Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
Now the fun begins...
August 18, 2006
Now the fun begins. The primaries are over. The winners are begging for money and the losers are crying in their coffee or getting ready to fight back.
Nationally, Connecticut had the most excitement. In a very unusual upset, Joe Lieberman, three term Senator lost to strong anti-war challenger, Ned Lamont. Many commentators see this as the beginning of a centrist revolution in the Democratic party. David Brooks writes in the New York Times, "The McCall Lieberman party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency." I don't like Lieberman's war policy, but I sure do like that political philosophy.
In Colorado the fight has already begun for the Governor's job.
Democrat Bill Ritter and Republican Bob Beauprez squared off in a debate last week. Naturally, they disagreed on almost every issue they discussed. But on abortion, an issue that should not even be a plitical one, they came close. This involves an ethical decision for pro-choice voters like me. I will look for some sort of compromise. Each one backed off a little bit from his original position, but Beauprez won the prize for metaphors. He challenged his opponent's statements with, "I think the people need to know ... that I don't have a foot in both buckets, and I don't try to straddle a fence." That's fortunate!
They differ strongly on money. Last year Colorado voted for Referendum C, which gives a five year rest from the severe financial restraints of the Tabor Amendment, The Taxpayers' Bill of Rights. Beauprez wants to rescind the recision after only one year. Ritter wants to continue it for the full five years.
And now we come to Mesa County. The only real excitement here was the State Senate race between Matt Smith and Josh Penry. Penry's wide victory margin shows that Mesa County is still a red county, although the rest of the state may be turning blue. The Right Wing Republicans are not only not heading for the center of anything; they are in danger of falling off the edge. I had hoped the scandal last yer had caused a rift, but apparently it didn't do too much damage. The Right Wing of the Republican party is still strong. Penry still has to face Dana Barker of Glenwood Springs.
Mesa County has had some fine representatives in the Legislature, rational members of both parties who are willing to listen to both sides of an issue. Ron Teck turned out to be one. Gayle Berry was one and we have one in the Legislature now, Bernie Buescher, who is running for his second term. He has already established a strong position of leadership.
The general election will present a real challenge. In addition to making decisions about candidates, we will be faced with far too many issue decisions. The last I heard there will be at least 12. We need to decide how to vote on each one. Yikes.
All in all it was a calm primary. The real fun is ahead on November 7.