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August 06, 2019 04:15 AM MDT

It's Official: The Colorado GOP Is Totally Out Of Control

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: Sen. Cory Gardner toes the Dudley Brown line, says the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter:

Sen. Cory Gardner took some questions in Aspen yesterday.

“I don’t support gun control,” he said of dealing with the weekend shootings. [Pols emphasis]

There it is, folks. Cory Gardner is RMGO’s man to the bitter end.


UPDATE: Given that Dudley Brown told 9NEWS that Sen. Cory Gardner should face a primary if he supports a “red flag” law like President Donald Trump, here’s what Gardner told radio host Craig Silverman back in May:

Well, look, I think we have to prevent violence and we should protect our communities, but we can’t violate the Constitution. And you know, we cannot allow other rights and people’s — innocent people’s rights — to be taken in the name of trying to protect other innocent people’s rights. That’s not what the Constitution is about. Let’s find ways to stop the scourge of violence without harming people’s liberties.

And with that, recall how Cory Gardner was one of Dudley Brown’s early success stories (see below).

When we say Dudley Brown is the Colorado Republican Party, we mean it.


Cory Gardner, Dudley Brown.

In the last 72 hours, events have transpired nationally that would under any normal circumstances have resulted in an instant sea change in Colorado politics. In the aftermath of two mass shootings in separate states within hours of each other that have killed over 30 people and wounded dozens more, President Donald Trump has called for the passage of extreme risk protection order legislation–“red flag” laws like the one passed in Colorado this year following the preventable killing of a Douglas County deputy sheriff.

ERPO laws enjoy overwhelming public support both nationally and in Colorado, where a 2017 survey found 80% of voters in support of laws to give family and law enforcement a court process to temporarily remove guns from people judged to an evidentiary standard to be a significant risk. It’s therefore not politically hard to understand why Trump would come out in support of them.

In Colorado, though, there’s a problem–the fact that Republicans are working to recall Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis for passing Colorado’s “red flag” law. And the word today from our local news outlets is that even President Donald Trump can’t reason with the Colorado Republican Party. The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter:

Dudley Brown, the director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which is suing to stop Colorado’s red-flag law from taking effect, slammed Trump’s remarks Monday. “You cannot infringe on the gun rights of millions of law-abiding Americans based on the actions of lawless madmen,” he said.

“Let me be crystal clear. Forcing universal (background) checks and red-flag gun confiscation laws on Americans would have done nothing to stop either of these murderers. They went through the failed and unconstitutional National Instant Criminal Background Check system,” Brown added.

Brown said he and his national group, the National Association for Gun Rights, will hold Trump and all other elected officials responsible for their gun control actions, regardless of political party.

It’s important to understand exactly what Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is saying here. Not only is he against red flag laws, Brown just called the existing instant background check system used for almost all gun sales today “unconstitutional.” Not the “universal” background checks that have been law in Colorado since 2013–Brown is actually asserting that all gun purchase background checks are unconstitutional.

For those of us who understand just how far out of the mainstream Brown and RMGO really are, this isn’t news. But realizing how extreme RMGO is on the issue of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is critical to grasping the next critical point: RMGO effectively owns the Colorado Republican Party. Dudley Brown actually told 9NEWS yesterday that Sen. Cory Gardner, one of ther nation’s most vulnerable Republican Senators, should be primaried if he joins Trump in supporting a red flag law. And as 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger reports:

Support of red flag legislation has led to recall efforts against multiple elected leaders in Colorado. President Donald Trump’s comments in support of a national red flag law, however, has not deterred those efforts…

“It really has to do more with integrity and honesty than it does any particular political issue,” said Robert Wareham, head of the Committee to Recall Tony Spurlock. “We’re not trying to recall him over red flag, we are trying to recall him because he has violated, we believe, his oath of office, by supporting legislation that infringes on constitutional rights.”

…In Lakewood, the signature collection process is already underway to try to recall Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood).

Nancy Pallozzi is leading the effort. When reached by phone on Monday, she said she was in the middle of collecting signatures and would continue to tell voters about Pettersen’s role as a co-sponsor of the red flag bill that passed this year.

Our intent is not to fictionalize President Trump into some kind of moral authority on guns, which he of course is not. But the truth is that support for the kind of law we passed in Colorado this year is growing among Republicans and Democrats alike, and none other than GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has emerged as a major proponent as the toll from preventable mass shootings continues to spiral.

But apparently none of that matters once you cross the border into Colorado. When the vice chair of the Colorado GOP filed petition language to recall freshman Rep. Tom Sullivan earlier this year, whose casus belli for supporting gun control was his son murdered in the Aurora shooting, it was meant to signal to everyone that no one was safe from Dudley Brown’s wrath. That campaign collapsed in a heap when voters in Sullivan’s district refused to sign a petition they knew was morally debased.

But that’s not stopping Republicans. Because apparently nothing can. The people who targeted Sullivan control the Colorado GOP at the highest levels, control the GOP House minority via Patrick Neville’s iron grip even after the disastrous 2018 landslide for Democrats, and have elected county sheriffs across the state more loyal to Dudley Brown than to their oaths. These people genuinely don’t care what a Republican President says, even Donald Trump. Insider Republicans who tried to stop the takeover of the Colorado GOP by these extremists failed–in no small part due to their own incompetence, but the failure has now resonated well beyond 2016 GOP primaries.

And today, there’s no one left to pull the plug. No matter what happens–no matter how many Republicans come out in support of the same law being invoked to target Colorado Democrats for recalls, no matter how many Americans die in mass shootings it’s obvious such a law could help prevent–the fringe element in control of the Colorado Republican Party is going to keep pushing their hard line.

Whatever happens before then, in the 2020 general election Colorado voters are increasingly likely to punish local Republicans–both as continuation of 2018’s overall repudiation, but also for the Colorado GOP’s actions since 2018 which have proven they’ve learned nothing from their defeats. If not even Donald Trump can reel the fringe elements in control of the Colorado Republican Party in, the wheels have truly come off.


15 thoughts on “It’s Official: The Colorado GOP Is Totally Out Of Control

  1. It's amazing to me that Senator Gardner's head does not explode from the contradictions he embraces.  But, I want to look at President Trump's speech in more depth.  I'll note quickly and in passing his obvious hypocrisy and his confusion of Dayton with Toledo (one Breitbart defender argued that since he lives in Ohio and since he frequently makes this same mistake, then it's understandable to do so), he did stay on message (a shout-out to the handlers) and it's that message that interests me.  Two of the elements caught my particular attention.  First, he embraces the argument that if someone commits mass murder, then this is an indication that the individual is mentally ill (for, the assumption goes, no sane person would commit such an action).  This diagnoses, however, comes only after the fact; that is, one does not seem to be able to look at the list of mentally ill people (and note how all are implicitly grouped together) and predict in advance, just based on that information, which ones will commit mass murder.  Moreover, this line of reasoning ignores the obvious idea that those who commit mass murder are not mentally ill at all.  Likewise, it ignores the discussions of whether there is a common cause that triggers a particular mental illness and mass murder in which case the supposed mental illness might be part of the causal chain or screening the true cause from view.  What has been studied is the connection between violence against women and the commission of mass murder–not mention by President Trump–but what if this warning were taken seriously and those who commit violence against women have gun ownership restricted?  Another aspect of this–Kimmel noted it in his comparison of Timothy McVeigh and the 9/11 attackers is what we today might call "male toxicity":  the failure to live up to one's own and society's expectations (including with respect to income) and the placement of blame for one's "rightful social place" on "the other".  The overlap here with the Incel Movement and with White Supremacy is evident.  The second main point I want to look at is the connection between violent video games and mass murder.  Of course, this was a sort of "hand-job" the governor of Texas and has been refuted by studies, but what's ignored here is that what attracts some people to violent video games is also the cause of mass murder (rather than the games being the cause–and putting aside the kind of censorship that President Trump seemed to call for and also the fact that mass murders such as those in Tulsa involved no video games at all).  For some, and this is a hypothesis, the attraction to video games is not just the violence, but the element of control (which they may not have in life); too, the games seem to indicate a kind of social isolation and it might be this social isolation that is an indicator of a potential for violence.  The solution:  I wish I had one.  My suggestion is to study the individual side and determine key predictors and then to work with those; on the weapon side it would be to study the pattern of weapon distribution to those who use them to commit mass murder:  where are the guns coming from, what types of guns are being used (though, honestly, this might be less important than other elements), what would the effect of Red Flag laws be (I doubt that these could be national, rather than state-adopted), and a host of other elements that I'm sure others could mention.

      1. I lived in Indiana for the first 31 years of my life and NEVER confused Dayton with Toledo. Never confused Fort Wayne and Evansville either.

  2. Let’s find ways to stop the scourge of violence without harming people’s liberties.

    Ummmm, OK Corwardly, lemme’ guess . . .

    . . . 

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Demonizing immigrants, non-christians, and people of color?

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Climate change denial? Drill baby Drill?

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Giving away our public lands to private concerns?

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Openly embracing dictators, neo-fascists, oligarchs, and kleptocrats?

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    More emoluments, corporate welfare, and trade war tariffs?

    Tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Alienating our allies?  Abrogating international agreements?

    Or, maybe, tax cuts for the wealthy?

    1. Dudley Brown may not be "okay" with them … but he doesn't seem to think that the government can do anything about it.

      he's out beyond what the Supreme Court majority opinion in DC v. Heller written by Justice Scalia actually said.:

      Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

          We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

    1. Mitch took a tumble and so may not be putting on a coat and tie this week.  Thune, #2 in the Republican contingent, was able bodied and speaking where the the Sioux Falls Argus Leader could get a picture.

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