Ernest Luning of the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman has a fascinating new story out today about Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and his bid to become the next Chair of the Colorado Republican Party. Luning’s story includes a handful of jaw-dropping quotes from various Republican sources in response to a marvelously absurd proposition from Buck outlining how he would lead the GOP into the 2020 elections.
As Luning reports, Buck has apparently been distributing a memo outlining his proposal for how he would oversee the State Republican Party — a plan that includes hiring former State Party Chair Steve House as the GOP’s new “CEO.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Buck’s plan for overseeing the State Republican Party after a disastrous 2018 election cycle is to direct the Party right back to where it was in 2016. We suppose, if you squinted really hard, that you could argue 2016 was not as terrible of a year for Republicans as 2018, but you’d be splitting hairs on the definition of “terrible.”
Democrat Hillary Clinton easily carried Colorado in the 2016 Presidential race after an embarrassing #NeverTrump movement that was likely driven by the State Party itself. The only major statewide race on the ballot in 2016 was for U.S. Senate, in which Darryl Freaking Glenn emerged from a ridiculous cavalcade of controversial candidates as the GOP nominee against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. The only reason Glenn came within 6 points of Bennet was because Democrats essentially stopped worrying about the race altogether after the June Primary.
As Luning reports, Buck’s main opponent in the race for Chair teed off on his proposal:
“This is not a part-time job, this is not the time for an absentee chair, this is a leadership position, for an organization that has been failing,” said state chair candidate Susan Beckman, a two-term state representative from Littleton who has said she’ll step down from the General Assembly if she’s elected chair.
Beckman’s response was actually pretty tame compared to this:
Veteran Republican strategist Dick Wadhams, who served two terms as state chairman last decade, said he was stunned after reviewing Buck’s proposal, calling it “unworkable” and “absolutely nonsensical.”
“If Steve House wants to be state chairman, he ought to run for it, and if Ken Buck doesn’t want to be state chairman, he ought to get out of the race,” Wadhams said… [Pols emphasis]
…He also slammed Buck’s plans to run the party from Washington, D.C., saying he was “baffled” by the proposition.
Buck responded to this criticism by expressing surprise that Republicans might object to his regurgitated ideas:
“When you get your butts kicked in every corner of the state, people should shut their mouths and come together and do their very best to help the party and make sure we do our best to get Cory Gardner and Donald Trump elected,” Buck said.
“It’s a little surprising people feel emboldened to be so critical in the open when we have not been very successful.” [Pols emphasis]
This is really the Colorado Republican Party in a nutshell: One of the top contenders to be the next GOP Party Chair is proposing a return to an era in which the Colorado Republican Party was objectively not very successful, and then lashing out at anyone who questions his ideas.
Colorado Republicans will select their new leaders on Saturday, March 30.