Mike Coffman’s Head Basically Explodes

(Bumped into Thursday for self-evident reasons – promoted by Colorado Pols)

THURSDAY UPDATE #2: Veterans’ advocacy group VoteVets.org has launched an online petition, calling on signers to tell Rep. Mike Coffman that “Veterans don’t use their service as an excuse to smear the Commander-in-Chief.” From their open letter:

American exceptionalism means holding our country to a higher standard. Without a doubt, President Obama’s policies and actions reflect a belief that, as Americans, we must lead the world by example. That includes showing respect for other countries, cultures and religions, building alliances when we can, but also striking at those who do us harm – like Osama bin Laden.

What undermines American exceptionalism is comments such as yours, Congressman Coffman. You have undermined our politics and our democracy – the very foundation of what makes American great. What is worse, you used your service in the Marine Corps as an excuse to make those attacks on the Commander-in-Chief. Such statements are a disgrace to those who have worn the uniform.

Congressman Coffman, stop using your Veteran status to smear the patriotism of the President who ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, took thousands of troops out of harms way and has nearly doubled the Veterans budget. If you truly believe in American exceptionalism, start by leading by example when it comes to our democracy and political debate.

—–

THURSDAY UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols with reactions today:

State Rep. Joe Miklosi, the Democrat challenging Coffman, issued a statement blasting Coffman’s “extremism.”

“These outrageous comments once again make clear that Mike Coffman is Colorado’s version of Rush Limbaugh,” Miklosi said. “This kind of extremism is why Washington doesn’t work.”

“Mike Coffman has shown an offensive lack of respect for the Office of the President and has done so simply to score political points,” Miklosi continued. “This kind of rhetoric is beneath his office and has no place in politics.

“Disagreeing with the President is one thing but to accuse the Commander in Chief of being un-American is simply shameful.  Its this kind of behavior that causes so much dysfunction in Washington and it needs to stop.”

—–

9NEWS breaks this evening…um, really not good:

At a May 12 fundraiser at the Elbert County Fairgrounds, [Rep. Mike] Coffman wrapped up a 12-minute speech to donors with an unprompted discussion of President Obama’s citizenship and national identification.

“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.” [Pols emphasis]

After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first…

Coffman issued a written apology Tuesday evening.

“I misspoke and I apologize,” the statement began. “I have confidence in President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy as President of the United States.”

Folks, we honestly don’t know how you’re supposed to walk this back. This isn’t some merely unfortunate turn of phrase like “hugging the tar baby,” this is a sitting member of Congress flat-out saying the President of the United States is “just not an American.” Whether or not he was born in America, and for good “birther” measure, Mike Coffman makes it clear he wasn’t present at Kapi’olani Hospital on August 4, 1961 to know if Barack Obama was born there.

Okay? Coffman didn’t “misspeak.” Like Jessica Peck’s vow to “help” Coffman’s election with her nonprofit, it’s just a case of dropping one’s filter with a recording device rolling.

It should go without saying that this is politically very bad, except perhaps for somebody running in Tom Tancredo’s old district. Which, as we’ve tried to warn Coffman, doesn’t exist anymore.

This may be the moment Coffman finally learns that lesson.

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    …I thought Coffman had better Political Acumen than that.  Whatever his ideology is, he is showing how extreme he really is.  But I did think he was smarter than that.  So glad I got districted out of his district after this display.

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      The last thing Aurorans need is to be represented by backward birthers who believe our first African-American President is not an American. Please, I beg you — donate to Joe Miklosi. (As an added bonus, Joe just happens to be a really great guy who will treat our President with the respect he deserves.)

  2. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first

    I think even a lot of Republicans are tired of this bullshit.

    • BoulderPatentGuy says:

      but I don’t think so.  A majority, at least, of GOP voters must believe this crap, or else you wouldn’t have the GOP supporting such “birthers”.  This issue is totally on them and they should pay dearly for it.  Coffman and every other GOP lunatic who believes this crap can try and backpedal all they want after audio emerges showing their true feelings.  I have no idea if Mike Coffman is a racist, but I’ll bet he’s never questioned any white politician’s birth certificate, let alone previous U.S. Presidents.  People in Aurora can make up their own minds with this information.

      I just hope the Democratic challengers to these fringe thinkers throw this behind-the-scenes flip-flopping from their public persona in their face on every single issue come November.  How can we really know what Mike Coffman feels about ANY issue if on something as basic as whether the President’s freaking Birth Certificate is real he says one thing publicly (it is!) and another (it’s not!) to his trusted supporters?  Miklosi should milk this type of garbage for all it’s worth.

      • dmindgo says:

        this gaffe is not something to flog Coffman with.  It’s something to question his every statement.  

        He’s committed to fairness in finance?  But what does he promise the big banks behind closed doors?  He promises to pursue a defense policy that is supported by the people and the military brass?  But what does he promise weapons makers behind closed doors?

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      After a second, those Elbert County Tea Party wingnuts started clapping. Give me a break. Listen to it.

  3. Lead story on 9 News. Nuff said.  

  4. African American + President = Not American

    For a long time I have held the belief and much to my disappointment still believe that this birther crap is pure racism.

    I thought they might get beyond it. I guess I was too generous to the Republicans to think that.

    Very sad.

    • nancycronknancycronk says:

      Article 15 of the USUCMJ (military regulations) prohibits personnel from speaking disrespectfully in public about their Commanding officer(s). There are good reasons for those regulations — Americans need to feel safe and secure that the military heirarchy is intact at all times, so in times of war, there is order.

      In discussing this story with others who are better informed on such matters, they told me Congressman are exempt from USUCMJ regulations. Still, as a Veteran and a member of the Armed Services Committee, his conduct is at the very least, embarrassing, unprofessional and unpatriotic. One of my friends — not someone who tends to have knee-jerk partisan reactions to stories like this — feels strongly Coffman should resign his commission.  

      • SSG_Dan says:

        “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

        http://usmilitary.about.com/od

        Think he pretty much did all of that…

        • nancycronknancycronk says:

          Many people do not realize the seriousness of this story. It’s not just another Tea Party wingnut like Lamborn or Tancredo or Buck saying hateful, racist or sexist things (it is covertly racist, too, IMHO), but this story has national security implications. I’d like to hear from Veterans how they feel, knowing a Commissioned Officer used his immunity as a US Congressman to undermine the authority of the President of the United States.

          I literally have had dozens of close family members in the military (my Dad had 13 siblings in his family, and my Mom had 6 siblings, each of whom had large families). They were mostly Republican, but both Ds and Rs alike followed a higher code of conduct that rose above partisanship. They would roll over in their graves if they heard what Coffman said.  

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          in how Coffman used his political immunity to shield himself from the consequences of his personal actions and how like Bradford personal accountability is just a nice slogan to fire up the base.

        • rocco says:

          liability because he’s inactive.

          I could be wrong, but I just assumed that prosecution the of the offense he committed would only apply to Armed Services Members on active duty or Active Reserves.

          I’m pretty sure this was choreographed to talk to the base, and if it was, he’d have covered his backside first.

          He’s disgusting in his open contempt for his Commander in Chief, and it was a really shitty thing to do, but I don’t think he’s liable to punishment or reduction in rank.

  5. That’s quite the statement you made there, unprompted.

    Apparently that trial balloon didn’t float so well for you; at least you put out a written apology.

  6. I can’t celebrate — too sad every time I realize that the independent western Republicans I used to be so fond of are about as successful these days as dialup Internet.

    But seriously, is it the entire Democratic party’s birthday? They get the majority AND CD6–of all the districts–handed to them in one week?

    • MADCO says:

      It was Elbert county – I don’t think anyone there minded too much.

      No one who was already voting GOTP is going to be turned off.

      No one who was already voting D is going to be motivated enough to vote twice.

      So does it move the undecideds ?  Maybe a few – but will they remember in 5 months?

      • rocco says:

        As always, Coffman was speaking to his base.

        There’s a huge cesspool of conservative activists that are upset that republicans aren’t still pounding away at the President’s ethnicity, as well as his “relationship” with Jeremiah Wright.

        This won’t be Coffman’s last floater down that nasty but very republican road.

        TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts is in the final stages of the launch of his new superpac, which will appeal to the the basist and most prevalant tendencies and phobia of conservative white republicans, the fear of an “angry black adult in authority”.

        Ricketts is reportedly prepared to spend 10 million to start, pounding away on the President’s birth certificate and his “Black Liberation Church Ideology”.

        While Ricketts and his head goon, Brian Baker, are aiming this message at the tried and true older, entitled, teabagging, angry white demographic, according to the New York Times, they are also deep into talks with conservative black radio jabber Larry Elder, in hopes he’ll somehow pull young  people, such as the Young College Republicans, into the “fold”.

        As weird as it seems, it shows the depravity and the frustration that consumes the GOP over the election of the first African American President.  

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        Because now it’s all over the internet.

        But I agree that there’s no cause for celebration, at least as of yet. Pubs and right-leaning independents will still vote for him. Centrists aren’t necessarily going to look at this kookiness and vote Miklosi, not if they think Coffman is the better choice anyway. And they might – the economy is getting better and people are more optimistic now, but a lot can happen in 5 1/2 months, and bad news for Obama will equal bad news for all Democrats in competitive races.

        Nonetheless… Wow, Congressman Coffman. Wow.

      • VanDammerVanDammer says:

        but this and other debunked crap will all get resurrected once again

      • BlueCat says:

        am still puzzled as to why Coffman would think it necessary to indulge in such over the top pandering to the hate mongering right fringe. Apparently it wasn’t exactly the applause line he thought it would be, either. Guess he just assumed an Elbert County crowd would roar over this kind of thing. Pandering to the “yokels”?  

        Coffman and all the other R pols who say these things aren’t “misspeaking” and shouldn’t be allowed to apologize for that kind of innocent mistake without being challenged.  Misspeaking is accidentally or mistakenly saying something inaccurate. When it’s purposeful it’s just a lie. They never offer examples of Obama claiming that there is nothing special about America because they know there aren’t any while he has said many times that his personal journey to the presidency could only have happened in America.  That’s pretty much the definition of American exceptionalism.  

        They know he hasn’t apologized for America. They know he is a legitimate American born citizen. They know they can’t come up with a single example to back up any of these fabrications or to demonstrate that “at heart” Obama doesn’t feel himself to be American. They offer no examples because they have none.

        But, as Madco points out and even though this demonstrates a profound lack of honor despite his military service, Coffman should have little serious trouble keeping his seat. What a pity.

  7. jaytee says:

    It’s like he had some kind of brain fart and thought it was 2009 and he was on Glenn Beck’s show or something. Still campaigning on the birther crap? Unbelievable.

    Takeaway: Still no compelling ideas at all on that side (trickle down!) about how to run the country for the benefit of the majority of the citizens.

  8. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Hell no! No time to be reasonable, there’s an election to win!

    Don’t worry, I won’t let Miklosi “walk back” anything either. Equal rights for Nazi motorcycle gangs!

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Stating the President of the United States isn’t a real American and perpetuating the myth that he’s a secret Kenyan born in Africa is so very equal to supporting a dopey bill that says motorcycle gangs should be allowed to wear their colors at bars.

      Yeah, those are just so comparable.

      Listen, be a man. Just once, be a man and not a partisan asswipe. Step up as an American, not as a Republican hack and just admit that insulting the POTUS to the extent of claiming he isn’t an American is just vile, unnecessary and a FUBAR moment that doesn’t deserve a moment of defense.

      Stop defending the indefensible.  

    • dmindgo says:

      I seem to remember you started one fire here already with your comment on the Corams.  Try breathing deeply and put the matches away.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      Look at NancyCronk’s post above- he’s a FUCKING COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE MARINE CORPS.

      That’s the Commander in Chief he just disrespected. And yes he gets immunity for being in Congress, but if not for that he’s on the hook for a Court Martial:

      “Article 88 (of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), which makes it a crime for an officer to use contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, Congress, the secretary of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, or the governor or legislature of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present.”

      http://www.armytimes.com/commu

      I know you were probably busy getting your special Romneybot kneepads, but there have been a few instances of military people getting busted hard for this shit.

      LTC Lakin? Marine SGT Gary Stein? HELLO?

      If Green Zone Coffman decides to try and drag out his service and rank on the campaign trail, I’ll personally show up at his rallies and call him a fucking disgrace to the uniform. I’m sure the Repub thugs will drag me away (with a few broken bons for their troubles.)

    • cdsmith says:

      But adults understand that an apology is a good start to making up for poor judgement, but people will still decide how much to trust you based on your history of making outrageous statements, manipulating people, and showing a lack of grounding in reality.  Once you hit puberty, the “he said sorry, so we have to forget all about it” theory stops carrying much weight.

      Yes, that’s the world we live in.  Let loose with an angry and insulting rant at your boss, and you can apologize but you’ll probably still be fired.  Get drunk and tell obscene jokes at a neighborhood party, and you can apologize, but your neighbors still might be careful about leaving their kids alone in the yard when you’re around.  Say clearly that the president of the U.S. “just isn’t an American”, and you can apologize, but voters will still question your grasp on reality.  Especially if they know that you said that when you didn’t think they were listening, and then apologized only when it got out to more people than you expected.

      No, “sorry” is not actually a magic word.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      … is way, way too much.

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      for the brilliant minds behind ArapGOP to come up with this?  

  9. dwyer says:

    mikey chickened out and wrote an apology to Channel Nine and said  he “misspoke”….so now petey is calling coffman out for being wimpy……

    Is it possible that the republicans might repeat 2010….and go up in smoke????

    Be still my beating heart.  I don’t think so.  I do not think the PACs will let them….

    • dmindgo says:

      seems like the PACs are the ones pushing the outlandish stuff, too

      • rocco says:

        The pac Ricketts is putting together is called “Character Matters”.

        The NYT ran a great story on the old gasbag and his desire to get involved in a big way.

        This is the theme Coffmnan, Lamborn, Tipton, and Gardner will all be sketching from.

        It works. It motivates a sluggish, lukewarm republican base, whose biggest argument with the President is his ethnicity.  

        Look at agop’s posts.

        He’s fine with what Coffman said. His issue’s with the reaction to it of the people that are condemning the single time green zoner for it.

        And as childish as he is, he’s not even close to being the worst of his ilk.

  10. I misspoke the other day — I meant to say “Can you go to the store?” and instead asked my roommate to “Go to the score,” because I was trying to have a conversation and read about the NBA playoffs at the same time.

    I did not, however, ask her to “Go to Hell,” which is more like the Coffman kind of “misspoke.”

    I’d love to know what he’s pretending to have INTENDED to say when he “misspoke” and called the president “not an American.” Anyone else care to take a stab at the revisionist history here?

    “I don’t know whether Barack Obama has watched Bjorn perform in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American pop music fan. He’s just not into American pop.”

    • CaninesCanines says:

      It’s an involuntary nueropsychiatric disorder consisting of facial tics and ranting whenever the president’s name is mentioned.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      He meant to say:

      Can you pass me the salt?

      It came out as:

      You ruined my life you total bitch?

      It can happen at the darnedest times.  Just ask Mike.

    • MADCO says:

      is the way I understand it.

      See I used to have really loud whistle. I was teaching my dog to swim in the ocean and once she was in the surf,  she couldn’t hear me shouting.  So I used the whistle.  Then after, awhile,  she cued off my body language.  I would hold my hand to my mouth, and pretend to blow hard – tense my body, lean, etc.  She responded the same – but no loud whistle to disrupt the beach.

      Coffman isn’t from The South, so he’s not quite as deft when he goes through the motions.  But the message is overwhelmingly unmistakably obvious: THAT GUY IS NOT LIKE US. HE DOESN’T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE OUR EXCEPTIONALISM – OUR’S NOT HIS. HE’S DIFFERENT.  In the vast schema of Us / Them we are Us and he is …

  11. Pam Bennett says:

    That Coffman is so stupid as to believe the birther garbage is one thing to grasp. That his idiocy to speak that in public, with the cameras rolling is another.

    Although I gave him due respect as an officer before, there is no respect for him now. He is no longer worthy of anything but disgust and loathing.

    If he has other cohorts in the military then we should be very concerned as a nation. There should be an investigation into his activities when on duty. We as a nation cannot afford to have our military rotted from within by disgusting pigs such as that man.

    Support Joe Miklosi and rid congress of trash.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      But if a Republican had written it, Colorado Pols would say they’re inciting violence.

      Never mind, they said his head “basically” exploded.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        There’s nothing this headline has in common with “Second Amendment remedies” or other calls to arms. This is something that would raise no eyebrows if some Dem had a meltdown.

        So long as the official GOP spin goes like this, I like the Dems’ chances this fall.

      • CaninesCanines says:

        It’s not violence someone perpetrates on someone else. It’s one of those weird, unexplainable anomalies in life like frogs falling from the sky.

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