Bernie Herpin, Time To Dance With “Personhood”

Bernie Herpin.

Bernie Herpin.

The GOP successor candidate in the SD-11 recall special election, former Colorado Springs city councilor Bernie Herpin, is pushing back angrily against the accusation that he is a supporter of the so-called "Personhood" abortion bans that have failed in Colorado over several consecutive election cycles. As the Colorado Independent noted updating their report on the matter after belatedly hearing from Herpin's campaign:

The Herpin mailer refers to his alleged support as city council member of the “personhood” movement, which seeks to outlaw abortion by granting full legal rights to fertilized human eggs, or “life from the moment of conception,” as supporters put it. Analysts have said personhood would amount to sweeping changes in the law, where countless statutes would have to be reworked and legal interpretations extended broadly and perhaps to absurd ends, where not only birth control would be outlawed but also where activities like drinking, smoking and raw-cheese eating, for example, could turn pregnant women into suspects or criminals.*

Herpin didn’t answer calls Thursday from the Independent seeking comment. But subsequent to publication, his campaign told the Independent that, although he is pro-life, there is “no evidence” that he has ever supported the personhood movement and that, in fact, Herpin does not support personhood [Pols emphasis] and has never signed a personhood petition.

First and foremost, the attack mailer the Independent's story this weekend reports on, and that Herpin is responding to above, does not allege he signed a petition to place any of the "personhood" ballot initiatives before Colorado voters. As our readers know, the "personhood" abortion ban campaign seeks a constitutional amendment declaring that human life begins "at conception," or at the moment an egg becomes fertilized by a sperm. The logical consequences that follow from that declaration, including a ban on all abortions and even birth control that could harm a fertilized egg, are not expressly defined in the amendment but fully understood.

With that in mind, where does Bernie Herpin actually stand on the underlying issue? For that, we turn to the Pikes Peak Citizens for Life city council candidate questionnaire from last April: 


Will reporters accept silence from candidates on issues related to the Brady Amendment?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Statesman’s Peter Marcus provides an excellent update today on a personhood-backed ballot initiative aiming to change the definition of “’person’ and ‘child’” under Colorado law to include “unborn human beings.”

Signatures for the fetal-homicide measure, criticized by pro-choice activists as a backdoor abortion ban, are due by Sept. 30.

But the question still hanging out there is how Republicans, who favor the personhood position against abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, are going to deal with the latest infant-mortality measure, which is at a minimum a step toward such a ban.

Will reporters let candidates brush it off, as Coffman did in 2012, saying it’s not their focus, even though Coffman was later held up as the poster-child for Personhood USA?

Marcus couldn’t get answers from top 2014 candidates about the so-called Brady Amendment, but he provided this useful roundup on some past positions on abortion and personhood.

Republicans Veer Off Message: No Help Needed

MONDAY UPDATE: The Colorado Independent updates their story as recall successor candidate Bernie Herpin pushes back on allegations he was a supporter of the “Personhood” abortion ban:

Herpin didn’t answer calls Thursday from the Independent seeking comment. But subsequent to publication, his campaign told the Independent that, although he is pro-life, there is “no evidence” that he has ever supported the personhood movement and that, in fact, Herpin does not support personhood and has never signed a personhood petition.



The Colorado Independent's Tessa Cheek reports today on a new mailer hitting Senate District 11 mailboxes this weekend, attacking Colorado Senate President John Morse's de facto GOP recall opponent Bernie Herpin. A similar mailer is reportedly on the way to residents of Senate District 3, where Democratic Sen. Angela Giron faces a recall challenge led by Republican George Rivera:

The Herpin mailer refers to his support as city council member of the “personhood” movement, which seeks to outlaw abortion by granting full legal rights to fertilized human eggs, or “life from the moment of conception,” as supporters put it. Analysts have said personhood would amount to sweeping changes in the law, where countless statutes would have to be reworked and legal interpretations extended broadly and perhaps to absurd ends, where not only birth control would be outlawed but also where activities like drinking, smoking and raw-cheese eating, for example, could turn pregnant women into suspects or criminals.

Groups have tried and failed three times in recent years to pass a constitutional amendment to make personhood the law in Colorado. Voters in conservative Mississippi also solidly rejected a personhood proposal in 2011…

Republican George Rivera, a longtime Pueblo police officer who retired as a deputy chief, brushed off the mailers Friday on Twitter, calling them “desperate” and a “shell game” being played by Giron.

“I make no apologies for my belief in the sanctity of life,” he wrote.

But Rivera takes a hardline stance on the abortion debate, even for a conservative, and reproductive rights are sure to be one of the issues that will concern voters in Pueblo.

The recall attempts now underway against Sens. Morse and Giron began as a response to the passage of landmark gun safety bills in the Colorado legislature this year. Gun rights groups, grassroots and not so much, did the early organizing. But over time, the recalls have evolved into a much more generalized conflict between conservative and liberal political establishments in Colorado. This is particularly evident from the prominent role played by a group "advised" by Bob Beauprez and Mark Hillman in the Morse recall, not to mention Jeff Crank's Americans for Prosperity organization supplying professional staff to those "grassroots groups"–see Kerns, Jennifer–and lavish paid media support. After years of losing elections, these recalls have come to symbolize Colorado Republican hopes to springboard back into majority power.

It's important to remember that recall organizers themselves have freely expanded the scope of allegations against the targeted Senators to include the whole smorgasbord of Republican pet issues, from hating on renewable energy to civil unions–when it suited them. So nobody can accuse recall opponents of anything inappropriate by using a broader range of issues against the successor candidates now.

Bottom line: the more the recall debate veers away from the single issue of gun rights, the less likely the recalls are to succeed. Voters in both swing SD-11 and heavily Democratic SD-3 trend ambivalent at best, to strongly opposed to Herpin and Rivera's positions on just about every issue. Single-issue backlash from gun rights supporters aside, SD-3 is a Democratic stronghold, and SD-11 after reapportionment is more defensible by Democrats than the 2010 election's close result suggests. The fact is, any transpartisan appeal that recall supporters claim to have with opposition to the gun bills has a point of diminishing return–and it's these other issues, issues Democrats know very well how to use against Republicans politically, that will tip swing voters in these districts toward a "no."

Lamborn vs. The “Morning After Pill” (Again)

Plan B.

Plan B.

Reports the Colorado Springs Independent:

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn has reintroduced legislation aimed at banning "morning-after pills" from school clinics. The bill would prohibit federal funding to schools whose clinics provide emergency contraception, which is currently available on drugstore shelves to anyone who wants to buy it.

In a press release, Lamborn argued that school clinics should not carry the pill, citing various risks. The pill has long been targeted by conservatives who claim it can cause a fertilized egg to abort…

More from Rep. Doug Lamborn's press release:


Battle Joined: Planned Parenthood vs. Cynthia Coffman

MONDAY UPDATE: NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado weighs in:

Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado today questioned whether Colorado Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman could fairly represent the state’s voters and women after a video surfaced showing Coffman boasting that she helped deny funding for women’s health care.

A video of Cynthia Coffman, an announced candidate for Colorado Attorney General, shows her bragging to a group of Republicans in 2010 that she “was the attorney for Jane Norton when she went to court to take away funding for Planned Parenthood of the Rockies (sic).”
“Colorado has spoken several times on this issue. Voters have said clearly, loudly that they do not want government to make decisions that women should make in consultation with their families, their friends, their doctors and their faith,” said Middleton.

“This is the 21st century and women are capable of making a decision that is best for them, not denying health care services to those who most need them,” Middleton continued…

“Colorado voters have twice gone to the ballot and overwhelming said that we do not tolerate extremists on this issue. So who is Cynthia Coffman representing when she brags about denying health care services for women? It doesn’t seem like she’s on the side of the overwhelming majority of Colorado,” concluded Middleton.


In response to a post Wednesday on this blog, featuring video of GOP Colorado Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman boasting of her work to "defund Planned Parenthood" in this state, Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado sent out this press release yesterday making an issue of it:

DENVER—On election night in 2012 election, voters ousted politicians who ran on the campaign platform that included the promise to “defund Planned Parenthood,” resulting in an 18 percent gender gap, the largest since 1952. Yet we already have a candidate in Colorado who is repeating this same path and in doing so, using women’s health as her political pawn.

According to, Cynthia Coffman, who worked on Jane Norton’s 2010 bid for Senate, proudly boasted, at a campaign event, that she and Norton had “defunded Planned Parenthood.”

Coffman has now declared her intention to run for the Colorado Attorney General’s office, which begs the question – is this candidate in touch with the values of Coloradans?

Norton’s move to defund Planned Parenthood resulted in 13,000 mostly rural women losing complete access to their basic health care needs including access to life-saving breast cancer screenings and contraceptives.  Norton touts this move, which completely marginalizes the women of Colorado who relied on these services for their basic health care needs, as a success in her career.  Throwing women under the bus and calling it a political win is bad policy, bad politics, and clearly yet another move by a gynotician.  Gynotician is a term used by women’s health care advocates to denote a politician who feels more qualified than women and their doctors to make women’s health care decisions.


Cynthia Coffman: “We Defunded Planned Parenthood”

Back during the 2010 GOP U.S. Senate primary, candidate Jane Norton faced an uphill (and ultimately unsuccessful) battle for the right wing of the party against Weld County DA Ken Buck. Buck appealed to social conservatives early in this race with his strident rhetoric against abortion–even volunteering unbidden that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and/or incest.

In response, Norton made much of her work as director of the Colorado Department of Health under former Gov. Bill Owens to "defund" Planned Parenthood. This wasn't enough to put Norton over the top in 2010's GOP Senate primary, as you know–and some argued that campaigning on defunding Planned Parenthood was waiting to backfire on her during the general election, much as Buck's view on the issue wound up damaging him. After all, in the mid 2000s, abortions made up only about 3% of Planned Parenthood's services–with contraception, STD treatment, and cancer screening accounting for the vast majority of the organization's work (see chart upper right).

As it turns out, Norton had help on the 2010 campaign trail telling Republican primary voters about her efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood. Check out this video from the North Denver Candidate Search 2010 Forum, hosted by "Tea Party" groups Revive Our American Republic, the Denver/Front Range 9.12 Project, the Broomfield 9.12 Project, and the now-defunct People's Press Collective


Colorado: Less Purple, More Blue, And No Stopping It

The Fort Collins Coloradoan's Patrick Malone put out an excellent, in-depth look at the state of Colorado politics looking ahead to 2014 this weekend, as well as a summary of Democratic gains made in this state since 2004–and prospects for continued success in a state whose demographics have permanently changed in the last two decades. A few excerpts, but make sure you click through and read this whole story:

Voter behavior provides the most obvious evidence. Electors in 2006 banned gay marriage, rejected civil unions by another name and turned down a measure to legalize marijuana.

Fast forward to 2012, when polls showed 65 percent of Coloradans favored allowing civil unions for gay couples, and 55 percent of voters approved an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana.

Add Democrats’ most prosperous decade of election performances in a half-century, and it is undeniable that the longtime swing state has become a bluer shade of purple, longtime observers of Colorado politics agree…

“People are fleeing states like California, big cities like Detroit and Chicago, and coming to Colorado, for the promise of opportunity and outdoor recreation, and importing their politics,” said Ryan Call, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

He doubts the demographic advantage that the liberal ideology enjoys today is sustainable. Call predicts newcomers to the state will eventually grow disenchanted with the policies of the Democrats they elect.

Another Republican, retired professor Bob Loevy who served on the reapportionment commission in 2011, doesn't agree with Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call.

“Fifty years ago, the backbone of the Republican Party was upper-class people with good educations that mostly lived in the suburbs — old-timers called them ‘Eisenhower Republicans,’ ” Loevy said. “They sustained the party for years. Under the (President George W.) Bush administration, emphasis on those key social issues began driving upscale and well-educated people out of the Republican Party. This was particularly true of their children. That’s the main reason, in my view, for the decline of the Republican Party in Colorado.”

There's plenty here for our readers to discuss. Let us say again that the emphasis on social wedge issues Loevy talks about above continues apace in today's Republican Party, where despite warnings of long-term peril, politically suicidal abortion bans and killing overwhelmingly popular immigration reform measures dominate the agenda. The battle over gun safety bills this year, and the fallout as Republicans dump money and emotion into "making an example" of circumstantially vulnerable Democrats, won't be enough to reverse this larger and more fundamental problem the Colorado GOP has created for itself. As with these other issues where Republicans planted their flag, there is simply not enough of a base to overcome the demographic sea changes occurring all around them. In fact, as the face of Colorado's electorate changes, these "strengths" become liabilities.

As we've said, we don't know what the road back to a majority for the GOP here is. There may not be one.

BREAKING: Amy Stephens Being Courted To Challenge Udall

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on our scoop:

According to local news site, Republican strategists in the state are urging [Stephens] to run in a race that currently lacks any likely GOP contenders…

The purple tint of Colorado has given some Republicans hope they'd be able to mount a challenge against Udall in 2014, but he maintains high popularity in the state and has posted strong fundraising numbers so far this year, sitting on $2.5 million for his reelection fight at the close of the first quarter. 


Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).

The so-far fruitless search for a Republican to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall next year continues. We last reported that GOP Rep. Cory Gardner will not run against Udall, leaving the field open for wide-ranging speculation about various possible opponents–including former Rep. Bob Beauprez, Treasurer Walker Stapleton, former Gov. Bill Owens, and even freshman state Sen. Owen Hill. None of these candidates seem particularly resonant, but that's the state of the troubled GOP bench these days.

Sources tell us this bleak picture may be about to change: former Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens of Colorado Springs is being courted by GOP strategists to run against Udall. Stephens is a former Focus on the Family public policy "specialist," who wrote two abstinence-only sex-ed school curriculaSex, Lies & the Truth, and No Apologies. As House Majority Leader, Rep. Stephens played a major role in the killing of the 2012 civil unions bill, which without extraordinary action by Republican leadership would have passed with bipartisan support.

Stephens' generally solid right wing credentials are somewhat complicated by her on-again-off-again sponsorship of the legislation that created Colorado's new health insurance exchange, a major component of "Obamacare" nonetheless favored by many business interests. It will be interesting to see, should Stephens decide to run for U.S. Senate, how that plays with the GOP base. To her credit, she did survive a primary challenge from Rep. Marsha Looper that was largely based on Stephens' support for this bill.

Bottom line: Stephens has an enormous amount of wedge-issue baggage, and on balance there's little to suggest there she would be any more competitive against Sen. Udall than any of the other names that have been mentioned (or already declined). That said, her resume, institutional support on the Christian right, and relatively clean slate in terms of public opinion–this is a nice way of saying she has no name ID–could make the race more interesting than, say, Bob Beauprez would make it.

New Coffman® “Strongly” Opposes Old Coffman

A sidenote to this week's passage in the U.S. House of H.R. 1797, a GOP-sponsored bill to restrict abortion rights, helpfully brought to our attention by a reader. Following the vote on H.R. 1797 Tuesday, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado put out a statement attempting to explain his vote in favor of this abortion ban bill:

I voted today in favor of H.R. 1797 to limit late term abortion.  I strongly support the exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother that have been included in this legislation. [Pols emphasis]

As has been reported in this space and elsewhere, this represents a major shift in Coffman's stance on abortion. Back in 2009, Coffman was so eager to make sure his hard-line position on abortion was known that he requested this clarification from former local talk-show host Dan Caplis:

Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. [Pols emphasis] I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being.

You'll recall that Rep. Coffman has explained his "change of heart" on another issue, immigration reform, by saying he spoke with affected families–especially noncitizen soldiers in the American armed forces. Of course, the fact that Coffman's formerly beet-red district was remade into one of the most competitive districts in the nation is widely accepted as the true reason for Coffman's shifting stances on the issues.

In 2011, Coffman co-sponsored a bill to restrict abortion funding to cases of "forcible" rape along with Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill now embarrassingly prescient of Akin's career-ending remarks about "legitimate rape" and pregnancy. Coffman's 2009 statement that he "opposes abortion in all cases of rape and incest" was unequivocal. What happened to change his mind this time, other than simple political calculation?

Because you only get so many "changes of heart" before they put your face on an Etch-a-Sketch.

Colorado House Republicans Unite…To Pass Abortion Ban


The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196, mostly along party lines.

The vote is largely symbolic: The bill will be dead on arrival in the Senate. And the White House has already threatened to veto the “fetal pain” legislation, which is based on the controversial assertion that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development…

Anti-abortion Republicans are hoping to capitalize on public outrage about Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial, which captured national headlines. Franks’s original bill was crafted to outlaw late term abortions in Washington, D.C., and it failed in the House last year under a procedure that needed a two-thirds vote for passage. But the Gosnell verdict sparked outrage and reinvigorated activists, and a few days after the conviction Franks broadened his legislation to apply nationwide.

Opposing it, Democrats supporting abortion rights are stoking liberal anger over the “war on women” and chiding the GOP for spending its time on a divisive social agenda instead of focusing on jobs. They said the bill is unconstitutional and distracting.

The Los Angeles Times has response from Democrats including Rep. Diana DeGette of Denver:

“I thought we had established this last fall with the election. Americans are tired of Congress taking up extreme and divisive legislation targeted at women’s health,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said at a news conference before the vote. “Many of our Republican colleagues don’t seem to have gotten that message.” [Pols emphasis]

A recent Gallup poll found that Americans’ views on abortion had changed little after the Gosnell trial, with 78% saying it should be legal under certain circumstances, compared with 20% who said it should be illegal in all circumstances.

All four Colorado House Republicans, Reps. Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, and Doug Lamborn voted for this abortion ban bill. Rep. Lamborn went a fully expected step further and signed on as a co-sponsor. Take note of Rep. Tipton vote for this bill, as he has usually shied away from abortion controversies during his time in office, and could face a woman opponent in 2014–making this a vote that could come back to haunt him. Perhaps even more interesting is Rep. Coffman's vote in favor–not that it's all that surprising, since Coffman was a co-sponsor of Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" bill, 2011's H.R. 3. But this was an opportunity for Coffman to include reproductive choice in the slate of issues he is "reinventing" himself around, setting himself up as the moderate swing-district New Coffman®.

But much like his recent vote against DREAMers, Old Coffman appears to be the "decider." And as for the very good advice given to all Republicans after 2012's defeats, to steer clear of base-pleasing but otherwise self injurious social wedge issues? Now you have their answer, folks.

At Least He’s Not Your Muzzled Congressman

Buh-bye now.

Buh-bye now.

Politico follows up with Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, whose Todd Akin-like comments about the likelihood of pregnancy resulting from the crime of rape resurrected the "War on Women" meme this past week during debate over the GOP's latest abortion restriction bill in the House.

Rep. Trent Franks’s (R-Ariz.) bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide now includes an exception for rape and incest after his remarks about rape and pregnancy created an uproar.

And it’s not Franks’s bill anymore — or more precisely, he won’t be managing his own bill when it goes to the House floor Tuesday. He’s being replaced with a high-profile House GOP woman. [Pols emphasis]

A spokesman for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) confirmed Friday to POLITICO that she’ll be managing the debate, and that the bill is being changed to include the new exception…

On the one hand, yanking control of this bill from Rep. Franks and giving it to Rep. Marsha Blackburn makes, well, obvious political sense. On the other hand, Rep. Franks' comments underscore the kinds of Republican presumptions about the issue of abortion that have made it such a liability in the last few election cycles–with a permanent, or at least enduring, loss of support from women and wedge-issue agnostic independent voters. Here in Colorado, the 2010 U.S. Senate race was largely decided based on the GOP Senate candidate's repellent views and prior statements about rape and reproductive choice. And then came Paul Ryan.

In the end, this may be a problem that Republicans can't solve. They are stuck in the thrall of a shrinking but powerful segment of voters for whom the issue of abortion is an irrational litmus test. That's why the House is debating this totally symbolic abortion bill, DOA upon passage, to begin with. They don't really have a choice.

We await the next Todd Akin…

Two Personhood-Backed Measures Could Appear on 2014 Election Ballot

(Seriously? How many votes will it cost them this time? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Personhood activists are gathering Thursday night in Highlands Ranch to launch their petition drive to put a so-called fetal homicide measure on the 2014 election ballot.

The initiative would protect “unborn human beings” under the Colorado criminal code, thus allowing for the prosecution of those who commit crimes against “unborn human beings.”

The phrase “unborn human beings” is not defined, leaving open the possibility that all stages of human development, from zygote (fertilized egg) through the end of pregnancy, could be considered by courts as “people” and receive legal protections under Colorado law.

This approach, which mirrors a bill introduced by GOP Rep. Janak Joshi in the Colorado Legislature this year, has been criticized by abortion-rights advocates as a back-door abortion ban, because it could give a fetus legal status and open the door for criminal charges against doctors who provide abortions. Others have claimed it could even justify the murder of abortion providers


Republican Party Purge Underway–But Not In Colorado, Folks

Politico reports today:

Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.

Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices. To wit:

Fox ousted contributors Sarah Palin and Dick Morris, two of the most obnoxiously partisan figures on the network’s air.

Karl Rove, himself sidelined by Fox after the election, has helped start a new super PAC, the Conservative Victory Fund, designed to keep controversial conservatives like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from winning Senate primaries.

Senate GOP leaders created what amounts to a buddy system with their caucus’s most popular tea party members, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, to get their help in taming anti-establishment conservatives.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been running around the country warning anyone who will listen that Republicans must quit being the “stupid party” that nominates nutty candidates.

This is reportedly more aftereffects of the Republican Party's many defeats in 2012, and further acknowledgement of something we've been warning Republicans in this state for many years: the extremists in the Republican party have become the face of the party, and as a result the GOP has entered a phase of what could be terminal decline as they continue to alienate the broad American center. Candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in 2012, who lost otherwise entirely winnable U.S. Senate races after exposing themselves as horrifying throwbacks on the issues of rape and abortion, are symptoms of the same problem that resulted in the nomination of Weld County DA Ken Buck in 2010–who went on to narrowly lose his Senate race after being exposed as a throwback.


The Republican News Conference that Wasn’t

(promoted by PCG)

Republicans sitting on the State House's Health Insurance and Environment Committee apparently didn't hear the post-election groaning of Josh Penry, Rob Witwer and others as they begged Republicans to be more inclusive and tolerant.

They voted 6-5 (party line) today against killing a measure that would have banned nearly all abortions in Colorado, with no exception for a woman raped by her father, for example.

Reporters groping for evidence of a post-election move to the middle by Colorado Republicans should look elsewhere. In fact, this legislation shifts the Colorado GOP further to the right on abortion than it's been in years. 


A GOP “Move To The Middle”–Wouldn’t That Be Nice?

UPDATE: The New York Times had an interesting story over the weekend about the GOP "establishment" throwing down the gauntlet with the "Tea Party" in 2014. We've discussed this on many occasions in this space, but it bears repeating: Republican attempts to kill their own Frankenstein is the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats.

We want to acknowledge a well-intentioned editorial from The Denver Post on Friday, titled "A move to the middle for Colorado Republicans?" As our long-time readers know, this blog has accurately narrated for many years now as the Colorado Republican Party has alienated itself from the state's present and future majorities, with results increasingly undeniable in the form of five consecutive electoral defeats since 2004–even in years where the national political trends were strongly with Republicans, as was the case in 2010. We've been accused of celebrating this alienation, but the truth is, our warnings to the GOP have been sincere, and the consequences we have witnessed can very arguably be considered objectively bad. As Republicans have lost touch with the voters of Colorado, and lost elections, an honest representative viewpoint for conservatives in our politics–a viewpoint still very much prevalent among many of our state's citizens–has been undermined.

In the Denver Post's editorial Friday, a reported incremental change of heart on the part of a few Republican lawmakers on the ASSET legislation for undocumented students is celebrated as a "years overdue" "migration to the middle." They express hope for more such "migrations," on issues like civil unions for gays and lesbians, and (though they note it is unlikely) reducing gun violence. A truly moderate GOP, says the Post, might "be a voice for many Coloradans who hold centrist views that fall on the GOP side of the spectrum."

We want to be clear, as we have said so many times over the years, that we too would welcome a genuine move to the center by Colorado Republicans. We think that, partisan advantage notwithstanding, most Democrats would prefer to have less-unhinged conversations about the issues facing our state.

So it is really too bad that we have to pop the Post's bubble now.