(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Yesterday, I urged reporters to keep an eye on a sub-plot that's emerged in the wake of the Republican recall victories: The "liberty" wing of the state GOP has apparently been re-energized by the election, and this could lead not only to a civil war among Colorado Republicans but also to serious election losses this year and into the future.
I mean, last time the base of the GOP got uppity in a sustained way, Ken Buck took down Jane Norton and Dan Maes fearlessly squeaked by Scott McInnis. (Maybe the insurgent air will inspire Scooter to write Musings Part II: Jaxine Bubis Style.)
Happy and hot after Tuesdays wins, the "liberty" faction isn't being polite about its dissatisfaction with the state GOP establishment, as evidenced by Tom Tancredo's comment yesterday, slamming State GOP Chair Ryan Call and expressing his amazement that the State GOP gets any "credibility whatsoever."
Though he was kinder toward Call than Tancredo was, newly elected State Sen. George Rivera hit the State Chair in a more home-spun way during an appearance on KNUS' Peter Boyles Show this morning:
Rivera: To be honest with ya, Chairman Call did come down and kind of threw a little cold water on our parade and so on. But, you know, after the meeting and so on, I sat privately with Chairman Call and I told him, I says, 'Chairman, you don't know Pueblo. You've not been here when we've been doing our campaigning and seen the support we've got from the folks.' And I says, 'I believe you're wrong. And I believe the numbers will come out, and you guys will be very surprised.' Hopefully this will get him to kind of take a different look come 2014.
Boyles: I don't believe it.
You don't need to know much about Tea-Party activists to understand that they'll see this type of rain-on-your-parade behavior by Call as patronizing, to put it mildly.
They'll undoubtedly think similarly of Call's advice to Rivera on Tuesday afternoon, reminding him, like a well-intentioned mother might remind her son, to give a "gracious" concession speech, as opposed, presumably, to the hateful, spit-filled Tea-Party variety. (This was first reported by The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels.)
Obviously, no concession speech was needed because Rivera won the election, and Tea-Party activists were snickering about Call's "gracious" advice Thursday while they lambasted the State GOP for getting the Pueblo recall effort wrong every step of the way.
We'll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months or years or decades. Civil wars, we all know, don't heal very fast, and, to the my real point, they make really good news stories, with intrigue, passion, and late-night stabbings.