30th 2008
A churlish Republican and a childish media: notes from the Colorado 4th

Posted under: American history, GLBTQ, local news, wankers, women's history

We’ve reported here before on the failure of Marilyn Musgrave, our soon to be ex-congresswoman from the 4th Congressional district in Northern Colorado, to concede the election she lost nearly four weeks ago and congratulate the woman who rendered her such a humiliating defeat.  Here on the last day of November, Musgrave is still in hiding, she won’t speak to the media in spite of the fact that she’s (lamentably) still our U.S. Representative, and has yet to telephone the victor to pledge her support.  The Denver Post today published an editorial summing all of this up, “A failure to bow out gracefully, or at all“:

Is Musgrave really going to disappear from politics after six years in Congress without congratulating Markey or even thanking constituents?

Come on, Congresswoman, you’re better than that.  (Ed. note:  No, apparently she isn’t, and there were thousands of us who had her figured out in 2002, when she first ran for Congress.  Drop the pretense that there was evidence that she was anything but a thin-skinned water-carrier for the hate-the-gays movement and the Bush administration.)

There is no doubt it was an ugly campaign. By sponsoring constitutional amendments in 2003 and 2004 that would have restricted marriage to one man and one woman, she put a target on her back.

Furthermore, she was widely seen as being closely aligned with President Bush, whose approval ratings hovered around 25 percent as the election approached.

Yes, it was a bad year for Republicans, and much of Musgrave’s problems were of her own making. But Musgrave also was targeted by independent groups who spent millions attacking the Weld County native.

.        .       .       .       .       .       .

Walking off in a snit isn’t becoming the office or the three-term incumbent.

.        .       .       .       .       .       .

It’s understandable to be upset, even embarrassed. But we expect at least a modicum of civility from our elected officials, even those who get whipped at the polls.

Well, said, Denver Post!  But, something was missing from your lecture to Congresswoman Musgrave:  the fact that you endorsed her re-election in October!  I didn’t see your apology to the people of the 4th CD for endorsing such a loser, Denver Post.  I know it would be so much more convenient for this to go down the memory hole, but historians are such pedants, aren’t we?

No Colorado politician has worked harder to change her image in recent years than Republican Marilyn Musgrave, the three-term incumbent in eastern Colorado’s sprawling 4th Congressional District.

The Post opposed Musgrave in her first three races, but we believe Marilyn Version 2.1 is improved enough to rate re-election over Democrat Betsy Markey, a Fort Collins businesswoman and former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar who is making her first run for elective office.

During her first term, we were highly critical of Musgrave for devoting far too much time to divisive social issues of no practical concern for her district, especially a failed attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Hard-pressed farmers in Yuma County are more interested in fixing their decaying farm-to-market roads and in new jobs from alternative energy than in the private lives of gays in Massachusetts. But after Democratic foes Stan Matsunaka and Angie Paccione came close to dethroning her, Musgrave got the message. In recent years, she has worked hard on the Agriculture and Small Business committees and fought to increase exports of Colorado beef and grain.

Who ever could have guessed that someone who so aggressively campaigned to deprive American citizens of equal rights would be such a sore loser?  Well, duh, I say.  Here’s the company she keeps historically as a crusader against other Americans’ constitutional rights:  the proslavery movement, the anti-women’s suffrage movement, the Nativists, the KKK, and the anti-Civil Rights movement, just for starters–a veritable American Pantheon of haters and sore losers if I ever saw one.  Need I continue? 

But this amnesia is par for the course at the Denver Post, and I suspect most major newspapersIt endorsed George Bush for re-election in 2004 in a psychotically stupid editorial, and then ran editorial after editorial during his second term chronicling his misjudgements and failures:  on the mismanagement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Social Security reform, Hurricane Katrina, you name it.  Never once did the Post acknowledge its endorsement of Bush or apologize to its readership As Bob Somerby says at the Daily Howler all the time, the media will never, ever tell the truth about the role that it plays in our politics.  Never.


6 Responses to “A churlish Republican and a childish media: notes from the Colorado 4th”

  1. Indyanna on 30 Nov 2008 at 9:19 pm #

    I guess this one’s just too depressing or exasperating for people to comment into. I’ll give it a shot. MM also got nicked this week in I think it was Newsweek’s *Conventional Wisdom* column for icing the process. I had a chance to see Willy Wonka for the first time on Thanksgiving at a post-dinner screening, and the kid above pictorially standing in for Musgrave looks like she’s about to get sucked down the “Bad Egg-ragator” in the Chocolate Factory. Maybe that accounts for her continuing silence, since sound can be drawn back into the tube faster than the proverbial speed of, um, sound?

  2. Susan on 30 Nov 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    Yes, well. Meanwhile, have you seen this, from Saxby Chambliss?

    I’ve watched it several times, and I still can’t believe it!

  3. Historiann on 01 Dec 2008 at 5:08 am #

    Well, I understand that my readership is international, not local, but occasionally I just have to comment on local politics and the local media! You’re all very indulgent.

  4. nicole on 01 Dec 2008 at 10:05 am #

    I haven’t commented simply because I don’t want to be as childish in saying ha,ha,ha,ha.
    I honestly couldn’t be more amused by Musgrave- I always felt she was a clown- and this is just so fitting I can barely stand it.
    As for the media- you are spot on. The media doesn’t take responsibility for the role it plays in society- particularly when it comes to elections.

  5. Historiann on 01 Dec 2008 at 10:11 am #

    Nicole, the photo illustrating this post can be read a number of ways. It might be criticizing the Denver Post and Musgrave for being childish, but it might also be a picture of me chanting “nyah, nyah, nyah nyah nyah!”

  6. nicole on 01 Dec 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    I chose to believe it is the second interpretation you’ve offered :)

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