With the 2023 Colorado legislative session now in the books, there have been lots of stories in the media assessing what did or did not get accomplished. We posted our own “Winners and Losers” of the legislative session on Wednesday, which included analysis of the same Republican ineptitude that other news outlets have noted.
House Republicans ended the 2023 session with a ridiculous march out of the House Chambers — a pre-planned stunt that was apparently designed with the sole purpose of providing themselves a reason to talk about why they can’t play nice with Democrats. After a session filled with pointless filibusters and nonsense legislation, Republicans are very sensitive to the obvious conclusion that they accomplished absolutely nothing over the last five months.
Amidst all of the recent rain in Colorado, you might have missed that the Republican snowflakes continue to fall. Roger Hudson, a spokesperson for the House Republican caucus, is apparently so sensitive about the GOP’s childish antics that he was triggered by a social media post from Andy Kenney of Colorado Public Radio that had nothing to do with either political party:
Roger… I’m talking about dropping the giant rubber band balls….
— Andrew Kenney (@AndyKnny) May 9, 2023
This, Roger, is what psychologists call “projecting.”
Here’s more hand-wringing from Republican State Rep. Matt “Civil War” Soper, who decided to compare his experience in the legislature to domestic violence:
This is the same guy who was so proud of himself for walking out of the House Chambers that he posted a very sad “look at me” Tweet to take credit for the idea.
But here’s the thing: Republican legislators said over and over and over again that their sole goal in 2023 was to disrupt Democratic legislation by wasting as much time as possible. They are complaining about being silenced by Democrats when both parties know that Republicans weren’t actually trying to debate in good faith.
To Soper’s specific point, if you went back and added up all of the speaking time during the legislative session — particularly in the State House — you would unquestionably find that Republicans spoke at greater length than Democrats even though the latter holds a 46-19 majority. Seriously — it wouldn’t even be close.
The reason is simple: Democrats weren’t going to the microphone merely for the sake of talking. Democrats would make arguments and suggest legitimate amendments that they believed would improve whatever piece of legislation that was on the docket, and then they would sit down.
Republicans, on the other hand, did what they said they would do: Waste time. For example, State Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms spent 45 minutes in early April reading aloud definitions of Pharmacy Benefit Managers. It wasn’t uncommon for Republicans to even filibuster legislation that they ultimately supported by voting ‘YES.’
Colorado Republicans had plenty of time to speak throughout the 2023 legislative session. In fact, Democrats probably should have cut them off sooner on multiple occasions. The reason that Republicans are still whining about not being allowed to waste everyone’s time is because they have no strategy beyond being a pain in the ass. This is the only thing they know how to do…and Colorado voters have figured that out.
This is why Republicans have historic micro-minorities in the state legislature. Colorado Republicans are like the friend you stopped meeting for drinks because all she ever talked about was her grievances with neighbors and co-workers. Colorado voters saw that Republicans weren’t actually trying to accomplish anything, so they voted for Democrats. Republicans responded by doing the same nonsense, and then voters chose more Democrats. And so on, and so forth.
This perpetual victimhood routine isn’t doing anything for the GOP. How it is that Republicans still haven’t figured this out is a question we can’t answer.
republicans have the right to speak
And in the states where THEY have supermajorities, they expel their opponents, who also have the right to speak.
I wonder how they'd feel if Colorado Democrats expelled them?
Of course Republicans have the right to speak.
And the majority of the House or Senate have the right to invoke rules to limit the right to speech in the chamber.
Republicans can then go on speaking on podcasts, radio shows, and soap boxes in a nearby park.
Now, those points being clear, what good ideas did they offer to improve legislation? How did they attempt to position themselves to appeal to other members who had votes on the matters before them?
I didn't follow the legislature in great detail this year — but I don't recall a Republican proposal to do much of anything.
In terms that MANY Republicans may be familiar with, their positions could be seen this way: