Cory Gardner Gets Koched Up For 2020

You’ll say wow every time!

The Colorado Sun’s John Frank and Jesse Paul report:

The political arm of the Koch conservative network endorsed U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Tuesday, a move designed to emphasize a renewed focus on policy but one that recalls its big-dollar role in the 2014 election.

Americans for Prosperity Action, one of the most prominent conservative groups in the state, touted the Republican lawmaker’s “straight talk” and “principled stands” expressed in his opposition to trade tariffs, assistance to states that legalized marijuana and support for permanent legal status for immigrants brought as children into the country illegally.

“While others retreated to their corners, Gardner acted. That kind of independent judgment has been the hallmark of Gardner’s Senate career, and it’s why we’re endorsing him for reelection,” wrote Jesse Mallory, an adviser to the political committee and the director of Americans for Prosperity in Colorado, in an opinion piece published in The Colorado Sun.

It’s impossible to imagine Americans For Prosperity making any move other than a full-throated endorsement of Sen. Cory Gardner, so how this reflects a “renewed focus on policy” is anybody’s guess. But here’s a brief passage from Jesse Mallory’s glowing ad absurdum endorsement to convey the general tone:

Gardner embodies the philosophy espoused by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, to unite with anybody to do right…

Straight talk, principled stands and a determination to get results ought to be the hallmarks of every elected official. Coloradans can count ourselves fortunate that we have such an official in Sen. Cory Gardner, and we should enthusiastically reelect him.

Look, we get that Mallory wanted to “go big” rhetorically. But Frederick Douglass? For a politician who has spent his whole time in Washington in the undistinguished rank and file of a Republican majority, rising to “leadership” only as the Senate GOP’s lead fundraiser, that’s just laughably over the top.

But before we laugh this sophomoric brown-nosing off entirely, consider the audience of the state’s best-funded conservative advocacy group–and it’s not Democrats. Polling has consistently shown that Gardner is one of the least popular incumbent Senators among fellow Republicans, and without a strategy for shoring up Gardner’s declining base of support among the GOP base Gardner has no realistic path forward in the current political climate. It’s perilous, since Gardner also must win over unaffiliated support in a state trending strongly away from GOP control–and messages that please the GOP base repel those unaffiliated voters.

Once you realize that AFP is sending a message to Republican voters, part of what appears to be a coordinated strategy to counter solidifying conservative disdain for Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senator, the Koch network rushing to Gardner’s aid this early in the cycle makes sense.

It should not, however, be mistaken for strength.

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  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    I'm sort of surprised the endorsement stresses opposition to tariffs and support for marijuana and DACA.  Seems likely to antagonize the true Trump-ites (pro-tariff, anti-DACA) and the traditional law-and-order Republicans (marijuana).

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Gardner embodies the philosophy espoused by . . . 

    . . . any East Colfax streetwalker, he’ll sell himself to anybody . . . 

    Straight talk, principled stands and a determination to get results ought to be the hallmarks of every elected official.  Coloradans have the misfortune to be without such an official — we’re been stuck with Sen. Cory Gardner instead, and we should enthusiastically reject him.

    (Frederick Douglass is probably spinning in the grave.)

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Frederick Douglass is the new darling of the right, although they have to ignore most of his history as a social justice warrior in order to celebrate him. Douglass was a Republican a century ago, when the Republican party was the anti-slavery party. Our ignoramus *resident tweeted  that Douglass was "getting recognized more and more".

    Donald Trump wouldn't have rented an apartment to Douglass. Cory Gardner would have called him a dangerous radical and a disturber of the peace. 

    Frederick Douglass was one of the most powerful leaders of the anti-slavery movement. He was the first African American citizen to hold a government position. Later in life, he supported the suffragist movement, and was the running mate of Victoria Woodhull for the Presidency. And he was a peerless orator and writer, as the following quotes demonstrate:

    1. ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROGRESS AND STRUGGLE

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

    3. ON THE VALUE OF EDUCATION

    “Some know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it."

    4. ON THE DENIAL OF JUSTICE

    “The American people have this to learn: that where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither person nor property is safe.”

    5. ON MEASURING INJUSTICE

    “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”

    6. ON EMPOWERING YOUTH

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

    7. ON MORAL GROWTH

    “A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.”

    8. ON THE SECURITY OF A NATION

    “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”

    9. ON THE NEED FOR POWER

    “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

    10. ON FREE SPEECH

    “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.”

    11. ON REBELLION

    “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”

    12. ON THE CONSEQUENCE OF SLAVERY

    “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

    -from 20 powerful quotes from Frederick Douglass – Mental Floss

  4. Mr. L. Prosser says:

    I suppose, since Gardner is taking money for a campaign, he is going to run. Probably not very hard, maybe jog for office. His campaign slogan may be, "I'm all you've got, bitchez."

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