any one candidate in the unlikely case of an open convention next summer.

In other words, they don’t want delegates to be tied to whatever candidate Colorado GOP caucus-goers might choose. Or to put it yet another way: The GOP committee members have rejected the chance for Colorado voters to play a key role in helping to determine the Republican nominee — in what has to be the wildest race in modern history — because that might mean having to, you know, follow the will of the people.

We know that the GOP strategy, followed closely in Colorado, is to keep the vote total as low as possible in November by making it as hard as possible to vote. And so we hear a lot about so-called voter fraud, even though — note to Scott Gessler — organized voter fraud in Colorado is basically a myth.

But, of course, the argument isn’t really about voter fraud, just as it’s not necessarily about Democrats being the champions of voter rights. Democrats generally do better when more people vote. And Republicans generally do better when they don’t.

But here’s what I didn’t figure — that Colorado Republicans may not want Republicans to vote either, at least not in the caucuses.

I learned about this possibility in a Denver Post editorial, which cited GOP chairman Steve House doing a radio interview with Craig Silverman. That’s the same Steve House who was elected to replace Ryan Call after Call’s successful run in the 2014 election. And the same House who was subject to a Cynthia Coffman-Tom Tancredo coup attempt. And the same House who survived the coup attempt because he went public with it and it became such a huge GOP embarrassment that the executive committee had to back down.

Anyway, here’s what House said to Silverman on KNUS, via the Post edit — that when you have a presidential poll on caucus night that “instead of having 50 people show up you have 500 people show up.”

And what exactly is the problem?

“When you add in the straw poll during that experience it inflates the number of people who come by a dramatic amount and all kinds of problems have ensued. And I think that’s part of the reason why the county chairs on the executive committee especially were very opposed to doing it this way because they believe it will disrupt the overall process and won’t gain us that much.”

Yes, he actually said that. That too many voters is a problem. That putting Colorado in a place to actually influence the GOP race presents is a problem. No wonder the Post editorial was subtly headlined: “Worst reason yet for Colorado Republican caucus fiasco.”

I mean, it’s almost as if the Colorado GOP is afraid that the will of the people might mean Donald Trump, who has successfully combined that small-d democracy with large-D demagoguery to turn the Republican summer into the Summer of the Donald and into widespread anarchy. He’s very, very rich, as you might have heard. And as Trump has emerged, the Super PAC billionaires have seen their candidates all but disappear, even as the Donald is starting to call for — get this — higher taxes for certain rich people.

Jeb! is cratering. Scott Walker is cratering, and now his latest strategy is to consider building a wall along the border with … Canada. Marco Rubio? John Kasich? Ted Cruz’s strategy – which might even work — is to hang out with Trump until he finally implodes and then pick up as many of the anti-establishment pieces as he can.

No one who studies these things seriously believes that Trump will win, but Republican establishment leaders are so panicked by the idea that you could almost confuse them with the panicked Democratic establishment, which has also watched the summer of Trump and seen front-runner Hillary Clinton — still the heavy favorite, despite the email problem — somehow fritter much of that advantage away. The Bern is drawing the big crowds, exciting the liberal wing and the millennial wing. Joe Biden is threatening to get in the race. If it all blows up, will Elizabeth Warren change her mind?

Meanwhile, Republicans, who keep telling voters how terrible politicians are, have apparently convinced them that they’re right. In the latest Monmouth poll out of Iowa, two of three said they wanted someone out of government as the nominee. And so the new challenger for Trump is, yes, mild-mannered neurosurgeon Ben Carson — who says Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery — who is actually tied with Trump in that Monmouth poll. Carly Fiorina is third. Cruz is fourth.

You get the idea. At this still-early-in-the-race point, to the surprise of nearly everyone, it’s all about the outsiders and the more outside the better.

Unless, I guess, you’re one of the insiders on the Colorado GOP executive committee.


Photo by DonkeyHotey, Creative Commons, via Flickr


  1. It is almost like the GOP are admitting that they are not ready to govern, and they are bad for Colorado…Dr. Chaps comes to mind…

  2. The right (and the left) SHOULD be worried. They have worked themselves so far AWAY from the actusl citizens of this state (and every other one, too) that they have NO idea what is going on. THey have gotten this idea of what they want, and it doesn’t matter at all to them that the PEOPLE of this country don’t want anything LIKE that. THEY are the ones “running things”, even though they have NO idea of what they are doing, and they want to be the ones calling the shots.

    The political class in this country has let their own hubris and selfishness get the better of them. The last 35 years of “governance” in this country has been what the politicians wanted, NOT what the people want at all. Now, after 35+ years of trying to make us so uninterested in politics that we let them do whatever they want, we are having OUR say, and that is why Trump on the right and Bernie on the left are taking things by storm. They are the ONLY ones who offer us something OTHER than just more screwing. We’re tired of putting out so the rich can make billions while we eat spam.

    People in this country have FINALLY started to wake up to what we’re up against, and it’s not Islam, it’s not commies, it’s our own political class that is the biggest threat to our lives.

  3. Of all the advantages afforded a columnist none is greater then topic selection. None.

    It allows a columnists to create and sustain a false narrative by simply ignoring any story that would contradict it. A columnist could, for instance, create a fantasy world where gun violence is committed only by whites or cops and victims of gun violence are always black. That’s impossible, you say?

    Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to LittwinLand where current events are acknowledged on a highly selective basis and all stories are filtered through the Littwin Narrative to determine purity.

    It’s a form of cowardice which Mr. Littwin not only practices but seems to have mastered.

    For example:

    On its surface the on-air shootings of two TV journalists in Roanoke, Virginia was a story that appeared to have all the shiny objects that make Mr. Littwin drool and tingle all over: journalists, guns, multiple killings, race, mental illness, written manifesto, hate crime and sexual orientation. Plus, it was a huge story nationally..

    But the story violated a basic tenet of the Littwin Narrative which demands the shooter be white and so the story was ignored.

    Of course, it isn’t the first time Mr. Littwin has ignored stories about shootings containing inconvenient truths that ran contrary to the Littwin Narrative. These stories were also ignored:
    – the shooting deaths of two New York City law enforcement officers
    – the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg law enforcement officers during a traffic stop
    – the shooting deaths of five military members in Chattanooga

    These exclusions clearly demonstrate the level of deceit, hypocrisy, dishonesty and disingenuousness in Mr. Littwin’s “reporting”.

    It also proves Mr. Littwin is to journalism what Hillary Clinton is to twerking.


    “The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!” – Camille Paglia Salon

    “I support anyone’s right to be who they want to be. My question is: to
    what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?” – Dave Chappelle
    “This new Dream, seeking revolutionary change in how America works, is not only impossible, but based on the faulty assumption that black Americans are the world’s first group who can only excel under ideal conditions. We are perhaps the first people on earth taught to consider it insulting when someone suggests we try to cope with the system as it is—even when that person is black, or even the President.” – John McWhorter, Daily

    “..Bernie(Sanders)is the most benign of summer flings.” Mike Littwin

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

    Folds of Honor
    Veterans Day – November 11, 2015

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