Jon Caldara’s Objective: “A Wave of Fear”

MONDAY UPDATE: Maddow Blog's Laura Conaway:

Between the $54 million "erotic grammy," the accusations of faked signatures and the late-breaking Libertarian candidates, it can sometimes be difficult to follow the Colorado state senate recalls, or even to keep track of who's in which race. Right up until Friday, Colorado was still struggling with when the election would be held and how it would be conducted.

But every so often, even through the muddle, you can see quite clearly what the recalls of Democrats John Morse and Angela Giron are about — namely, stopping gun reform across the states. Senators Morse and Giron voted for Colorado's reform back in March, some of the nation's first after the Newtown massacre. Come September 10, the anti-reform lobby wants to make a cautionary tale of them for legislators everywhere.

—–

A must-see video clip forwarded to us of Independence Institute President Jon Caldara, speaking in Colorado Springs earlier this month about the upcoming recall special election against Colorado Senate President John Morse. Transcript:

CALDARA: If the President of the Senate of Colorado, who did nothing except pass the laws that Bloomberg wrote, [Pols emphasis] is knocked out, there will be a shudder, a wave of fear that runs across every state legislator across the country, that says, "I ain't doing that ever. That is not happening to me. I will not become a national embarrassment, I will not take on those guys." That's how big this is.

It's remarkable to hear Caldara admit that Morse "did nothing but pass the laws that Bloomberg wrote." That's not something he should be admitting in front of a camera. That's not the public message from recall proponents these days, who have broadened the case against Morse to include everything from renewable energy to civil unions for gays and lesbians. And it's the frankest admission we've seen from anyone involved that the true goal of the recalls is to incite a "wave of fear across the nation" that chills momentum for gun safety legislation in other states.

For ourselves, when we think about a "wave of fear," we don't think of something good. A "wave of fear" swept through a movie theater in Aurora just over one year ago. We doubt that's the image Caldara wants in your mind as you hear those words. But what is the issue we're debating again? And why are we debating it in Colorado?

The hard core supporters of the recall won't be fazed by Caldara's realpolitik, of course. But the swing voters needed to actually recall Sen. Morse may well ask themselves if they want to be part of "a wave of fear" in support of guns–and answer "no, that sounds creepy."

82 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    Very weak writing.  My suggestion – just hire PCG and Salzman.  They at least have good eyes for decent political stories. 

  2. langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

    I'd like just once for some wingnut like Caldara to provide some evidence for assertions like "Morse passing legislation Bloomberg wrote".Even just one link in a causal chain while not persuasive would at least indicate he'd looked.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    I thought that the writing was Pols style: informal, personal, open editorializing, a bit rude. It fits. Salzman and PCG are fine writers, but there are others. (takes English teacher hat off)

    As far as the content, which is what matters,  it is freaking creepy for Caldara to be rejoicing about creating "a wave of fear" among legislators across the country.

    I don't think that there is a liberal/progressive legislative "exchange" like ALEC for conservatives, which is what Caldara is implying here. There is Progressive States Network, but they focus on worker and union issues, not gun laws. As far as Bloomberg's organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, it's very open about sharing data, suggestions support amongst its member mayors. Nothing hidden in the shadows, no vast amounts of soft money, as the right wing likes to suggest.  And, to date, no financial support of the anti-recall effort. I've looked.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Not the first time Elliot has tried to defend the indefensible.

      • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

        You just used the word indefensible.  Obviously you were making an offensive reference to the victims of mass shootings who were unable to defend themselves.  I demand an apology. 

        /sarcasm

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          OK…I'm sorry Caldara is such a dick…how's that?

          smiley

        • n3bn3b says:

          Of course it's defensible. Caldara didn't mean what the Pols said he means. This is stupid.

          • BlueCat says:

            Apparently you aren't prepared to explain what you think he means or I presume you would have backed up your point by doing so instead of just saying " this is stupid" and leaving it at that. I know that's not the rightie style. It's just talking point, insult, insult, talking point, and don't bother with facts. They have such a lefty bias. You left it at that because, being a typical silly rightie troll, you've got nothing. 

            Now I'll wait for David to gallop by on his high horse, stopping only long enough to lean over and accuse me of making an uncalled for personal attack on a blameless rightie.

            • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

              Jon obviously means fear for political future.  Not fear of safety.  Contending otherwise is dishonest. 

              • BlueCat says:

                Was asking n3b but, of course, no response. Just hit and run with an insult… hmmm…..

                As to your point, Elliot,  Caldera's own words are a pretty naked admission that the recall is for the purpose of intimidation so his side can have its way despite their preferred candidates having lost legitimate elections. Recalls to silence the choices of majorities where recalls have traditionally been for the purpose of addressing criminality or malfeasance. And isn't recalling state legislators at all a first here in Colorado?

                Nobody said he was threatening to cap anybody, dear. Perhaps you'd like to rethink who's being stupid. Or at least willfully obtuse.

                • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

                  Where does Article 21 limit recalls to just malfeasance?  

                  • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                    That isn't what BC said, Elliot.

                     

                    recalls have traditionally been for the purpose of addressing criminality or malfeasance.

                    I have only been involved in the recall of a town mayor, but the statute specifically limits the reasons…malfeasance and criminal activity among them. Nowhere does it say recalls are a political weapon designed for losers who can't accept losing.

                    Please explain how "Article 21" governs recalls and how it justifies recalls "just 'cause we lost and we're pissed".

                  • BlueCat says:

                    As Duke points out, I never said anything about what was contained in any statute, what was legal, what was required. My statement was about what has been customary. 

                    I see you still haven't learned to discipline yourself to address what is actually said, preferring to substitute something you find more convenient for your purposes. There is no need whatsoever for me to feel obliged to point something out to you in a statute that has no relevance to my comment. 

                    If you disagree with my actual words, perhaps you'd like to point out other recalls here in Colorado which were not based on malfeasance to demonstrate that my  comment on what has been common practice is incorrect or maybe you can provide examples of other Colorado state legislators who have been recalled.  Either of those responses would, unlike yours, be relevant to something I actually said.

                     

                    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

                      And there you go again on irrelevant stuff.  On one thing is relevant here: whether Caldera's remarks can be reasonably be interepreted as in any way threatening the use of violence.  They cannot.  

                      If you actually wouldn't frolic so far astray from what a thread is about, maybe you wouldn't get so frustrated when you end up debating just yourself. 

                    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

                      ONLY one thing, not on one thing

                    • BlueCat says:

                      Not getting "reply" for you and as usual you have missed my entire point. You don't get to invent points, attribute them to me and then demand that I show you evidence to back up a point I never made.

                      I should know better, Fladen, than to attempt to have a discussion with you because you either refuse to or don't know how.  I sure hope it's the former since you're a lawyer, for God's sake. That should require a passing knowledge of building an argument and engaging in debate! I give. I may as well reply to a piece of toast.

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Defending the indefensible is Elliot's sole purpose here. Remember when he tried to defend Photoshopping the black people out of the HB-1303 mailer? He's way beyond merely a tool. He's completely shameless.

        • BlueCat says:

          I think poor Eliot feels the need to work overtime to make up for his anti-crazy views on immigration. Unfortunately, even tripling up on the crazy on pretty much everything else won't be enough to acomplish that.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            Elliot's admitted that he's not ruling out a future bid for political office. He can't afford having any record of actually agreeing with the batshit crazy contingent (hence his "my own opinion is irrelevant here" disclaimers), but he also can't afford to have any record of disagreeing with them, lest he face the full power of their batshit craziness in a primary. 

            • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

              There is a huge record of me disagreeing with them on FB and other media.  If I wanted to run in GOP race (assuming I switched parties) right now I'm pretty confident I'd have a strong primary opponent with very angry mailers by Dudley Brown.  Dudley has in fact said almost as much to me.  

              • BlueCat says:

                Oh don't switch, Eliot. Run third party. That, after all, incvolves no risk of being, you know, elected to anything. Seems like the perfect fit for you.

              • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                Elliot – I noticed on your FB page you stated that although you've left the Republican party that you are still committed to it's reform.  I was a Republican from 1977 – 2009.  And I stayed five years longer than I should have.  I don't think it needs reformed, I think it needs to implode.  Perhaps we're saying the same thing in different ways.  I, for one, have no interest in expending any energy thinking about the clown car.  I've been welcomed – and feel at home – in the Colorado Democratic Party.  I'm pretty sure we don't have the equivalent of a 'Dudley'…lots of free thinkers here that are hard to put in a single box.  It's been very liberating.

                My maternal grandparents were Minnesota dairy farmers and staunch Democrats [DFL] so I grew up with a foot in both camps – it wasn't much of a stretch for me to change parties.  But at the end of the day the political debate should be about ideas and people.  Not ideology and thugs suffering from arrested development.

                • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

                  Michael, thanks for the invite, but (from my POV) the Dems have more issues than the GOP (even with Dudley & Co. included).  So I think my time is best spent on seeking to change the GOP. 

                  That said, I have plenty of friends in the Dem party and I get quite peeved when people say that being liberal is a "mental illness" or stuff of the sort. 

                • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

                  Michael, one of these days I'd like to have a chat about what makesa Minnesota DFLer different from a plain ol' Democrat. I wondered a lot about this while keeping up with the Minnesota marriage question last year.

                  • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                    I'm not sure there's much daylight between them and a generic Minnesota Dem today. In Grandpa's era, the small Minnesota dairy farmers were well organized and the NFO had a lot of clout. The similarities between the (then) farming community and labor made them a natural coalition. Today the farmers in DFL need labor for the number of people they bring to the table as there are far fewer farmers. 

        • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

          Remember the morning of 12/14/12? He’s been defending the indefensible (and poorly too) since he got here.

  4. UglyAmericanUglyAmerican says:

    It's weak Pols, and typical of the partisan stuff that has emanated from here since the redesign/retech. Probably why participation and the fun of the site has diminished, no? PCG was dead right.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      You're right, this site used to be a lot more interesting when there was a large number of conservative commenters and the dead guvs were more even-handed. And this has become more and more an echo chamber of the left, from the dead guvs down to most commenters.

      I miss back then when it was a very loud & robust discussion – around the issues (mostly). Newsman, Haners, Gecko, LaughingBoy were all a joy to argue with. Now when anything says anything other than the progressive talking points, it's just a pile-on of personal attacks.

      The change started well before the redesign though.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        How appropos to this diary — the exact same kind of unsupported nonsensical BS that Caldera was slinging about that Bloomberg/Morse connection ??!!??  

        (You're a sly comic irono-socratic-performance-artist genius, DT !!! — but you probably already knew that everyone who knows you knew that already, huh?)

        Do you suppose "the change" you speak of has something more to do with your wizened age, than your canny objective insightfulness – it sure seemed that way for my ex, anyway . . . but I digress . . .   —  just wonderin' ???

        ( And, yes! . . . just wanted to make sure you got one tiny something partially correct today vis-a-vis pile-ons, BTW . . .       ;~)     )

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Well you're here.  To tell everyone how terrible the site is.  There's always that to back for!

      • BlueCat says:

        Since when is calling a dick a dick a partisan talking point? The prevailing ColPol view of the brazenly dickish-and-proud-of-it Caldera hasn't changed an iota since the redesign.

        I suppose next you'll be telling us that the poor departed righties never indulged in personal attacks, that they only engaged in well reasoned, polite discussion backed up with plenty of facts from reliable sources and simply couldn' t stand the progressive name calling meanies who make wild stuff up out of whole cloth.

        You really have been laying the prim, self righteous crap on extra thick lately. It's pretty much the pearl clutching, passive aggresive version of the name calling you keep scolding people over lately. It almost makes me miss your former endless bragging about being the world's best and most loved boss with the best ideas, the best kids and the bestest Republican pol mom in the whole universe. Nah, not really.

        The redesign has proved to be a buzz kill because it's so much less user friendly. The rest is simply the nature of blogs. They get stale. Nothing stays the same forever. Maybe the righties got tired of being nagged to back their talking points with actual facts and laughed at when they inevitably failed to make the attempt because they had nothing.  

        So are you just sticking around for the pleasure of being so darned superior or what?

      • GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

        Change? I don't go back that far, but the reason I came here and stayed was because I finally found a partisan source of info and commentary backed up by deep-delving insider-ness and abetted by polsters with passion, knowledge, political experience, (not enough) wit  and (sometimes regretted) fearlessness.  Anyone whose first experience at the site left them feeling  they were visiting a neutral venue of political exchange is hopelessly naive or projecting his/her own ambivilance. Though willing to give credit to occasional rare sparks of Republican/conservative/right wing wisdom lapses in hypocracy, this site has always been a haven for center-left chatter. Jeez, why do you think they started it?

        Psst, Guvs: I think Soros took a bit to much FICA out of my July check. Could you please look into it?

        • The realistThe realist says:

          Good summary – describes why I'm here. Classic conservative thought is welcome here, when it's connected to the real world. Don't see much of that any more. The dominant theme of the GOP these days is to return the US to a time that never was. Pushing that agenda breaks down rather quickly when it's met with facts.

          • BlueCat says:

            The Butler, an unabashedly and purposefully inspirational film of a type I usually avoid but in this case completely fell for, was a timely reminder of  just what that fantasy time for which conservatives long was really like. And it's not just in dramatizations that can be questioned. The newscasts of the time that are woven into the film should be seen by anyone too young to remember and who thinks all the fuss about racism is overdone and irrelevant now, a thing of the distant past anyway. You don't have to be any older than earlier boomer age to remember those days yourself.   

            The major difference is that "conservatives" then fought basic equal rights, dignity and a voice at the polls for people of color with everything from humiliation, jailings, beatings, dogs and baseball bats to bombs, torture and murder where today they fight the same fight with voter suppression legislation. Ah those golden conservative days of  rightie fantasy yesteryear. Good times, just like in Mayberry with good ol'  Andy, Opie and Aunt Bea? Yeah, right.

        • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

          Thank you, Larry! Precisely why I'm here. And despite all of the name-calling and thumb-sucking by the vastly outnumbered GOPers and teabaggers, I do often get the inside scoop on things. For instance, I'm thrilled to learn that mortgage and insurance companies are getting so skittish about fracked property.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Spoken like the true conservative that you are David.  The good old days were always better.

        I continue to find ColoradoPols worth looking at because of their focus on Colorado Politics and the insightful reporting that will never show up in the big dailies.  The upside to their new site is that it can integrate Facebook posts.  Based on the posts at 9News.com there are enough right-wing extremists out there who are eager to promote their hate filled ideology to fulfill all your most conservative wet dreams.  We just need to figure out how to show them where this socialistic and anti-Merika website is.  They'll be all over it in rightous indignation.

        I try to plug coloradopols.com whenever I'm posting on other sites.  In the absence of reasonable and thoughtful conservative commentators, I guess we'll have to pick up the slack with reasonable and thoughtful progressive commentary.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Wow! Every time a story beings out the vintage trolls like UglyAmerican, you know it's close to the mark…

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    a. The site is partisan, in case you hadn't noticed. That's why people read it. Writers on here seem to write from a progressive P o V, but I think that might be factual reality's well-known liberal bias. If you want to see more conservative pieces, write a diary!

    b. Progressive Cowgirl is a big Cowgirl, and can speak for herself, and I'm sure she will if she chooses to.

    c. Sometimes there's a slow news day, and people come up with "lite" pieces, commenting on other people's news stories. Happens all the time on every news medium I've ever seen.  Again, you don't like it, frigging write an in-depth, investigative, blazing-mad piece and let the shit hit the fan!

    d. Eliot, was this what you had in mind when you wrote your first critical post? I think….yes.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Elliot is, in fact, an above average shit stirrer. One pocket full of red herring and the other full of little straw men. I like him, but find him insincere.

      This blog has been around a long time and, it is, indeed, very partisan. I suspect it will continue to be the place people in Colorado, who want to hear the truth about Colorado politics, will continue to click in.

      The reason for the diminished traffic here is the site is fucked up and the guvs are dragging their feet about fixing it. A review function, sig lines (muy importante), an ability to know when and where new comments are coming in, a list of online users…and SLOOOOWWWW (sometimes).

      Still it is the most interesting place on the web, in my humble opinion. The reason we don't have so many righties as we used to is their complete and profound inability to argue with people like Ari, Dio, BC, Daft, SSG Dan, Twitty, Curmie, Gray, and on and on…(sorry for those I didn't name, but you know I love you). The true conservatives like Craig, Republican 36, ajb, and such (same as above) keep coming back.

      Fer Chris'sakes , Muhammed Ali Hasan (now Miguel) became a Democrat on these pages. We would love to have someone present cogent arguments for the Republican point of view….but…well, you see what I mean. The best they have is Fladen…?

      I, for one, will continue to abuse and ridicule anyone with whom I disagree, as long as the Guvs don't ban me. That same anyone is free to abuse and ridicule me as much as they like. I usually put on my big boy pants when I sit down at this screen…

      I sez…If you can't stand the heat…stay the fuck out of the kitchen.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        "The best they have is Fladen…?"  

        ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!

        (If Alva ever does get his shit toegther in this lifetime again, I call dibs on that for my firstest next sig line . . . )

        snort  hahahahaha  snort  heehee  ha ha . . .  ooh, ooh, ooooh . . . where was I?  . . . oh, yeah . . .  whew . . . 

        . . . OK, Duke, . . .  so admitedly Elliot may lack most of the wit of ArapaGop, and some of the charm of Libertad — BUT, even you gotta' admit – all that free legal advice has been teh wunderbar !!! ( . . . and sometimes worth close to almost about nearly every penny, too!!) 

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        Right on man. I've been here since 2007, I've seen the trolls come and go.

        I do hope they get the site fixed though.

        Dear GUVS: I come back for your good work, but please fix the tech issues (sloooowwness is the only one I care about) so you stay at the top of the game.

      • BlueCat says:

        + a zillion, Duke.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Oh…and as to question d… yes…no one is talking about what a dick Caldara is and how hypocritically heinous is the Republican spin on this issue.

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

      I had one thing in mind with first comment – that having this as a headline piece was ridiculous. 

  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    The video is chilling, in all senses of the word. I think that it shows Caldara's arrogant disregard of the democratic process as much as Romney's secretly taped "47%" comments. Sincere proponents of Independence, Freedom, and Rights, as Caldara and the Independence Institute claim to be, do not proclaim that they are out to intimidate legislators. In that sense, it's an important story.

    Caldara and the Independence Institute hadn't been on my radar as far as involveement with the recall effort before I saw this video. My research indicates that the II has been a behind the scenes participant since the recall's planning stages. There's a blog post in there somewhere.

    But I do need to be doing teacher and student prep this week, so it may be awhile.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Yup, and that's why Elliot was here within minutes to talk shit. This video is very bad for the recalls, and I hope more people see it.

      I look forward to another great blog post from you too.

      • ParkHill says:

        Elliot is a partisan activist for the Libertarian ideology. This is a political ideology rather than philosophy (despite all the big words and latin phrases, ipso facto digitalis). John Caldera and the Independence Institute are Libertarian ideologues and activists. Once you realize that, EF's and JC's comments are coherent and self-serving. In terms of political strategy, we are observing a minority "Vanguard Party" working its way into control of the Republican Party. To acheive political power, Libertarians are allied with the Corporatists, Gun Fetishists, States Rights (aka White Supremecists), the Tea Party, and Christianists. The primary, obvious goal is to reduce taxes, especially inheritance taxes, on the wealthy.

        The Koch Brothers, and a bunch of other right wing business groups are deep-pocket funding this.

        Moral of the story: Don't even bother getting into a political discussion with a Libertarian. It's like talking to a Moonie or a Trotskyite. 

        • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

          Don't tell too many people or I will have my skull & bones membership revoked along with my ticket to the 2014 Bilderberg group meeting.  The illuminati might not care so much though.  I'll have to call them to confirm. 

          /sarcasm

  7. Albert J. Nock says:

    I would like to see Caldara and I.I. recall 1 of the many socialist/statist Republicans.  Maybe roll back some of the many tax increases they have neglected to prevent.

    Maybe separate themselves from Statist Mike Rosen and statist Milton Freidman…

     

  8. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Re: Maddow pickup — you were saying, Fladen?

  9. BlueCat says:

    Here's something weird. When I simply click on the site without logging in a few of the latest comments aren't there. I logged in and went to my comments to see if my latest comments appeared there. After and only after logging in…. they do and so do others, such as another of Elliot's irrelevant non-responsive replies featuring  demands to show him proof for stuff I never claimed in the first place with an admonition that I not stray from the thread, as usual. Won't bother with that anymore. He's right that it's frustrating but willfully clueless as to why. Unless he really is that clueless in which case I salute him for finishing High School, much less passing the bar!  Such a level of impairment he must have overcome!

    When I log out, the most recent comments are gone again. Another day at ColPols, another adventure in Cybertown. Let's see what happens this time when I hit post comment, log out and return a little later to check.

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