UPDATE: Jason Salzman weighs in with a similar conclusion.
Somebody help out Tim Alberta at National Journal, please:
Heritage Action, an influential group that works closely with the Republican Study Committee and its conservative members, wrote a letter Thursday to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., urging them not to bring two bills to the floor…
But the notion that House Republicans should steer clear of any potentially discordant votes did not sit well with some lawmakers.
“This is the House of Representatives,” said Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona, a conservative RSC member who said he normally supports Heritage Action’s efforts. “We need to step up and do our work.”
At the opposite end of the GOP’s ideological spectrum, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., a moderate who sometimes refers to himself as an independent, [Pols emphasis] scoffed at the suggestion…
Okay, obviously, full stop. We don't claim to know who Tim Alberta is, whether he's been a political reporter for decades, just graduated from college or what. We could find out, of course, but we frankly aren't going to bother. What we will do is say again, as succinctly as we can, that Rep. Mike Coffman is no "moderate"–and that this reporter is facilitating an underway wholesale reinvention that Coffman is trying desperately to pull off without too much scrutiny. Little aside references like this one slowly aggregate into a body of such references, and presto!
The guy who only last year told fellow Republicans that President Barack Obama "is not an American," who co-sponsored Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" bill, H.R.3 in 2011, who tried to restrict the delivery of bilingual ballots to U.S. citizens, who called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme," and who served as loony-right Rick Perry's campaign chair in Colorado is now a "moderate who sometimes refers to himself as an independent."
It's painfully obvious to everyone who knows the history here that Coffman's breakneck-speed reinvention from hard-right to "moderate" is happening to facilitate his continued survival in a district that is no longer overwhelmingly conservative, as his seat was prior to the 2010 redistricting cycle in Colorado–the extremist Rep. Tom Tancredo's former district, in fact. The only question is whether or not he will be allowed by the media to get away with it.