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was undermined by Gardner’s record of voting for legislation that would have forced massive cuts to Medicaid, and repealed the Affordable Care Act entirely with no replacement in place.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.