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July 08, 2021 9:39 am MST

The Big Lie, Ken Buck Style

  • by: Colorado Pols
President Donald Trump, Rep. Ken Buck.

Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck has been in a real predicament over the past few months. As a Republican who conceded that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election relatively quickly, and by that we still mean taking over a month, Buck has emerged as a major problem for adherents of what’s become known as the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Buck, in his former position as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, organized an event last December with Republican county clerks to explain to the party faithful that even though Colorado uses Dominion Voting Systems hardware and sends “unsolicited” mail ballots to all active voters, our elections are secure and accurate.

Because debunking the Big Lie here in Colorado effectively debunks it everywhere else, this has had the effect of making Buck considerably less popular with his fellow Republicans–a problem that only got worse after Buck publicly defended Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming while Cheney was being excommunicated for her own refusal to back the Big Lie. This was originally taking place amid speculation that Buck might retire from Congress, but in April Buck announced that he would run again for re-election in 2022.

Which leads to the next logical question: how does Ken Buck intend to stave off a pro-Trump primary challenge? Today, courtesy Lauren Windsor of the Undercurrent, we got the answer:

As you can see in the clip above, Ken Buck now says the 2020 election was “stolen”–not by rigging the actual votes, but because Google supposedly changed their search algorithms to “disadvantage” Donald Trump and advantage Joe Biden. Buck asserts that fully 15 million votes for Trump were “moved” to Biden due to this action by Google, though probably not members of his audience since they “Google in a more sophisticated way.” Under questioning Buck admits that the 15 million number is speculative, but he insists that the downranking of conservative media outlets in search results was all by itself enough to flip the 2020 elections. And since Americans are “so upset with boys playing girl sports, Critical Race Theory, and all the other things that are going on,” Buck says, Republicans will win back the House in 2022 and immediately hold hearings to prevent “the algorithms” from happening again in 2024.

And with that, yes, Buck probably avoids a MAGA primary. Democrats who found themselves in the odd position of praising Ken Buck for his honesty immediately after the election can stop now, because Buck has given the faithful a replacement conspiracy theory for the thoroughly debunked Big Lie that can truly live on forever. This was never about trust-busting for Buck, but an ideological quest to force internet companies to abandon their high-profile struggle against the spread of dangerous misinformation–which (there’s no nice way to say this) fully explains any downranking of right-wing “news” sites in search results by Google.

In the end, Buck came crawling back to Trump–like the whole Republican Party has.


19 thoughts on “The Big Lie, Ken Buck Style

  1. So damn clever, those Googlers …

    Google supposedly changed their search algorithms to “disadvantage” Donald Trump and advantage Joe Biden. Buck asserts that fully 15 million votes for Trump were “moved” to Biden due to this action by Google, though probably not members of his audience since they “Google in a more sophisticated way.” Under questioning Buck admits that the 15 million number is speculative, but he insists that the downranking of conservative media outlets in search results was all by itself enough to flip the 2020 elections.

    Powerful enough to flip a Presidential election … but not bothering to do anything about Senate and House races?  Smart enough to segment so the votes show up geographically just about EXACTLY in what is needed for the last 3 states to go to Biden by 45,000 votes?  Able to influence a large segment who had never voted before? 

    1. Do you reckon if we could have googled “Donnie diddles a porn star and pays her $130,000 hush money” one week before the 2016 election that it might have shifted the outcome? 

  2. Ken Buck agrees with Democrats that the election was clean – he's wonderful, he's thoughtful, he's honest.

    Ken Buck disagrees with Democrats on something – he's evil, he's lying, he's …

    Look, first off Ken Buck is a Republican and that means he will disagree with us Democrats on a myriad of issues. And it means he will take a different view of issues.

    The search algorithms (Google, YouTube, etc.) have an incredible impact. When they turn toward liberal results we Dems celebrate that they are avoiding hate. But Repubs legitimately see it as providing liberal as opposed to conservative answers.

    How big an impact doe this have? It's gigantic. It's subtle and hard to measure and because of that most people don't see how pervasive and powerful it is. But those that have had a family member sucked down the rabbit hole see it.

    I think his estimate on the number of votes swayed is high. But that's my opinion and it's possible he's right and I'm wrong. And while I'd like to see search results move people to a more open and tolerant viewpoint, that does not mean that we should use the power of the Internet to make everyone agree with me – that would also be wrong.

    It's a giant problem. I think Ken Buck is trying hard to get an understanding of it and to figure out what to do. I'll disagree with him, probably quite a bit on what we want changed in it. But I am thrilled that he's working to figure this out.

    And if in the process he inflates an estimated number a bit to his advantage – name me a politician who has not done that.

    1. As courts have said:

      “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so." It added: “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."

      I don't consider Buck as a hero or a goat on the issue.  He grudgingly provided a forum to allow county clerks to affirm the election in Colorado was fair.  He has not been at the forefront of the "Stop the Steal" movement.  He's free to express an opinion of how the outcome was created.  But the audience, the general public, ought to expect a trained and experienced attorney AND long-time successful politician to speak some version of the truth.  Buck is on the House Judiciary Committee and is a Ranking member of a Subcommittee which could be interested in conduct of elections.  If there is evidence, he should show it.

      His claim of perhaps 15 million votes swayed would be about 9.4% of all votes cast — that is a heck of a hyperbole, an inflation beyond even the musings of the former *resident.

      How would such an impact be generated? 

       * Not from the ordinary function of Google, which is to serve up more of whatever you have clicked on before.

       * Not from the ordinary advertising of Google, which highlights sites willing to pay for visibility. Nothing I've seen said Biden's campaign spent more than Trump's "deathstar" of influence.  And advertising on the web, even if it is perverse in influence, is part of the usual conduct of a campaign, just like previous campaigns spending on TV, radio, print, billboards, yard signs.

       * so we are left with "the algorithms" created by "them" to demonstrate such power. 

           1.  what's the motive?  why would Google prefer Biden (and his probable activist appointees looking into anti-trust and net neutrality) over Trump (and his flailing about, complaining of "shadow-bans" and the like)?  Why would such a process ONLY impact the Presidential race and leave a 48-50 Senate?

          2. what's the mechanism?  Poli sci professionals say something like 95% of voters have strong partisan leans, with 3-5% being "persuadable." So, is Google bumping up participation of those who favor Democrats?  bumping down participation of those leaning Republican?  or persuading those elusive 3-5% (and more)

          3. how would it work?  I'm certainly not an expert, but I expect such a manipulation would need cooperation of more than a few hands-on participants and be visible to many more.  And somehow, Google is able to make all of those people willing to be silent as they manipulate an election?  None of them would have patriotic or partisan misgivings?  None are a fan of Trump?  None of them would be tempted by a fortune to be made by going public in interviews, speeches, and selling a book?

    2. David, when you say ” Ken Buck is trying hard to get an understanding of it and figure out what to do.” you are assuming he is making a good faith investigation of bias in search algorithms, when it’s pretty clear he is using this issue for cover to support the big lie. Based on Rep. Bucks past behavior I am pretty much sure that this is all it is.

    3. Sorry, David. Ken Buck is an unprincipled chameleon of a politician. He covered up for Bush in Iran-Contra when he was Cheney’s protege, and he’s covering up for Trump now. The one positive thing I can say is that he is still loyal to Cheney, voting to keep LizCheney in leadership. He loves Big Tech when it’s on his side, demonizes it when it isn’t. He ruined countless lives and businesses with his anti-immigrant manhunts in Greeley when he was DA. He let rapists walk free and called it God’s Will. He’s a climate change denier . He claimed that ISIS was taking over Julesberg.

      Buck has one of the worst attendance and voting records in Congress- at one point, ( when he was juggling being COGOP chair) he missed 28% of votes. When he doesn’t want to be on the record, he just doesn’t show up.

      None of this translates to any reason to excuse his demagoguery, or to keep him around for another cycle.

      1. "He let rapists walk free and called it God’s Will."

        Didn't he also label one rape case he dismissed a case of buyer's remorse?

        1. Yup. Also that being gay is a lifestyle choice, and maybe a disease. And he denied domestic abuse victim’s U visas, sending them back to danger and possible death. (the Greeley Tribune stories about Buck’s blocking the U visas are behind an adblocker paywall).

      2. Since you're not likely to get to your nirvana and see a progressive elected in the 4th, would you rather have Ken Buck or Jerry Sonnenberg?

        1. I’d rather have Ike McCorkle, a decorated disabled Marine, who is also progressive.

          CD4 has gotten bluer with each Election. Karen McCormick got ~ 40%. When I canvassed in CD4, I talked with many young Latinos and naturalized refugees who onlyneeded to register to vote. 
          With redistricting, the district will likely become more, not less, competitive.

          The demographics are not on Bucko’s side. 


      Center for Local Democracy and Accountability, Nov 17, 2021

      Ken Buck, waving a flag or two, exudes a deep fake patriotism with each Facebook post, newsletter and episode of his podcast, Shootin' Straight with Ken Buck". 

      He wants us to believe he can rip open shirt buttons to reveal a manly chest.  In fact, we're seeing the Cowardly Lion in action. Perhaps Buck’s only recent show of courage came when he stood next to Lauren Boebert, armed with an assault rifle, during a photo shoot.

      Describing Ken Buck is simple…he's just another old white male face in the crowd of Congressional right-wingers working diligently, and unilaterally, to redefine American democracy.  Hell of a legacy.

      Recently, in an interview with the Podcast, "Sway", Buck boasted he stepped out against Donald Trump's Big Lie. 

      In fact, Buck's voting record shows he hasn't even been a minor leaguer vs the Big Lie. Despite his rare shows of commonsense, he just can't muster the fortitude to hold his fellow Trumpists accountable. 

      To set the record straight, here's Bucks "almost perfect against democracy" record…while supporting the Big Lie.

      • Buck voted against censuring Rep. Paul Gosar. Today, the US House of Representatives censured Trump madman Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ. Gosar posted a photoshopped anime video to social media showing him killing Democratic Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden. 
      • Buck voted against holding Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. On October 21, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a criminal contempt report against Steve Bannon, for defying a subpoena from a House panel probing the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 
      • Buck voted "no" to the bipartisan commission proposal to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection. 
      • Buck sponsored House Resolution 1256 supporting President Trump's efforts to ensure that every legal vote is counted in the November 2020 Presidential election and to investigate and bring to justice those who perpetrate election fraud.
      • Buck did not vote on House Vote 11 – Rejects Objection to Pennsylvania Electors. While Buck dodged this critical vote, his fellow CO GOP House members Boebert and Lamborn joined 136 other Republicans to reject Pennsylvania's certified submission. By not voting, Buck didn't commit to the rule of law, or shorting The Big Lie.
      • Buck signed onto the failed Texas amicus brief, a most brazen attempt to overturn results of the 2020 presidential election that sought to delay certification of the vote in four battleground states that Biden won. 
      • Buck twice voted against impeachment or conviction of Donald Trump, for inciting an insurrection and the Ukrainian conspiracy.
      • Buck has not said Americans could trust 2020 election results. Buck professed to trust only Colorado’s election. He wrote, “I share the concerns of many voters across the country about irregularities in the presidential election.” 

      Quentin Young, Editor, Colorado Newsline (May 14, 2021) had this to say about the Cowardly Lion: "But that’s not quite a statement of trust in the election. Even if it were, it does not erase his previous participation in election-denial. Buck is to blame for dangerous, unforgivable behavior that contributed to the false belief among millions of Americans that the election was illegitimate and helped fuel the sinister political forces that are cutting down anyone, like Cheney, who dares to speak the truth. Coloradans must never forget Buck’s role in this dark chapter of American history.

      The really somber aspect of redistricting is the reddening of CD-4.  We're "stuck in the saddle again", and again, and again with Ken Buck.


  3. I agree that a 15 million vote swing is highly unlikely. However, Trump’s loss can be at least partly attributed to “worthless scum.” That was Trump’s reference to Never-Trump Republicans.

    One can only speculate. However, I firmly believe that entities like The Bulwark dot com, The Lincoln Project, Republicans for the Rule of Law, Republican Voters Against Trump. et al, with their continuing ad campaigns, played a role in the three states that Trump lost by a total of about 45,000 votes (AZ, GA, WI). That could be particularly true in WI where Bulwark co-founder Charlie Sykes had been a highly respected conservative commentator in Milwaukee.

        1. Didn't know that ! Miller is my kind of sane Republican.

          in the David Brooks, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Adam Kinzinger kind of way. 

          I feel better now.  Look for the good in people !  

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