National park plan a monumental waste of our time … or is it?

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

You’d have to live in another dimension to not have been sucked into the dialogue/argument/debate regarding the Colorado National Monument and the folks trying to force it into becoming a national park. I say forcing because that’s the only thing government can do regardless of how politicians spin their stories.

Let me see if I can put U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s story into laymen’s terms. Not that there’s much of a story here, because I don’t believe Udall actually is doing anything but making this into an issue to deflect attention from the fact his “service” to the people of Colorado has been an abysmal failure. That he has the gall to try to force this on the people of Western Colorado should come as no surprise as he believes there’s indeed a consensus of people out here who actually want national park status for the monument.

Let’s forget the fact Udall has probably never spoken to anyone who thinks differently than his superiors tell him to think. So when it comes to consensus, it’s that last thing Udall cares about. If he cared what the Western Slope thought, we wouldn’t have Obamacare. So the fact Udall believes there’s a “consensus” when one doesn’t exist is business as usual. He’s gonna do what’s best for Udall or his benefactors and superiors. Although it would be cool to put on a denim shirt, roll up the sleeves, brag about jobs created from tax confiscation and take pictures next to the new national park signs, right senator?

I actually believe this is Udall’s idea. And here’s why. For every minute, hour, day or month the folks of Western Colorado spend arguing about whether or not the national monument status should be granted is another minute, day, hour or month the disastrous policies of the Obama administration become embedded into the “law of the land” and “settled law.” The longer this goes on, the smaller the chance these monstrosities will ever be reversed or repealed. And if this thing passes without the consent of the people, what does Udall care? After all, he’s just trying to help and listen to his constituents, even if that number is small in terms of who desire this whole fiasco. And for Udall, while this issue might not exactly be a win/win, at least it’s a not lose/not lose, because he has a patsy in the wings.

Which brings us to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton. Nothing should be a bigger warning the government shouldn’t do something than “bipartisanship.” And nothing reeks more of lack of leadership, either. But in this case, Udall is more than happy to double up in the saddle with Tipton because they’re both trying to do the same thing in an election year — look like they care.

Tipton is also on the “consensus” bandwagon. For a while, no one seemed to know whether or not Tipton had introduced park legislation until his wife started getting adamant he had not on Facebook. Then finally, Tipton came out and stated he wouldn’t do it unless a vast majority of the folks out here wanted the designation because it would be good for jobs and the economy. (Lord help me, I get near vomiting every time I hear our representatives use that phrase).

Talk about a milquetoast approach to an issue from the two-party system. I, Scott Tipton, will do what the people want me to do in overwhelming numbers — that is unless my name is Mark Udall, and then I won’t, or I will if it helps. Ah, bipartisanship at its finest!

Well here’s a hint, Rep. Tipton. I have thousands of conversations about business, the economy and jobs with the local folks and I can honestly say that not once has the issue of national park status for the monument come up in my tenure as a top 10, 20 or 30 issue. I’ll give you another hint about what is No. 1, and it involves stopping the government from forcing itself into the economy via laws, executive orders and unfunded mandates.

So be wary, Western Colorado. Both parties have an interest in pushing this issue, which means it’s time to run from it. There’s not much evidence that national park status makes for more tourism, benefits to the community or any economic panacea claims being made, as the lack of reports touting this kind of success from Black Canyon National Park would readily prove. It can’t be about access, as national park status would probably drive up rates and limit access. And if the government wanted everyone to experience our wonderful national parks, entry would be free. What it would mean is more federal intervention and meddling in our economy, which is never a good thing.

The fact is both Udall and Tipton are in tough re-election campaigns. Mark Udall has voted for law after law that I detest. As for Scott Tipton, I can honestly say I don’t know much of anything he has done for the people of Western Colorado, and I sit in an office that gets his press releases. And neither of them has legislated as to how I’d prefer.

I do know this, however: They both want to get re-elected, and the last thing they’d like to do is talk about the accomplishments of the federal government during their time in Congress.