PERRY: Withering Colorado GOP extremists sail off the edge of their lonely flat Earth


Civil rights, gun control, popularly elected presidents, science-based decisions, cats living with dogs — it’s a whole new world in Colorado under the rule of liberated Democrats.

For modern-day Colorado Republicans, in danger of becoming permanently irrelevant, it’s a rushing river of suck.

Since January, when Dems took control of the state House, the Senate, the governor’s office and every other elected statewide job, hardly a day goes by without news of some sacred GOP obstruction being blown straight to hell.

Longtime liberals across the state are no doubt simultaneously saying: Too bad. So sad.

Anyone who trudges through social media posts and online comments left by trolls, politicos and others without real lives knows the torment Colorado’s far-right are suffering. They can’t stop bleating about their worst version of hell: progressives unchained.

Newly minted Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wants the state to share regulatory power with local governments over oil drillers, and it might likely happen. A renters’ rights bill blocked by Republicans for years is now well on its way.

Democrats have run over statewide Republicans with a progressive steamroller, beefing up gay rights, marshaling gun control, demanding science-based sex ed classes, talking about global warming like it was real and hinting about big prizes like ending the death penalty.

“It’s not speculation now: it’s fact,” former Colorado GOP state Senate spokesman Sean Paige said in a tweet last week. “One Party Rule by power-drunk #Colorado #Democrats officially is resulting in overreach. And may the grassroots backlash be swift & sweeping.”

He and many other Republicans overlook that the so-called November Blue Wave of Democrats across the country, and across Colorado, was the swift backlash. It was the push against President Donald Trump and just about anything that sounded like him. And, increasingly, Colorado Republicans have ceded their party to a shrinking army of Trump sound-a-likes.

So here we are.

This week, state lawmakers easily passed a measure to join other free-thinking states on making it possible to elect the U.S. president by popular vote.

Oh, the urbanity.

Left powerless across the state, Republican hangers on are threatening the only thing left in their dwindling box of tricks: recalls.

Saying that it makes no sense to allow a president to be chosen by popular vote, they’re reaching for a popular vote to try and stop a never-been-done-before public-vote veto of the National Popular Vote Act bill, which enjoys widespread public support and a likely signature by Polis.

The problem is for naysayers that voters here and across the country love the idea of ditching the electoral college and letting the presidential candidate with the most votes win. Everything emboldened Democrats are doing is what a great majority of Colorado residents want them to do. It’s not overreach, it’s overdue.

Gnash, gnash, gnash go the few remaining Republican teeth.

Why are they fewer and fewer? Because they allowed their party to be kidnapped by extremists who no more represent mainstream and majority Colorado than do extremists from the other side of the political rainbow. Colorado has long been a place of common sense, innovation and moderation with a serious left-leaning libertarian bent.

We invented legal fun-weed. Colorado was the first state to ensure a woman’s right to privacy when making any and all reproductive decisions. Coloradans has long stood behind gay rights because we’ve never seen them as gay wrongs.

Far-right Republicans who’ve stymied school spending, common-sense gun control, pay equality, meaningful health-care reform, sane environmental laws and a way to pave more and better roads have finally lost control of the wheel.

Voila! Progress.

That doesn’t mean there’s any less wailing coming from the shriveling center of far-rightedness in Colorado Springs. Those zealots are shrieking over Colorado’s soon-to-be-law allowing police to snag guns from mentally ill people. The measure is intended to separate the unhinged from their firearms before they kill another cop, commit another Aurora theater shooting, another Colorado Springs abortion-clinic massacre, or another Columbine or Platte Canyon high school calamity.

The GOP fringe who kidnapped the state party are flailing over this so-called “red-flag” bill. They know that their illogical “due process” moaning falls on the deaf ears of an overwhelming majority of statewide voters who want this signed into law — because it makes sense.

It’s the end of days in Colorado for those who demand we arm teachers in schools as a way to prevent student massacres. Support for anti-vaxers? That’s so 2018. Reason is taking hold for now.

Tight with money, Coloradan Republicans and Democrats alike have long been averse to extremists of all flavors. Colorado GOP legends like Ralph Carr, John Love, Dottie Wham, Gary McPherson, Tony Grampsas, Al Meiklejohn and many others wouldn’t even recognize what’s become of the Colorado Republican Party. They certainly wouldn’t join it.

Mainstream Colorado Republicans must either regain control of their party, or cede power permanently to Democrats. Without a credible voice with gravitas,  the Dems can do pretty much anything they want. It means the end of critical bi-partisan collaboration that’s made this state a magnet for the world.

If the far-right thinks this is painful, wait until we get to dedicated bike lanes on I-70, the end of TABOR and heavy ammo taxes.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]