HUDSON: A TYPICALLY AMERICAN RESPONSE
Most Americans would probably prefer that the July 4th holiday be scheduled like Labor Day and Memorial Day, guaranteeing us another three-day weekend each summer. But, it was, after all, July 4th when our Declaration of Independence was written 236 years ago; and, here we are, still celebrating that decision to overthrow colonial rule and find our own way in the world as a democratic people. It’s also been 225 years since we drafted the Constitution that governs our federal system.
HUDSON: PARANOIA RUNS DEEP
For the second time in less than a month, a Republican legislator has expressed their suspicion that Colorado’s leaders are actively colluding with the White House for the express purpose of embarrassing them. It’s enough to make you break out your copy of Richard Hofstader’s famous 1963 essay, The Paranoid Style of American Politics. Of course, Hofstader didn’t argue that this tendency is only a Republican problem. In fact, the propensity for paranoia has proven an equal opportunity political pathology in recent decades.
HUDSON: YOU KNOW, THAT VISION THING...
When I moved to Colorado forty years ago, it was exciting to know my kids would grow up in one of the youngest states in the nation. Throughout Colorado’s history wave after wave of youthful immigrants, first in pursuit of gold and silver, then personal health, economic opportunity, recreation or an outdoors lifestyle, have propped up our construction industry. At times, this runaway growth has resulted in a pronounced grumpiness towards newcomers. It motivated voter rejection of the 1976 Olympics, and, I suspect, the general distaste for taxes required to underwrite public infrastructure for all these new arrivals.
HUDSON: WHAT’S WRONG WITH LEAVING GOOD ENOUGH ALONE?
It will soon be two years since Channel 7’s Tony Kovaleski ambushed the Executive Director and several of Pinnacol’s Board members at the Pebble Beach resort, living the lush life of the 1% — green fees, spa treatments, luxury suites, first class airfare and gourmet meals.
HUDSON: HE WAS A MAN WITH A BIG HEART AND GENEROUS SPIRIT
Whenever politicians step into mud puddles of their own making, wags are quick to label them as “poster boys or girls” for term limits. Carl “Bev” Bledsoe, to his credit, was a poster boy for the advantages of seniority and lengthy legislative service. There simply aren’t adequate adjectives to characterize his political skills. Bev was a shrewd and wily partisan, to be sure, but he was also ready to craft a compromise when circumstances demanded. His decade as Speaker of the Colorado House earned him respect, if not exactly affection, along both sides of the aisle.
HUDSON: THE DAY OF RECKONING LIES AHEAD
During its Extraordinary Special Session, House Republicans in the Colorado Legislature flubbed the opportunity to demonstrate that their opposition to the jack-booted thuggery of the ‘nanny’ state extends beyond the virtual persons constituted in corporations. Early in the regular session, they were swift to rush to the defense of oil and gas drillers unreasonably required to consult with landowners prior to invading the backyards of Colorado residents.
HUDSON: HE WAS THE CITIZEN LEADER OUR FOUNDING FATHERS IMAGINED
When I was elected to the Colorado Legislature in 1978, Paul Sandoval was elected to a Senate seat. He had already served several terms in the House, where he entered as its youngest member. Aside from Santa Claus, Paul is the only person I’ve known whose eyes genuinely twinkled. Coupled with an acerbic sense of humor, every conversation with him often became something of a laugh fest. Yet, as you chuckled at his barbs, you couldn’t help wondering what he was saying about you when the opportunity arose.
HUDSON: WELCOME HOME!
Last summer I wrote about the departure of Colorado Army National Guard Space Support Teams 15 & 28 for their active duty deployment to Afghanistan. Last week they returned home following nine months of barracks life in Kandahar and at Camp Leatherneck, respectively. Their welcoming ceremony was held in the Air and Space Museum at Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. The crowd was about half the size of the one that saw them off on the first of July, and was largely composed of family members.
HUDSON: DRIVING FAST AND SLOW ON I-70
As my stepson and I were traveling from Denver to Copper Mountain last week for our final ski day of the season, we completed the trip in just under 90 minutes. Lousy snow and good weather conspired to make our journey swift and relatively painless, much like most trips were when I-70 was constructed more than 40 years ago. Since a second tunnel bore enabled four traffic lanes beneath the Continental Divide there have been few changes to the highway.
HUDSON: VOTERS, DON’T BE DUPED
A half-century has elapsed since a long forgotten American Public Information Officer in Viet Nam declared, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The sheer lunacy of his remark has survived, however, as the premier example of bureaucratic policy run amuck. Democratic governments, which can only be held accountable in the final analysis by voters, have proven particularly susceptible to the seductions of groupthink enthusiasms. These fevers rarely originate internally, but, rather, they tend to be transmitted as infections germinated by legislators.