Trump Exposes Coffman’s Ugly Past on “Birthright Citizenship”

Responding to news this week that President Donald Trump would like to use an executive order to rescind the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship to persons born on American soil–which he can’t actually do–Rep. Mike Coffman, facing increasingly likely defeat next Tuesday, responded in a way that sounded fairly critical:

In Spanish, so there’s no confusion as to the target audience:

Since Trump took office, Coffman has had plenty of opportunities to triangulate off the president’s hard-line statements on immigration, and he’s taken some of them. Eliminating the constitutional guarantee of citizenship for children born on American soil is certainly one of the most controversial and aggressive moves Trump has proposed on immigration yet. Obviously, it’s in Coffman’s best interests to put as much daylight as possible between himself and this proposal with the swing voters he’s won over with his moderate tone.

Unfortunately for Mike Coffman, when it comes to the issue of “birthright citizenship,” there’s a problem.

The problem is that Mike Coffman himself co-sponsored legislation to rescind birthright citizenship, in both 2009 and 2011. This was back when Coffman was doing his best to uphold his congressional predecessor Tom Tancredo’s hard line anti-immigrant legacy, and before redistricting in 2011 redrew Coffman’s district to include a far more diverse and immigrant-heavy constituency. After that time, of course, these bills morphed from political asset to massive political liability; and Coffman has tried mightily to live them down, and reinvent himself wholesale on the issue.

But as you can see, Coffman can’t criticize Trump on the underlying issue, just the constitutionality of him doing this by executive order, without exposing himself as a hypocrite–even though it’s likely that Coffman’s legislation to rescind “birthright citizenship” would have run up against the 14th Amendment’s plain language too. Once you know Coffman’s true history on this issue, his weak statement of protest against Trump is exposed as a lame attempt to cover up Coffman’s own record. At the very least, a reporter needs to ask Coffman specifically what has changed between 2011, when he sponsored legislation to do exactly what Trump is proposing, and today when he wants voters to think he opposes it.

Better ask soon, though, because after next Tuesday it might not matter.

41 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    Better ask soon, though, because after next Tuesday it might not matter.

    It will still matter. Even in defeat Coffman is a lesson in political fakery to be studied.

  2. Voyageur says:

    We,'ve ordered so many funerals for Mike Coffman over the years that Olinger's Mortuary gives us a quantity discount.   Let us please wait until next Wednesday before ordering yet another coffin for him.

    Meanwhile a hearty cheer for Dianne Mitsch Bush and Karen McCormick, who are fighting the good fight against two Republicans far more reactionary than Coffman, Trumper Tipton and Ken Buck respectively.

  3. davebarnes says:

    Coffman matters until January 2.

  4. Moderatus says:

    Yeah, and Obama opposed gay marriage once too. Why can't you just admit that Coffman has been one step ahead of the Democrats for years? If you smear him out of office in 2018 I hope he runs again for his seat in 2020. I bet he'll win.

    • Voyageur says:

      You are a glutton for punishment, moddy.  But if Mike loses this seat, it will be our own Roger's turn in 2020.  You may know him as Powerful Pear.


    • PKolbenschlag says:

      I hate grapes and they're probably sour anyways! 

    • unnamed says:

      Coffman is not acting like a candidate whose 1 step ahead.  He's acting like a candidate whose fallen behind.

    • Mike W. says:

      "If you smear him out of office in 2018 I hope he runs again for his seat in 2020. I bet he'll win."

      I see you've finally admitted that Coffman's days are numbered. Yeah he could run in 2020, or just wait four years for redistricting and run for a Safe R seat anchored in DougCo. Course, he'll have to reckon with all these things he's said (though, obviously, not done) during his time as a "moderate" which could leave him vulnerable against the types of Republicans Moddy and his ilk truly adore. 

  5. Powerful Pear says:

    I hate to break it to Congressman Coffman, when you can’t speak truthfully about the policies you advocate for, people will say, “Mike has to say those things to get elected” or “Mike has to vote that way to get elected.” Not only will you loose your job but you will have lost your integrity. Your campaign tag line “Fighting for you” or some such bull shit is as about as worthless as Obama’s “Hope and Change”. You may win, if so, it will be like having an investment adviser in a big company who prays on the elderly to churn their portfolios for his own gain.

    Your hatred/disdain for Trump has not gained you one vote, it has cost you the election you dunce.

  6. Powerful Pear says:

    For the Congressman who chastises the President to follow the Constitution, how about the Congressman take his oath to protect and defend seriously and not propose red flag bills that are are unconstitutional. Is shall not infringe not clear enough!

    • Voyageur says:

      "shall not infringe" is pretty clear, but appears long after the indisputably clear " A WELL REGULATED militia. "


      Now, that's clear!

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Ouch. You’ve just bruised the pear. 

      • Davie says:

        Apparently it is a little known fact that along with citizenship, anyone born in the US is automatically enlisted into a militia, with all rights and duties thereby bestowed!  They just aren't very well regulated obviously, explaining 30,000+ avoidable deaths each year.

        • Negev says:

          Surprisingly Davie, your little sniglet is indeed correct!

          In keeping with the intent and purpose of the Bill of Rights, both of declaring individual rights and prescribing the powers of the national government, the use and meaning of the term "Militia" in the Second Amendment, which needs to be "well regulated," helps explain what "well regulated" meant. When the Constitution was ratified, the Framers unanimously believed that the "militia" included all of the people capable of bearing arms.

          George Mason, one of the Virginians who refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked a Bill of Rights, said: "Who are the Militia? They consist now of the whole people." Likewise, the Federal Farmer, one of the most important Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution, referred to a "militia, when properly formed, [as] in fact the people themselves." 


          • Davie says:

            Well, Duh!  In the 18th century the population was less than 3 million, so yeah, "every man for himself" was kinda reasonable when 99% of the country was rural wilderness with the nearest person miles away.

            But when I get my militia active duty orders, I'll definitely swing by the local armory to pick up my assigned flintlock musket and powder horn before reporting for duty.

            BTW, as this site's main Pro-Gun Slaughter advocate, what do you think of the NRA's radical drop in campaign funding this year?  Too much diversion of funds to acquire Viagra and Depends?

            The National Rifle Association — long seen as a kingmaker in Republican politics — is taking a lower profile in this year’s high-stakes midterm campaign, a sign of the shifting dynamics of the gun debate as the GOP fights to maintain its grip on Congress.

            The NRA has put $11 million into midterm races this year — less than half what it spent four years ago in a campaign that gave Republicans full control of Congress.

            This year’s totals are also far below the $54 million the group spent in 2016 on the presidential and congressional races.

            The shift comes as spending to support tougher gun control measures has surged. Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pledged $30 million for this year’s election and has continued to put new money into competitive races in the final days.

            A political action committee formed by Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman wounded in a shooting, is spending nearly $5 million.

            After the Pittsburgh shooting, a Bloomberg aide said Everytown bought $700,000 of advertisements aimed at ousting Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora — a significant sum to spend on a single House race in one week.


            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              Regarding the NRA's "lower profile" this year, rumors still abound that the NRA laundered money in 2016 for Russian interests that wanted to support the Trump campaign. One can do their own research and arrive at their own conclusion.

            • Negev says:

              I think you are confusing the militia with the draft:

              The "well regula[tion]" of the militia set forth in the Second Amendment was apart from that control over the militia exercised by Congress and the President, which extended only to that part of the militia called into actual service of the Union. Thus, "well regula[tion]" referred to something else. Since the fundamental purpose of the militia was to serve as a check upon a standing army, it would seem the words "well regulated" referred to the necessity that the armed citizens making up the militia(s) have the level of equipment and training necessary to be an effective and formidable check upon the national government's standing army.

              Gun control is not a top issue in this election. Bloomberg can spend all he wants….



          • Voyageur says:

            Not everyone.  The militia was basically free, able bodied men.

            • Davie says:

              Well, women, children and slaves didn't count back then, so "Free white and 21 year-old men" was assumed. (My father, born and raised in the Deep South over 100 years ago, used that phrase many times when just a simple "No" would have sufficed when he didn't want to do something others expected).

            • Genghis says:

              Subject to certain exceptions, it still is:

              The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and . . . under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

              10 U.S.C. § 246(a).

      • Powerful Pear says:

        Is it your position that in the late 1700’s the right to keep and bare arms is only attributed to a milita? So the framers of the Constitution wanted all the farmers, frontiersmen and those in the territory to give up their guns?

      • Negev says:

        Almost as clear as "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Comment deleted

    • JohnInDenver says:

      With due process, Pear, depriving people of weapons is presumptively Constitutional.  Heller decision doesn't address the approach, but accepts the idea of local and state regulations generally, as long as it isn't a blanket ban.

      Otherwise, felons would have a perfect right to rush out and buy their choice of semi-automatic rifles.

      • Voyageur says:

        Or, for that matter, full automatic, RPGs, grenade launchers, tanks, F-35 fighters and tactical nuclear weapons.   The gun nut view is that this right is absolute and applies to full on military hardware, cuz, you know, the Kentucky long rifle was state of the art in 1787 so why not give your wife a ma deuce for Christmas?

  7. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    The problem with Trump and his position about birthright citizenship & anchor babies is that he ignores the 200+ years of constitutional case law that interprets the Constitution. The meaning of the 14th Amendment has been adjudicated. I saw a couple case references this week on Yahoo News, but did not write them down.

    • Negev says:

      As has the 2nd on Militia in the Heller case, but Davie was there when they wrote the Constitution so he knows what they meant better. 

      The Court held that the first clause of the Second Amendment that references a “militia” is a prefatory clause that does not limit the operative clause of the Amendment. Additionally, the term “militia” should not be confined to those serving in the military, because at the time the term referred to all able-bodied men who were capable of being called to such service. To read the Amendment as limiting the right to bear arms only to those in a governed military force would be to create exactly the type of state-sponsored force against which the Amendment was meant to protect people. 



    • Voyageur says:

      It's an open question whether Congress could change birthright citizenship or if it would take a constitutional amendment.   But only Dipshit McGoon thinks a president can do it by executive order.

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