Colson: Politics, a 6-year-old shooter — what a week | AspenTimes.com
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Colson: Politics, a 6-year-old shooter — what a week

John Colson

In a clear case of political cannibalism gone wild, it took Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives five days to push California Republican Kevin McCarthy into the seat he has lusted over for his entire political life: speakership of the House.

On the 15th vote for the speaker’s position, on Saturday, House Republicans virtually assured us all that they will be intently focused on one thing only for the next two years — trying to convincingly charge Democratic President Joe Biden and his party with being “communists” who hate their own country and who are determined to somehow destroy it.

Interestingly, these so-called “charges” actually illustrate the Republicans’ own legislative desires in recent years, as measured by their consistent reliance on obstruction, efforts at cancellation of any and all legislative victories by Democrats over the past few years, and generally doing the bidding of their wealthy donor class in ways guaranteed to continue the degradation of the middle class.



For example, news reports indicate that the first order of business for McCarthy will be to unravel recent policies intended to reinvigorate the Internal Revenue Service so it can go after the wealthy tax cheats who systematically have robbed federal coffers of needed funds.

Biden initiated the revitalization effort, pointing to the fact that a Republican priority has long been to strip the IRS of funding and capacity, which has left the agency unable to conduct audits and other measures to collect tax revenues and keep government operating.




The victims of these priorities have been not only the IRS, but just about any agency charged by law with protecting the public at large from predatory corporate practices, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the managers of publicly owned lands (think U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management).

It is the mission of the GOP to gut our federal government so that the corporate class can pillage the land regardless of any negative effects on our national heritage of public land, our citizens’ health and well-being, and indeed any future for this country that does not involve the rich getting richer and everyone else getting poorer.

In keeping with Republicans’ well-crafted tactics of distraction and obfuscation, the party will try to get voters focused on such partisan trivialities as President Biden’s supposedly corrupt backing of his son, Hunter Biden, regarding Hunter’s foreign business dealings in Ukraine and other places — accusations, by the way, that have repeatedly been disproven.

And it is certain the GOP-run House will try all manner of nasty tactics to smear Democrats with similar campaigns regarding the recently concluded House Special Committee investigations into the high crimes and misdemeanors of former President Donald Trump, taking precise aim at U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

And right in the thick of all this chicanery will be Colorado’s own Lauren Boebert, who narrowly missed being unseated by Aspenite Adam Frisch in the recent election.

As far as I can tell, Boebert has yet to get legislation passed by Congress, though she reportedly has introduced no fewer than 41 bills of varying degrees of inanity, including her rabid determination to unravel proposed protections for the threatened Thompson Divide area and otherwise protect the interests of her petro-dollar backers.

The Divide, near Carbondale, has been in the sights of oil and gas drillers for many years, and it is no coincidence or secret that Boebert’s husband has been hooked into the oil and gas drillers’ service industry. This has provided an income stream she desperately needs since her Rifle restaurant was closed by its landlords.

Can you spell conflict of interest, anyone?

And then there is Boebert’s odd fascination with gun culture (recall, if you will, that her restaurant featured wait staff packing pistols as they served burgers and beer).

She routinely mentions how sacred the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is to her in a transparent attempt to reap in money and votes from this country’s out-of-control gun lobby.

Unfortunately, just this week gave us another example of the harm that can come from the misguided madness of Boebert’s pro-gun statements and positions, when a 6-year-old elementary school student in Virginia brought a pistol to school and shot one of his teachers.

No news yet as to how this first-grader got his hands on the gun, but a story in The Guardian mentioned that if the gun came from the kid’s family home, the worst his parents could face would be a misdemeanor charge.

Something is very, very wrong here.

jbcolson51@gmail.com