left Congress of his own volition, after five terms in the House of Representatives. (During that time, he always felt like he was in the minority, even when the Republicans had a majority, as he told a bunch of us Montanans in April 2009, when he was the keynote speaker at the Gallatin County Republicans` Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.)
But, luckily for the nation, he hasn`t faded from the scene. Last fall, for example, Tancredo jumped into Colorado`s gubernatorial campaign late, as a third-party candidate (to offer a credible alternative to the Democrat who ultimately won), when the official Republican nominee`s campaign was self-destructing. He finished with about 36% of the vote, a disappointing result but also an astonishingly impressive one for a third-party campaign that started late and ran on a relative shoestring.
Now the ex-congressman has surfaced again on "Tancredo Radio,"
a two-hour talk show he hosts every weekday from 10 p.m. to midnight, Mountain Time (midnight to 2 a.m. in the east). The show is on KVOR (740 AM), broadcasting out of Colorado Springs, but you can listen online by starting at the Tancredo Radio website
and following the "Listen Live"
link or by going straight to KVOR`s site
(Besides his gubernatorial run and this new radio gig, Tancredo has also frequently authored op-eds in the time since he left Congress. For examples, see here
Tancredo is a rare bird in American public and political life: He recognizes existential problems bearing down on the nation (immigration and Islam, for starters), comes to conclusions, and then talks straightforwardly
As Jared Taylor reported
, Tancredo spoke at Pat Buchanan`s American Cause conference in early 2004 and implicitly revealed the stark difference between himself and most of our "leaders."
Tancredo said almost no one in Congress stands for anything except being reelected. When people accuse him of "having an agenda," he says of course he has an agenda, and that no one should be in Congress who doesnâ€™t have one. He said it has been "a wonderful experience" to be a politician with a real purpose, who works for what he truly believes is best for the country. He said he used to be sympathetic when colleagues told him they admired what he says but canâ€™t do the same, but now he has no patience. "Either you care about your country or you donâ€™t," he says.
Like his political hero Reagan
, Tancredo got into politics to do something, not to be somebody. He already knew who he was.
Despite his seriousness and focus, Tancredo comes across on the radio as mellow, and he ranged over many topics, including interesting details of his family`s immigrant history (his two grandparents from Italy, that is), during his show`s inaugural week, January 3 to January 7. His exchanges with those phoning in have been cordial and unhurried, unlike the typical talk radio show with the big-shot hosts (Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.), who so often unceremoniously cut off their callers after just a couple of sentences.
Three items most interested me in Tancredo radio`s first week.
1. I don`t recall the context, but he, refreshingly, dismissed Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) as "a dimwit."
2. Tancredo had a minor motorcycle accident during his recent campaign (n.b. a 64-year old gubernatorial candidate — apparently routinely — riding a motorcycle!). When he was being attended to in the emergency room at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, CO, the nurse — who recognized Tancredo — regaled him with stories of the brand new hospital`s inundation with illegal aliens, none carrying insurance, most being unable or unwilling to speak English. The latter feature really slows the process, as the staff has to get a translator on the phone for interaction with such patients.
3. One night, Tancredo did an extended riff about John McCain (known to many Arizonans as "Senator McJerk"
— see comments here
.). I managed to scribble down only a few, approximate highlights. Calling McCain "a 24-carat fraud,"
Tancredo acknowledged McCain`s military history but added that "We can`t go on forever talking about what he did in Vietnam."
Tancredo then said that, as its last presidential candidate, McCain is titular head of the Republican Party, and that`s dangerous:
John McCain is one of the biggest problems we have in this country, in many ways. How can you call yourself a "conservative," John? You don`t get to define conservatism.
Tancredo added, "When I was running for president, there was nothing more aggravating than listening to McCain."
Oh! There`s also #4: At one point, Tancredo referred, offhandedly, to "The Plague of Women Voters"
So give the honorable ex-congressman a listen.