[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Tom Tancredo seems to be on a one-man crusade to make Colorado the Wingnutopia of this year's political campaigns:
Tancredo will run for governor as American Constitution Party candidateYeah, that fits Tancredo's style. And it comes right amid the little dustup over dissing Birthers from Tancredo's good pal and GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck, for whom Tancredo has already done many favors.
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning.
“I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told The Denver Post.
The Littleton Republican must file some papers with the Colorado Secretary of State and register as a member of the American Constitution Party, but then “he’s ready to go,” raising money, disclosing his platform and launching a website that is already put together.
Tancredo gave Republican candidates Scott McInnis and Dan Maes an ultimatum last week: Promise to get out of the race after the primary if polls showed the winner lagging behind Democrat John Hickenlooper or else he would get in as a third-party candidate.
Both Maes and McInnis refused.
Tancredo’s entry into the race is likely to split the GOP vote in the general election, giving Hickenlooper a win, said Dick Wadhams, head of the state’s Republican Party.
He blasted Tancredo after hearing the former congressman was going to get in.
“Tom Tancredo has nobody’s interest in mind other than his own,” Wadhams said. “But what do you expect from a guy who reneged on his term-limit pledge and has been running for office for five decades.”
Tancredo and Wadhams had an all-out-brawl on Peter Boyles’ KHOW radio station show this morning, screaming at each other and calling each other “liars.”
Of course, we remember well Tancredo's embrace of right-wing extremism at the Tea Partiers' convention.
Now, this embrace of the Constitution Party pretty much seals the fact that Tancredo is a real extremist. Because it's important to remember -- or simply understand -- just what the Constitution Party is: fundamentally, it is the "Patriot"/militia movement's political party.
My very first awareness of the militia movement, in fact, came in early 1994 when a researcher friend showed me a promotional video (featuring a radical anti-abortion evangelist named Matthew Trewhella) that was being distributed by an outfit called the U.S. Taxpayers Party. It, and many other USTP videos and publications, explicitly urged Americans to form militias in order to fight off the "New World Order" being planned by President Clinton.
The USTP was run by a longtime far-right activist named Howard Phillips, who at one time had been a key fundraising/mobilization figure for the "Reagan Revolution" in the early 1980s. Since then, Phillips has gone completely off the rails into black-helicopter land, as embodied by his USTP.
In 1999, he rechristened the USTP as the Constitution Party. Since then, it has played home to such far-right celebrities as Judge Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments nutcase, and has reached its tendrils into the state politics of some rural states, most notably Montana. It's also been the home of such notable political candidates as Minutemen leader Jim Gilchrist, whose character we're all too familiar with.
Tom Tancredo has never faced a statewide vote. This is going to be amusing to watch.