If you really want to understand the dynamic playing out right now among conservative candidates battling each other to win the June primary election, I suggest you tune to conservative talk radio, even if it's only for the next couple of months while the primary process unfolds.
You might ask, as a friend did the other day, "Does listening to talk radio make you want to crawl in there and strangle someone?"
No. Not at all.
Take for example, KLZ radio host Ken Clark's conversation with gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez the other day.
Clark asked Beauprez how he's going to get the support of grassroots conservatives when "you make statements like we-have-to-legislate-from-the-middle."
"I don't even remember saying it," Beauprez responded, "but I'll take you at your word, Ken'"
And then Beauprez flashed his conservative cards:
Beauprez: "I had one of the most conservative voting records in Congress. In fact, I believe I had the most conservative voting record of our entire Republican delegation, including Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo and Joel Hefley at the time. I believe the National Journal had me right at 90 percent of all members of Congress. So that puts me in reasonably elite category of proven conservatives."
Later, Clark did some off-air research and told Beauprez that he made his we-have-to-legislate-from-the-middle comment on KNUS' Peter Boyles Show.
But Beauprez denied being on Boyles show, telling Clark: "I suppose it showed. You couldn't catch me off guard, because that doesn't sound like something I would have said," and, in any event, "I don't think I was on Pete's show." [BigMedia emphasis]
A talk-radio puzzler! Did Beauprez make a heretical statement like, we should govern from the middle? He didn't say it on Boyles' show because Beauprez was correct; he did not appear there.
But on KNUS' Dan Caplis show March 4, with attorney Craig Silverman guest hosting, Beauprez didn't use the exact words "legislate from the middle," but he said as much:
Beauprez: You know, Colorado is a wonderful place where we all seem to figure out a way to get along. But you can't track way far to the right or to the left in Colorado and pretend to still be mainstream and be on the side of the vast majority of people. Listen here.
So Ken Clark wins! In front of a more moderate conservative host (Silverman), Beauprez did advocate for governing from the middle. In front of a Tea-Party host (Clark), Beauprez disavowed any talk of middle-ground-governance. (Read this backwards: bob syaw-thob.)
Thumping is conservative chest on Clark's show, Beauprez suggested that anyone concerned about his conservative credentials should read his 2009 book, Return to Values, where he outlines an "appropriate agenda for America."
"Contact me, and I'll get you a copy!" Beauprez said.
See what I mean about conservative talk radio? On top of all the dramatic conflict and intellectual stimulation and puzzles, you even get free books by guys like Bob Beauprez. Don't miss it. Grassroots Radio Colorado starts at 5 p.m. on KLZ 560 AM.