20 October 2010: Caveat emptor this election

Caveat emptor this election

One myth circulating today related to Colorado Republicans in denial about Dan Maes being their duly elected gubernatorial nominee is they’re the first to experience “buyer’s remorse.” But long ago the Romans coined the phrase caveat emptor, which roughly translates into “I wasn’t one of the 192,000 who voted for Maes in the primary.”

The phrase can be traced to Romans’ dissatisfaction with Julius Caesar, whose last words are echoed daily by hapless Dan: “Et tu, (fill in your fav GOP’er.)?”
Peter’s is, of course, the archetypal denial. With apologies to the author of Luke:

“But a certain Democrat who knew better said, ‘He voted for Maes in the primary,’ to which the Republican said, ‘I knew him not!’

“And in the space of one hour, another Democrat said, ‘Of truth, these fellows were all with him, for they are Republicans who lost faith in Scott McInnis!’

“And the Republicans — like the chorus in a Greek tragedy — cried, ‘We know not what thou sayest!’

“And when Maes got less than 10 percent in the election relegating them to minor party status, they wept.”

It’ll be sad to see this electoral frivolity come to an end, but a new age, we’re told, is upon us, a capitalistic paradise where America goes back to the future, like to 1889 in the Gilded Age, which is awesome if you’re rich. But even as a far-from-rich writer, I’m ready. Let’s face it: while Democrats know how to put the party into Party (compare the quaffs offered at their respective summer rallies: the D’s Tommyknocker v. the R’s Coors Lite) topically, they’re boring. Conspiracy theories and alien invasions along with jihad and creeping socialism are far more titillating to explore.

Who knows? Maybe November will prove to be a 21st-century tent revival or a second coming, that is, if one considers the ascension of the Republican Right in 1994 as the first. If it’s back to Reagan, it’ll be the third coming, but who’s counting? It’s hard to separate God’s Own Party from esoteric constructs.

One wonders, though, if back in charge, whether Republicans will continue to remain MIA, of which the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels notes them being accused, skipping public functions Chair Steve Schultz assured us in the Courant would be otherwise.

“Why would a Republican candidate waste his time to appear to ‘debate’ in such a biased environment — my show on KYGT — when he/she could take his/her message directly to the people in more nonpartisan venues?” (Note the possessive gender shift.)

Bartels wrote, “‘There isn’t any grand conspiracy behind the scenes or any super-secret e-mails going out,’ said [Robert] Houdeshell, who said he would have attended if more Republicans had agreed to show up.”

And therein lies the Republican paradox: Despite proclaiming the primacy of the individual, their refusal to engage in one-on-one debate in an open forum, aside from the marquee senatorial and gubernatorial races, gives evidence to Republicans being fearful about finding themselves in situations they cannot control, up against an opponent who might best them for a variety of reasons; hence, the psychological need for someone at all times to have their backs.

So while I’m relieved to hear there’s no grand conspiracy, unlike that of President Obama being a Kenyan-born Muslim, the last part of Houdeshell’s statement, assuming Bartels didn’t twist his words, is quite telling.

From Ronald Reagan to here, the GOP has evolved. Of ultimate importance is not the issue, but the narrative. The strategy is not debate but description. Substantive reality is the fanciful world that I, the candidate, have concocted or accepted into my head, and my job is not to prove or defend that perception of reality with evidence but merely to convince voters of its authenticity through emotive devices.

So, I guess I blew it when I asked Robert to join Rep. Claire Levy on my show for a discussion by not inviting Republicans en masse. My bad, and too bad as it would’ve been the perfect opportunity to delve into some heady issues like dabbling in witchcraft and the UN taking over America through its bicycle program.

And, shucks, it would’ve finally given me the opportunity to do a Katie Couric by asking about media sources from which they get information and insight, salivating at the hope I’d get a Palinesque reply like, “Oh, you know — the usual.”

Alas, it was not to be; no fun in the studio for me. But, as Schultz holds, my show merely “feigns to provide a public service.”

“One-sided conversations don’t help the voters decide,” Claire told me. “It’s my job to let people know what I am doing and why I am doing it. I am happy to defend my positions and votes whether the crowd is Democratic or Republican. And, I welcome questions from anyone”

And I’ll add, even when other Democrats don’t show up. The election is nigh: Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

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