03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Colorado Republicans Abandon Social Issues

Back in 2005, after Democrats took control of the state legislature for the first time in 40 years yet Republicans continued to hammer away on nonsensical social issues, then-Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff shot back, "We're talking about the budget, and they're talking about bestiality."

And last fall, after social conservatives' anti-abortion ballot measure, Amendment 48, failed by landslide margins statewide (including 65-35% in El Paso County, home to Focus on the Family), I wrote, "Social issues are like rocking in a rocking chair. They give you something to do, but they really don't take you anywhere."

After losing the governor's mansion, two Senate seats, the majority of House delegation (Dems hold a 5-2 advantage), and control of the state legislature for five straight years, Republicans appear to have finally learned their lesson.

Longtime political reporter Lynn Bartels writes on the front page of today's Denver Post, "Stung by electoral defeats and eager to take advantage of voter unease, Colorado Republicans are largely avoiding discussion of divisive social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage to instead focus on the economy and jobs."

But voters shouldn't be fooled -- the campaigns may have changed, but the opinions haven't:

Republicans recognize the talking points have changed.

"It doesn't mean that anyone has relinquished their convictions or given up hope of seeing their convictions in policy at some point," said former state Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial.

It remains to be seen if this political kumbayah can survive a divisive Republican primary that lasts until next summer. The intolerant wing of the Republican party is notoriously intolerant of its own candidates.