Statesman columnist and former Colorado legislator Miller Hudson writes about the recent would-be “Star Chamber” proceeding orchestrated by Republicans on the Joint Budget Committee and GOP House leadership to hector Metro State University about their decision to create an affordable category of tuition for undocumented students from Colorado.
For the second time in less than a month, a Republican legislator has expressed their suspicion that Colorado’s leaders are actively colluding with the White House for the express purpose of embarrassing them. It’s enough to make you break out your copy of Richard Hofstader’s famous 1963 essay, The Paranoid Style of American Politics…
This past week Joint Budget Committee Chairwoman Cheri Gerou scheduled a hearing in the old Supreme Court Chambers at the Capitol for the purpose of grilling Metro State President Steve Jordan regarding the decision by his governing board to offer a preferential tuition rate to immigrant students who would be eligible for participation in the federal Dream Act or its Colorado equivalent, the ASSET bill, if either were ever to be approved. She and several of her GOP colleagues were anxious to flog both Metro and Jordan for their audacious usurpation of legislative authority. This Star Chamber proceeding was justified under the guise of a flimsy concern that this policy might negatively affect state budget outlays.
Gerou is a legislator whose self regard visibly swells behind a microphone. She launched her explanation of the hearing’s objective with a snarky remark about Jordan’s recent trip to Washington, D.C., by observing, “…I understand you visited with the President at the White House on Monday?” Jordan promptly corrected her by pointing out that the President was in Los Cabos attending the G-20 meeting, [Pols emphasis] although he gave as good as he got by adding that he would have been delighted to have participated in such a meeting. Gerou was clearly knocked off balance, and stumbled ahead with a lame attempt to link Obama’s announcement the previous Friday that the Department of Homeland Security (INS) would no longer enforce the deportation of students who met the Dream Act criteria with Metro’s decision. It was obvious Gerou could not accept the possibility that Jordan’s visit to Washington was merely a coincidence.
As Miller points out, the same far-fetched conspiracy theorizing prevailed when Speaker Frank McNulty accused Gov. John Hickenlooper of coordinating his call for a special session to deal with civil unions with Barack Obama’s campaign–as if Hickenlooper or Obama could have known that McNulty was going to short-circuit a majority in his own chamber to prevent civil unions from coming up for a vote. In Metro President Stephen Jordan’s case, the “visit to the White House” he was accused of could be debunked by reading the national news.
The first rule of conspiracy theories is they shouldn’t be this debunkable. Next time, Republicans, try space aliens! Nobody can ever disprove aliens appearing out of nowhere on a dark highway to coordinate the nefarious plans of Democrats, with everyone’s favorite icon of alien “coordination,” the anal probe. Bigfoot might work in a pinch, but aliens would naturally be smarter than Bigfoot, more capable of nefariousness–like George Soros himself.
Try it at home, it’s fun!