Littwin: Yes, send down the troops, Bob
Fair and Unbalanced
Bob Beauprez has done it again. He talked. And you know what happens whenever Beauprez opens his mouth.
That’s right. He reminds us why he lost by 17 points the last time he ran for governor.
This time, he went on the new, but not improved, Peter Boyles show (Latino-talk alert) and was asked what he’d do if Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked him to send Colorado National Guard troops to stand alongside the Texas National Guard at the border, presumably to fight off the 9-year-old Guatemalans mustering there.
And channeling his inner Tom Tancredo, Beauprez said that of course, he would send them right away.
But, of course, he wouldn’t. Because it would be about 30 steps above his pay grade. As Beauprez’s campaign staff quickly, uh, clarified, he would send in the troops only on a humanitarian mission, like, I don’t know, getting coffee for the Texans. Of course, Perry has already sent his troops to the border for no good reason — at an estimated cost of $12 million a month — and he plans to send the bill to the feds — meaning us, the taxpayers — who have pointedly not asked for his assistance.
This is what Beauprez said when Boyles asked if he would send troops to the border: “If Rick Perry or another governor requested it, I would certainly step up and do my part.”
This is what anyone else would say: These kids are risking their lives to get to the border, and when they get there they turn themselves in to the first agent they see. Why in the hell would anyone send troops there?
Here’s the funny part. Beauprez was on the show to talk about Gov. John Hickenlooper’s so-called leadership deficit, and then he fell right in line behind Boyles, giving an absurd answer (the one Boyles wanted to hear) to an absurd question. That would not exactly be leadership.
The real question: Why is Beauprez taking this question at all? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but one of the reasons Republicans keep losing in Colorado — and they’ve lost every top-line election for 10 consecutive years — is that they keep losing the Latino vote, which is only growing larger. And now he’s encouraging Latinos — who went 75 to 23 in Colorado for Obama over Romney— to vote against him in a midterm election.
In sports, we call this an unforced error.
In Colorado politics, we call it a Beauprez.
Let’s go back to 2006, when Denver was engaged in tricky negotiations to get a cop killer extradited from Mexico and Beauprez stepped in to criticize the process, saying he’d visited Mexico and knew all about “Mexican time.” Some snarky columnist back then wondered if the room service at the Acapulco Ritz had been too slow for Beauprez or if he had just decided that foreign policy should be dictated by his travel agent.
Actually we don’t have to go back that far. We just have to go back to last month, when Beauprez told KOA radio host Doug Kellet that if he were governor he’d join like-minded governors to force Washington to act on immigration.
And if they didn’t act quickly enough for him — you know, like if they were on Mexican time — what then?
“If they won’t do it,” he said of the feds, “governors ought to be allowed to do it, as Jan Brewer tried to do in Arizona.”
As Gov. Jan Brewer tried to do in Arizona. Bingo. Another Beauprez.
You remember what Brewer tried to do in Arizona. That’s where they passed a law requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone who looked as if they might not be there legally. This was show-me-your-papers racial profiling at its worst, and the Supreme Court eventually ruled it unconstitutional. Even in Arizona, it can’t be illegal to be brown while walking.
And now Beauprez wants to bring Brewerism to Colorado? Can we get a clarification?
This is the gaffe-o-meter race for governor, and that’s one race in which Beauprez has to be the favorite. Personally, I can’t wait for the debates.
Hickenlooper had his moment with the Aspen sheriffs caught on tape. Beauprez had his 47 percent moment on video.
Hickenlooper mangled his answer to a question about Nathan Dunlap and clemency. Beauprez approvingly noted that people in Pueblo told him they’d stop any buses bringing border children here to Colorado.
This is the same Beauprez who insisted he had learned his lesson from the trouncing he took in 2006 when it was all Mexican time and black abortion rates. He certainly hadn’t learned that lesson during his Wilderness Years, when he desperately tried to stay in the news. That’s when he talked about “creeping Sharia” and the “coming civil war.”
And now he wants Colorado voters to know that he’s ready, if elected governor, to call out the troops for a humanitarian mission, on our dime, to stop the children before any of them might possibly get on a bus headed — gasp — our way.
Mike Littwin runs Sundays in The Aspen Times. A former columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, he currently writes for ColoradoIndependent.com.