♦ Soliciting foreign governments to interfere in our elections:
♦ Comparing impeachment investigations to a “lynching“:
♦ Proposing to build a wall around Colorado:
♦ Taking money from Colorado military projects for border wall funding:
♦ Using the White House for personal financial gain:
♦ Pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, all but handing the region to Russia:
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has plenty of reasons to bail on his support of President Trump. The list grows longer every week. Yet Gardner remains unflinchingly loyal to a President who would toss him under the bus without a second thought should it benefit him in even the smallest of ways.
How much more Trump can Gardner swallow without finally heaving? On Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cillizza pondered this question for Republicans in general:
It’s worth remembering that fact at this moment as congressional Republicans find themselves confronted with a cavalcade of troubling news stories about President Donald Trump and his conduct in office. Because while elected GOP officials have almost totally capitulated to Trump’s hostile takeover of their party, there is always a point at which you simply cannot look even quasi-objectively at the actions of this president and conclude that standing behind him remains the right (or even defensible) thing to do…
…The vast majority of congressional Republicans continue to stand behind Trump — due in no small part to their fear that stepping out on a limb to say he needs to go (or even that the impeachment inquiry is the right thing to do) will lead to the President singling them out and ending their political careers.
Remember, however: Everyone — everyone — has a breaking point. And it’s hard to see how at least some congressional Republicans aren’t very near theirs after this week.
Cillizza is correct in saying that everyone has a breaking point, but what about Gardner? We’ve pondered this question on several occasions, half-joking that President Trump might not even lose Gardner’s support if he gave the order to bomb the Senator’s hometown of Yuma, Colorado. Gardner is now approaching his personal Maginot Line, closing in on a meaningless vote of support for Trump that he won’t ever be able to take back.
Of course, Gardner isn’t the only Colorado Republican to have cast his lot with Trump. Congressmen Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) are co-chairs of Trump’s re-election campaign in Colorado. State Republican Party Chairman/Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has been a reliable Trumpian who supported House Republicans storming the gates of a secure hearing room in protest of impeachment investigations.
But Tipton, Lamborn, and Buck all represent fairly conservative districts in which blind support for Trump is politically more beneficial than harmful. By any statewide measure, this is not equally true for Gardner, and even conservative Colorado voices agree:
Look, @SenCoryGardner, obviously you can’t make the Trump base happy. They’re crazy. Your only shot is to appeal to independents and sane Republicans by taking an early lead in calling for Trump’s removal. https://t.co/LJa1hQI0cy
— Ari Armstrong (@ariarmstrong) October 24, 2019
This sort of advice made a lot of sense a long time ago, but it’s too late for Gardner to change course now; he’s cast too many terrible votes and shamelessly defended Trump too often to suddenly pretend to have gained a conscience. Gardner has shown, repeatedly, that he is willing to commit political suicide in order to remain in good standing with Trump. The only way out for Gardner is to hope beyond hope that Trump is somehow vindicated in the next 12 months and can limp his way to re-election in 2020. Any Trump turnaround probably won’t be enough to get Gardner re-elected as well, but Colorado’s Senator would undoubtedly try to cash in on his Trump loyalty with some sort of cabinet-level position.
Gardner has had numerous chances to take a meaningful stand in opposition to Trump. He has let each of them pass without challenge. There’s no reason to believe this going to change now.