Old Coffman vs. New Coffman®–Medicare Part D Edition

One of the biggest themes in the CD-6 race has been the wholesale transformation of incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, from the arch-conservative Republican representing firebrand conservative Tom Tancredo's former district, into a "moderate" representing one of the most economically and culturally diverse congressional districts in the United States. It's a transformation that has mostly taken place since 2012, when a relatively obscure and underfunded Democratic opponent came within only two points of unseating Coffman–demonstrating how redistricting has made Coffman one of the nation's most vulnerable incumbent members of Congress.

Coffman's record before redistricting reshaped the electorate he answers to, from a time when his only threat was being deemed insufficiently conservative, is the biggest problem he faces remaining in office today. This video clip from a 2008 congressional debate, when Coffman was working overtime to prove his conservative credentials in the Republican primary to replace Tancredo, demonstrates the problem better than perhaps anything we've seen:

MIKE COFFMAN: In terms of federal spending it is out of control and that's why Republicans are out of power right now because they didn't hold true to their beliefs as being fiscal conservatives. The biggest part of the budget, unfortunately is now on auto-pilot. It's entitlement spending–it's not discretionary spending. [Interrupted]

What is important about this district, in being a very Republican seat, is it enables someone to be able to take strong positions that someone in a swing seat may not be able to take. [Pols emphasis] And entitlement reform, in order to bring fiscal sanity to this country, has got to be a part of it. 

And here you have a President [Bush] who was talking about Social Security reform, abandoned Social Security reform, turned around and did an entitlement on Medicare for which he cooked the books to make the numbers work, and future generations are going to be paying for that. Someone has to have the courage to step up and say "no." I've demonstrated that courage here in the state of Colorado.

"Old Coffman" was awfully candid, wasn't he?

It's critical to understand this: the "entitlement on Medicare" for which Coffman claims President George W. Bush "cooked the books" to enact is the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit–the same Medicare Part D Coffman received an award for "protecting" from the National Grange just last year! Has anybody asked Coffman what changed between the time that Medicare Part D was a big bad "entitlement," and when it became a plank in Coffman's platform to "protect Medicare?" We're guessing not. Because there is no good answer, folks.

But it's a great example of how Coffman's "strong positions"…have come back to bite him.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. HappyWarrior says:

    Book your tickets now for the Romanoff swearing in.  Mike Coffman after hanging out with and going along with the craziest far right guys around is now worried.  Last second flip-flops won't save him.  Has anyone seen a candidate work as hard as Andrew Romanoff?

  2. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    What a giant, pathetic, and obvious flip-flop. Jesus, Mike.

  3. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Coffman was always a say-anything bullshit artist. Redistricting just makes it more obvious.

    Good catch.

  4. JBJK16 says:

    It only counts as coming back to bite if he loses.

    color meskeptical

  5. nancycronknancycronk says:

    His flip-flops only matter if the Romanoff campaign or their surrogates do a tv ad calling him out for them before they damage Romanoff on the immigration thing (even though his side of the story is that the Governor called for that infamous Special Session, not him.) Coffman's side has no conscience and will smear Andrew with any lies they can think up  — they did it to Joe Miklosi and never looked back.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Attempting to do damage on the immigration thing would be a two edged sword for Coffman, wouldn't it?  Since being tough on immigration is exactly what his Tancredo loving base likes, doesn't that make it a little awkward for him to use Romanoff's past harsh legislation in any advantageous way? Using it to make a counter flip flop claim would have limited value since Coffman's own flip flops are so much more numerous while it seems like it opens up a can of worms for somebody trying to placate his base and also appeal to a bigger chunk of immigrant citizen voters. 

  6. ModeratusModeratus says:

    I believe this is the first time Colorado Pols has ever defended George W. Bush.

    Never, ever let Republicans evolve. Freeze them in your most desired moment in time. Like Alisnky said, pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. You follow the playbook perfectly.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      I'm always amused by how much more closely conservatives read and follow Alinsky than liberals do. It's very practical advice, whatever the partical partisan bent the reader takes away from it.

      You, AC, Elliot, N3B…every conservative poster on here does exactly the same things: Target, Freeze, Personalize, Polarize.

        Does "Udallcare" ring a bell? How about "death panels"? Or "cough-SB90-cough"?  etc.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Dang, Moddy.  I looked up "evolve" in the GOTP playbook, and there it was staring right at me:  Evolve:  the process whereby Republicans trying to get (re-)elected discard politically offensive, unpopular or inconvenient positions.  Belief in the new "evolved" position is not advised because if you do win the election, the new position used to deceive voters might conflict with the wishes of your political masters, which would be detrimental to your financial health and ability to run for higher office.

      Note:  "evolve" is not related to "evolution", The word was hijacked and distorted by Godless Heathens like Darwin and Mendel in a vain attempt to explain away how God took a week off from his day job to create the Earth and Heavens.  Evolve has been in common usage per the GOTP playbook for, oh, the last 6,000 years.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Seems a lot more like a snake shedding his skin than evolution . . .

      (. . . you guys never did pay much attention in Biology class??)

  7. horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

    And if these evolutions happen to occur right before elections, as they have recently with Coffman and Gardner, it is our solemn duty to look away.  There's just nothing to see there.

    Carry on.

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