Note from Erick: Make this your must read of the day.
I recently finished an early copy of a book called The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). It is a fascinating read about what took place in Colorado over the course of about 5 years, and how a group of very wealthy progressives changed the entire political landscape of Colorado by thinking outside the box.
Let me explain. The 2006 and 2008 election cycles were unkind to the Republican Party, but what happened in Colorado was something altogether different and totally new. A group of four mega-donors decided to ignore the state Democratic establishment and start from scratch with a brand new, privatized political infrastructure. Of course they were aided by the new campaign finance reform laws, but what the “Gang of Four” (Rutt Bridges, Tim Gill, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker) did was replicate all of the essential functions of the Colorado Democratic Party–and added a few more for good measure.
From policy generation to leadership recruiting, coalition building to grassroots activation, the Gang of Four personally funded dozens of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 527 organizations that worked in perfect harmony to take down the Republican establishment and install left-leaning policymakers in its place.
To understand what happened in Colorado is to understand the future of state-level politics, but I think the future of American politics as a whole: I’m convinced that what the Left did in Colorado at the state-level can be done on a national level by creating a conservative privatized political infrastructure. And it’s clear the Left is intent on doing that very thing on their side: the left is effectively exporting the “Colorado Model” to other states and then “stitching” together these local organizations, so really the Colorado narrative is also the story of how national politics is changing as well.
If you’ve been following the discussion of the “Colorado Model,” with Fred Barnes writing a superb article on it in 2008, then you’re probably familiar with the general ideas of what happened in Colorado. But the great thing about The Blueprint is the depth that it goes into. The book is authored by former Republican Colorado state legislator Rob Witwer, and a Denver-based political journalist, Adam Schrager, and because of their work, we now have a detailed look into the inner workings of the Left’s new political infrastructure.
My only disappointment with the book was the title. I really wish it had been titled “The Blueprint: How the Left Won Colorado (and Why Conservatives Everywhere Should Care),” because I think that is a more precise description of what happened. The Democrat Party didn’t win Colorado: the progressive left did. They simply used the Democrat Party as a vehicle by which to achieve their political ends. The reason conservatives should care is two-fold: they aren’t facing the Democrat Party of old. They are facing a very aggressive and well-organized Left that is intent on implementing statism in this country, starting from the state and local level and building to the federal. But the other reason is that conservatives can do, and should do, exactly what the Left did in Colorado: create privatized political infrastructure, and then use the party, or parties, as the vehicles to achieve their political ends.
I rarely promote books, but I really mean this when I say that every conservative should read “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how the Left has built its machine. So go get your copy, read it, and see how you can work towards implementing it in your own state on behalf of freedom.