Andrews in Print Archives

From the rooftop of America, John Andrews advocates for constitutional government and personal responsibility through his column every other Sunday in the Denver Post, as well as occasional pieces in the Wall Street Journal and other papers across the country.


Andrews’ Christmas Carol

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

(Denver Post, Dec. 25) Senator John was a political man, a driven man, some would say a hard man. At dusk on Christmas Eve, he squinted from his office window through falling snow toward the Capitol, and grumbled to his assistant about the latest Bill Ritter gimmick: low-energy holiday lights. His clock struck five. “I suppose you’ll want all day tomorrow,” the aging conservative barked. “If you please, sir,” Joyce whimpered. “It’s only one day a year.” Back came the senatorial snort: “One day less for this office to defend faith, family, and the flag, (more…)

Election transparency overdue

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

(Denver Post, Dec. 5) What is CoDA? If you said a rock group, a wonder drug, or a state agency, you’re wrong. It’s the Colorado Democracy Alliance, today’s smartphone successor to the old dialup state Democratic Party. CoDA’s coup in turning Colorado blue is related in this year’s most important political book, “The Blueprint,” by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer. What is infrastructure? If you said the streets and sewers in our cities, or the shovel-ready projects in Obama’s imagination, wrong again. It’s the stealthy political network of message groups, ethics watchdogs, litigators, voter registration cadres, and money conduits (more…)

Lucky, deserving, or blessed?

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

(Denver Post, Nov. 21) America has a memory problem. Most of us couldn’t tell you who our great-grandparents were. Most people who live in Denver, Parker, Thornton, or Greeley couldn’t tell you who their hometown was named after.
Most of us couldn’t possibly remember who the days of the week were named for either. And as the years pass, it seems that fewer and fewer Americans remember who we’re supposed to be thanking on Thanksgiving Day. (more…)

Two cheers for the two parties

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

(Denver Post, Nov. 7)

Chastened.

The one-word opening paragraph was a Denver trademark for the late, great Gene Amole, columnist for a paper that is no more, classical DJ for a station that is no more. You missed something special if you weren’t around when he was writing for the Rocky and broadcasting for KVOD. Old Gene would not have gotten too wound up about the raucuous 2010 campaign and the odd election that mercifully terminated it on Tuesday. Neither should we. (more…)

The people vs. the professors

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

(Denver Post, Oct. 24) “Beware intellectuals. Not merely should they be kept away from the levers of power. They should be objects of suspicion when they offer collective advice. Intellectuals habitually forget that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.” So writes British historian Paul Johnson on the last page of “Intellectuals,” his 200-year survey of the damage done by brainy elites in public life. That was in 1988, and the hit parade hasn’t stopped. A sequel could chronicle Hillary Clinton’s debacle as health-care czar, Al Gore’s phony climate panic, the failed presidential candidacies of uber-smart guys (more…)

Has GOP come undone?

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

(Denver Post, Oct. 10) “Not so fast,” warns the movie hero. He’ll make sure the cad or the con man doesn’t get away with it. One side in American politics has always been the party of “not so fast,” putting the brakes on expansive government power. Today that’s the Republican Party, and they serve the common good in doing it, even when unsuccessful. But I’m concerned that in the governor’s race this year, Colorado Republicans may be so unsuccessful that their restraining influence on political overreach is lost for a long time. Even the most fervent Democrats, if they remember the corruption of power, shouldn’t relish (more…)

Wanted: Congressmen who listen

Monday, September 20th, 2010

(Denver Post, Sept. 19) “It is essential to liberty,” wrote Madison in Federalist No. 52, “that the government should have a common interest with the people; an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with the people.” And what did he say is the only way to secure that? “Frequent elections, unquestionably.” We saw a perfect example of Madison’s point, and a beautiful thing it was, the other day when Sen. Michael Bennet and Reps. Betsy Markey and John Salazar, Democrats all, dived off the Obama bandwagon on his ill-conceived $50 billion Son of Stimulus plan (more…)

Eat healthy this election

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

(Denver Post, Sept. 5) “McInnis: A Jobs Governor,” say the bus benches and billboards that were to give the former GOP congressman a lift toward November after he won in August; only he lost. Still you see the slogan everywhere, as sad as a Christmas tree in spring, a reminder of how strange politics can be. Meanwhile the finalists for senator forge into fall with their own bizarre blemishes left over from summer – Democrat Michael Bennet alleged to have been a corporate looter, Republican Ken Buck scolded for joking that “I don’t wear high heels.” (more…)

This Republican is staying

Monday, August 16th, 2010

(Denver Post, Aug. 15) “I don’t know what the future holds,” my biblically-minded friends will say, “but I know Who holds the future.” Thus grounded, they’re able to be calm, courageous, confident, and cheerful in the face of adversity. Amidst a Republican base disheartened over the struggle to pick our nominee for governor, I am of good courage for a similar reason – political rather than theological. Even though I don’t know who will stand for my party this fall, I know what my party stands for. (more…)

Maes and the medicine

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

(Denver Post, Aug. 1) The other day in Starbucks I overheard Reagana, a personal trainer and Tea Party mom, debating with McDole, her CPA and a moderate Republican. “You can still support McInnis after everything we know about him? With Colorado on the brink, you’re telling me he’s the governor we need?” Doggedly but without enthusiasm, McDole pointed out the GOP veteran’s experience as a legislator and congressman, his litany of endorsements, his feisty campaign style and fundraising prowess. As for plagiarism, heck, Joe Biden did it, Dr. King did it, (more…)

Read the Declaration today

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

(Denver Post, July 4) Hecklers, on guard. On this Independence Day, in a stormy election year when Americans are out of sorts, I’m fool enough to mount a soapbox and orate upon the proposition that “politics” should be an honored word, not a dirty word, in our vocabulary. (more…)

The big question of 2010

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

(Denver Post, June 20) Are we fit to be free? That’s the big question for Americans to decide in election year 2010. Above the chatter of daily headlines, beyond the jockeying of parties, two opposing visions of human nature vie for expression in the political choices we will make. One vision sees mankind as endowed with liberty and equality by our Creator, individually capable of self-determination in most areas of our lives, and inherently (if imperfectly) responsible in choosing for ourselves and taking the consequences. The other vision denies that human nature is trustworthy or even fixed. It regards the person as socially constructed, (more…)

Who will be Colorado’s Palin?

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(Denver Post, May 30) An Alaska mayor shocks the governor in a primary, then humbles an ex-governor in the general election, then electrifies the nation as John McCain’s running mate. A legislator from the laughing-stock Massachusetts Republicans upsets the attorney general to capture a perennially Democratic Senate seat. A lowly Pennsylvania congressman ignores the president’s support for a party-switching senator and retires him in a primary, Obama endorsement and all. You know their names. In ousting Arlen Specter, Joe Sestak (corrupt job offer notwithstanding) followed a pattern set by Scott Brown and Sarah Palin. Voters in both parties are turning to conviction candidates (more…)

Wind mandate worsened pollution

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

(Denver Post, May 16) Wind velocity abated in Colorado last week when the legislature adjourned for 2010. Noxious air masses continue moving across the state, however, flattening better judgment. Hang onto your hat and your wallet.
“Cleaner air and cheaper energy” was the slogan when voters mandated wind and other renewable sources for 10 percent of the state’s electric generation with Amendment 37 in 2004. Democratic legislators liked the idea so much that they upped the mandate to 20 percent in 2007 and boosted it this year to 30 percent. One small problem: neither half of the slogan is true. (more…)

Declaration of Dependence

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

(Denver Post, May 2) “Son, you have become a man. Mom and I are so proud of your maturity. In turning 21 today and taking a bride tomorrow, you reach the age of emancipation. This is literally your time of being set free, entering upon self-determined adulthood. What a milestone. Because we care for you and your wife and children, we’ll stay involved as parents in a few small ways. We will provide a house for you, and cars as needed. We will supply you energy for all those. Of course we’ll always cover the medical bills (more…)