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October 10, 2013 08:16 AM UTC

Surprise! Mike Coffman's Promise Worthless 24 Hours Later

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: So, um, yes folks, we are talking about the same Denver Post that published this editorial today:

It's not easy in this era of hyperpartisanship in Washington, D.C., for federal lawmakers to reverse course on divisive issues.

But Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, did just that when he said Tuesday he supports a "clean" spending bill to end the political standoff and reopen government.

We assume a new editorial is forthcoming. Then again, maybe they didn't read down to paragraph 19.



Two days ago, local media was full of stories about GOP Rep. Mike Coffman's "change of heart" on the ongoing government shutdown, following the publication of an op-ed where Coffman vowed to support a "clean" continuing resolution to immediately fund and reopen the federal government. This marked a major shift in position for Colorado's (and maybe America's) most vulnerable member of Congress, who voted with his colleagues to shut down the government, and subsequently defended their action as part of "a negotiation." Polls showing Republicans inflicting massive damage on themselves with each day the government shutdown goes on plainly rattled Coffman, prompting his widely-reported "break" with GOP leadership.

Except today, as the Denver Post's Allison Sherry reports, we learn that Coffman was not being honest. Again.

Rep. Mike Coffman told The Denver Post earlier this week he would support a measure funding the federal government that is not tied to dismantling Obamacare — a change in position from last week.

Coffman said Wednesday, however, he would not sign onto a special petition being pushed by Democrats that would force a floor vote on a "clean" continuing resolution.

This procedure is extremely rare — it hasn't happened since 2002 — and would mean that Coffman would have to buck his own GOP leadership to force the vote.

Coffman said Congress failing to raise the debt ceiling is a "greater threat" than funding the federal government, but he believes the two need to be included in one proposal. [Pols emphasis]

To recap, not only is Rep. Coffman refusing to sign on to the most straightforward plan to accomplish his stated goal of a "clean" continuing resolution, he just announced that he doesn't support a "clean" resolution at all–he now wants some other kind of resolution, linked to the upcoming expiration of the debt limit. The President and Senate Democrats have held firm, saying that Republicans must not hold either of these routine fiduciary duties hostage–and the polls incontrovertibly say the public sides with Democrats on this issue.

Reading their Denver Post yesterday, residents of Coffman's district learned on the front page that he was willing to reopen the government without precondition. Today, in the nineteenth paragraph of a story about another member of Congress that's not on the front page, we discover Coffman was not telling the truth–much like when he paid lip service supporting undocumented students right before voting against them. An earlier version of this story actually noted in the headline that Coffman was ditching his day-old pledge to support a "clean" resolution; for whatever reason, the final story's headline does not.

On the one hand, you might say Coffman is becoming a master of saying one thing while doing another–and we suppose that is one way to respond when redistricting suddenly changes your safe seat into a diverse and competitive battleground. But we don't think he is showing mastery of anything. To us, Coffman looks terrified of his own shadow, hopelessly caught between his constituents' essential interests and the reactionary partisan politics he has always been beholden to. Coffman is a walking recipe for political disaster, awaiting only a strong Democratic challenger to put a swift end to his career in Congress. And he just proved exactly why we say so.

At some point, the press will stop burying the lede.


21 thoughts on “Surprise! Mike Coffman’s Promise Worthless 24 Hours Later

  1. Maybe they changed the headline and buried this bit of info in the 19th paragraph hoping nobody, especially not his new constituents, would notice it in light of the short editorial they also ran today praising Coffman for his leadership in urging fellow Republicans to pass a clean CR. Awkward. And some "leadership".

  2. This will certainly annoy some of Coffman's supporters.  But voting for the annoying guy anyway is just how they roll.


    He's annoying on immigration, annoying on the budget, annoying on the problems at the Denver VA med center consturcion,  annoying, annoying annoying.  

    1. Chuck Plunkett is turning the Post into the Fox News rightie mouthpiece of Colorado politics. And he's doing it while the righties call them a liberal rag. I think they all get toegther and laugh their asses off.

      1. Well, that might make it something a little bit more than the Sunday sales-flyer that it is today . . . but, I really don't think that'll be enough unless more righties both learn to read and abandon their talk-radio done.  

        I for one don't now, and won't in the future, miss it — let the GOPers have it along with their Edison wax cylinders, their buggy whips, and their three-corner hats.  I kinda prefer my two paragraphs of weekly news without the several interrupting pages of Jake Jabs' flea markets and bazaars.

  3. He got his name in the paper as a 'moderate' so it's a big win for him unless he has to take an 'unmoderate' vote later.  It will be interesting to see how this phony gambit at 'moderateness' plays out

  4. Hard to picture Coffman as a Marine.  Politically, he's the wussiest coward in Colorado.  Here in CD6, I know that we Dems are going to do everything we can to see to it that the any Dem over Coffman poll numbers hold up through the 2014 poll, the one that really counts.

    1. I know. This is not a person you want making judgement calls that will determine life or death.

      However, he never was in that position. My understanding is he was in the Green Zone doing Section 8's.

  5. Ah rats, I was wrong.  I thought he'd backtrack on Tues and it took a day or two longer.  Sadly, I gave him too much credit.  The man needs to be unelected.

  6. Events are moving very fast in Washington, and Coffman may simply not have had the latest plan to deal with the debt ceiling first. But it doesn't matter to the authors of this blog, since Coffman is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't no matter what he does.

    1. Agreed – Coffman can't be trusted to think for himself; he hasn't the capabiltiy, he's at the mercy of ever-shifting the GOP party whirlwinds.  That's exactly what this diary is pointing out, right?

  7. Coffman's hoping to catch the "let's get major budget concessions from Obama in exchange for 6 weeks delay of the default" Tea Party fantasy train.

    Once you get the victim to start paying ransom, you certainly don't want the money train to stop.

  8. The issue of voting for the discharge petition is different than announcing that he would vote for a "clean" CR.  Voting for the  discharge petition would be a direct challenge to  the Speaker.  Voting for a "clean" CR, if Boehner would allow it to be put to a vote, would not challenge the Speaker.

    See, Coffman will vote for a "clean" CR as long there is no vote on "clean" CR.

    1. I was going to say the same thing.  It's a bit too much to expect very many Republicans to sign on to a discharge petition.  And it's a bit disingenuous to call it a reversal when Coffman says he will vote for the CR, but won't sign a discharge petition to bring it to the floor.

      At the same time, it brings attention to a different issue: what matters more than how a politician plans to vote on any given issue is how they plan to vote on leadership positions and procedural questions, where party loyalty is very strongly expected.  It doesn't matter much what Coffman plans to vote for if the bills the tea party like just never come up for a vote.

      1. What's disingenuous is Coffman saying he would support a clean CR, then saying he won't because he wants the CR "included" with a deal on the debt limit. That's not a clean CR at all. Coffman did reverse himself; that's the point.

  9. So the Terrorist Tea Party blinked for 6 weeks..I'm not sure that will help the disabled vets that won't get paid on November 1st.I thought the military left no one behind. It's sad that soldiers like Rep.Mike Coffman favor leaving all the wounded behind.when they don't get paid and get evicted. Cut and run Coffman hides his votes behind his blatant lies.

  10. The Post and other media just never learn about Coffman. He will say just about anything that is convenient at the time. Ignore all that and focus only upon what he actually does. I'll believe he supports a "clean" bill when he votes for a "clean" bill.

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