Centrist Redemption: Megan Schrader Disowns Cory Gardner

Donald Trump and Cory Gardner in Colorado Springs, February 20, 2020.

On October 9th, the Denver Post’s editorial board issued an endorsement of John Hickenlooper in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race that acknowledged in part the errors made by the board six years before with their deeply controversial endorsement of Cory Gardner’s election to the U.S. Senate. Yesterday, the editor of the Post’s opinion section Megan Schrader added her personal view of Gardner’s betrayal of the Post’s confidence in a blistering must-read column under her own name–we can’t cut and paste the whole thing, of course, and you’ll need to read it all yourself, but here are some of the stronger excerpts:

Also in 2017, Gardner voted twice to repeal the Affordable Care Act, without any type of a replacement on the table, in the works or even lingering in the air. No matter how many times Gardner said “repeal and replace” on the campaign trail in 2015 — I covered the election, it was often — he can’t escape the fact that in six years he has never articulated a viable replacement…

There are many reasons Colorado Republicans support Gardner — he’s pro-life and will be a reliable “yes” vote on any restriction on abortion brought before Congress; he supported Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that drastically reduced taxes across the board; and he has helped put conservative judges into lifetime appointments.

But there isn’t a single good reason a moderate or independent Colorado voter should support a senator who has proven to be a great pretender at representing their interests but has betrayed them time and time again. [Pols emphasis]

The sense of personal betrayal is quite evident in this column, recounting how Gardner’s pretending “to care about protecting Coloradan’s access to health insurance” was undermined by Gardner’s record of voting for legislation that would have forced massive cuts to Medicaid, and repealed the Affordable Care Act entirely with no replacement in place. Gardner’s abandonment of stated principles and promises on climate, health care, and checking Donald Trump’s power in appropriating funds to build his border wall, argues Schrader, leaves “moderate” Coloradans unpersuaded by social wedge issues with nothing to support.

In 2014, Gardner narrowly prevailed in part by convincing self-described moderates, then as always a fashionable identity for Colorado’s political chattering class, that he was their candidate despite their lying eyes. In 2020, equivocating would-be “centrist” voters have been shoved off the fence by Trump’s depredations–and to whatever extent “the center” exists in our politics this year, John Hickenlooper occupies it.

And as moderates, Democrats, and every Republican who is contractually allowed to admit the truth before the election knows, Gardner’s own choices dug his hole.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Not every Republican supports restrictions on abortion and use of contraceptives.

    Real conservatives will trust Colorado families and women to make the best choices possible when considering their personal family situations. Real conservatives do not support interference by big government, or by big religion, into peoples’ bedrooms.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Thank you for explaining a principled "real conservative" viewpoint. 

      As another conservative pointed out to me, if the amount of effort put into laws and courts had been spent on building relationships with young women and supporting them, there would be far fewer abortions.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I'm old enough to remember in 1981 when Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor, and there was some question about her anti-abortion bona fides.

      The Reverend Jerry Falwell, father of the Keeper of the Pool Boy, criticized O'Connor to which the late Barry Goldwater said that Falwell needed a swift kick in the ass.

      And then the '90's, Barry came out in favor letting LGBTs serve openly in the military, penning an op ed entitled, "You Don't Need to Be Straight, to Shoot Straight."

      Consistent conservative:  out of my wallet and out of my bedroom.

    • ParkHill says:

      It is impossible to succeed in a Republican primary without being vociferously anti-abortion. Close behind is trumpism, racism, anti-science, pro O&G. The litmus test is very strong.

      On the other hand, what the heck is Conservative? If you take away the culture wars, and take away the Red Menace of Communism, I don't actually know what conservative means, unless it is a string of "antis":

      Anti Social Security?
      Anti OSHA?
      Anti EPA?
      Anti universal Health Insurance?
      Anti Solar Energy?
      Anti Hippie?

  2. gertie97 says:

    Just how did she fall for Cory's bullshit in the first place?

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    I cancelled my subscription six years ago when this happened. We lost a titan of Western values to a con man.  I’d like to say ‘better late than never’ but I won’t.  Those of us who were once-Republicans can thank the acquiescence of these editorial board whataboutisms for the implosion of the party of Lincoln. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Michael: I have a digital subscription to the Post. I’ve kept it primarily for the sports section. But with the near demise of pro sports this year, I wonder. As an aside, since I didn’t grow up here, I don’t care about high school sports.

      You’re making me think I should drop it next month; after the election; and look for something else, like the Colorado Sun. 

      NY Times is doubling the monthly digital rate for the newsletters I’ve been getting, so I’ve cancelled that effective at end of October.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I still take the digital and home subscriptions.  Any paper that regularly features George Bauchler is suspect but if you get rid of the Post than what's left?  I was a paper boy for the Rocky Mountain News and was loyal to it until it went out of business.  I do hate the Post for not covering rugby in the sports section.  It might not have the appeal of soccer but with it's continuous play and no commercials, it's a wonderful alternative to American football which is basically three hours of commercials with some sports in between.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Michael, I did too. It wasn’t just its editorial positions but it really started circling the drain after the Rocky Mountain News folded. Basically, we went from have two paper to none.

    • ParkHill says:

      I cancelled back when Singleton over-rode the editorial staff and insisted that they endorse George Bush.

      The paper always seemed to have editorial space for extremely conservative writers, but few voices from the left. 

  4. Duke Cox says:

    Cory Gardner is such a liar, _______________.                                                     (fill in the blank)

    I’ll start:

    Cory Gardner is such a liar, if he told me something I knew to be the truth…I would start to doubt it.


  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    The piece was kind of garbled.  The first paragraph was a headscratcher to me.  She also didn't highlight what an absolute fraud his 116 word bill perporting to  protect people with pre-existing conditions was.  She did point out his numerous attempts to gut the ACA but it was the height of hypocrisy to claim he had submitted a new and improved healthcare bill that was nothing more than a fig leaf to cover his cowardice on the matter.  I am so hoping Hickenlooper cleans his clock on election day.  Make sure he is so discredited that the best he can do in the future is run for CD 4 against Ken Buck.  What a putz.

    • itlduso says:

      Maybe Gardner will move to Aurora and split the vote with the newly Covid infected Mike Coffman.

      I get home delivery of both the Denver Post Mortem and The NY Times.  The DPM is almost exclusively running truncated versions of NY Times stories (plus a couple of AP stories). Just the other day I was pissed at how they removed a critical piece of a NY Times article for apparent “space reasons.”   Force of habit is probably the only reason I still subscribe to the DPM.

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