"Thumbs up for the amazing Rockies, streaking into their first World Series and weathering defeat with dignity. Likewise for Peter Groff, the impressive new Senate President. Thumbs down on CSU for dumping Sonny Lubick and on Planned Parenthood for its culture of death." That's from John Andrews' list of winners and sinners for 2007 in the December series of his daily “Head On” debate with former Denver councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt (D), featured on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Besides handing out bouquets and brickbats for the old year, Susan and John issued their annual zany predictions for the year ahead, handicapped the US Senate race, sized up the Mideast peace process, and played with political role-reversal for their 2008 presidential favorites. Here are all five scripts: 1. WINNERS & SINNERS OF 2007
John: As the calendar turns, here’s our list of Colorado winners and sinners for 2007. Good show by Tom Tancredo with his courageous presidential campaign, and Wayne Allard, leaving the Senate after decades of distinguished public service. Bad show by Bill Ritter, pandering to labor unions, and John Hickenlooper, taxing Denver to the eyeballs.
Susan: Winners: the voters of Denver - enlightened stewards who understand the importance restoration and upgrades to the value of their capital assets. Sinners- xenophobic presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle and their hateful sound-bites about immigration and undocumented workers.
John: More bouquets and brickbats from 2007. Thumbs up for the amazing Rockies, streaking into their first World Series and weathering defeat with dignity. Likewise for Peter Groff, the impressive new Senate President. Thumbs down on CSU for dumping Sonny Lubick and on Planned Parenthood for its culture of death.
Susan: Big thumbs up for Governor Ritter and his passion for Colorado - including public employees. Another BRAVO for the principal and staff of Denver's Bruce Randolph Middle School - asking the union and the district for waivers of hiring and other work rules - obstacles to student achievement.
2. FEARLESS PREDICTIONS FOR 2008
John: Back by popular demand, John and Susan’s fearless predictions for the new year, 2008. The Broncos, needing a hard-nosed coach, replace Mike Shanahan with Dick Cheney. Saudi Arabia bails out RTD by acquiring FasTracks. Voter disgust with both parties elects a write-in presidential ticket of Harry Potter and Hannah Montana.
Susan: Driving on-cell-phone becomes a criminal offense, punishable by permanent loss of driver's license, resulting in redeploying zillions of dollars from roads to transit. Gas will go to $5 a gallon and Americans will drive SMART cars, doubling the country's parking capacity.
John: Continuing our zany preview of 2008. When Susan’s Smart car is unfortunately stolen, it’s charged as shoplifting in small claims court. White males working for Denver have to wear yellow armbands reading “Kick me.” Protesters led by Al Gore force Democratic convention delegates to walk from DIA to downtown.
Susan: Huckabee and McCain are Republican prez and veep candidates. Rudi and Romney morph into plastic flip flops and are buried in the sand. Bush and Cheney resign in shame when it's revealed they bonfired the CIA tapes. John Hickenlooper opens a brew pub in Civic Center activating the park beyond expectations.
3. ANNAPOLIS CONFERENCE SEEKS MIDEAST PEACE
Susan: In a last-minute bid to build some sort of legacy, Secretary of State Condelezza Rice persuaded Bush to have a try at a Mid-East peace accord. Time will tell if Israeli and Palestinian leaders - have the political capital or commitment to change the status quo.
John: Bush’s legacy is the huge accomplishment of forcing our Islamofascist enemy onto the defensive with unyielding force in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus tough homeland security under the Patriot Act. Israel, our heroic ally, has never had a better friend than this president. But Annapolis worries me. The Palestinians want Israel destroyed.
Susan: Bush's legacy could have been a reasoned immigration policy, a balanced budget and a conservative's prudent fiscal policy. Instead - he ignited unquenchable terrorism in the Mid-East and beyond. Annapolis is too little to late.
John: You are so wrong. Present-day terrorism was ignited by Islam’s thousand-year lust for conquest and hatred of freedom, striking first at Israel in the 60s, then at America in the 70s. No president of either party fought back against this vicious evil until George W. Bush. History will honor him for that.
4. SCHAFFER & UDALL FACE OFF IN SENATE RACE
Susan: With Wayne Allard doing the right thing by retiring from the Senate, it looks like Colorado could send a second Democrat back to D.C. Mark Udall represents Colorado's values - environmental stewardship; fiscal prudence and a skeptical view of the Republican disdain for diplomacy and passion for conflict.
John: Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer is a businessman and common-sense conservative with a great record in Congress. He will fight for low taxes, family values, and strong defense. Mark Udall is too liberal. He prefers looking for energy off Cuba instead of in Colorado. He supports a US Department of Peace. Please.
Susan: I'll give Shaffer credit for standing by his myopic term-limits pledge, even though it rendered him impotent as a Congressman. Udall has a long record of service to his district, the state and the country. Schaffer is too conservative for Colorado and too ideologically impaired.
John: Democrats have let success go to their heads, and it could cost them in 2008. Ritter’s impulse to overtax and overregulate will cost his party legislative seats and hurt Udall. Colorado needs another fighter in the Senate like Coburn of Oklahoma and Kyl of Arizona. This is Bob Schaffer’s year.
5. REVERSING ROLES FOR PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE
Susan: Were I a Republican primary voter, I'd cast my ballot for John McCain. His straight talk express took a detour and it cost him but he's got a proven record, experience, and a feel for tough domestic issues like immigration, healthcare and the budget deficit.
John: Ooh, political role reversal – kinky like cross-dressing. If I were a Democrat, I’d support Barack Obama for president. The young senator could be another JFK. Half black, half white. Born Muslim, now Christian. For VP add Bill Richardson, a Westerner who knows foreign policy. A healing ticket for a new time.
Susan: John, your thoughtful reasoning takes my breath away - rendering me speechless in the process. [Long pregnant pause] McCain is a man of integrity and spirit but his message is more about the past than the future.
John: Thanks, Susan. Flattery will get you everywhere. Continuing our fantasy, if I were a Democrat the last thing I’d want is another dishonest president named Clinton. But being a Republican in reality, it’s clear to me that McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, or Tancredo could lead America better than any of your guys.