Define 'Republican Enough'

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A new Rocky Mountain News/KCNC-TV poll has Republican Pete Coors five points ahead of Democrat Ken Salazar in Colorado's U.S. Senate race. That may answer a question posed by The New York Times a few days ago: "Is Pete Coors, nationally famous beer magnate, scion of old money, and now candidate for the United States Senate, Republican enough to win in Colorado?"

I never really understood why Coors' Republican credentials were in doubt to begin with. (It can't just be Coors' attempts to attract the dollars of gay beer drinkers, can it?) The Times story, which ran under the headline "Which One's the Republican?," purported to offer an explanation. But its main evidence that Salazar is running to Coors' right consisted of the candidates' responses to a debate question about affirmative action:

"I agree with Gerald Ford," Mr. Salazar declared, quoting the Republican former president, who has spoken and written widely about the value of an inclusive society. Then, for good measure, he quoted Sandra Day O'Connor, the conservative Supreme Court justice, defending the practice in some circumstances.

Mr. Coors went next. He talked about the inclusive values of diversity at his brewing company that have been incorporated in recent years, and then, in his frustration, ended up praising the party of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

"Ken has repeatedly tried to align himself with moderate Republicans," Mr. Coors said. "He should really be speaking about the wonderful things done by his own party."

They sound to me like two mushy moderates, at home in either party.

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  1. Isn’t that what libertarians are, i.e., mushy? Take any 6 issues at random, and the self-described “libertarian” is probably in the GOP camp on three and with the Dems on the other three.

    Perhaps this is intended so Reason gurus can creatively blast both parties as they did yet again in the Presidential survey published yesterday on this website.

  2. I’m down with Coors. On a Sunday show – i think meet the press (i’m all doped up on cold medicine) – he came out in support of lowering the drinking age to 18 and argued that they can vote and die for their country. Though he wasn’t nearly aggressive enough, I was pleased to see someone running for US senate willing to make that point. The talking head then responded by saying that CO would loose it’s federal highway money and did Coors want that? grrrr.

  3. Well, why not lose the federal highway money. I came from the citizens of CO (and other states) anyway.

    The real difference is that now, taxpayers pay some money to CO and some to the Fed.

    If the Fed got out of the redistribution business then we’d still pay the same, it would just all go to our state instead (where it should be).

    Or perhaps CO might just find out that it really doesn’t need ALL the roads it has right now but maintains anyway so it won’t lose highway funding.

  4. The drinking age used to be less than 21 in many states. I think it should be 12 or 14 or maybe abolished altogether. I liked the rule in the old days when the bartender decided if you were tall enough to have a beer instead of a sarsparilla.

  5. The parties are mush for the same reason Pepsi tastes a lot like Coke.

    That is where the market is.

  6. snake:

    I think we prefer to consider ourselves in “the hard center”. The ideology is consistent.

  7. “and I think also what he would do is sacrifice the lives of young people,” Mr. Salazar said.”

    Yeah, cuz us young’ins ain’t intelligent enuf to drink responsiblelike, but we kin go off an’ die fer our countries…

  8. I live in Colorado, and I assure you that Salazar is not running to the right of Coors on any issues that I’ve seen in the advertisements.

  9. snake, why would libertarians be mushy, just because *their* philosophy might happen to have 3 of 6 issues align with the GOP and 3 of 6 with the Dems? As long as the philosophy is consistant, I think that’s decidedly non-mushy.

    Oh, and BTW, I often descibe libertarianism like this: liberal on social issues, liberal on economic issues (which is why libertarianism is nearly synonymous with classical liberalism, no?). OTOH, the GOP is liberal economically and conservative socially and the Dems liberal socially and conservative economically.

    Which brings me to another thought. When talking to my lefty friends, they are almost all distrustful of government when it comes to social issues, etc but then they turn right around and want the government to handle environmental issues, redistribute wealth by providing health care, etc. And I call them on this inconsistency. The usual answer is that they trust ‘corporations’ less than the government (in a nutshell, or at least that’s what my ears hear). A lot of them listen to my libertarian ramblings and are sympathetic, but they have this irrational fear that all corporations are ‘evil’ and will do everything in their power to fuck people over. Of course there are plenty of greedy and corupt companies out there, but I’m sure the government is getting a reach around in the deal nearly every time.

    My point is that I think that it would be easier to ‘turn’ a lot of Dems around on the economic issues than it would be to turn GOPers on social issues, since a lot of the social issue stuff stems from a religious base.

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