Saturday, December 15, 2007

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

One of the Democrat strategies promoted by David Sirota is called land politics. It has been cynically used but not bought into by Colorado Democrats including Bill Ritter and Mark Udall.

Sirota wants an alliance between environmentalists, Democrats, and hunters / fishermen against Republicans. He wants Democrats to play down their traditional gun control stance and play up "hunting rights."

Bill Ritter so confused his position among voters that this author was told by registered Republicans living ten miles apart that they were voting for Ritter, one because he was for gun control, and one because he would protect hunters rights better than Bob Beauprez!

The Rocky Mountain News reported during the campaign:

Ritter says he would make recreational shooting improvements a priority if he is elected governor. He wants Colorado to take the lead in establishing more shooting ranges, beginning with a pilot program he proposes for the Arapaho-Roosevelt forests.

The words were good, but Ritter turned out to be a gun control governor.

Now Mark Udall is playing the land politics card with hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park. Well, not really hunting. It is killing elk with silenced guns and low velocity rounds.

Udall said he was glad park service managers said they might use sportsmen, but he was concerned the Park Service might give a higher priority to shooters from other federal or state agencies.

“I think if qualified sportsmen or sportswomen are willing to volunteer, they should be first in line,” Udall said.

If the Park Service did use volunteer cullers, it would not be like hunting. They could not take the meat or other trophies, and the work would be done under strict, controlled conditions.

It would be shooting fish in a barrel. These folks might call themselves hunters, but there would be no sport in the process, and no sportsmen involved. We're not sure Mark Udall knows the difference, but this is as close to land politics as he has come.

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