My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Colo Senate

Just got in the mail today the first mass mailing from either candidate--it was from Bob Schaffer. Should I say any of the four, rather than either?? I think it unlikely I'll get anything from Miles or Salazar, so for now. . .

At any rate, it's a slick, glossy, color piece that puts the candidate in a very positive light.

One problem, to my mind: the 'title' of the mailer is "Experience Working for a Balanced Federal Budget." Now, this is going to get me in trouble with some of my friends out there, but if your first salvo in the 2004 election cycle is about the balanced budget, then you are off in the weeds somewhere.

My thinking, and this is confirmed by the Battleground Poll of this week, is that issue number one is terrorism; number two is terrorism; and number three is homeland security. My first salvo, if I were a campaign manager (yes, everybody, I share your relief that I am not), would be strengthening our ability to stop--not respond to--terrorist attacks at home. This would lead to a statement of support for the aspects of the Patriot Act that have led to arrests in Buffalo, Illinois, and, very recently, Minneapolis. I would forcefully make the case that my priority as a Senator is defending my constituents, even if that means taking the war to the enemy. At some point, this could easily morph into a statement about the need to make sure judges sit on the federal benches who would rule that America needs the same legal weapons to deal with Islamicist terrorists that the courts gave it to deal with the Nazis (more on SCOTUS another day).

If there's a second issue, it's obviously taxes and letting people have more of their own money to tend to those people and causes that they care for. The answer to the question of deficits lies in growth, and growth comes at the other end of a job and security. The history of the 1980s shows us that deficits in the face of meeting military challenges are not an evil, and compared to the necessities of ensuring job growth and security, a balanced budget is a small point.

Now, granted, Coors' TV ads so far have been little more than the standard pabulum of pride, feel-good, and vague statements of position. Nonetheless, it is disappointing to me that the Schaffer campaign thinks--and has chosen to make--this issue its centerpiece. It's like having a smaller force trying to attack an elevated position with limited ammo, and choosing as its first target the woods on either side of the enemy. Necessary clean-up work, but if your resources are limited, that first round had better be at the center of mass.

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