Boebert Throws Unaffiliated Boyfriend Under The Bus

 

The sordid tale of GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s calamitous visit to Denver’s Buell Theater a week ago to disrupt watch the new Beetlejuice musical took yet another quizzical turn yesterday as leading celebrity gossip site TMZ caught up with Boebert at Washington “Don’t Call It Reagan” National Airport, and asked her in the friendliest terms possible how she was doing after a week of some of the most brutal scandalizing ever inflicted on a sitting member of Congress from Colorado. The Hill reports:

“It’s always hard whenever there’s gravity put on the voters. I’m here to provide levity, and lift burdens off of people,” Boebert said in an interview with TMZ on Monday. “So anytime that they’re carrying mine, it’s something that you kind of feel deep inside.”

“But ultimately, all future date nights have been canceled. And I learned to check party affiliations before you go on a date,” [Pols emphasis] Boebert — who filed for divorce from her husband in May — quipped, an apparent reference to reports that her date at the “Beetlejuice” performance is a Democrat…

Hapless date comforting an usher being verbally abused by Rep. Lauren Boebert.

We have tried to avoid getting into scrutiny of Boebert’s companion, who joined her being tossed out of the Buell and who, it can be fairly said, was an equal participant in the bad behavior that got Boebert ejected from the theater. But now that Boebert is suggesting the possibility that she was set up by questioning the party affiliation of her date, we’re obliged to note that despite some reporting to the contrary, Boebert’s date is a registered unaffiliated voter, not a Democrat–and the last time we checked, Boebert needs unaffiliated voters in her camp not under the bus.

As for the future of what certainly looked like a budding romance a week ago?

Asked if her dating life with the man was “over,” the 36-year-old congresswoman replied, “We’ve peacefully parted at this time. Great man, great friend. And I wish him all the best.”

This seems like something you can’t have both ways. Either he’s a “great friend” or a Democrat plant who just set Boebert up for the biggest PR disaster of her short career? Either way, by the end of the video released by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts via 9NEWS’ open records request, the gentleman appears to be trying to ease tensions with the staff while Rep. Boebert continued to berate them all the way out the door. Notwithstanding his own contribution to the disruptive behavior that resulted in their ejection from the theater, we would argue that Boebert needs more people in her life apologizing on her behalf as opposed to running over mailboxes.

Boebert’s lame attempt at a partisan excuse for this self-inflicted disgrace is another indicator that Boebert really isn’t sorry about what happened, and is only troubled by the damage to her reputation. As of this writing, Boebert has only acknowledged her use of a vape pen in the theater with children present, while denying other documented misconduct such as threatening DCPA staffers with retaliation. Now Boebert has thrown her “date,” whom she was previously reported to have been “secretly dating” for months, under the bus like a jilted secretary in Mad Men.

What Boebert really needs to do here, of course, is the one thing she does not know how to do: stop talking.

Libertarian Avenger Launches Campaign Against Boebert

State Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams contemplating some other terrible idea.

Over the last couple of months, we have probably spent more time in this space discussing the Colorado Libertarian Party (LPCO) than we have over the course of the entire previous decade. Third parties in Colorado rarely take on much relevance because of their fairly small memberships and overall lack of organization; in fact, most of our discussions about third parties in Colorado are because of some relation to the Colorado Republican Party.

We’re discussing a third party again today because of the bizarre “alliance” that State Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams made with the LPCO earlier in the summer. The stated goal of this alliance was to prevent a Libertarian candidate from running in battleground districts because of the concern that a 2022 Libertarian challenger might have siphoned enough votes away from the Republican to ensure a CO-08 victory for Democrat Yadira Caraveo. The LPCO agreed to withhold support for a Libertarian candidate in 2024 should Republicans sign a wacky pledge promising to endorse a bunch of bizarre Libertarian positions. To the great joy of the LPCO, Williams began sending the Libertarian pledge — from a Colorado GOP email address — to all announced Republican candidates.

As far as we can tell, no Republican candidate has agreed to sign the LPCO pledge — including the GOP candidates running in the two biggest races of 2024 (CO-03 and CO-08). The pledge made even less sense in CO-03, given that there was already a Libertarian candidate in the race (Mark Ellworth, Jr); nevertheless, incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-ifle) refusal to sign the pledge has drawn the ire of the LPCO and added a second Libertarian candidate to the field of candidates.

Artist rendering of James Wiley, the new Libertarian challenger in CO-03.

There is a whole thread attached to that Tweet/X above detailing the decision to run (another) Libertarian candidate against Boebert, whose name is also regularly misspelled by the LPCO:

The Pledge, which simply commits the COGOP candidates to abide by the US Constitution and the principles of limited government, was a bridge too far for the Congresswoman. Considering Congresswoman Boebart won reelection by a razor thin margin, a Libertarian challenger…surely ends Boebart’s hopes for reelection.

And who is this brave challenger? Some dude named James Wiley, whose website is called — we couldn’t have possibly made this up — “Wiley4Vengeance.com“.

We don’t know much about Wiley — including what he looks like — because there is very little information about him online. There isn’t a photo or a bio on his website, but the LPCO does link to this amazeballs letter from Wiley:

The Libertarian Party of Colorado entered a Pact with the Colorado Republicans to not challenge their candidates so long as they would pledge to abide by Libertarian Principles. Since then, Lauren Boebert, aka Beetlejuice, has publicly denounced our pledge and defamed the principles we cherish as unworthy. This insult to who I am as a Libertarian compels me to eagerly fulfill the duties invoked by the Libertarian Pact and challenge her in her district which she so nearly lost by only 542 votes. 542 votes are not enough to stop me from being the cause of her defeat. [Pols emphasis]

In truth, I will be elected by the voters of CD-3 as their Libertarian representative to Congress because the land of our district is filled with Sovereign American People whose rights have suffered immeasurable damage by state actors. CD-3 needs activist leaders prepared and willing to demolish the federal government. These damages began to accumulate 247 years ago in the year 1776 and have now reached an abhorrent scale of violation too grand for a free People to submissively bear. An entire generation of elected officials will be replaced by radical American idealists prepared to reset and restore our federal governance to its most primitive and most powerless state of origin.

[Pols note: Boebert won re-election in 2022 by 546 votes, but fact-checking is for people who hate liberty.]

In short, Wiley is running for Congress because Boebert wouldn’t sign the LPCO pledge and because he wants to completely dismantle the federal government. We’re not sure that a Libertarian candidate would actually make the difference between victory and defeat for Boebert in 2024, but we’re very comfortable in predicting that James Wiley has no chance whatsoever at winning this race.

Regardless, that “alliance” concocted by GOP Chair Dave Williams seems to be backfiring. The “pledge” has succeeded mainly in handing the LPCO a specific reason to challenge a Republican incumbent such as Boebert — and it has made Libertarian candidate announcements more newsworthy than they have ever been in Colorado.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a Republican Party dalliance with a third party went awry. In 2010, the American Constitution Party (ACP) became a big topic when former Republican Tom Tancredo ran for Governor under the ACP banner. Colorado Republicans pushed Tancredo to run as the ACP candidate because they were worried that little-known Dan Maes — the actual Republican Party nominee for Governor — would have no chance against Democrat John Hickenlooper. Then-Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams even announced that Maes would not be supported by the Colorado GOP. Hickenlooper won that election easily, but playing footsie with the ACP nearly cost the Colorado Republican Party its “major party status” when Maes came dangerously close to dropping below 10% of the statewide vote (Maes finished with 11%).

Boebert Loses Speaking Engagements While Un-Apologizing

On Friday evening, Colorado’s perpetually embattled GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert issued an apology for getting caught vaping inside Denver’s Buell Theater after days of denials, along with other unspecified ways in which Boebert said she “fell short” of her values a week ago resulting in Boebert and her companion being kicked out of the performance of the new Beetlejuice musical. Security camera footage released Thursday via 9NEWS not only proved Boebert was lying about vaping, but also revealed the full shocking extent of Boebert’s behavior both during the performance and while being escorted out–none of which was directly addressed in Boebert’s apology.

As The Hill reports via Denver’s FOX 31, yesterday Boebert appeared on the right-wing pseudonews channel One America News, where she not only didn’t restate her apology but appeared to in large part take it back:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) pushed back on media accounts of her being kicked out of a Denver theater production of “Beetlejuice” last week over bad behavior, saying that some accounts were exaggerated and untrue. [Pols emphasis]

“I was a little too eccentric. I’m very known for having an animated personality, maybe overtly animated personality. I was laughing, I was singing, having a fantastic time,” Boebert said in an OAN interview Sunday. “Was told to kinda settle it down a little bit, which I did, but then my next flip up was taking a picture.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert berates security at the Buell Theater.

Boebert told OAN that she is “on the edge of a lot of things,” which is a statement we’ll let readers analyze for themselves. More importantly, when it comes to Boebert’s threats to staff and general hostility while being escorted out of the theater, Boebert is back to full denial after trying to garner sympathy all weekend for her supposed contrition:

Boebert vehemently denied those claims.

“There’s reports saying I was arguing, threatening to call the Denver mayor — I don’t know why I would ever call the Denver mayor, I think he would have tried to lock me up,” she said Sunday.

While we agree it’s ridiculous to expect Denver’s Democratic mayor to retaliate on Boebert’s behalf against Denver Center for the Performing Arts employees doing their jobs, we also have no reason to doubt those employees’ truthfulness–especially compared to Boebert, who got caught red-handed lying and was forced to make a strained apology that absolutely no one believes (or for that matter, believes she even herself wrote). The video of Boebert’s inappropriate behavior of all kinds, from vaping to flash photography to what could be argued was criminal public indecency, is damning beyond the scope of anything Boebert apologized for–and that’s before she reverted to denial.

Rep. Lauren Boebert in promotional materials for the Texas Youth Summit.

Unfortunately for Boebert, it appears that other conservatives are making their own judgments. Last week as the #BeetleBert story was developing, the Texas Youth Summit announced Boebert as a late addition to their roster of speakers. In the last 24 hours, as MTN reports, Boebert got scrubbed:

The Texas Youth Summit has scrubbed spunky Republican Representative Lauren Boebert from their youth oriented event.

The group, founded by failed Republican House candidate Christian Collins, announced the addition of Boebert after the Colorado congresswoman was kicked out Buell Theatre in Denver for disruptive behavior which including vaping, flash photography, and exchanges of fondling between her and her date.

The latest roster of speakers no longer includes Rep. Boebert:

Though not related to Boebert’s official duties, this scandal has penetrated well beyond the confines of political news audiences, morphing into a pop culture story carried by nonpolitical outlets like TMZ where it’s been the most popular story for two days. The huge reach of this story beyond the political news silo makes it far more damaging to Boebert than the usual Politico scuttlebutt. In many cases it could be the first time casual observers have heard of Boebert, or maybe they dimly recall the parodies they saw on SNL.

Either way, #BeetleBert has a life of its own now. It may not be the way some wanted Lauren Boebert to go down, but it’s a public image catastrophe that Boebert could only have brought upon herself. Boebert is in absolutely no respect the victim here, having compounded an already bad situation by lying until the video came out. The precise method of self-destruction for politicians in a political death spiral is often unpredictable.

But in the end, the moment always comes.

Beetlebert! Beetlebert! Beetlebert! (feat. Micah Parkin)

Micah Parkin of 350.org

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, our 8th favorite member of Congress from Colorado is once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons — this time getting kicked out of a production of the musical version of the seminal 90’s movie, Beetlejuice; the madness continues in Congress under weak loser House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as the MAGA caucus continues to demand things, move the goalposts, investigate Joe Biden and try to shut down the government (hey didn’t they all campaign on crime and inflation? What the hell happened to that?); and our seventh favorite member of Congress from Colorado does a head spinning reversal after doing a Sunday show audition tour pretending to have integrity.

But that’s not all! Our guest this week is Micah Parkin, executive director of 350.org, who sits down to talk about a potential 2024 ballot initiative to fight climate change in Colorado.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com. Or send emails to jason@getmoresmarter.com or ian@getmoresmarter.com.

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Worse Than Vaping, “Beetlebert” Now About Public Indecency

Boebert and companion at the Buell Theater on September 10th.

Yesterday evening, as the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, Colorado’s most consistently controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert issued a rare apology for some of her behavior last Sunday at Denver’s Buell Theater, from which Boebert and her companion were ejected after repeatedly causing “disturbances” to other theatergoers.

“Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night’s events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical,” [Pols emphasis] Boebert’s statement on Friday night said. “Regardless of my belief, it’s clear now that was not accurate. It was not my or my campaign’s intention to mislead, but we do understand the nature of how this looks. We know we will have to work to earn your trust back and it may not happen overnight, but we will do it.”

It’s an apology reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s sort-of-sorry speech during the Iran-Contra Affair, which has been studied and mimicked by Republican comms folks ever since–‘in my heart I’m not a liar, but I can no longer deny that lies were told by me.’ The only possible legitimate explanation for Boebert not remembering repeatedly pulling a vape pen out of her purse and smoking it would be that she was far too inebriated to be out in public, and that of course raises its own set of problematic questions.

Here’s a Tweet that’s about to age very, very poorly.

So, there’s that. But while Boebert was drafting and issuing this apology yesterday afternoon focused solely on the indoor vaping, a whole new dimension of the scandal was coming into view–and reported today by multiple national news outlets. Rather than put our own spin on it up front, let’s get right to the roundup with the New York Daily News:

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert did a bit more than just vape before she was booted from a performance of “Beetlejuice the Musical” in Denver last weekend.

A new surveillance clip obtained by TMZ appears to show the Republican representative getting aggressively handsy with her date during the family-friendly performance, recommended for children ages 10 and up by the The Broadway League.

Security cameras caught Boebert’s male plus-one overtly fondling her breast, prompting her to dip her hand between his legs. The groping continues on for several minutes, with Boebert at one point grinning and squirming about in her seat before she places another hand below her partner’s belt.

FOX News’ Kyle Morris (yes, really):

Footage from the venue was released after the incident took place and showed Boebert vaping and blowing vapor into the air. Other footage shared across social media appeared to show Boebert and the male patron touching each other inappropriately during the show.

The Guardian:

Boebert, a Republican representative for Colorado, and a male guest accompanying her were ejected from the musical on 10 September for vaping, recording video and disturbing other patrons during the Sunday performance. Video also showed them eagerly groping each other while in their seats…

The CCTV video also shows Boebert’s guest fondling her breasts after they had taken their seats for the musical performance. Boebert is also seen petting her guest’s crotch in the venue whose patrons often include children and their families. [Pols emphasis]

Politico:

Another video appears to show Boebert and her male companion fondling each other sexually during the show.

Boebert did not directly address the second video in her Friday apology. She did mention her vaping but claimed that she had previously denied it only because she “did not recall” having done so.

It’s even harder to believe that Boebert doesn’t remember the…interactions with her date during the performance than it is to believe she doesn’t remember repeatedly using her vape pen. The timing of Boebert’s apology Friday evening suggests that Boebert may have been trying to forestall the blowback from this new development by issuing an apology focused solely on the vaping.

Legally, what we saw in this latest video (which you can watch here having been appropriately warned, or after the jump) is at least as troubling as violating Colorado’s Indoor Clean Air Act by vaping in a public theater. Colorado’s public indecency statute states clearly that “lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person” in a public place is a crime. It does not require prudish sensibilities to watch this video and reasonably conclude that their behavior is totally inappropriate in a public theater where children are present.

This is not a moral judgment. These are matters of law, and unless Republicans want to change Colorado’s public indecency statute, the behavior that Boebert engaged in last Sunday has no lawful defense that we can see. Is it ironic that a politician who grandstands about “protecting kids” from supposedly immoral influences like drag shows engaged in a little public indecency of her own?

Yes. But it’s entirely consistent with the story of Boebert’s consummately hypocritical American life.

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Why #Beetlebert Could End Lauren Boebert’s Career in Congress

You’ll laugh! You’ll cheer! You’ll engage in all sorts of inappropriate behavior!

We’ve written about the #Beetlebert scandal as it has unfolded this week, including the latest video evidence that Rep. Lauren Boebert’s spokespeople were flat-out lying when they denied allegations that Boebert was vaping in the theater during a performance in Denver of the popular Beetlejuice musical. It’s important now to take a step back from the coverage of Boebert’s latest scandal – and there has been a LOT of coverage worldwide – to consider exactly how and why this incident might be more harmful to Boebert’s political future than any of her antics that have come before. 

We know from polling data that Boebert’s constituents in the third congressional district largely view her as a politician in the “performative obstruction” mold who is more concerned about social media and the approval of MAGA Republicans (and small donors) than she is with the voters in CO-03. It is remarkable that Boebert nearly lost her seat in 2022 despite representing a district that statistically should give her a roughly 9-point advantage over a Democrat. Yet for all her faults, Boebert is still a Republican incumbent in a Republican-leaning district. 

For example, calling for the impeachment of President Biden for reasons she can’t really explain may seem absurd to a sizable percentage of the population, but there are plenty of MAGA nuts – local and national – who eat this stuff up. Boebert doesn’t try to be an effective lawmaker; she exists to “own the libs,” which is a role she embraces wholeheartedly that provides her with a fairly loyal base of supporters and campaign cash.

So why is #Beetlebert different? The lies are very much a problem, as we discussed earlier, but anyone who follows Boebert is familiar with her penchant for taking credit for things she opposed or just making up stories about migrants receiving thousands of dollars in handouts from the federal government. Boebert has plenty of supporters who share her opinions on certain issues and don’t care a whit that she lies about the details.  

No, #Beetlebert might well mark the beginning of the end of Lauren Boebert’s career in Congress precisely because it has nothing to do with politics…

 

(more…)

Boebert’s Vaping Lie Explodes Like a Lithium Battery

The story of far-right GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert’s ejection from Denver’s Buell Theater Sunday night after causing a disturbance during the performance of the new Beetlejuice musical took a damaging turn yesterday, after new video surfaced conclusively disproving Boebert’s contention that she was not vaping during the performance before she was booted out. NBC News:

Surveillance video captured during the “Beetlejuice” musical in Denver on Sunday appears to show Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., vaping inside the theater, which contradicts her aide’s claim that the smoke was emitted from fog machines.

The video, obtained by NBC’s Denver affiliate, shows Boebert sitting in the theater next to a man she was with as people around her were still getting seated. It then shows her raise one of her hands to her face, and then a puff of smoke comes out of her mouth toward the person in front of her.

The lights seem to be lowered in the theater, and the woman sitting behind Boebert leaned in to speak to her. The Denver Post said the woman was pregnant and asked that Boebert stop vaping, which the congresswoman refused to do.

New security footage released by 9NEWS yesterday appears to fully corroborate the account of Boebert’s behavior reported by Denver Post opinion editor Megan Schrader, including Boebert obviously making use of a vaping device while seated in the theater, exhaling in the direction of other attendees, being confronted by at least one other patron, and Boebert continuing to engage in disruptive behavior right up to the moment she and her companion were escorted out of the theater.

This latest video totally undercuts Boebert’s spox Drew Sexton, whose denials were reported by the Pueblo Chieftain and everybody else in the country, and Sexton can’t take back now:

Boebert’s campaign manager, Drew Sexton, told the Chieftain Boebert was not vaping during the performance. [Pols emphasis]

Sexton said in a written statement that Boebert “appreciates” the “strict enforcement” of the ban on photography “and only wishes the Biden Administration could uphold our border laws as thoroughly and vigorously.”

Elaborated by Politico:

As for the vaping accusations, Sexton told POLITICO that it was a “misunderstanding,” as the venue’s site said heavy fog machines and electronic cigarettes were used during the play. [Pols emphasis]

Proof that Boebert was indeed vaping during the performance, in addition to the new footage of Boebert interacting with neighbors and obviously acting out in comparison to those seated around her, should eliminate any last vestige of sympathy. Boebert’s spokesman is in a terrible position now, having straight-up lied to every news outlet in the country covering this story. Boebert’s arrogant indifference when confronted with her obviously inappropriate behavior by a pregnant neighbor, her castigation of theater staff as they escorted Boebert out of the theater–all of this looks immeasurably worse now that Boebert’s original infractions justifying her removal from the theater have been confirmed.

It doesn’t matter what your politics are. This is about character, integrity, and honesty at a level that transcends political divides. Boebert’s proven willingness to tell lies on matters large and small makes it impossible to believe anything she says–and that’s among the segment of voters who ever trusted her to begin with. For everyone else, it’s just further confirmation of what they already have come to believe about Boebert.

Arrogant, entitled, deceitful, and unfit for any office.

La Plata County GOP Declares War On Local Paper

La Plata County GOP chairwoman Shelli Shaw.

This week, the Durango Herald’s Reuben Schafir had the honor of reporting on a protest by the La Plata County Republican Party against his own employer the Herald, and by extension himself. It’s an interesting journalistic predicament:

Approximately 20 protesters, including leaders of the La Plata County Republican Central Committee, convened outside The Durango Herald office Tuesday morning holding signs asking passersby to “boycott biased Herald.”

Party chairwoman Shelli Shaw, past chairman Dave Peters and secretary Hope Scheppelman were all present. Signs held by attendees called out staff of The Herald by name.

“Put the information out there and let people decide for themselves,” Shaw said. “It doesn’t need to be censored or decided by The Durango Herald or any other media outlet. It needs to be presented and let people have the ability to think for themselves.”

Reps. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, featured guests at the La Plata County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.

As can be expected, Tuesday’s Republican protest against the Durango Herald was long on pseudo-patriotic incendiary rhetoric but terribly short on concrete allegations, citing a minor typographical error in one photo in a story about a recent visit to the area by Monument-based far-right whacktivist Darcy Shoening and an overall unsubstantiated sense of “bias” against conservatives in the Herald’s reporting. La Plata County GOP chairwoman Shelli Shaw is herself a well-known source of far-right verbal diarrhea, but from what we can see the Herald has actually been kinder to her than other outlets who have reported her immoderate views in much greater detail. Apparently the Herald also enforces minimal standards for their letters to the editor section:

Opinion Editor Ann Marie Swan was not available for comment before deadline, but a recent editorial calling for letter submissions said that some letters “won’t see the light of day in our pages because they’re inappropriate or don’t meet basic criteria,” and highlighted that “the most common reason being letter writers’ opinions must be based in fact.” [Pols emphasis]

Rather than meet the exceedingly low bar that submissions be based in reality, La Plata County Republicans served notice to the Herald that they are no longer welcome at party events.

The GOP executive committee also delivered a letter to The Herald stating that its members would only communicate with the newspaper “via digital means.” The letter also said The Herald’s journalists were no longer welcome at the party’s events, including the upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner.

Banishing the Herald from the La Plata GOP’s upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner is particularly notable due to the headline speakers slated to attend, Reps. Matt “Giggity” Gaetz of Florabama and Gaetz’s regular traveling companion Lauren Boebert. The event, scheduled for a week from Saturday, lands right in the thick of what’s expected to be Gaetz and Boebert’s drive to either impeach Joe Biden or remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy. There’s a good chance that their remarks will have news value well beyond the confines of La Plata County, so hopefully the party’s exclusion of the Herald will motivate other outlets to make the trip to Durango to cover the event (we recommend staying at the Strater Hotel).

It’s the age-old story: all criticism of the media is not created equal. Democrats get upset when the media doesn’t report the facts, and Republicans get upset when the media does report the facts. Journalists should be receptive to critique of the former, but proud of the howling from Republicans over the latter.

The Tawdry, Trashy Spectacle of “Beetlebert”

Hapless date comforting an usher being verbally abused by Rep. Lauren Boebert.

UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Megan Schrader tracked down one of the theatergoers affected by Rep. Lauren Boebert’s bad behavior leading to Boebert getting escorted out of the Buell Theater in Denver Sunday night. You’ve got to read this to believe it:

“These people in front of us were outrageous. I’ve never seen anyone act like that before,” the woman, who lives in Denver and is in her 30s, said. It wasn’t until later during the play that someone informed her that the misbehaving theatergoer was, in fact, Boebert, a member of Congress.

The woman says Boebert took multiple long videos during the first half of the performance. When she asked Boebert to stop vaping, the congresswoman simply said “no,” the woman said. [Pols emphasis] Boebert was also kissing the man she was with, and singing along loudly with her hands in the air, the woman said.

“At intermission, I asked, ‘Are there any other seats available? Can we sit somewhere else?’” the woman said. “The usher said, ‘You’re not the first complaint we had.’ ”

When the woman returned with her husband to their seats, she said Boebert called her a “sad and miserable person.”

At 2:33 in the surveillance video posted by 9NEWS below, you can see Rep. Boebert’s date attempting to comfort one of the ushers escorting Boebert out while Boebert berates them. The account of the woman interviewed by Megan Schrader also appears to feature this gentleman clumsily trying to make amends for Boebert’s rudeness just before they were booted from the venue:

“The guy she was with offered to buy me and my husband cocktails. I’m pregnant!” she said. [Pols emphasis]

We were closing in on something like pity for Boebert’s companion before we read this, though there’s an argument that after this date from hell the man has been punished enough. This story also corroborates initial reports about vaping in the theater, and who was doing it. Now that #BeetleBert is a global sensation, other witnesses are going to come forward to tell their stories.

And Boebert has a track record of lying about stuff.

—–

UPDATE: When even indicted Trump attorney Jenna Ellis is dunking on you, you’re having a bad day:

—–

Local news headlines this morning are dominated by coverage of an incident Sunday at Denver’s Buell Theater, in which a reportedly combative Rep. Lauren Boebert was escorted out of a performance of the new Beetlejuice musical adaptation by security after causing repeated “disturbances”–the details of which remain in dispute as of this writing. The Denver Post’s John Aguilar reported first yesterday afternoon:

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert was escorted out of a Sunday night performance of the “Beetlejuice” musical in downtown Denver, accused by venue officials of vaping, singing, recording and “causing a disturbance” during the performance.

In an incident report shared with The Denver Post on Tuesday afternoon, officials with Denver Arts & Venues wrote that two patrons were asked to leave the city-owned Buell Theatre during the performance of the touring Broadway show. They previously were issued a warning during the intermission regarding behavior that prompted three complaints from other theatergoers, the report says.

Rep. Lauren Boebert berates security at the Buell Theater Sunday.

Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog recaps the incident report:

According to a Buell incident report, theater staff received three complaints that the two patrons had been “vaping, singing, causing a disturbance.” The two “were argumentative” and insisted they were responding to the performance the same as surrounding audience members after ushers told them that they “need to be respectful to their neighbors” and that they would be asked to leave if there were more complaints.

About five minutes into the second act, following the intermission, Buell staff received another complaint about Boebert and her companion, this time alleging they were “being loud” and using a recording device. When an usher asked to speak with them outside the theater, they refused to leave and repeated their refusal after being told they would be trespassing.

“I told them I would (be) going to get Denver Police. They said go get them,” the Buell staffer wrote in the incident report. [Pols emphasis]

As our readers know very well, Lauren Boebert is no stranger to being, as they say in the nightlife business, “86ed” from an establishment for bad behavior. In 2015, Boebert was handcuffed and detained at the Country Jam concert in Mesa County after Boebert confronted officers and allegedly “encouraged people arrested for underage drinking to break free.” Boebert then informed officers that she has “friends at Fox News” who would take journalistic revenge if they learned how Boebert was being treated. And of course, there was the incident involving Jayson Boebert whipping out his unnaturally large “thumb” in 2004 that got him banned from a local bowling alley.

Well folks, it appears that Boebert hasn’t gotten any better at handling these situations:

The report said after the two patrons were escorted out and reached the building’s vestibule, they resisted leaving and said “stuff like ‘do you know who I am,’ ‘I am on the board’ (and) ‘I will be contacting the mayor.’ ” [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Lauren Boebert twirls outside the Buell Theater after bring kicked out Sunday.

So first of all, the idea that Lauren Boebert has some kind of influence over Democratic Denver Mayor Mike Johnston with which to exact revenge on ushers at the Buell Theater is ludicrous. Like the Wicked Witch of the West in Munchkinland, Boebert has no power in the Mile High City. But her empty threats to use her position as a member of Congress to retaliate against employees who are just trying to do their jobs and ensure that everyone who buys a ridiculously overpriced ticket to see Beetlejuice has a good time are totally unacceptable. It’s not okay to “pull rank” in this situation any more than it is for a lawmaker stopped for a DUI.

Boebert’s staff reportedly denied the allegation that either she or her date were vaping in the theater, and claimed that they were not being any more disruptive than their neighbors. The only possible explanation in that event would be that Boebert was somehow singled out for mistreatment, and we don’t believe that for a minute. It’s much more believable, given Boebert’s long history of exactly this kind of bad behavior, that Boebert not only richly earned her early exit from the theater but also threatened to retaliate afterward against security invoking her status as a member of Congress.

As for the allegations of “vaping” or being otherwise intoxicated? One has to wonder how much inebriant it takes to twirl away carefree (above right) after being booted from a theater for making a scene. With that said, we weren’t there with a breathalyzer.

But from the State of the Union to Beetlejuice, the moral of the story sems to be that you can’t take Lauren Boebert anywhere. We’ve all known someone like Boebert in our lives, and (hopefully) you learned not to party with them without criminal charges of your own.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (Sept. 13)

On this day in 1985, Super Mario Bros. was first released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Utah Senator Mitt Romney announced that he will not seek re-election in 2024. As The Washington Post reports:

Sen. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and the only member of his party to twice vote to convict former president Donald Trump in politically charged impeachment trials, announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in the Senate representing Utah, saying in an interview that it is time for a new generation to “step up” and “shape the world they’re going to live in.”

Romney, 76, said his decision not to run again was heavily influenced by his belief that a second term, which would take him into his 80s, probably would be less productive and less satisfying than the current term has been. He blamed that both on the disarray he sees among House Republicans and on his own lack of confidence in the leadership of President Biden and Trump.

Romney is one of the few rational Republican voices left in Congress. While it is a surprise that he is not seeking re-election, it’s hard to blame him; trying to work with this current generation of MAGA Republicans would be a nightmare.

 

#Beetlebert! #Beetlebert! #Beetlebert!

Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) is back making national headlines for the wrong reasons as she continues to spiral further out of control. Click here for our post on the story, or check out coverage from The Denver Post; 9News; NBC News; NPR; The Washington Post; The Associated Press; and, hell, even BBC News.

Coincidentally, this news is all coming out on the same day that POLITICO published an in-depth story from “reporter” Olivia Beavers about how Boebert is trying to turn over a new leaf, or something. It’s possible that she smoked that new leaf at the Buell Theater in Denver on Sunday.

 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given Republicans the go-ahead to pursue impeachment investigations into President Biden…as soon as they figure out what to investigate. Colorado Public Radio tracked down some of Colorado’s notable elected officials for comment:

Rep. Lauren Boebert said the Oversight Committee has already produced evidence of impeachable conduct.

Still, none of the documents or transcripts released thus far have shown evidence of any concrete instances of corruption by Biden. [Pols emphasis]

That’s what many Colorado Democrats focused on in response to McCarthy’s announcement.

“There is no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden. Even Congressional Republicans are questioning the merits of this nakedly partisan investigation,” said Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette…

…Democratic Rep. Jason Crow, who was an impeachment manager for Trump’s first impeachment, also criticized the move, especially the choice to open an inquiry without first allowing the House to vote on it.

“Democrats held a vote on both impeachment inquiries into President Trump because they were based on facts and evidence. House Republicans know their inquiry is a scam, so they won’t even hold a vote on it,” he said via X, formerly known as Twitter. “What a disgrace. Americans deserve better.” [Pols emphasis]

Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck had been talking for a month on cable news about his opposition to impeachment investigations into Biden, but he folded as soon as he got back to Congress.

 

 While “impeachment” grabbed headlines early in the week, the bigger story in Congress is a looming government shutdown at the end of the month. A shutdown seems likely given the rhetoric from right-wing Republicans intent on proving some sort of point that would ignore the historical reality of the political consequences of such a move. As Colorado Newsline explains:

The most conservative Republicans in the U.S. House announced Tuesday they won’t support the short-term spending bill that’s needed to stop a partial government shutdown from beginning on Oct. 1.

Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, said the group is not interested in a stopgap spending bill that “continues the policies and the spending of the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi era and we’re not going to vote for it.”…

…The GOP-controlled House passed one of its dozen annual government funding bills before going on a six-week break throughout August. The Senate began debate on a three-bill package Tuesday.

That means the process of appropriating funds won’t be completed in time and a short-term stopgap spending bill is necessary if Congress is going to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The House is scheduled to take up a second spending bill, the Defense funding measure, later this week, though Perry indicated the group may not support its passage.

Hardline Republicans tried this same tactic 10 years ago, and it failed miserably.

POLITICO reports on how a “conservative mutiny” is now threatening critical funding for the annual defense spending bill.

 

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McCarthy Caves on Impeachment…Sort Of

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given in to the crazies in the Republican caucus and agreed to move forward with an impeachment investigation into President Biden.

This impeachment effort will be much different than either of the impeachment investigations into former President Donald Trump in large part because it’s not actually clear what Biden might have done wrong to warrant such a significant undertaking. There were multiple credible whistleblowers and mounds of evidence against Trump in both of his impeachment trials; this impeachment effort seems to be more of an investigation in search of a problem.

As The Washington Post reports:

McCarthy said Tuesday he is directing House committees to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, amid pressure from some hard-right members of the Republican caucus to do so.

The inquiry would center on whether Biden benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, among other issues, McCarthy said.

“These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption and warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday morning. “That’s why today I am directing our House committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.” [Pols emphasis]

McCarthy spoke for three minutes, did not take any questions and left the lectern shortly after making his remarks. McCarthy has previously said he would not launch an inquiry without a vote by the full house.

If you’re wondering how serious McCarthy is taking this impeachment effort, look no further than his brief comments this morning: “Allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption” is such a nebulous statement that it could apply to just about anyone in Washington D.C.

Why, then, is McCarthy doing this? It’s simple, really: There are enough right-wing MAGA lunatics in his caucus that are demanding impeachment hearings — including (not)BFFs Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert — that McCarthy risks a challenge to his speakership if he doesn’t at least go through the motions of an investigation. As POLITICO explains:

It’s a huge win for conservatives, who have pressured the California Republican for months to move existing investigations into the Democratic president into a formal impeachment inquiry. Some members of McCarthy’s right flank have openly threatened to try to strip him of the House gavel if their demands weren’t met

Remember, back when McCarthy was waiting longer than anyone since before the Civil War to get enough votes to become House Speaker, one of the concessions he made was to change the rules so that any one Member of the House could call for a vote for a new Speaker. McCarthy apparently feels like he’ll lose his gavel if he doesn’t play along with a Biden impeachment investigation.

Side Note: This is the difference between being the Republican leader in the House of Representatives and directing the GOP caucus in the Senate. In order to keep his job as House Speaker, McCarthy had little choice but to give in to the lunatics demanding an impeachment hearing for President Biden — even if nobody is really sure why Biden should be impeached. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell only needed to prove that he was still a relatively-functional human being in order to maintain his job as Senate Minority Leader.

Can you impeach a laptop computer?

It is also unclear just how plausible an impeachment inquiry might be for McCarthy. Let’s go back to POLITICO:

So far, McCarthy doesn’t have 218 GOP votes needed to launch an impeachment inquiry. He and other top Republicans have tried to characterize such a step as strengthening their investigative power, rather than a concrete move toward attempting to boot the president from office — semantics that matter to centrist Republicans.

So this is just a “kinda impeachment”?

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has been speaking out quite a bit lately on his opposition to an impeachment of President Biden. Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon is also not on board, telling POLITICO:

“As of now I don’t support [an impeachment inquiry]. I think an inquiry should be based on evidence of a crime that points directly to President Biden, or if the President doesn’t cooperate by not providing documents. There’s clearly corruption with Hunter using his Dad’s name to earn tens of millions of dollars. But impeachment needs to be about the dad, not the son.” [Pols emphasis]

McCarthy can only afford to lose four Republican votes in his thin majority; Buck and Bacon drop that number to two. There are 18 other vulnerable “centrist” Republicans who are definitely nervous about this given that they represent districts that Biden won in 2020.

The other problem with McCarthy’s announcement is that it removes impeachment as a potential bargaining chip with the White House over a looming government shutdown. The impeachment stuff is making news today, but it won’t be the top story for long once it becomes obvious that McCarthy doesn’t have a way to convince House Republicans — particularly those in the “Freedom Caucus” — to avert a shutdown at the end of the month.

Who Among You Will be the First to Sign this Pledge?

Sign my…sign.

Early in the summer, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dave Williams announced that he had formed an alliance of some sort between the Colorado GOP and the Colorado Libertarian Party (LPCO). Nearly four months later, the results of this alliance have proven to be a bit elusive.

The stated goal — from Williams’s point of view, anyway — was about trying to prevent Libertarian candidate “spoilers” from potentially mucking things up for a Republican candidate in a close General Election. Curiously, Williams would later promise to find a Libertarian “spoiler” candidate to run against Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer if she ran again in CO-08 (No, these sentences do not go together, but we all just have suspend our understanding of reality in order to make sense of any of this).

Anyway, in August, the LPCO unveiled a “pledge” for Republican candidates to sign in order to receive the official support of the Colorado Libertarian Party. Williams then started sending out this pledge to Republican candidates — again, a Libertarian Party Pledge coming from an official Colorado Republican Party account — which clearly amused LPCO leaders but thus far hasn’t received much enthusiasm among candidates for top jobs in Colorado.

We already knew that neither of the Republican candidates in the third congressional district — Lauren Boebert and Jeff Hurd — were planning to sign the pledge. This was probably always going to be a harder sell given that a Libertarian candidate named Mark Ellworth Jr was already in the race, but nevertheless…

We also knew that Scott James, a Republican running in CO-08, was doing his best to pretend that the pledge didn’t exist. Last week, via Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, there emerged another confirmation buried somewhat in a larger story about Republican State Rep. Gabe Evans entering the race in CO-08:

Evans told Colorado Politics he won’t sign a pledge released last month by the Colorado Libertarian Party as part of a deal between the state’s third-largest party and the state GOP aimed at avoiding potential spoiler candidates in competitive races. [Pols emphasis]

While Caraveo defeated Kirkmeyer last year by just over 1,600 votes — out of almost 240,000 ballots cast — Libertarian nominee Richard Ward received more than 9,000 votes despite not mounting an active campaign, prompting some Republicans to describe the third-party candidate as a spoiler.

“I think that pledge indicates the level of frustration we’re seeing in Colorado with the left being in complete control of really everything in this state,” Evans said. “But there’s some things there I can’t agree to. Most concerning is ultimately moving toward degrading, getting rid of the intelligence community. I’ve been overseas, I’ve seen the threat that adversaries like Iran, Russia, North Korea and China pose. In 2023, we’ve got a dangerous environment in the international community, so we’ve got to make sure we have the tools to protect our country, protect the homeland.”

He said he has reservations about additional elements contained in the lengthy pledge.

Not the slogan (probably) of the GOP/LPCO alliance.

None of the Republican candidates running in the two biggest races of 2024 will sign the Libertarian Party pledge to complete the alliance that the Republican Party Chairman forged in…um…not steel, or blood…but…we’ll go with “spray-can cheese”?

Surely, someone will sign the “Pledge of Alliance,” right?

Actually, yes — we think it will get plenty of signatures.

As easy as it would be to just make fun of the LPCO pledge for Republicans and laugh at its architect, there are plenty of Republican candidates who would sign this pledge, either 1) Because they can use it as a wedge in a tough Primary campaign, and/or 2) Because they happen to believe most of this stuff anyway.

If this pledge had been around in 2022, at least two major congressional candidates would have signed. Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine absolutely would have scribbled her name as a way to separate her from other Republican congressional candidates in CO-03. And Dave Williams himself would have signed it in his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn in CO-05. Ron Hanks, a 2022 U.S. Senate candidate, would have signed. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, Heidi Ganahl, would have scribbled her name in crayon.

Heck, Lauren Boebert would have signed it…in 2020 when she was running in a Republican Primary against Scott Tipton.

Plenty of Republicans will join up in 2024. State Reps. Scott Bottoms and Ken DeGraaf will say pretty much anything; they’ll sign basically anything, too, if you include the right key words in bold type (FREEDOM! LIBERTY! LIQUID SILVER!) Most of the Republicans in the House of Representatives now will give serious consideration to inking their name.

As far as we know, the “Pledge of Alliance” has not yet been signed by a Republican candidate, but it will happen. The next questions are much more interesting.

Get More Smarter on Monday (Sept. 11)

President Biden issued a A Proclamation on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance for today, marking the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Governor Jared Polis ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff today in memoriam of those who lost their lives that day. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Congress is back in session after the August recess, and the big topic on everyone’s mind is whether or not there might be another government shutdown at the end of the month. As POLITICO explains, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is at the heart of the brewing tornado:

There’s a “perfect storm” brewing in the House in the coming weeks, and it could pose a threat to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said Sunday.

“On the one hand, we’ve got to pass a continuing resolution,” Buck said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.” “We also have the impeachment issue. And we also have members of the House, led by my good friend, Chip Roy, who are concerned about policy issues. They want riders in the appropriations bills, amendments in the appropriations bills that guarantee some type of security on our Southern border.

“So you take those things put together, and Kevin McCarthy, the speaker, has made promises on each of those issues to different groups. And now it is all coming due at the same time,” Buck said.

Buck has also been vocal about his opposition to efforts by folks such as Rep. Lauren Boebert to push forward with an impeachment vote against President Biden that would serve no purpose other than to placate a few MAGA nuts.

In a separate story from Ian Ward of POLITICO, a former Republican leader is warning House Speaker Kevin McCarthy NOT to allow a government shutdown to happen:

In October 2013, the Republican-led House of Representatives failed to pass a last-ditch spending bill for the first time in 17 years, forcing the federal government into a costly and controversial 16-day shutdown. Now, as Congress once again careens toward a potential shutdown on Oct. 1, one of the Republican leaders at the center of the fight 10 years ago — former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — has some advice for his colleagues in the GOP.

Don’t do it again.

“Unless there is a plausible way to execute a plan of a shutdown — meaning [Republicans] can actually win when you come out of it — I’m not sure there is a win there,” Cantor told me when I spoke to him. That judgment, Cantor said, is largely informed by what happened a decade ago, when Republicans in the House tried — and failed — to block the implementation of Obamacare by shuttering the government. What they got instead, Cantor told me, was a major political headache that did little to stymie the rollout of Obama’s health care program.

“A lot of people were just fine with being able to vent their anger and frustration, go into the shutdown and leave it to leaders to figure out how to get out of it,” said Cantor, who lost his seat in a shocking upset to a conservative primary challenger in 2014 and now works for the investment bank Moelis & Company.

“I think that politically, that’s not a winner.” [Pols emphasis]

No, but that doesn’t mean that right-wing voices, including the Freedom Caucus, won’t do it anyway. During a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in August, Buck said that he expects that a shutdown will happen because of the insistence from him and others that the government reduce spending.

 

As The Associated Press reports, attorneys for Donald Trump have succeeded (thus far) in moving a case about his eligibility for the 2024 ballots from state to federal court:

The liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed the initial lawsuit on Wednesday in state court, arguing a Civil War-era clause prohibiting higher office for those who once swore an oath to the Constitution and then engaged in “insurrection” prevents Trump from running in 2024

…CREW’s case is the first of what’s expected to be many challenges filed in various states by the group and Free Speech for People, another liberal nonprofit. Activists in other states have filed lawsuits in which they represent themselves, but legal observers contend the more robust complaints by the nonprofits are more likely to end up at the nation’s highest court, which has never ruled on the clause.

CREW can still petition to move the case back to state court.

 

Colorado Senate Democrats elected new leadership on Friday. Senator Robert Rodriguez will serve as Senate Majority Leader after defeating Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. Rodriguez replaces Dominick Moreno, who resigned from the Senate to take a job with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. Senator Faith Winter was elected to serve as assistant majority leader.

 

 

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Boebert Always a Day Late, But Never Short of Excuses

Rep. Lauren Boebert is never to blame.

Last Friday, we reported on a letter signed by every member of Colorado’s congressional delegation except Rep. Lauren Boebert to the Internal Revenue Service, requesting for the second year in a row that the federal government not subject tax refunds under the state’s unique so-called “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” to federal income tax. It’s not the first time that Boebert has missed the boat for reasons unknown on some of her most basic responsibilities, and every one of these fumbles contributes to Boebert’s general perception of being too focused on her social media constituency to attend to the needs of the voters who actually elected Boebert to Congress.

Almost as predictable as Boebert fumbling the ball, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, are the lame excuses that come afterward:

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has sent a letter of her own to the Internal Revenue Service asking it not to tax refunds Coloradans receive as a result of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

That letter, sent on Tuesday, is nearly identical to a similar one that the rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation sent to the IRS asking the same thing.

At the time, Boebert was criticized for not also signing onto that first letter, sent Aug. 31, but that’s only because she was notified of the letter while traveling and only given an hour to respond, her office said. [Pols emphasis]

During the month-plus congressional recess that wraps up this weekend for House members, Colorado’s congressional delegation has literally been all over the world in addition to traveling widely throughout their districts. Rep. Doug Lamborn went on a tour of far-flung Pacific island nations and U.S. territories, and Rep. Jason Crow was in Eastern Europe last week. Yet somehow yet again only Lauren Boebert is the only one who wasn’t given enough time to respond to this no-brainer request?

Boebert would have done much better to simply acknowledge she missed the boat than insist on making an excuse belied by every other member of the delegation. Sometimes it’s even endearing for politicians to admit to making a trifling error with candor, but like her mentor Donald Trump, admitting to even the smallest mistake is something that Lauren Boebert is pathologically unable to do.

To sanitize the old saying, excuses are ubiquitous. But in Colorado politics, Boebert has the most by far.

Smaller Government Strategy is Drowning in its Own Bathtub

Americans don’t want their government in here.

New polling data from CNN/SSRS was released on Thursday that made headlines largely because it showed significant vulnerabilities for President Biden, including a topline finding that Biden and former President Donald Trump are running neck-and-neck in a hypothetical 2024 rematch. Analysis from ABC News, for example, exclaimed that CNN’s new polling was “nothing but bad news” for Biden.

Yet while Biden’s approval ratings aren’t very good and voters aren’t enthusiastic about the impact of White House policies on improving the economy, there was a significant and largely overlooked piece of data included in the CNN/SSRS polling results that should make Democrats feel a little better: For the first time in modern memory, a plurality of Americans believe that the government should do MORE to solve the country’s problems.

Via CNN/SSRS (Aug. 2023)

 

As you can see from the comparisons below, for decades Americans have tended to agree with the idea that the government is too big and too burdensome and that the free market fairy will always make things right. As conservative activist Grover Norquist infamously said in 2001:

“I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Via CNN/SSRS (Aug. 2023)

In 1985, Norquist founded “Americans for Tax Reform,” an organization that opposed all tax increases “as a matter of principle” and was a vocal advocate for Colorado’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” (TABOR) in 1992. As even Republicans will tell you today, TABOR has been awful for Colorado because it places artificial spending restrictions on a state that has been growing in population since it was first passed more than 30 years ago; it’s no accident that no other state in the country has ever wanted to replicate TABOR.

For decades, “Americans for Tax Reform” played an outside role in conservative politics by serving as a litmus test for any Republican candidate seeking elected office. Failure to sign the ATR “no taxes” pledge could be a campaign killer. But as Paul Krugman wrote for The New York Times in 2010, the “starve the beast” Republican strategy came with one YUGE problem: Nobody really wanted to cut programs that Americans had come to rely upon:

But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending –— Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts?

The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years. The idea — propounded by many members of the conservative intelligentsia, from Alan Greenspan to Irving Kristol — was basically that sympathetic politicians should engage in a game of bait and switch. Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit…

Why are Republicans reluctant to sit down and talk? Because they would then be forced to put up or shut up. Since they’re adamantly opposed to reducing the deficit with tax increases, they would have to explain what spending they want to cut. And guess what? After three decades of preparing the ground for this moment, they’re still not willing to do that. [Pols emphasis]

Rep. Ken Buck recognizes the problem.

Not much has changed in the 13 years since Krugman wrote that opinion piece. Republicans still want to cut spending…but they don’t want to talk about how that might work. Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck said last month that a federal government shutdown — perhaps as soon as the end of this month — was all but inevitable. “We are going to shut down,” he told the crowd at a Colorado Chamber of Commerce luncheon, claiming that the federal government simply must cut spending in order to avoid some sort of nebulous debt/deficit problem that is often predicted but never realized.

The only serious way to reduce spending is to propose meaningful cuts to military spending, medicaid, medicare, or social security, but Republicans aren’t going to do that because voters would revolt and throw them out of office. Earlier this year, Buck suggested raising the retirement age to 72, which would require Americans to work longer than people in any other industrialized nation. Buck hasn’t really said much about that idea since floating it during a Fox 31 interview in May.

But it’s not just these long-running entitlement programs that voters seem to like. As The Washington Post reported this week, $24 billion in stimulus funding that helped make child care possible for millions of parents is about to run dry:

That record investment has helped keep the industry afloat by propping up workers’ salaries, boosting training programs and waiving family payment requirements.

Now, with the last of that money expiring this month, an estimated 70,000 child-care programs — or about 1 in 3 — could close as a result of lost funding, causing 3.2 million children to lose care, according to a study by the Century Foundation, a liberal think tank. That translates to $10.6 billion in lost U.S. economic activity, researchers found, adding new strain to a nation already struggling with a profound lack of child care.

“It isn’t just individual children or parents that will be impacted, it’s the economy as a whole,” said Julie Kashen, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. “When more than 3 million children lose care, that means all of those parents are going to have to figure out something else or reduce their work hours or leave their jobs altogether.” [Pols emphasis]

It’s hard to understate the significance of the philosophical change that Republicans will need to confront if Americans continue to express the belief that we should have MORE government instead of less. Buck is a perfect example of that: He votes against just about every spending bill — sometimes one of just a handful of Republicans to oppose things like raising the debt ceiling — based solely on his robotic devotion to the old “starve the beast” ethos. This is his entire political identity.

A new generation of Americans sees what governments CAN do for people in other countries, and they’re no longer buying into the message long shouted from the mountaintops by rich white men. If support for a more active government continues to rise, Republicans are going to need to toss out the old “smaller government, lower taxes” routine or just cede the entire argument to Democrats.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (Sept. 7)

We haven’t done one of these roundups in awhile, and we need to get back in the habit. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

FIRST UP…

 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell returned to the U.S. Capitol this week to deliver brief remarks about his health. McConnell says he will finish his current term (which ends in 2026) and remain Minority Leader despite concerns about his functionality as a human being. McConnell has frozen in place twice in the last six weeks while speaking publicly in front of a microphone:

Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, ruled out several potential causes for McConnell’s recent troubles — but notably didn’t mention what might be wrong other than to blame dehydration.

As NBC News reports, the 81-year-old McConnell’s health is making it more difficult for Republicans to attack President Biden over his age (80).

 

In a related story, Americans seem to approve of the idea of a mental competency test for politicians, though how such a test might functionally operate is another question. From The Washington Post:

Americans overwhelmingly favor mental competency tests for politicians over 75 — and for the results to be made public — as well as imposing age limits on who can serve in the White House and Congress, according to a new poll that highlights deep misgivings about older leaders they nonetheless elect time and again.

In practice, that would mean acuity assessments for people like President Biden, 80, the oldest to get the job; former president Donald Trump, the runaway front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024, 77; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.), 81…

…There are already age limits to serve as president or in Congress — but they’re a floor, not a ceiling. The poll found broad support for imposing an upper limit: 76 percent for the commander in chief, 73 percent for senators, 72 percent for representatives.

“When asked what the maximum age should be, the average ages given are 67 for president and 66 for senator and member of Congress (the median age given is 70 for all three positions). If an age limit of 66 were in effect, almost half of senators currently in office would be ineligible, given that the median age of Senators is presently about 65,” the poll authors wrote. [Pols emphasis]

 

Another Republican has jumped in the race for Congress in CO-08 for the right to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo. State Representative Gabe Evans says he’s ready to move up after just one legislative session in his pocket. If recent history is any indication, Evans is in for a rough ride; no Republican state legislator in Colorado has been elected to higher office since 2010.

Weld County Commissioner Scott James was the first Republican to enter the race when he announced his bid for Congress in mid July.

 

Check out the latest episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Juan Marcano, a candidate for Aurora Mayor who has some new information about incumbent Mayor Mike Coffman’s boneheaded “strong mayor” proposal:

 

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Boebert Straight-Up Tells Supporters She’s Going To Lose

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) seen here nearly losing the 2022 election.

As Austin Corona at the Aspen Daily News reports, fundraising email blasts from Colorado’s vexatiously vulnerable Rep. Lauren Boebert have taken a dark turn since the release of the late August poll showing her narrowly losing to Democratic challenger Adam Frisch:

Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign sent three emails to supporters last week expressing concern over polling that showed the second-term congresswoman trailing her potential 2024 Democratic opponent, former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, by 2 percentage points…

“If we don’t turn things around quickly, we could lose this seat to the Democrats. I can’t believe I’m saying those words, but I need you to understand how dire this situation is. [Frisch’s] latest internal polls have him beating us by two points,” read an email sent by Boebert’s campaign on Aug. 29.

The email from Wednesday, Aug. 30, written by former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, stated that Boebert was being “pummeled” by Frisch.

“If the Election were held today … Lauren would lose,” the email read… [Pols emphasis]

And the bad news packaged like a bitter pill for Boebert’s diehard supporters doesn’t stop there:

All three emails added that Frisch is outraising the Boebert campaign. This year, Frisch has raised $4.4 million, the fourth largest amount raised by any of the more than 1,200 congressional candidates who have announced runs for 2024. Boebert, meanwhile, has raised $1.6 million, putting her in 30th place.

Relaying bad news to one’s supporters in order to build urgency is nothing new in campaign fundraising, but in Boebert’s case the situation is a little more problematic. Boebert is reacting to her opponent’s internal polling, but instead of discounting it as such or focusing on the results being a statistical tie, she’s conceded the whole frame of the race to Frisch by agreeing she would lose if the election were held today. Republican donors understand, or at least they should by now, that Boebert’s vulnerability is disproportionate to the district’s conservative lean. Boebert is being “pummeled” in a race that otherwise would not be as competitive, and the reason is Boebert.

This in turn explains Boebert’s lackluster fundraising since barely winning re-election by 546 votes last November. Boebert’s unsuccessful holdout struggle to deny Speaker Kevin McCarthy his gavel in January placed Boebert on the wrong side of the national GOP’s fundraising machine, and the result is clear enough that McCarthy doesn’t have to say a word.

Boebert is asking Republicans to throw good money after bad, and everybody knows it now.

If there’s anyone who didn’t, Boebert will explain it to them herself.

Boebert Once Again Substitutes Tweeting For Governing

As Ernest Luning reports for the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog, most of Colorado’s congressional delegation representing both parties signed a letter to the Internal Revenue Service this week, asking as they did last year during a similar brief period of uncertainty to not treat refunds to taxpayers under Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights as federally taxable income:

All but one member of the state’s D.C. contingent signed on to a letter led by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, both Democrats, asking IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel to “resolve the current ambiguity” over TABOR refunds in response to guidance released Wednesday by the agency.

State officials warned the IRS against changing its policy on TABOR refunds following the publication of a notice covering various state income tax refund scenarios, with some emphasizing that it is unclear whether Colorado’s unique situation is covered by the proposed rules.

The fresh controversy comes on the heels of a dust-up in February when the IRS initially told Colorado taxpayers to delay filing their 2022 income tax returns until the agency decided whether to tax refunds issued the previous summer by the state. Within days, the IRS announced there would be no change regarding TABOR refunds after the delegation unanimously called on the agency to stick with the policy in place for decades.

It’s better for this question to be resolved well before Colorado taxpayers approach their filing deadline, which was the cause of much temporary consternation last February–and we expect that the answer from the IRS will once again rule that TABOR tax refunds should not be subject to federal income tax. This letter requesting the IRS clarify its policy on Colorado’s unique tax refund mechanism was signed by every member of the delegation except one, and you already guessed who she is–Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Instead of signing the letter to the IRS with the rest of the delegation, Boebert put out this suspiciously-timed Tweet/X yesterday afternoon announcing her opposition to taxing TABOR refunds, the timing of which strongly suggests Boebert realized she had missed the boat and was attempting to glom on for credit on the fully-expected other side:

Apparently, doing “everything in my power” does not include signing a letter.

Similar to Boebert’s missed vote on the debt-ceiling compromise she had spent days previously railing against, we can’t explain why Boebert didn’t sign this no-brainer letter with the rest of the delegation, making it a unanimous call for the IRS to solve the problem. What we can say is that Boebert Tweeting her viewpoint on the matter is not a substitute for actually doing her job, which would have been to sign the letter with everybody else.

While it’s not likely to affect the outcome thanks to Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Joe Neguse mobilizing the rest of the delegation, it’s yet another case of Boebert substituting performative outbursts on social media for her duties as a congressional representative.

If the IRS does follow Boebert on Twitter, it’s probably not to get her advice.

Why Republican Presidential Debates = BDSM (feat. Seth Masket)

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii have a lot to discuss. Our 8th favorite member of Congress from Colorado is trailing her leading Democratic challenger by two points. Will she realize thatshe’s the problem? The Colorado Republican/Libertarian Party alliance is getting sadder and stupider, as we predicted, reinforcing the idea that instead of playing stupid games with less than 40% of the voting population of a state like Colorado, maybe the Grand Old Party should try to appeal to another 10% of voters if they’d like to win an election in the next decade? And we have a couple of great listener comments to pass along.

BUT FIRST, eight Republican hopefuls debated one another in Milwaukee for the chance to maybe get to be Donald Trump’s running mate, as long as they don’t piss him off too much. We break it down with our returning guest, Professor Seth Masket (aka SMOTUS) of the University of Denver, who has some new results of his county chair survey and some spicy takes on the debate.

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com. Or send emails to jason@getmoresmarter.com or ian@getmoresmarter.com.

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Republican/Libertarian “Alliance” Gets Weirder Yet

The so-called “alliance” between the Colorado Republican Party and the Colorado Libertarian Party gets more bizarre each week.

As we noted earlier this month, the Colorado Libertarian Party (LPCO) now has a questionnaire for both Federal and State level candidates in 2024 who are seeking the group’s support. That support theoretically includes a promise from the LPCO to not field a candidate in competitive districts — in order to avoid the possibility of being a spoiler for the GOP hopeful — which was the driving force behind the original idea proposed by GOP Chair Dave Williams. The LPCO, meanwhile, is pretty stoked that its 40,000-voter base now has an outsized influence on the policy decisions of Republican candidates with a much larger base of 900,000 registered voters.

As Ernest Luning reports in a fascinating story for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, you could drive a bus through the hole in this “alliance”:

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert doesn’t plan to sign a candidate pledge released by the Colorado Libertarian Party as part of a deal struck with state Republicans to avoid potential third-party spoiler candidates next year in competitive races.

Neither does Boebert’s GOP primary challenger, Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd.

State Libertarians agreed earlier this summer to refrain from nominating candidates in races they might “spoil” by pulling votes from Republicans — if the Republican nominees meet the minor political party’s standards.

Under an unprecedented agreement negotiated between Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams and his Libertarian counterpart, Hannah Goodman, the Libertarians last week released lengthy pledges for federal and state candidates to sign.

Where do you want us to move this goalpost, Dave?

We can’t entirely blame Boebert here, since LPCO Chairwoman Hannah Goodman has publicly shat on her already. And given that there is already a Libertarian candidate named [checks notes] Mark Ellworth Jr. in the race, the stated purpose of the Republican/Libertarian “alliance” was effectively rendered moot in CO-03 anyway.

Nevertheless, with Republican candidates in one of the most visible 2024 races wasting little time in deciding to ignore the LPCO pledge, Williams looks like even more of a boob than usual:

Williams said last week that he “[didn’t] think any serious candidate seeking our nomination in any competitive seat can ignore this,” referring to the Libertarians’ pledges, but on Monday said he isn’t concerned after Colorado Politics asked him about Boebert’s decision. [Pols emphasis]

“She may not have to given her record,” he said in a text message. “The Libertarians are always willing to consider these questions on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, it’s the candidate’s call.”

Added Williams: “We are more focused on the open seats or seats with incumbent Democrats anyway, so this probably won’t be an issue.”

Oh, right, the big open seats in 2024. You know, like, um…that one district over by the thing…

…and if you elect me to lead the Colorado GOP, I promise to ask all Republican candidates to follow the demands of the Libertarian Party.

Remember, the primary example for why this GOP/LPCO alliance was necessary in the first place was in CO-08; as the thinking goes, Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer might have defeated Democrat Yadira Caraveo in 2022 were it not for the presence of a Libertarian candidate named Dan Ward. So a Republican candidate in this district in 2024 would definitely want to sign the LPCO pledge, right?

A spokesperson for the lone Republican so far running to represent Colorado’s other toss-up U.S. House seat, the 8th Congressional District, wouldn’t say whether Weld County Commissioner Scott James plans to take the pledge.

Oh. Well, at least it’s not Kirkmeyer refusing to sign the pledge! The very next paragraph is perhaps the weirdest of them all in Luning’s story:

“We received the pledge from Chairman Dave Williams and very much look forward to the dialogue as the campaign moves forward,” James’ spokesperson told Colorado Politics in a text message. [Pols emphasis]

This is amazing. Scott James is a Republican candidate for Congress in CO-08, and the Chairman of his own political party is asking him to sign a pledge from a completely different political party. Just…think about that for a moment.

It seems inevitable that Williams will eventually agree to a separate “alliance” with the American Constitution Party that makes this whole thing even more hopelessly complicated. All for one and one for all, or whatever.

Ruh Roh! Frisch Leads Boebert in New CO-03 Poll

I know, right?

It was just yesterday that we wrote in this space about the idea that Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) was caught in the same political death spiral that ended the public lives of previous Republicans such as Cory Gardner and Walker Stapleton.

Welp, you can add another log to that fire.

According to a new poll released today from Keating Research — the same outfit that accurately predicted a close race in CO-03 in 2022 — Boebert is now TRAILING Democratic challenger Adam Frisch in a head-to-head matchup by a 50-48 margin. Moreover, Frisch appears to have a massive advantage among “Unaffiliated” voters, leading Boebert by 17 points among this critical group.

Boebert lags behind Frisch despite the fact that Republicans hold an 8-point voter registration advantage in the third congressional district, and despite the fact that the same poll shows President Biden trailing Republican Donald Trump by 5 points in a hypothetical head-to-head rematch in CO-03. This is also not an outlier result given that the last public poll of this district (via “The Rocky Mountaineer” in April) showed Boebert and Frisch in a statistical tie.

You might hear a voice in your head grumbling about “margin of error” or couching your interest with the “it’s still too early” argument, yada, yada. To that we say this: The last time a Democrat was shown to be leading a Republican in the third congressional district would have been sometime during then-Rep. Democrat John Salazar’s final term in office…in 2008. An incumbent Republican politician with strong name ID should absolutely, positively, NOT be trailing a Democrat in CO-03, but that’s what happens when you hide from constituents and focus on appealing to the MAGA base instead of working for your district.

While the two-point lead for Frisch will dominate the headlines, the more important numbers might be found in a different question:

Via Keating Research

 

If you add up the favorable/unfavorable ratings, you see that 95% of likely voters are familiar enough with Boebert to have an opinion; conversely, only 60% of the same group are familiar enough with Frisch to rate him one way or the other. In short, likely voters in the third congressional district know plenty about Lauren Boebert…and they don’t like herAs any seasoned politico will tell you, it is incredibly difficult to change a voter’s mind once they have already formed an opinion about a politician.

Lauren Boebert seems to be caught in a “political death spiral.”

Boebert’s situation is remarkably similar to where Gardner found himself in May 2020 when he was seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. At that time, two consecutive polls showed that most likely voters were familiar with Gardner and had already decided that they didn’t like him. Gardner would go on to lose to Democrat John Hickenlooper by 9 points in November.

Here’s more bad news for Boebert: Even Gardner wasn’t as unpopular statewide as Boebert is in the third congressional district.

Boebert is now a top target for Democrats in 2024, where CO-03 has been downgraded (from her perspective) to a “toss up” race by national pundits. She has a legitimate Republican Primary opponent in Jeffery Hurd and a Libertarian Party challenger on top of the fact that Frisch is raising massive amounts of money for a potential General Election rematch after losing to Boebert in 2022 by just 546 votes.

But wait, there’s more (bad news)! The top of the GOP ticket will probably feature Trump, again, which will force Boebert to talk about the 2020 elections despite the fact that most voters don’t want to hear about any of this anymore. And the Colorado Republican Party has handed over the keys to its policy decisions to the Libertarian Party while GOP Chair Dave Williams spends most of the Party’s time and money on a lawsuit that is almost certainly going to fail.

The good news for Boebert is that…um…well, there’s probably something that we’re not thinking about at the moment.

There is plenty of time for Boebert to turn things around and put herself in a position to win re-election in November 2024, but let’s be serious: She’s not going to change. The bigger question now might be in the hands of national Republicans, who may well decide that Boebert’s “political death spiral” is not worth the time and money required to make a correction.

Boebert Enters the Stapleton/Gardner Political Death Spiral

Bail out, Boebert!

In recent years, big-name Republican politicians in Colorado have tended to follow a similar pattern in advance of their electoral demise — a political death spiral that ends with a thud in November.

In 2018, it was Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton who couldn’t get out of his own way en route to an 11-point drubbing at the hands of Democrat Jared Polis.

In 2020, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner endured so many self-inflicted wounds that Democrat John Hickenlooper just needed a finger to push him over the edge and into a 9-point loss.

In 2022, Republicans Heidi Ganahl (Governor) and Joe O’Dea (Senate) never really got off the ground in the first place. But now, in the midst of the 2024 election cycle, it is Republican Congressperson Lauren Boebert who appears to be in full “political death spiral” mode.

The guidelines are relatively simple: The incumbent Republican (or in Stapleton’s case, a candidate with a different elected position at the time) starts to feel as though their rhetoric has become so impossible to defend that they just stop showing up in front of Colorado voters altogether.

Cory Gardner (top) and Walker Stapleton fleeing the “political death spiral.”

Gardner infamously refused to conduct in-person town hall meetings during the final three years of his one and only six-year term in the Senate. Gardner went to absurd lengths to avoid his constituents, a decision that led to the creation of the “Cardboard Cory” phenomenon that rammed home the idea of a U.S. Senator who refused to be bothered by the people who elected him in 2014.

But at least Gardner still went to work from time to time. Stapleton was in his second term as Colorado State Treasurer when he ran for Governor, at which point he just stopped showing up at the office entirely (seriously — keycard data showed that Stapleton hadn’t actually entered his office since being re-elected in 2014). Stapleton’s absenteeism became a running joke, to the point where the Colorado Democratic Party regularly sent out images of his empty parking space at the State Capitol.

Boebert now appears to be following the same script — even though she only won re-election by 546 votes in 2022 and even though public polling and anecdotal evidence demonstrate that voters in CO-03 would like their elected Member of Congress to do some actual work.

Not only is Boebert NOT doing what her constituents want — she’s tripping over her own stilettos by drawing more attention to her absenteeism. Take a look at this Tweet (or ‘X,’ or whatever) that Boebert mashed out last week:

This is pretty standard nonsense from Boebert on a topic that is completely irrelevant to the good people of congressional district three. More important is the response Boebert received, pointing out that people can’t even get in the door at Boebert’s in-district offices:

Responses to Boebert message about Nancy Pelosi’s staff.

 

Whoops!

Boebert does make photo-ready appearances in her district, but they are always only revealed after the event has taken place; constituents only get to see where Boebert was, and never where she will be next. This is exactly what Gardner did in 2020, when his strategic gambit was that it was better to take the hit for being inaccessible than to be forced to answer difficult questions from voters. As we know, that bet did not pan out.

Colorado voters will put up with a certain level of political showmanship, but only if the politician in question is still doing the actual job required of them. Playing hide-and-seek with your constituents is a proven recipe for failure.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: This is Serious; Yeah, Totally

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, he’s Once, Twice, Thrice, Fourthce times indicted? Big ass loser Donald Trump has been charged with another series of crimes, this time in Georgia; can the big man escape the big house when he doesn’t have the power to pardon himself for committing felonies at the state level? And what does it mean for Colorado Republicans?

That Colorado GOP and Libertarian Party “alliance” is getting weirder, and it’s also very clearly not going to help the GOP win any more elections. Our 8th favorite member of Congress is using taxpayer dollars to rebut ads calling her out for voting against veterans and her campaign manager is attacking veterans as “liberal extremists,” while constituents who try to meet with her keep finding her office closed during business hours; this is going great! And we’ve got an update on the Mike Coffman Power Grab; in this chapter, he goes ahead and maces his own face (metaphorically, of course).

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com. Or send emails to jason@getmoresmarter.com or ian@getmoresmarter.com.

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Libertarians Revel In Sweet, Sweet Subjugation

Following the release earlier this week of the Colorado Libertarian Party’s so-called “Candidate Pledge for Liberty,” a list of litmus-test issues being imposed with the full consent and cooperation of Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams on Republican candidates lest they draw a spoiler, Libertarian Party chairperson Hannah Goodman dropped whatever poker face she had:

Of course, if you’re one of those 900,000 Colorado Republicans now under the thumb of the nation’s premiere political propellerhead mutual irrelevance society, you might not be so thrilled by the current state of affairs. In order to avoid a Libertarian challenger, Republicans are now required to pledge action on everything from “abolishing” the nation’s intelligence agencies to pardoning Julian Assange.

Libertarian CD-3 candidate Mark Elworth.

In fact, are there any Republican candidates out there who can pass the “Mises Caucus” Libertarian purity test? As 9NEWS reported Monday, not even Colorado’s foremost firebreathing far-right conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert is safe:

Goodman told 9NEWS that Congresswoman Lauren Boebert might not fit the qualifications.

“Is Lauren Boebert a strong liberty candidate? That is to be determined. I don’t necessarily think that Lauren Boebert… is a strong liberty candidate in my opinion,” she said. [Pols emphasis]

Boebert won by just 546 votes last year without a Libertarian in the race. Recently, a Libertarian registered to run against Boebert. He’s a perennial candidate and cannabis activist…

The takeaways are pretty simple: if Lauren Boebert isn’t a strong enough “liberty candidate” for the Libertarian Party, their standards are far too stringent to impose on the Republican Party if they have any desire to win a general election. Second, if the GOP/Libertarian grand alliance can’t stop a traveling stoner perennial candidate who showed up from Nebraska to siphon a few thousand votes from a vulnerable Republican who can’t afford to lose more than 546, it calls into question the strategic value of the entire partnership.

But for today, we just want to know if Dave Williams agrees with Goodman’s assessment of Boebert.

And if he’s willing to say it to Boebert’s face.

You’ve Never “Hurd” Of Boebert’s New Primary Challenger

Attorney Jeffery Hurd of Ireland Stapleton, now challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert in the 2024 GOP primary.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a previously unknown but as we’ll discuss fairly interesting Republican candidate, attorney Jeffery Hurd, has announced a primary challenge to vulnerable incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert:

“I’ve decided to enter the race to give Republican primary voters an option and a choice,” said Hurd, who describes himself as a principled conservative who believes in limited government, individual rights and the rule of law.

“But I’m also pragmatic,” he added. “I understand that in order to advance those principles we need to advance a message that is optimistic and persuasive and that encourages voters who may not agree with everything that a candidate stands for, but will nevertheless pull the lever and vote for that candidate.”

Hurd, a graduate of Grand Junction High School who went on to become an attorney in town, knows that he has a steep hill to climb to persuade Republican voters to pick him over the incumbent Boebert, who is extremely well known by many voters in the expansive district.

Although Jeffery Hurd has no political experience, as a manager at the prestigious Ireland Stapleton law firm he’s certainly a cut above the average unknown contender who appears out of nowhere to run for high office (see: Boebert, Lauren). What’s more, Hurd’s campaign chairs are none other than former U.S. Senator Hank Brown and former Colorado Rep. Tim Foster, who recently retired as President of Colorado Mesa University.

That Foster is chairing the campaign of this unknown challenger to Rep. Boebert is particularly interesting since Foster has himself long been considered one of the prime GOP alternatives to Boebert–either as a primary challenger, or “batting cleanup” in two years after Boebert narrowly loses the seat to a Democratic opponent.

There’s little question that Tim Foster with his superior name recognition and experience would be a stronger primary challenger to Boebert than the unknown Hurd. For Foster to step aside for this complete neophyte, however sharp a young lawyer he may be, betrays a lack of confidence that Boebert can be defeated in a Republican primary challenge. Foster doesn’t want to risk his own political capital by taking on Boebert personally, but the lack of any credible challenger to Boebert from Republicans forces them to own her self-injurious antics.

The solution? A primary placeholder willing to honorably take the fall.

Which is not to say that in the event Hurd were to prevail over Boebert he wouldn’t enjoy the full support of the Republican Party. Certainly he would. But the huge margin by which Boebert defeated her 2022 GOP primary opponent shows that Boebert’s greater vulnerability is in the general election. As much as Tim Foster and the corporate wing of the Colorado GOP would like to be rid of Boebert, GOP primary voters adore her.

We wish Mr. Hurd well, but the plan still appears to be for Democrats to do the dirty work of ousting Boebert.