Wake-Up Call: Tanks for the memories, Tancredo

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You don't need to work too hard to roast Tom Tancredo: The man roasts himself. Google the name of the former Sixth District congressman and your computer starts smoking, then spits out story after story, quote after quote, that prove truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A few of Tancredo's greatest hits:

Equating La Rasa with the KKK in discussions of Sonia Sotomayor's appointment to the Supreme Court.

Talking about the Democratic Party in 2002, and asking: "What does it present but mothball candidates, old retards... retreads that they bring back over and over again?'

Dropping a bombshell with his 2005 "Bomb Mecca" speech that never actually mentioned Mecca, but did say this regarding terrorism: "Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites."

Calling Miami a "third-world country," and inspiring such a vitriolic response that a Rotary speech in that city -- at the Rusty Pelican -- was canceled because of security concerns.

Being accused of singing along at a South Carolina confab where the audience sang "Dixie." Which Tancredo denied because, he said, he didn't know the words.

Being shut down by protesters at a speech last fall at the University of North Carolina, and becoming an unusual hero of the free-speech movement.

I was thinking about that last incident, and comparing it to the current brouhaha over the healthcare town halls, as I was Googling Tancredo's name in advance of the Roast & Toast of Congressman Tom Tancredo hosted by the Arapahoe County Republicans Saturday night.

I was one of the roasters, but once again, Tancredo could do the job all on his own. And in the end, he did, telling a story about how, after he'd come home from Congress for Christmas one year, he was trying to fix a broken toilet at home, which involved multiple trips to the store. Finally, a cashier asked if he was Tom Tancredo -- Congressman Tom Tancredo. Why, yes, he was, he said. And he was fixing his own toilet? Why, yes, he was, he said. And she said:

"I can't wait to tell my husband. He doesn't think you know how to do anything right."

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