Doug Lamborn Proves Again Why Safe Seats Suck

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

As the Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader reports, there will no debates this year between incumbent GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs and his Democratic opponent, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Irv Halter:

"The Congressman will not be providing Mr. Halter with a platform to spread his deceptive rhetoric and uncivil tone," campaign spokesman Jarred Rego wrote in an email to The Gazette. "People know where Congressman Lamborn stands on the issues. The only person in this race whose positions are unknown is Mr. Halter, who keeps masquerading as a moderate, all while disguising his liberal views."

Halter, a retired Air Force major general, said refusing to debate with him is part of a pattern Lamborn has shown since he was elected in 2006.

"There is huge frustration with his attendance record at meetings and his lack of accessibility," Halter said. "I get this more from Republicans than I do from Democrats. He has been a congressman for eight years, and they do not know him."

Every election season, opponents make what hay they can from the complexities, both temporal and political, of scheduling debates with one another. In the end, of course, they usually do debate at least once. But as you can see, Doug Lamborn doesn't need to hide behind scheduling excuses, he can just flatly tell the local paper that he's not going to debate his opponent because the guy is a big, bad, meanie liberal–and Doug Lamborn need not descend from his safe-seat ivory tower to even give Gen. Halter the time of day.

In a way, Lamborn's arrogant refusal to debate his Democratic opponent is a metaphor for his entire political career. The 5th Congressional District was Colorado's model safe Republican seat until the 2011 redistricting cycle made Rep. Cory Gardner's CD-4 an ultra-red bastion in its own right. Lamborn's principal competition for the seat has always been during Republican primaries, and Lamborn has faced heated primary challenges repeatedly since winning his seat in 2006. A reliable placeholder vote for the Republican majority and defense contractors, Lamborn has done almost nothing else to distinguish himself in office. His constituent services are by all accounts an afterthought compared to his predecessor Rep. Joel Hefley. And when Lamborn does make headlines, it's usually for something ridiculous he says like his Obama "tar baby" gaffe.

Given the right combination of circumstances, we can envision a Marilyn Musgrave-style pickoff of Lamborn, based solely on Lamborn's ineptitude, in any given election. His replacement might not last in office longer than Musgrave's successor did, but in terms of personal skill as a candidate and politician, Lamborn is a joke–propped up artificially by his safe Republican seat.

In a perfect world, incompetence should always be a vulnerability.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    How many debates is Polis doing?

    I agree with you about safe seats but the establishment of both parties like it that way, so that is what you get.

    • OrangeFree says:

      I'm sure Polis would be much more inclined to debate if Leing actually wanted to debate in the district he's running to represent on issues that are important to that district. 

    • Canines says:

      Quite different language out of Polis in comparison with Lamborn:

      “I expect that there will be several debates with both of us, but I don’t anticipate that any of the debates that we agree on will be out of district in Grand Junction,” Polis, a Boulder Democrat, said in an e-mail to The Denver Post Tuesday night.


      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I seriously doubt it.  Lamborn doesn't appear to have sufficient motivation or ambition to do anything . . . anything.  He's the kind of guy that would sit in front of the television and watch the same damn station all day and all night long, once the batteries on his remote peter out . . .

      • Duke Cox says:

        Quite different courage in comparison with with Lamborn, as well.

        "The Congressman will not be providing Mr. Halter with a platform to spread his deceptive rhetoric and uncivil tone".

        I read this to mean" I am an idiot who can't think my way out of a paper bag and I know the general will tear me apart in a debate"….

      • Duke Cox says:

        Leing was after that friendly audience….though he would have been disappointed in the crowd that gathered on Sat. night. A lot of Dems…. the local party is working hard…

        Maybe just wishful thinking, but could this finally be the year all the progressives come out of their closets and turn Mesa County purple? being entirely too much to ask.

  2. MooMooMoo0 says:

    This guy seems to be the kind of congressman that will eventually get caught doing something and if its an R year will silently be replaced by someone just like him and if it is a D year, there will be a very close race between him and a Democrat or someone just like him and a Democrat. If he runs, the race will be decided by a handful of votes and if the Democrat wins, he will either be dragged into a scandal by the Conservative media…or not. Either way,  he will simply be a placeholder until "Someone Just Like Him" comes along in the next election. If he doesn't run, someone just like him will win by about 54% instead of 64% of the vote. 

  3. The realist says:

    In a perfect world, incompetence should always be a vulnerability.

    Thanks for the reminder of what an imperfect world we live/vote in. Would be an interesting exercise to list here the incompetent R's who serve in office, mostly without threat to their incumbency. Sure, there are occasional incompetent D's but that short list is no competition for what the R's have accomplished.




  4. DawnPatrol says:

    This useless, mindless GOTP empty sack is a classic example of what my dad calls "handles on a toilet."

  5. FrankUnderwood says:

    Remember the old days back in 2006 when "Lamborn Has God-Like Qualities" used to post on here?

  6. ElliotFladen says:

    If you dislike safe seats, I hope you will oppose gerrymandering after the 2020 elections. 

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