‘I’m tired of the nuts’

‘I’M TIRED OF THE NUTS’…. In recent weeks, several state Republican Parties have ignored the requests of prominent GOP officials and elected fringe activists as party chairs. In Colorado, current chairman Dick Wadhams was gearing up for a similar fight, in the wake of a difficult cycle for the state GOP.

Yesterday, Wadhams surprised observers by announcing he wouldn’t bother seeking a third term.

“I have loved being chairman, but I’m tired of the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party’s role is,” he said. […]

“I have tired of those who are obsessed with seeing conspiracies around every corner and who have terribly misguided notions of what the role of the state party is while saying ‘uniting conservatives’ is all that is needed to win competitive races across the state,” Wadhams wrote.

References to “nuts” and those “obsessed with seeing conspiracies” were apparently directed at his own party’s base.

Wadhams went on to warn his fellow Republicans that the party’s 2012 chances could be “severely undermined” by trying to appeal exclusively to conservatives.

As Dave Weigel noted, on this, Wadhams knows of what he speaks: “For most of 2010 I was dismissive of the idea that ‘crazy’ Republican candidates would blow elections for the party. In most of the country, I was right. But Colorado turned out to be a mess, with businessman Dan Maes imploding as soon as he won the nomination for governor, and Senate candidate Ken Buck making some unforced errors that cost him a close race.”

In both cases, Wadhams wanted a more competitive candidate for the statewide contests, but his preferred hopefuls lost in GOP primaries — they weren’t extreme enough for the party’s base.

I’m curious, though, whether Wadhams’s frustrations are common. How many other Republicans are also tiring of the “nuts” and those “obsessed with seeing conspiracies” who’ve come to dominate contemporary GOP politics?

Update: For more on Wadhams’s background, don’t miss the feature story we ran on him in the September 2006 issue.