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December 30, 2020 02:14 PM UTC

Top Stories of 2020 #5: Tipton's Fall, "Q*Bert's" Rise

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the old saying goes, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” And the story of the ascension to Congress by the most unqualified and unabashedly fringe candidate perhaps in Colorado’s entire history began with the very much unexpected defeat of five-term incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in the 2020 CD-3 Republican primary by Rifle restaurant owner Lauren Boebert. Tipton’s decade in office was a model of back-bencher irrelevance, and when Boebert came on the scene with a swashbuckling low-information no-compromise MAGA red meat message with a jolt of youthful energy, the languorous and well-paid consultants running Tipton’s campaign failed to perceive the threat until it was too late.

Boebert’s turn toward politics had accelerated in September 2019, when she appeared at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in Aurora to heckle in response to O’Rourke’s call to ban assault weapons. A few months later, by-then candidate Boebert defied COVID-19 pandemic public health orders to keep her restaurant open–a frighteningly risky press stunt that in retrospect unfortunately did not hurt her political prospects. In interviews during the GOP primary with far-right conspiracy theorists that came back to haunt Boebert, she professed to be “very familiar” with the “QAnon” conspiracy theory and expressed “hope that this is real.”

Sneaking past Tipton’s somnolent re-election campaign to a ten-point primary victory, Boebert immediately found herself under national scrutiny as part of a contingent of Republican candidates in 2020 who openly supported or otherwise courted support from the “QAnon” movement. Boebert toed an uneven line of not-quite walking back her previous statements, much like now Rep.-elect and “Qaucus Queen” Marjorie Taylor Greene was forced to do in Greene’s much more safely Republican Georgia district. Like Greene, it was never really believable–particularly as Boebert continued to echo “QAnon” talking points to her growing social media following at every opportunity.

As Boebert campaigned in the summer and fall of 2020, it became clear she had no interest in venues which required any kind of rigorous examination of her qualifications or agenda. Boebert dodged debates, skipped meetings with editorial boards not considered fully in the Republican tank, and avoided any other event where she might be made to answer an unscripted question. The few forums in which she tried to participate went very, very badly, and resulted in a wave of editorial boards politely saying the same thing: “this person has absolutely no business in Congress.”

Tee hee hee extremism.

But just like Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, Boebert’s Republican-leaning district let everything slide: not a profound lack of qualifications, wacky conspiracy theories, or even having infected dozens of people with clostridium-tainted pork sliders at a hometown rodeo were enough to overcome the hard partisan divide in CD-3. Boebert’s Democratic opponent Diane Mitsch Bush’s staid virtual outreach fell short against Boebert’s willingness to masklessly press the flesh with a full field campaign in the middle of a pandemic. As in races across the country, Republican willingness to “campaign dangerously” certainly gave Boebert another edge in a race that was still substantially closer than Tipton’s victory in 2018.

Since the election, Rep.-elect Boebert has thrown herself fully into the dead-ender struggle by President Donald Trump to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. Though not totally unexpected, Boebert has made it troublingly clear that the democratic process responsible for her own election is not sacred, and she has no intention of trying to bridge the post-election divide between fact and fiction as a member of Congress. Boebert’s complete absence of experience or education that would give her the tools to be effective in her position mean that wild grandstands on political hot-buttons will likely define her term in office, at the expense of such sundry responsibilities as serving her constituents.

The 2022 election in CD-3 is subject to a host of as-yet undetermined variables, from redistricting changing the map of Boebert’s district to the resolution of the current political crisis–and what politics looks like after Trump’s deep shock to the system is finally resolved. What we can say is that when the dust settles on the political chaos both Donald Trump and Lauren Boebert owe their success to and thrive on, Boebert’s real test will begin. Whether it’s a Republican primary or a Democratic challenger, Boebert will most assuredly be a target if she won’t, or can’t, effectively represent the interests of voters of her district.

Which as of today looks as likely as it did before Boebert won.


29 thoughts on “Top Stories of 2020 #5: Tipton’s Fall, “Q*Bert’s” Rise

  1. #Peak2020

    QAnon Is Supposed to Be All About Protecting Kids. Its Primary Enabler Appears to Have Hosted Child Porn Domains.

    One dark irony of QAnon has always been that the conspiracy theory, which holds that President Trump is waging a war on a cabal of elite liberal pedophiles, rose to prominence on 8chan, an imageboard where users swapped childpornography.

    But that irony may have a darker, deeper layer: Mother Jones has uncovered that Jim Watkins, the owner of 8chan and its successor site, 8kun, controls a company that hosted scores of domains whose names suggest they are connected to child pornography.

    1. There was nothing wrong with DMB. She was and is an extremely qualified candidate. But she wasn’t willing to violate good public health practices by campaigning maskless and in person. Boebert obviously didn’t have that inhibition. And yes, DMB should have found a way to campaign more in Pueblo. 

      But Kerry Donovan would have had to make that same choice, and probably chosen public safety. 
      I think you’re implying that Dems have to run a young, good looking candidate against a young good looking candidate. We don’t know if that formula would have worked, either. Abel Tapia, Sal Pace, and others with strong Pueblo roots went up against Scott Tipton, and lost, although Tipton is neither young nor good-looking. 

      I think it has to do with CD3being a solid R district.

      1. One only has to go to Wikipedia and examine the list of people who have held the seat and look for similarities. Does it surprise anyone they are all men and almost without exception, white. And there are plenty of folks who think Salazar and Campell are honkies.

        Colorados’ 3rd Congessional district is still full of racist, misogynistic, xenophobes whose ideal candidate would be John Wayne. Calamity Jane is the first woman to hold the seat and she won the primary because so many republicans here have learned to hate Scott Tipton.

        The general election Boebert won because the Dems picked a college educated, experienced, elitist, female Demoncrat to run against her. 3rd CD republicans are that firm in their rejection of anyone intelligent and honorable to represent them, but a tall, white man would have had a better chance.

        John Salazar is a good man, but hardly a progressive icon. This district is still a long way from electing a liberal. DMB tried to deny being one, but she didn’t convince the boys down at Arvins.

      2. DMB ran a truly awful campaign, such that it could be detected at all. Bennet was making the rounds of the 3rd holding properly distanced and masked events in public parks. DMB didn't.

        Nor did her campaign put real money into small market radio. In a district like ours, people spend a lot of time in their cars/trucks and small market radio ads are dirt cheap.

        Her campaign flat-out refused to invest heavily in yard signs. Mesa County's small allotment was gobbled up fast and not replenished.

        TV got the campaign's spending largess, which involved buys in the expensive Denver market. The campaign's media consultant cashed in.

        The facebook money accomplished nothing.

        Yes, the 3rd is R country. But even in Mesa County, Trump's share of the vote dropped, albeit only 62 percent instead of the 65 percent he got in 2016.

        But now that Calamity Jane is ensconced, blasting her out will carry a degree of difficulty. It may take some creative redistricting for a Democrat to have a chance.

        1. I'm thinking the most likely outcome is she will bring about her own political demise. Her greed, laziness, and hubris will bring her down…with the help of John Barleycorn


            1. Seems to me I remember she had some run- ins with the law. I believe drunkenness was cited. It is not uncommon to find alcohol involved when human behavior goes off the rails.

              Perhaps she doesn't have a drinking problem…



              1. She’s a brat. Oppositional, undisciplined “You’re not the boss of me, I do what I want” kind of brat.

                Her actual criminal record  (summarized by Rural Colorado United) doesn’t show that many alcohol-related offenses. She was drinking with her friends when her future hubby Jayson exposed himself to some women at a bowling alley in 2004, and Lauren testified that Jayson didn’t do anything wrong.

                The rest of LB’s charges  are for careless driving, speeding, allowing dogs to run wild, not buckling kids up in the car, overextended debt on the house and restaurant, etc. They may or may not be related to a drinking problem.

                She also seems to have difficulty with stalkers- Joey Camp, who usually only harasses Democratic female candidates and journalists in Denver, apparently was worthy of several restraining orders from Boebert.

                I think that Pelosi could legitimately cite Lauren Boebert’s criminal record as a reason why she can’t carry (open or concealed) in the House.

                1. I was remembering her altercation at that bastion of sobriety, the Country Jam. Maybe she is sober as a judge, but she hangs with roughnecks.

                  Besides, if it gets legs, it might make for some fun questions down the line. This tactic is commonly used by Calamity Janes' party so I am not going to run headlong into a guilt trip about it.

                    1. If I were a gambling man, that is where my money would be. As unsophisticated as is our little gunslinger, she will screw it up all by herself.

  2. I think kw makes good points here.  The "formula" certainly goes far beyond objectives factors like actual issues.  Owning a bar (diner) that allows open carry should not qualify someone to run for Congress in my opinion.  But she is young and beautiful.   

      1. I thought it was:  Guns, Ttump, and freedumb to Covid? . . .

        . . . don’t remember much of god — maybe Ttump (is god)?   Or, Gawd!(I love my guns)?  Or, maybe, Gawd!(Got Some Covid, yet? Well then, how hot am I!?)?

  3. I've been encouraging her to resign ala Palin. I tell her ashe is going to hate her job, especially as a minority in the House. We could call her Half-Baked-Qbert. 


    1. Half-Cocked-Qbert?

      What an utter waste of a Congressional seat.

      1. The 83 Members and Member-Elects of Congress that signed Congresswoman-Elect Boebert’s letter include: (no surprises here)

        Ralph Abraham, M.D., Kelly Armstrong, Brian Babin, James R. Baird, Jim Banks, Cliff Bentz, Jack Bergman, Andy Biggs, Dan Bishop, Lauren Boebert, Mo Brooks, Ken Buck, Tedd Budd, Tim Burchett, Michael C. Burgess, M.D., Kat Cammack, Earl L. "Buddy" Carter, Madison Cawthorn, Ben Cline, Michael Cloud, Andrew S. Clyde, James Comer, Dan Crenshaw, Scott DesJarlais, Byron Donalds, Jeff Duncan, Neal Dunn, Pat Fallon, Randy Feenstra, Michelle Fischbach, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Bob Good, Lance Gooden, Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S., Marjorie Greene, Mark E. Green, M.D., H. Morgan Griffith, Andy Harris, M.D., Diana Harshbarger, Yvette Herrell, Jody Hice, Richard Hudson, Ronny Jackson, Bill Johnson, Dusty Johnson, Jim Jordan, Fred Keller, Steve King, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Robert E. Latta, Billy Long, Nancy Mace, Thomas Massie, Brian Mast, Lisa C. McClain, Mary Miller, Alex Mooney, Barry Moore, Markwayne Mullin, Gregory F. Murphy, M.D., Dan Newhouse, Ralph Norman, Jay Obernolte, Burgess Owens, August Pfluger, Scott Perry, Bill Posey, Guy Reschenthaler, Matt Rosendale, Chip Roy, John H. Rutherford, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Jason Smith, Victoria Spartz, W. Gregory Steube, Thomas P. Tiffany, Tim Walberg, Randy Weber, Don Young. 

        1. I wondered how many on that list had received large NRA contributions. Open secrets shows at least 12 ( I got lazy and stopped counting) . National Association for Gun Rights ( Dudley Brown’s national outfit) bought  at least another dozen legislators, with some overlap. That was just the 2019-2020 election cycle. 

          It’s fair to extrapolate that most on that list received gun money at some point.

          1. Well, in the most recent cycle, not very many got campaign money from the NRA. 

            I'm a bit surprised only 83 signed on.  126 signed on to the stupid law suit.  140 are rumored to be on board for voting to let a Vice President decide who should be President. Could this be evidence that considering all guns everywhere are OK has caused a split in the GOP?

  4. Hello all,

    I've been a reader of this site for a couple of years now; decided to take the plunge and register for an account. 

    Just wanted to make sure this works, and as someone who lives in CO-3, knows and voted for DMB, write that redistricting can't happen soon enough.

      1. Good morning Duke, and thank you.

        To answer your question I live in Steamboat Springs, a blue city and mostly blue county in a sea of red. Hopefully redistricting will change that.

        1. Sweet. I love Steamboat. I lived there for a couple of years in the eary nineties but I still have friends there. One of my besties runs the Glen Eden resort in Clark.

          It was one of my late mothers' favorite places.


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