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January 29, 2020 10:13 AM UTC

Cory Gardner Can't Take The "Road To Redemption"

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Donald Trump, Cory Gardner.

The Denver Post’s editorial board has followed a long and winding road with Colorado’s junior U.S. Senator Cory Gardner: from their controversial endorsement of Gardner in 2014, through the agonizing and lengthy process of calling Gardner out in the countless instances in which Gardner broke promises and voted against most of the paper’s stated editorial values. Last March the Post rescinded their 2014 endorsement, saying “Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader.”

Yesterday evening, however, the Post in their long-suffering good faith threw Gardner one more lifeline:

The road to redemption is before Gardner now in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Will Colorado’s native son stand for what is right? Will he rise above the party machinery and the right-wing talk radio that are exerting maximum pressure on Republicans to not foil their best chance at maintaining power for another four years?

If ever there was a time for Gardner to forsake Trump loyalists and special interests, this is the moment. He should remember that his power actually flows from the voters of Colorado who elevated him to this high office. It wasn’t the conservative base who chose him to be a senator from Colorado, but the swing voters in the middle who tipped the scales in his favor against an incumbent Democrat. Gardner should listen to what those constituents are saying.

Trump has abused the power of his office and threatened our republic and our democracy from within. Any remaining shadow of a doubt that could have been cast in defense of Trump’s elaborate and months-long scheme has been washed away by former national security adviser John Bolton…

This editorial went to print just as the stories from the Wall Street Journal and shortly after the Washington Post broke Gardner’s meeting with fellow Republican Senators, in which Gardner was very frank about the political risk to Republicans of allowing the trial to be extended for any reason including additional witnesses. President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver the State of the Union address next Tuesday, and the thought of delivering that address under the cloud of ongoing impeachment is rightfully political nightmarish for the GOP.

The problem, of course, is that Gardner has relied on the evasion that he was carefully considering all the evidence in order to deliver an impartial verdict throughout the process–in contrast to so many other Republicans who have never made any pretense of impartiality. Gardner has been noncommittal to the point of headline-making absurdity when questioned by reporters about the impeachment process, but now we know despite Team Gardner’s attempts at ex post facto spin that he’s been in the tank for Trump the whole time.

Even without these latest news reports blowing the basis for the Post’s extension of the benefit of the doubt to Gardner one more time out of the water, we seriously doubt this editorial was written with any real expectation that Gardner would vote to convict the President. This is about setting the stage for Gardner’s ultimate day of reckoning, in which the Post exhorts a majority of Colorado voters to end Gardner’s political career.

On that day, the conscience of the Post’s editorial board will be at peace after many troubled years.

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