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September 19, 2023 10:40 AM UTC

Pick a Lane, Ken Buck

  • by: Colorado Pols

Congressman Ken Buck is definitely a Republican. Beyond that, it’s impossible to tell what Buck believes about anything at any given time. Few politicians twist themselves into pretzel shapes as often as the five-term representative from congressional district four, which is how he earned the term “Buckpedaling” (HERE, HERE, and HERE for just a few examples).

As we noted last week, Buck has again been all over the road on the issue of (attempting) to impeach President Biden for crimes that Republicans have yet to figure out. Buck spent most of the August recess appearing as a guest on every national news outlet that would take his calls, where he regularly discussed his belief that it was a terrible idea for Republicans to be trying to impeach Biden when a) Republicans haven’t found any proof of anything despite more than three years of looking, and b) There are much more pressing issues facing Congress (like a looming government shutdown).

True to his namesake phrase, he Buckpedaled as soon as he returned to Washington D.C., telling POLITICO that he was totally on board with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to instruct House Republicans to more forward with their Biden impeachment investigations.

[mantra-pullquote align=”center” textalign=”left” width=”95%”]“I think it’s a good move. We have to focus on spending, we have to make sure the government doesn’t shut down. We have to get our job done. And I think taking this off the table and not having a distraction is a good move.”

— Rep. Ken Buck on impeachment investigations into President Biden (Sept. 12, 2023)[/mantra-pullquote]


That same day, Buck showed up for an interview on MSNBC, in which he explained to Andrea Mitchell that he had changed his mind but maybe hadn’t changed his mind:

MITCHELL: You have said as recently — to my colleague, Jen Psaki — I think on Sunday, that you did not think this was a good idea, that you did not think it was warranted. What do you think today?

BUCK: What I wanted to do was look at the evidence. I said I’ll go where the evidence takes me. And I still want to look at the evidence. I’m going to get a briefing later in the week on what evidence links [Joe Biden] to Hunter Biden’s activities. I haven’t seen that link yet, and so I’m reluctant to agree with Speaker McCarthy.


Buck had been saying for weeks that there was no evidence pointing to a potential crime involving Joe Biden, and here he was telling MSNBC that he was reluctant to agree with Speaker McCarthy…even though he had already done just that.

Remember, this was on Sept. 12. Three days later, The Washington Post published an OpEd from Buck that unequivocally denounced Republicans for even considering an impeachment investigation into President Biden:

[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”60%”]“Trump’s impeachment in 2019 was a disgrace to the Constitution and a disservice to Americans. The GOP’s reprise in 2023 is no better.”

— Rep. Ken Buck on impeachment investigations into President Biden (Sept. 15, 2023)[/mantra-pullquote]

The House is back in session, and Americans are getting an up-close look at Washington’s dysfunction. We are barreling toward a government shutdown without making progress on cutting our out-of-control spending. Yet Republican leadership has decided to divert attention to an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. [Pols emphasis]

The GOP’s charge against Biden is that he personally benefited from his son’s deplorable business exploits around the globe. Without doubt, Hunter Biden’s shady business deals undermined America’s image and our anti-corruption goals, and his conduct was thoroughly reprehensible. What’s missing, despite years of investigation, is the smoking gun that connects Joe Biden to his ne’er-do-well son’s corruption…

Republicans in the House who are itching for an impeachment are relying on an imagined history. [Pols emphasis] Their inquiry, formally announced by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday, rests heavily on a fictitious version of [former Ukranian prosector Viktor] Shokin’s career, with the alleged investigation of Burisma at the center. It’s a neat story, and one that performs well in certain media circles. But impeachment is a serious matter and should have a foundation of rock-solid facts.

And what does Buck think this week? Apparently he’s still in the “impeachment is bad” lane:

State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron)

This is beyond ridiculous, but it’s what Buck has been doing in Congress for years.

Colorado Republicans may finally be growing tired of the Buckpedaling. In 2022, remember, Buck nearly failed to make the ballot at the CO-04 Republican Congressional Assembly, losing topline on the Primary Ballot to somebody named Bob Lewis. Buck went on to easily defeat Lewis in June and then cruised to re-election in November, but 2024 might be a different story.

Appearing on George Brauchler’s radio show on KNUS on Monday, State Republican Party Chair Dave Williams said that he expects Buck to have a Primary opponent in 2024 and hinted that State Rep. Richard Holtorf will likely take a shot.

This would be a fascinating Primary battle. You could say that Holtorf is “all hat, no cattle,” while Buck is more along the lines of “no hat, all cattle.” The candidate debates would certainly be entertaining; how do you argue with someone like Buck who literally has multiple public positions on every issue?


6 thoughts on “Pick a Lane, Ken Buck

  1. I'm guessing Buck wants to be ambiguous enough to be visible. 

    Putting a favorable spin on his remarks, he wants

      * a budget cut [like always]

      * a functioning government, so no shutdown. Bowing to reality, that means a continuing resolution.  Ideally, that continuing resolution will implement Republican priorities on "inflation, high interest rates, urban crime, and our open border."  No one has really pushed him for specifics of what the House could do on ANY of those four, but he's got the words in to help him with a campaign.

      * if promising an impeachment inquiry will pacify the House Crazies and get them on-board with the rest of the Republican Conference to make government continue, Buck is okay with that trade-off. 

      * But he wants to see the evidence before there is a vote — and if media interviewers push a bit, he'll admit he has seen no evidence. [and somehow, he doesn't think there was evidence for the Trump impeachment].

    1. Buck has voted against almost every appropriations or spending bill, as you can see by perusing his voting record here or here.

      When he has had a chance to vote on a continuing resolution, he has voted no, shutdown or not. He also voted for the resolution to impeach Biden, so more Buck double talk.

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