Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory used to be the preferred strategy of Democrats, while those calculating, cold-hearted, practical Republicans concentrated on winning.
A few years back, when I was a candidate for “weak mayor”, I was regaling then state Sen. Ken Chlouber with my visionary ideas. Ken listened for a while and then interrupted.
“That’s fine, John,” he said, “but unless you git elected, you don’t git to govern. So let’s forget all those ideas and figure out how to win.”
Democrats dream, Republicans scheme. Democrats allow themselves to be destroyed by the likes of Ralph Nader, while Republicans know how to win elections even when their candidate can’t muster a popular majority.
Come November, it’ll be two years since the McCain/Palin ticket appeared to doom the GOP to 20 years in the shadows. But thanks to the recession, the bank bailout, the recession, the healthcare plan that no one seems to understand, BP, persistent unemployment and the recession, the Gopsters got game.
But, in the political equivalent of Bill Buckner’s booted grounder, the Repubs blew it.
It looked pretty good until a couple of weeks ago, when the Denver Post and the Hasan Family Foundation outed gubernatorial candidate Scott ‘Copycat’ McInnis for plagiarism and generally unseemly behavior. Meanwhile, his primary rival, “Drivin’ Dan” Maes’ income was found to consist solely of $44,000 in campaign mileage reimbursements.
The race was over at that point. Neither Republican candidate is now electable in a general election, so it’s time for high political comedy.
And that’s why every journalist and quasi-journalist in our great state is deeply indebted to our cranky, middle-aged Sarah Palin imitator, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who just entered the race under the aegis of the American Constitutionalist Party.
The Merry Tancster doesn’t expect to win. He just wants to have fun, campaign, get a few votes, get party chair Dick Wadhams fired, and shake up Colorado politics. Like Palin, he’s not a politician – he’s a brand.
If you have a brand, you have to keep it before the public. You can’t just retire gracefully, think deep thoughts, and write op-eds, and hope that maybe the party chieftains will summon you from obscurity. You’re the brand-you make the decisions. Maes, McInnis, Hickenlooper-who cares? No sane person would want to be Governor of Colorado, since with 60, 61, and 101 are likely to pass there may not even be a state to run. The Governor would have to dissolve the state and ask for readmission to the Union as a territory (OK, I made that up).
So Tancredo is running and, unlike the two Republican candidates, thoroughly enjoying himself. He’s an amazingly modern candidate, especially for a geezer. He’s apparently learned from Lady GaGa, who recently told a concert crowd:
“The truth? I hate the truth!”