"Ritter's Approval Rating Slips, New Poll Reports," from the July 24 Denver Post, reveals that only 41 percent of respondents to a Rasmussen Reports poll felt that Colorado Governor Bill Ritter was doing a "good" or an "excellent" job at the time of the survey. That sort of information makes Colorado Republican Party chairman (and former Westword profile subject) Dick Wadhams salivate, and he was ready, willing and able to quip when reporter Tim Hoover contacted him for a comment. Problem is, his quote -- "The chickens are coming home to roost" -- couldn't help recalling a memorable line by someone Wadhams probably doesn't want to publicly embrace: one Ward Churchill.
Come on, Dick. You remember that little ol' flap -- yeah, it's a chicken reference -- about an essay Churchill wrote immediately after 9/11? The one called "Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," which Churchill subsequently turned into a book? The one that sparked an enormous investigation into Churchill's scholarship, not to mention uncounted public-relations disasters for the University of Colorado Boulder, which eventually gave him the heave-ho? That Ward Churchill? Is he really the sort of fellow you, the chief booster of conservatism in this fair state, wanted to reference?
Sure, plenty of other people have used the phrase before, including Malcolm X -- another guy whose philosophy didn't exactly duplicate the Republican Party platform. But in Colorado in 2008, such comments instantly bring Churchill to mind. If Wadhams keeps talking like this, well, the chickens are going to come home to roost. -- Michael Roberts
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.