Not an indictment against Richardson? ... not much

-A A +A
By Jeffry Gardner

Shortly after Susanna Martinez overwhelmingly became the first Hispanic female elected governor in our nation’s history, the current Hispanic governor claimed his fingerprints were not found on the weapon.
In the wake of Martinez’ eight-point win (54 to 46 percent) over Lt. Gov. Dianne Denish, Gov. Bill Richardson told reporters in Santa Fe that Election Day wasn’t an “indictment” of his years as governor.
In other words, the endless pay-for-play allegations, the lengthy investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office – an investigation that led to Richardson denying himself a position in the Obama Administration – the budget deficit and the overall aroma of everything motivated by politics? Didn’t factor in. Wasn’t part of the voters’ equation.  
Instead, Richardson demonstrated the acute deafness that’s become the trademark of the Democratic Party. From President Barack Obama down, the recent election had nothing to do with what’s gone on the last two years, or at least that’s the company line.
Obama allowed that he got hammered – took a shellacking, he said, during a press conference following the election. But it was because he didn’t do a good enough job explaining his successes.
Members of Congress who spoke off the record to the Washington Post said the conservative beating was due to their leader’s inability to connect with Americans. He wasn’t relating on a personal level with Main Street.
So for Richardson to think his time in office had little to do with the trouncing Denish suffered may seem to reflect a little cognitive dissonance to the majority of us, but to fellow Democrats it might make sense. At least to the political breed of Democrat.
To registered Democratic voters, the people working (or not working) and trying to make ends meet, Richardson may not have gotten off so lightly. The truth is that messages linking Denish to Richardson moved numbers, as they say in the trade. (Or racket. “Racket” is probably a more appropriate term.)  Loosely translated, Martinez did a good job of joining Denish and Richardson at the hip and state voters are tired of Richardson.
Richardson allowed that Martinez enjoyed a “national movement” that carried her to victory. He failed to recognize or acknowledge that said national movement was a direct result of policies and actions of Democratic office holders, much like himself. New Mexico is a microcosm of the national scene, from our unemployment to our debt to a steady diet of seeming political arrogance. What drove Independents and Democrats into Republican arms was all about the Democratic Party -- or more specifically the Democratic Party as it manifests today.  
There is an extreme right wing. Without a doubt.
But there is an even more extreme liberal left, and for the last 24 months that wing’s had its sleazy way with our government.  The bailouts were troubling; the stimulus spending that stimulated little and increased our debt, disturbing; the takeover of our health-care system, angering. Every move, a slide farther to the left.
So with their historic victories, Martinez and her Republican colleagues were handed a huge mandate. End the corruption, respect the people you serve and bring this ship back from the edge of a socialist world. No small order.

Jeffry Gardner
NM News Services