Edgar Obama & Charlie McRitter

It's amusing to be a Republican spectator at the feverish Democratic huddle that is Bill Ritter's email list. Day after day, some revved-up copywriter churns out breathless warnings about the sinister threat posed by my side to their side, the dynamic duo of our Governor and our President. Obama hero-worship may be waning in other quarters, but the Ritter campaign still seems to view it as their lifeline for 2010. Reading these bulletins is almost like (and here I date myself) the old ventriloquism act where Edgar "Barack" Bergen threw his voice into the cherubic cheeks of Charlie "Loyal Bill" McCarthy.

My purpose here isn't to debate the merits of what the Ritter campaign is asserting, but merely to marvel with admiration at the strident sycophancy they manage to sustain. Three recent examples...

One from 9/10 entitled "Failing Us All" said in part:

America's broken health care system is failing us all. As President Obama noted last night, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage every day. It could happen to anyone....Thousands of RitterforGovernor.com activists have already emailed their Members of Congress, urging them to rally behind President Obama. But with all the misinformation circulating out there, we must do more to confront the cynics and make our voices heard throughout Colorado.

Earlier this week, the 9/8 dispatch called "A Pep Talk for Colorado's Kids" lamented:

Unfortunately some cynics have decided to use this totally apolitical pep talk to students as an opportunity to gin up fear and anger against the President. With impressively straight faces, extremists like Glenn Beck alleged that the President is trying to "indoctrinate" American children with his political ideology. It's the same folks manufacturing the so-called "birther" controversy, the "death panel" controversy, and every outrageous claim in between. They are dedicated to undermining the President -- no matter what. So I was troubled that some schools here in Colorado gave in to the calls of a very radical fringe by deciding not to allow their students an opportunity to watch the President's important speech in class this morning.

Yup, I was troubled too, Governor. It's gotten even worse than you warned us it would two weeks ago, in an 8/27 message headlined "Trashing Colorado's Progress:"

Our political opponents are courting a radical fringe here in Colorado. One of Governor Ritter's challengers has fully embraced rabidly anti-government "tea parties" and suggested Colorado should reject federal recovery funding -- funding that has already created or saved thousands of jobs in Colorado. Meanwhile another challenger recently dismissed the significance of transitioning to a New Energy Economy in an interview with the Colorado Statesman. He even added that if elected he would throw Governor Ritter's ban on expanding the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site "in the trash," a fringe position which puts him at odds with many in his own party. All this begs the question: what other key accomplishments would our political opponents throw "in the trash" if elected?... One year ago Governor Ritter stood before tens of thousands of Coloradans at the Democratic National Convention... Shortly thereafter Barack Obama took the stage to accept our party's presidential nomination...

"Radical fringe," oooohhh. Doesn't it give you the shivers? But all this does raise (not "beg," thank you) the question: With Obama's poll numbers so low, why does Ritter cling doggedly to his dwindling coattails? Maybe because Ritter's own numbers are low as well. Misery loves company, and besides, what other hero-figure is there for a Democrat in trouble these days? Little Charlie McCarthy had to stay perched on Edgar Bergen's knee and keep mouthing whatever his big pal put forth. It was that or fold up in the vaudeville trunk and go silent altogether.