I’m not a superstitious person, but I have to admit that the thought flashed through my head tonight that Colorado’s 6th congressional district has really got the shining going on. There’s something very mysterious, dark, and creepy going on in that district.
It’s got Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine High School massacre took place in the 1990s. That’s an obvious darkness.
This year’s re-election of Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo over Democratic challenger Bill Winter lays a more subtle, but deeper, darkness over the district. The southern suburbs of Denver, along with the more outlying towns of Parker, Kiowa, and Larkspur appear to have been taken into some kind of alternate reality in which Tom Tancredo actually makes sense.
Representative Tancredo has spent much of the last session of Congress on the radio, promoting an outlandish conspiracy theory that holds that at least 20 nuclear bombs have already been smuggled into the United States and are ready to go off at any time now… almost certainly by the end of 2005.
Tancredo also has unsettling ties to White Supremacists. Tancredo even went to speak at a convention of white supremacists who want the South to secede from the Union, where Tancredo joined them in singing Dixie.
That about 40 percent of the voters in Tancredo’s district voted for Bill Winter ought to be some consolation, but I am left with a great unease at the knowledge that Tom Tancredo’s kooky, even frightening, behavior is embraced by over 50 percent of the people living in that part of Colorado.
There’s something very strange going on out there, something that mixes fear with a lot of anger, and then tilts reality 27 degrees to the side. There’s a small voice in the back of my mind, warning me that as goes the 6th congressional district of Colorado, so goes America.
I really, really do not want to go there.
There may be some refuge. I am reassured tonight to see that, so far, the race between rabid right winger Marilyn Musgrave and Democrat Angie Paccione is running neck and neck in Colorado’s 3rd congressional district. Paccione actually has a chance to oust the entrenched incumbent Musgrave. Paccione is less than one thousand votes behind, as I look at the early results coming in.