Coffman: “Effective date” of Obamacare repeal will be “about two years out” due to negotiations with industry and Democrats

(Note that this was BEFORE Coffman said he would not vote for repeal without a replacement – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman .

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) made headlines after he told constituents this week that it could take several years for Republicans to come up with an Obamacare replacement and, when they unveil their plan, it will “leave some people behind, one way or the other,” as first reported by the Colorado Independent.

But Buck isn’t the only Colorado Republican to speculate that replacing Obamacare will take years.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) told a conservative radio host last month that “it will be about two years” before Obamacare is repealed.

“We are voting on a repeal — yes. And it will be to those tax and spending parts that the Democrats cannot filibuster in the Senate, but it will be about two years out will be the effective date of the repeal,” Coffman told KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger Jan. 7 (at 39 min 45 seconds). “And what the Democrats are advancing –and the press is falling in line with them on — is that somehow we’re erasing everything — that what the repeal does is, the next day, it’s all wiped out. That’s not true.”

Coffman said Republicans have the difficult task in front of them of negotiating with Democrats over what the Obamacare replacement will look like.

“We have to negotiate a replacement with the Democrats,” Coffman told Sengenberger. “And why we have to negotiate a replacement with the Democrats is because of the fact that all of those insurance regulation parts of Obamacare can be filibustered by the Democrats. And they have committed to do so. So that means it’s going to take 60 votes to bring that part of Obamacare to the floor. And so we’re going to have to negotiate with them on what that looks like. And so that will take time.”

Coffman did not say whether people will lose their health insurance under the GOP Obamacare replacement, but after his Jan. 7 statement above, in fact in multiple subsequent interviews, including a Feb. 17 radio appearance, he said that “nothing will be repealed unless it’s concurrently replaced.”

Working with the “insurance industry” on a replacement will be time consuming, said Coffman.

“The fact is that the insurance industry has to price this risk,” said Coffman. “We don’t want to throw a wrench into the market and have people suffer more than they have already suffered, unfairly. They have certainly suffered under Obamacare. It has helped some people. But it has hurt a lot of people. And so, we want policies that help everybody, you know, and don’t help some people at the expense of others.”

Who’s Telling the Truth About GOP Obamacare Replacement?

(¯\_(ツ)_/¯ — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last week, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) if he could guarantee to his constituents that they’d “have coverage if you have it now.”

“The answer to that is no, right?” asked Hayes.

“Yes,” replied Sanford. “The answer is, we don’t know with precision.”

Colorado Republicans need to be asked the same question, because over the past months most them, with the exception of U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, have repeatedly implied that no one will lose their health insurance if Obamacare is repealed. But am I hearing them right? Is this a promise?

For example, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) stated KOA 850-AM Feb. 17, “And let me just say, nothing will be repealed unless it’s concurrently replaced.”

If nothing means nothing, then no one will lose their health care coverage, at a minimum, much less all the other benefits of Obamacare (e.g., coverage for under-26 family members, pre-existing conditions, no caps on coverage).

Coffman’s office sort of confirmed his stance to 9News this week.

9News: Coffman’s office told us he wants to keep the changes Obamacare made for pre-existing conditions, the ability for parents to keep children on their plans until age 26, and maintaining coverage for people who gained it under the ACA—including the Medicaid expansion, which has been criticized by some of Coffman’s fellow Republicans.

But that’s a aspiration, not a promise, and Coffman’s constituents want to know if Coffman would vote for a still-unkown Obamacare replacement that would throw people off the health insurance rolls.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) expressed the same promise in the form of an aspiration, as he likes to do when dealing with a tough question.

Gardner: “What we have to do is create a bipartisan health care plan, health insurance plan, to make sure that we can do better than Obamacare,” said Gardner on KOA 850-AM Jan. 13.

Is he saying his constituents won’t lose their insurance? I think so, but he needs to be asked point blank–and repeatedly, because that’s often what it takes with Gardner (e.g., Will he vote for Trump? And will he hold a town hall? And what about the federal personhood amendment?)

In some communications, Colorado Republicans are stopping short of promising that their constituents won’t lose their health insurance, but they’re guaranteeing that elements of Obamacare won’t be lost.

“…[U]nder the Republican replacement plans, no individual with a pre-existing condition will be denied insurance coverage or see their rates spike,” wrote Congressman Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton in The Denver Post Jan. 13.

That’s a serious promise.

But the larger question remains. What exactly are you saying? Will you vote for a bill that doesn’t guarantee health insurance for all Americans who have it under Obamacare? If not, how many are you willing to throw off the rolls or put at risk of losing their coverage?

Truth Test: Mike Coffman’s Mythical ACA “Replacement”

We wrote last Friday about Rep. Mike Coffman’s so-called “listening tour,” underway this week to gain insight on the effects of the Affordable Care Act in Colorado ahead of upcoming votes to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health reform law. Coffman’s “listening tour” stood in contrast, among many other contradictions, to an ad campaign running in Colorado right now praising Coffman for a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare that they claim he already has.

Obviously, only one of these can be true!

9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman took a critical look at this pro-Coffman ad campaign last night in a Truth Test:

CLAIM: Our healthcare system isn’t working. Mike Coffman has a plan to fix it.
VERDICT: Overstatement

Mike Coffman doesn’t have a plan to replace Obamacare, but his staff points out he “does have some very specific principles that he expects to see included in the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.”

That is not the kind of thing you’d write if the plan was actually done…

Coffman’s office told us he wants to keep the changes Obamacare made for pre-existing conditions, the ability for parents to keep children on their plans until age 26, and maintaining coverage for people who gained it under the ACA—including the Medicaid expansion, which has been criticized by some of Coffman’s fellow Republicans.

In any case, we’ve seen some G-O-P proposals to replace Obamacare, but since they haven’t settled on one we can’t really fact check those promises yet.

Rittiman goes on to debunk most of the horror story bullet points in the ad, or at least give them some context. There’s no attempt to bridge the enormous gap between what Coffman says he wants preserved from the ACA and any GOP replacement plan that’s been publicized. In the end, the spot is fundamentally deceptive to the point of quite honestly being a waste of everyone’s time:

And that gets us to the bottom line: this ad is glossing over the fact Republicans have yet to unite behind a plan on healthcare in an effort to make you think it’s going to be awesome, no matter what plan they end up with.

Because it’s…wait for it…not “Obamacare!”

As long as you pesky reporters don’t ask any more questions, this should all work out fine.

Ken Buck Only Member of Colo. Delegation to Back Travel Ban

Rep. Ken Buck presses whatever button President Trump prefers.

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has generally refused to answer reporter questions about his position on Donald Trump’s travel ban for immigrants, leaving local news outlets such as Denver7 and the Denver Post to guess about his position on one of the more pressing issues in the country. But Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman will not be denied; as Luning reports, Rep. Buck on Monday offered his unqualified support for the Muslim travel ban:

“Our country has always offered hope for the oppressed and homeless, but hope also requires safety and security,” Buck said. We should not let people into this country unless we can thoroughly vet them. America welcomes Muslims from 190 countries and temporarily bans all individuals from 7 countries. The President’s executive order is a temporary effort that addresses a serious issue with terrorist hot spots.”

Congressman Buck is the only member of Colorado’s Congressional delegation to offer his full support for Trump’s travel ban. Even Colorado Springs Rep. Doug Lamborn made it clear that he opposes Trump’s Executive Order creating the travel ban.

Coffman himself validates the news value of 9News’ story about his early exit from constituent meeting

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

The day after 9News broke the story about U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) exiting early out the back door of a library filled with people wanting to ask him about Obamacare, Blair Miller, a reporter for Denver7 News, tweeted, “Gotta give the competition credit for a good story: Congressman Coffman leaves frustrated crowd.”

It was a well deserved tip-of-the-hat to Nelson Garcia, who broke the story for the NBC affiliate.

Who could possibly argue about the news value of catching a Congressman on video slipping out the back door early with a room of people still waiting to see him? It doesn’t matter who tipped Garcia off, where Coffman was going, why the people were mad. Coffman’s exit, spotlighted with police tape, was undeniably news.

Yet,  ColoradoPeakPolitics bloggers and others are claiming the story was “fake news,” an accusation Denver writer Corey Hutchins shredded in the Columbia Journalism Review last week. Hutchins stated the obvious, calling Garcia’s story a “credible news report.”

But in case anyone sides with conservatives on this, the best proof of the news value of 9News’ story is U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s own respoonse to it!

Coffman said in a subsequent interview that the library was “the wrong venue for the event,” which the Congressman described as a “protest.”

“So what I’m trying to do right now is get a very large venue and just really get the word out for people to come. Probably at least it would handle 300 people, not in a library.”

That’s about the best acknowledgement of the importance and validity of Garcia’s story you could imagine–and that’s without adding the public’s interest in knowing that Coffman slipped out the back door early.

So, when will Coffman hold his big town-hall meeting?

Are conservatives going to try to say that journalists aren’t justified in asking that question either?

Mike Coffman Outdoes Himself

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is well-known for his ability to take multiple positions on a single issue, but Coffman may have outdone himself in a recent Q&A with 5280 magazine.

Take a look at how Coffman responded to the following question: “Do you support keeping the ACA in place and improving upon it? If not, how will you ensure that all Americans continue to have access to healthcare?”

No aspect of the ACA will be repealed without first having a replacement. We will soon vote on certain aspects of a repeal, [Pols emphasis] but the effective date for that repeal will be far enough in the future that it will allow time to craft and negotiate, in a bipartisan manner, a replacement. There are some in Washington and Colorado that push this narrative as a scare tactic, but at the end of the day the process of repealing and replacing the ACA will take a couple of years with the goal being to lower costs, preserve access, and to improve on the health insurance choices available.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed. This statement is so absurdly ridiculous that you can’t help but admire its incoherence.

Coffman contradicts himself immediately — literally by the second sentence in his response. Just after he says, “No aspect of the ACA will be repealed without first having a replacement,” Coffman adds, “We will soon vote on certain aspects of a repeal.”

This would be more amusing, of course, if we weren’t talking about healthcare legislation that could very well mean the difference between life and death for many Americans.

Voicemail boxes of Gardner, Coffman are full

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

“I’m sorry but that mail box is full.”

That’s what you get when you call the Washington DC line of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), even though a recorded voice, apparently Gardner’s, tells you, “Please leave a message.”

Gardner’s voicemail box has been full for days as citizens have focused on stopping the lawmaker from voting to repeal Obamacare. Citizens have also been trying to find out what his replacement plan is, if any.

The line of U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (D-Aurora) has also been full, sending callers to a recording stating, “Honorable Coffman main line is not available. This mailbox is full.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) office was accepting messages from citizens today, as was U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette’s (D-CO) line.

Protesters, concerned about health care, rallied at the Women’s March in Denver yesterday and at a Jan. 10 rally in front of Gardner’s office on 17th Avenue in downtown Denver.

Gardner said on KOA radio in Denver  last week that Republicans have “hundreds of bills,” which are “Small and big” and “very targeted,” but he’s not yet produced an Obamacare replacement for the public to review and contrast with the Affordable Care Act.

Reporters should press Colorado’s Congressional Republicans on replacement for Obamacare

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner (left) and Rep. Mike Coffman.

The Colorado Republican congressional delegation is talking a lot about a “replacement” for Obamacare, as if they have something in mind, without actually pointing to an actual factual replacement–or even any details leading in the direction of a replacement.

Reporters should be extra careful to point out that Republicans have no replacement plan, because all the talk about one can easily confuse already confused people into thinking that Colorado Republicans have a plan.

As an example of how Republicans try to disguise their absence of a plan as a plan, check out this passage from a Jan. 13 Denver Post opinion piece, authored by all of Colorado’s GOP members of Congress (with the glaring exception of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.)

And speaking of replacement plans, the narrative that Republicans have offered no plan to replace Obamacare is false. Republicans have introduced multiple alternative health care plans since 2010, and we encourage you to review them. The most recent replacement plan was offered by the Republican Study Committee, called the American Health Care Reform Act. The Empowering Patients First Act was a plan put forth in the 114th Congress by future Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price. Our Better Way Agenda also includes a blueprint for replacing Obamacare that is centered on more choices, lowers costs, and greater flexibility.

Many plans does not mean you have a plan. Gentlemen, which plan do you favor, if any?

Even though Gardner didn’t join his colleagues in the Denver Post opinion, he made a similar statement on KOA 850-AM Jan. 13 (audio below):

Gardner: We have introduced several bills — hundreds of bills, really — small and big over the past several years to replace Obamacare. Some are very targeted, some are much more comprehensive: legislation by Tom Price –soon to be the Secretary of Health; legislation by Dr. Grasso, a Senator from Wyoming who is a physician; legislation from Bill Cassidy, a physician himself from Louisiana that will be introduced next. These are all going to be considered as part of the replacement once it’s repealed.

Hundreds of bills! Small and big! Very targeted! All will be considered! (But, alas, still, no plan.)

But, it’s worth noting, and it’s in fact newsworthy, that  Colorado’s congressional Republicans are saying the Price plan is in the mix, because analysts say that millions of people would lose their health insurance under Price’s proposal. And Price is Trump’s nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Cassidy plan, also mentioned by Gardner, would leave millions of people uninsured or underinsured, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Coffman “Not a Town Hall” Fiasco a National News Story

UPDATE: As the Denver Post’s John Aguilar reports, it didn’t go any better for Mike Coffman at yesterday’s MLK Day event:

U.S. Rep Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, ran into trouble with the audience when he stepped up to the microphone. As he began speaking, several people in the crowd began to heckle him with chants of “No repeal!” a reference to the congressman’s stated desire to dismantle the Affordable Care Act spearheaded by Obama.

Coffman didn’t acknowledge the interruptions during his short speech, which lasted little more than a minute or two. At one point, the heckling almost drowned out the congressman’s words.

—–

The Coloradans are restless.

The story of this weekend’s public outreach event held by Rep. Mike Coffman at the Aurora Public Library main branch, which witnessed an enormous turnout of upset constituents seeking answers about their health care followed by Coffman sneaking out the back door, went national over the long MLK Day weekend. Here’s a brief roundup:

The Denver Post’s Tamara Chaung:

On Friday, Coffman joined three other Republican U.S. representatives from Colorado in Denver Post opinion page piece about why they would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Some people who showed up for the event were there to talk about the act, according to their social media posts.

According to Coffman’s events page, the Congressman held monthly meetings with constituents at area libraries during the first half of 2016. Saturday’s event was the first since June.

The crowd appeared to be “frustrated” because many didn’t get to meet with Coffman, according to 9NEWS. And before time ran out on the 90 minute meeting, Coffman left. “While more than 100 people were waiting to meet with him, Mike Coffman sneaks out early from his own community event,” Garcia tweeted.

TIME picks up the story:

Republican Congressman Mike Coffman left a regularly scheduled meeting early on Saturday, leaving more than 100 frustrated constituents waiting at the Aurora Public Library in Colorado to talk about his party’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act…

“Unfortunately, we only reserved the room at the Aurora Central Library for 90 minutes, which is usually plenty of time to see everyone,” [Coffman’s staffer Ben Stein] wrote.

But Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern did some checking, and that’s not a valid excuse:

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Mike Coffman Plays Both Sides of #Russiagate

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, who handily won re-election in part with a campaign to distance himself from his Donald Trump-like right-wing past, was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner this week–and Warner is to be commended to forcing something like answers from Coffman about the crisis over Russian intervention in the recent election to help Trump win.

The whole interview is worth listening to, but here’s a transcript of the key segment:

RW: I want to start with the fact that intelligence agencies have said Russia meddled in the US presidential election apparently in an effort to help Trump get elected. Now there’s an uncorroborated report that one, Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians, and two, that the Russians have dirt on Trump that could make him vulnerable to blackmail. The information was persuasive enough apparently that it was shared with both Trump and President Obama. What’s your reaction to the latest developments?

MC: Well, I’m not familiar with it. So a couple of things, first of all I do think, that there, I can tell you as an Iraq war veteran, I think sometimes that the intelligence at the highest levels tends to be politicized to make a certain point. But at the same time I think that the Russians are a tremendous threat. I think we should, I think we need to look into every possibility for what they’re doing. And so I just think, I just have a real concern about Russia, and it runs much deeper then the President-Elect. [Pols emphasis]

RW: You believe that intelligence, even from the highest echelons you say, can be politicized. What makes you say that?

MC: Oh my gosh. As an Iraq War Veteran just to believe the intelligence and the lead up to the Iraq War, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, the lead up to the US military incursion into Libya for regime change, and what we were told there and what we found out afterwards. And recently not that long ago, we found out that at the senior levels in the Obama administration that they were cooking the intelligence on ISIS to make them look less formidable and that we were making more progress than we really were. And so we’re constantly looking into these things, and I hope that it’s just something that needs to be cleaned up. Certainly the rank and file of the intelligence community and the raw information that they put forward is good. I think when it’s put together in trying to establish a fact pattern to prove a particular thesis, I think sometimes it becomes questionable and politicized.

RW: This was the consensus of several different agencies, does that change your perspective in any way?

MC: No, it really doesn’t, [Pols emphasis] but at the same time, just because I’m distrustful of intelligence agencies and have been for a very long time and the fact that they’ve been politicized on the right and the left, I think they were politicized during the Bush administration as well, that doesn’t disregard the fact that I do think that Russia is a real threat to the United States, to our security interests…

As you can see, Coffman has truly mastered the art of taking both sides of an issue. Intelligence gets politicized, which is both sometimes true and exactly what Trump supporters want to hear–but Russia is a “tremendous threat,” so we should presumably still be worried? It seems to be left as more of a hypothetical discussion item than a pressing question about a President-elect who takes office in eight days.

One thing we can’t reconcile, though, is Coffman’s statement that his “concern” about Russia “runs much deeper than the President-elect.” If the allegations that the Trump campaign was actively engaged with the Russian government to win the election are true, you can’t separate the President-elect from the Russians. Whatever Coffman’s “deep concern” with the Russian agenda is, the leader of Coffman’s party is at the center of it.

If you can’t admit that, you really can’t be honest about the situation.

Coffman: Trump Vow To Make Mexico Pay For Wall a “Gimmick”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Manu Raju at CNN reports on growing skepticism among Republicans about President-elect Donald Trump’s oft-repeated longshot vow to “build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it”–including Colorado’s leading on-again off-again Trump backer, Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora:

President-elect Donald Trump is still insisting that Mexico will ultimately pay billions for the construction of a massive wall along the southern border.

Many Republicans on Capitol Hill are not so sure.

In interviews with CNN, a number of Republicans suggested that Trump’s claim amounted to wishful thinking, saying they believed the billionaire businessman would ultimately backtrack on one of his central campaign promises.

“I doubt that they’re going to pay for it,” said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, referring to Mexico. “There’s a lot he could do if he wanted to (force Mexico’s hand). In all honesty, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, added: “I never thought that would happen. I thought it was a gimmick.” [Pols emphasis]

The story quotes other Republicans variously agreeing with Trump that forcing Mexico to pay for–or at least reimburse–the United States for the costs of building a wall across the entire 1,989 miles of border between the two nations is plausible. Or if it’s not, at least agreeing that America needs “border security.”

Less clear from this story, either in Coffman’s case or that of other Republicans quoted, is the answer to what may be the only question that matters: will Republicans in Congress vote to pay for Trump’s wall first and “collect” from Mexico later? Even Trump seems to admit now that this is the only practical way to proceed.

For Mike Coffman, who has kept his career alive by changing his stripes on immigration to fit his changing constituency, the question is twofold: voting to build a wall America would have to pay for–and on a more basic level, voting to build Trump’s wall at all.

You’ll notice Coffman’s response to the question disclosed neither.

2016’s Top Story: The Year Everyone Got Wrong (Including Us)

Dick Morris, the king of getting it wrong in politics.

At the beginning of 2016 we believe that the eventual outcome of the 2016 elections, both here in Colorado and nationally, could not have been predicted. We feel pretty confident about that because almost no one correctly predicted the course of the primary and general elections in 2016–from the results of the presidential election, to Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, marquee congressional races, and multitude of state legislative contests.

Yes, readers, the political prognostication industry, which includes this humble little blog and stretches upward to include lots of people even you might consider important, failed in a spectacular fashion to predict the outcome of the 2016 elections. We failed in whole by missing Donald Trump’s disruptive appeal to broadly frustrated American voters, which had no equivalent outlet for the left after Democrats crushed the disruption of Bernie Sanders. We failed in part by missing the far higher baseline of support for Trump that manifested on Election Day, which swamped downballot races in many states and made other states (including Colorado) much closer than expected.

We are here to tell you today that we take the failure to predict the dynamics of the 2016 elections very seriously for our part, and we trust in the ability of all the smart people whose job it is to understand why things happen in politics to similarly engage in the kind of hard, unsparing introspection that is now required. In that spirit, let’s take a minute to be very frank about the things we got wrong in 2016–and if we miss anything, we trust our readers will remind us in comments. Be brutally honest. We can take it.

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Top Ten Stories of 2016 #4: Coffman’s Trump Triangulation Triumph

Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.

Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora is today one of the longest, if not the longest-serving elected politician in the state of Colorado. Rising through the ranks of the state legislature in the 1990s, then serving as Colorado’s Treasurer and Secretary of State before his election to Congress in 2008, Coffman is the epitome of a “career politician”–and on paper, he’s been ripe for a fall at many points in his long career.

But Coffman has survived, again and again, despite determined attempts to dislodge him from his seat in Congress. In 2011, Coffman’s congressional district was reshaped from a staunchly Republican safe seat formerly held by far-right Rep. Tom Tancredo into a diverse and competitive battleground. Democrats were gleeful at the prospect of claiming CD-6 and holding it easily for the coming decade.

Coffman dashed tentative Democratic hopes in 2012, as he squeaked to victory in President Barack Obama’s second election against a relatively unknown and underfunded Democratic opponent Joe Miklosi. The missed opportunity in 2012 was underscored in 2014, when in that Republican “wave year” Coffman trounced a much better-financed and organized opponent in former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

In 2015, Democratic hopes for this district soared with the entry of former Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll into the 2016 race against Coffman–a longtime representative from Aurora with charisma and deep bonafide ties to the community. The national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) rated the CD-6 race one of the very top Democratic pickup opportunities in the nation in 2016, and unlike previous attempts, national Democratic resources stayed in this race to the very end.

Going into 2016, Coffman’s handlers understood that they faced a potentially disastrous problem with the success of Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race. Trump’s alienating rhetoric was downright poisonous in a culturally diverse place like Aurora, and made it too easy to draw parallels from Trump to Coffman’s own long record of right-wing ugliness–like Coffman calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and asserting that President Obama “is just not an American.” Trump’s hard line on immigration similarly cast Coffman’s unsteady reinvention on the issue since redistricting into unflattering relief.

Working in Coffman’s favor were two principal factors: first, Coffman’s reversal on immigration began before Trump came on the scene, in response to redistricting, which made it appear more credible. The second, perhaps most important factor, is Coffman’s top-notch re-election team–who worked overtime to schmooze with, persuade, and where necessary to bully the local press into accepting that Coffman’s protestations against both Trump and his own record were genuine.

The result, much like the Democrats’ frustration in nailing Cory Gardner on his multitude of falsehoods in 2014, is that Coffman succeeded in triangulating off the anger against Trump instead of succumbing to it. Media coverage of Coffman’s record and statements on Trump gave him the benefit of the doubt that his change of heart was genuine. Even fact checkers struck back at Democratic allegations about Coffman’s “Trumplike” record, declaring them false by celebrating his “new position” on the issues in question. In the end, voters saw enough of Coffman’s ad declaring without specifics that he “doesn’t care much” for Trump to believe it over all the Democratic ads insisting Coffman was just like Trump.

And in the same congressional district that supported Hillary Clinton and Michael Bennet by solid margins in 2016, Morgan Carroll lost just as badly as her predecessor. The disappointment over this loss among Colorado Democrats turned to outrage–though not surprise–just a few days after the election when Rep. Coffman declared, red Trump hat literally in hand, that he is “excited about the next two years and look[s] forward to working with the president.” With that statement, everything Coffman had done to put daylight between himself and Trump during the election, and all the obsequious press coverage that helped him, was revealed as fraudulent.

Today, it’s anybody’s guess whether Democrats will field a credible challenger to Coffman next election, but his ability to survive so many very different electoral climates and the complete refashioning of his congressional district make another serious run at Coffman increasingly difficult to justify. There remains a possibility that political upheaval caused by President Trump’s first two years could put Republicans on the defensive in time for 2018, more than the usual risks to the party in power in a midterm election.

But for now, “Teflon” Mike Coffman is a model of political survival to study.

Or, depending on your point of view, a cautionary tale.

Editorial Department: If We Endorsed Mike Coffman in CD-6

Colorado Pols Editorial DepartmentWelcome back to the Colorado Pols Pol’s Pols’ Editorial Department, where we use letters to form words and occasionally words to form sentences.

After reading the very strange Denver Post endorsement of Congressman Scott Tipton, we got to thinking: Could we write an endorsement of Mike Coffman that didn’t really endorse Mike Coffman?

After asking ourselves that question, we set out to answer it as well. Then we wrote stuff.

Click after the jump to see what it would look like if we endorsed Rep. Mike Coffman for Congress in CD-6…

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Congressman Coffman’s “Community” Challenge

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

coffmansmileEvery two years Democrats choose a challenger to go against Mike Coffman. Each time Mike has defeated these challengers in spite of real/perceived massive Democrat support. This year the Democrats sense there is an opportunity to finally achieve their goal because of the Trump candidacy and the consternation it has created.

If you have an opportunity to hear Mike speak he will tell you about the challenges of a Gerrymandered district that includes portions of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. The Democrat drawn district is meant to include a greater population of Democrat voters and fewer Republican voters to switch it to Democrat control. In his district Mike identifies the various communities. They include, Hispanic, Black, African, Ethiopian, Korean, White, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and others. The community that has the most influence that Mike doesn’t speak of is the Paul Ryan community.

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