Congratulations appear to be in order for Jeremy Pelzer, who has landed some sort of gig at the new online Rocky Mountain Independent. Jeremy’s fairly long feature today is the latest Colorado GOP postmortem piece, with the standard news hook of a lifelong moderate Republican switching parties in disgust:
The Colorado Republican Party has had few supporters more loyal than Brandon Curtis.
The 32-year-old sales marketer from Denver had voted straight Republican in every election since he first cast a ballot in 1996. Last year, he was a delegate for John McCain in the Republican presidential caucus.
But in the general election last November, Curtis voted Democratic for the first time in his life, picking Barack Obama and Mark Udall for president and U.S. Senate, respectively.
And he says heâ€™ll do it again next election.
â€œI feel like the current state of the Republican Party would lead me away and have me vote Democratic,â€ Curtis said. â€œItâ€™s a situation where moderates like myself â€” the (Republican) party just doesnâ€™t want us right now. . . . Thereâ€™re still a lot of principles that I agree with, but I think thereâ€™s too much focus on the social issues.â€
Having read that, I don’t doubt its veracity or Mr. Curtis’ sincerity. I’m not exactly thrilled with the state of the Republican Party myself. But as usual when reading this sort of story — especially with someone of the same age and especially of the ambiguity of the term “moderate” — I’m left with a series of questions for the person highlighted. For the purposes of drawing the most meaningful lessons from his example, I’d be curious to know the following answers:
- What about the Republican Party before 2008 attracted Mr. Curtis’ support?
- Was it an easy or tough decision to support George W. Bush over Al Gore? Over John Kerry?
- Which Republican principles does Mr. Curtis still agree with?
- Did John McCain in some way disappoint Mr. Curtis between the February caucus and the November election that caused him to lose support?
- Does Mr. Curtis feel that the Republican Party took a sharp turn in support of conservative social issues between February and November of 2008?
- From exactly where within the Republican Party does Mr. Curtis see the intense focus on social issues?
- Was Mr. Curtis inspired by candidate Barack Obama’s call for “hope and change”?
- Has Mr. Curtis been disappointed by the sort of “hope and change” provided in the first 4 to 5 months of President Barack Obama’s administration?
- What does Mr. Curtis think of the Democratic administration’s and Congress’ aggressive agenda of deficit spending, expanding federal programs, auto industry nationalization, union pandering, energy taxation, and government health care?
- What does Mr. Curtis believe about anthropogenic (i.e., man-made) global warming?
- Does Mr. Curtis pay attention to politics at the state level?
- If so, what does Mr. Curtis think of the 51 fee increases worth $560 million enacted by the Democrats at the State Capitol enacted this year?
- What would Mr. Curtis think about getting involved with a group like Liberty on the Rocks?
I could think of more, but that’s probably enough for now. My questions are legitimate, not snarky. I really am interested in the answers. It makes a difference to me whether someone abandons the GOP ship because of the party’s infidelity to fiscal responsibility and basic liberties, or for some other reason. If the Party really has had “few supporters more loyal”, it’s more than a striking fancy to want to understand more deeply why he bid it adieu.
By the way, the graphic on the story is great except for one thing: Nothing could be further from reality than to plant the GOP flag so close to the People’s Republic of Boulder.