VodkaPundit

The Mile High Report

Michael Barone on the struggles of the Democrats’ “Colorado model“:

Campaigning, it turns out, is easier than governing. The Colorado model folks could target particular legislators, taking one out for her strident opposition to same-sex marriage, beating another with the support of horny-handed labor union operatives. Out of office, Ritter could gush with enthusiasm about alternative energy sources and Obama could eloquently promise hope and change.

In office, thing have gotten stickier. Ritter enraged union leaders by vetoing their pet legislation, then risked alienating suburbanites with an executive order empowering public employee unions. Limited by Colorado’s taxpayer bill of rights, he imposed higher fees on car registration, but at the same time has had to order big spending cuts.

The part of the problem Barone doesn’t address is — it’s simply a tough time to govern, most anywhere. That aside, Barone has pretty much nailed it. Democrats had great timing and a great strategy for winning elections, but too many of them are too far left for Colorado’s mostly libertarian-centrist electorate.

None of which changes the fact that the state Republican party is an even bigger mess. 2010 will be, if nothing else, highly entertaining.

UPDATE: Almost forgot one other point, something I noticed last fall during the Presidential election. The “Colorado model” works like this, says Barone:

The Colorado model folks could target particular legislators, taking one out for her strident opposition to same-sex marriage, beating another with the support of horny-handed labor union operatives. Out of office, Ritter could gush with enthusiasm about alternative energy sources and Obama could eloquently promise hope and change.

In other words, the model worked by targeting specific Republicans on wedge issues, using highly-motivated voters to tear down the Republican and build up support for the Democrat. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course — that’s how the game is played today. Specifically, that’s how the game is played today by rules (or lack thereof) created by… Karl Rove.

Honestly, Democrats should either be ashamed of themselves, quit calling Rove the devil, or at least send some consulting fees his way. Anyone want to put odds on any of those things happening?