The new Colorado gun-rights recall campaign against arrogant state Sen. Evie Hudak and myopic Democrats may well be a perfect update to Gladwell’s book.
Refresher: In September, grassroots Second Amendment activists ousted two top Democratic state senators for their promotion of radical, job-destroying gun-control measures backed by New York and D.C. special interests. Vice President Joe Biden himself personally lobbied state Democrats to adopt the new gun-rights restrictions. Billionaire gun-grabber Michael Bloomberg dumped gobs of cash and lobbying expertise into the state.
But bigger coffers and bully pulpits weren’t enough. National pundits called the historic recalls of Democratic state Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo “stunning,” a “surprise” and a “shocker.” Indeed, there was no such precedent in Colorado history. The gun-rights activists were outspent by at least a 7-to-1 margin. Giron’s district went for Obama by 20 points; yet she lost by 12.
Bitter losers blamed the NRA. But the recall movement in both districts was spearheaded by local neophytes who were not initially supported by the GOP political establishment or any big-moneyed interests. In Colorado Springs, these vastly underestimated activists gathered more than 16,000 signatures for their Recall Morse petition in a matter of weeks. In Pueblo, the recall leaders were a pair of brothers who run a family plumbing business.
Local gun-rights activists may have been perceived as the weaker, disadvantaged and less experienced combatants. But these Gladwellian Davids had energy, passion and public opinion on their side.
And they’re not done. On Oct. 4, the secretary of state approved a new petition to recall a third Democratic state senator whose gun-grabbing extremism made national headlines this spring. Evie Hudak represents Senate District 19, which encompasses Arvada and Westminster in the metro Denver area. During a legislative hearing in March on the Democrats’ plan to ban students from carrying concealed firearms on campus, a condescending Hudak rebuked pro-concealed carry advocate and rape victim Amanda Collins.
“I just want to say, statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun... Chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you,” Hudak lectured. But even the liberal Denver Post pointed out that the old statistics Hudak cited from a liberal anti-gun group applied only to women with guns who were attacked by “intimate acquaintances,” not strangers, as was the case with Collins.
Hudak’s dishonest defense of disarming and disempowering women sent a chilling message from government to constituents: About to be raped, assaulted or murdered? The odds are against you. Don’t bother to fight back.
Recall Hudak organizers are trying to gather at least 25,000 signatures by early December. They already have faced death threats and harassment. Liberal supporters of Hudak have littered the district with scare-mongering door hangers depicting gun-rights activists as dangerous criminals and sex offenders. The group distributing those fliers, “Democracy Defense Fund,” is also behind deceptive “community alert” robocalls spreading the same slanderous message. The smear campaign is funded by a D.C. outfit, the Environmental Majority PAC, which already has dumped $50,000 into pro-Hudak committees.
As with Morse and Giron, this latest recall isn’t just about guns. It’s about political hubris and malpractice. Morse refused to read emails from his own constituents. Colorado Second Amendment supporters were shut out of hearings, while Democrats flew in Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords’ husband to testify. They abused their power to rig the game, and voters held them accountable.
In September, Hudak was caught surfing the Internet during a critical legislative hearing on Colorado’s Corrections Department and Parole Division. Instead of doing her job, Hudak was looking at photos of the late actor Patrick Swayze, tweeting about water on Mars and Obamacare, and Facebooking yoga life lessons and art museum pieces. She dismissed criticism after she was caught, sneering that the hearing testimony was “repetitious” and that “multitasking” helped her “pay attention.”
Translation: Goofing off helped her stay awake.
You can’t tell from Hudak’s indifferent behavior, but the stakes are sky-high in this modern David vs. Goliath battle. Democrats hold Colorado’s state Senate by an 18-17 margin. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s fate also hangs in the balance. And grassroots gun-rights groups in other states are gearing up to launch similar recalls.
It’s no wonder Hudak’s allies have sunk to such slimy depths as to sabotage recall activists’ ability to gather signatures and communicate with voters. The lumbering Goliaths of gun control are tone-deaf, policy-dumb and totally desperate. The bigger they are the harder they fall.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2010).