“Dr. Chaps” Shocks and Awes America

The election last week by a nearly 70% margin of Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt to the Colorado General Assembly is emerging as one of the more interesting stories coming out of the 2014 elections in our state–and not in a good way. Rep.-elect Klingenschmitt's unique brand of Youtube preachification, ranging from exorcising President Barack Obama's "demonic spirit" to claiming that Rep. Jared Polis was about to "join ISIS in beheading Christians," has already been widely publicized as fair warning of what he would bring to the state legislature next January. But despite all the attention he received before the election, "Dr. Chaps" overwhelmingly defeated underdog Democratic challenger Lois Fornander, and today is Rep. Mark Waller's elected Republican successor.

This is a nice way of saying that House District 15 now has exactly the representation it deserves.

On Friday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow introduced Dr. Chaps to her audience (see video above), while national blog Right Wing Watch chronicled Klingenschmitt's "Ten Craziest Moments" for posterity. Worth checking out, complete with video clips from Klingenschmitt's show proving it's not a joke:

1) Gays And Democrats Want To Rape Children
2) Obama Is Possessed By Demons, Requires Exorcism
3) Demonic Transgender Kids Need A Good Spanking (And An Exorcism)
4) We Will Be Forced To Engage In Sodomy
5) Gay People ‘Have Something Unhuman Inside Of Them’
6) Gay Soldiers Wear Diapers
7) Gay Animals Are Of The Devil
8) Obamacare Causes Cancer
9) Obama Will Kill Bundy Ranch Supporters
10) Madonna Is Trying To Have Sex With Me!

We've had a lot of fun at "Dr. Chaps'" expense this year, but the effect he would have on Colorado politics if elected was always hypothetical in our minds–even in an overwhelmingly Republican district like HD-15, there was always the possibility that Klingenschmitt would prove too much even for the most hardened Republican partisan to hold his or her nose and vote for.

As of last Tuesday, Rep.-elect Gordon Klingenschmitt is no longer a hypothetical. And if Chaps was bad for the Republican brand as a candidate, as a bonafide elected Republican state representative he's going to be much, much worse.

To which we can only say: they were warned.

49 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Progressicat says:

    Chaps hands!

  2. Big Time says:

    I realize the Colorado state GOP (and for that matter, the GOP across the country) does not think it is fair of Dems to say Dr. Chaps is representative of the GOP's ideas – but it is true he and others like him nationwide, are in fact, a segment of the GOP caucus. And, it is this caucus, in addition to other parts of the GOP, that leads to much of the gridlock in our country. It prevents us from passing common sense policy of all types. 

    I sometimes entertain the idea that one day I might, might, vote GOP, but then people like Dr. Chaps remind me – NO FUCKING WAY!


    • It's been years since I've seen a Republican candidate running for anything higher than a county office for whom I'd vote. The moderate ones either get weeded out before the primary, or they're forced to take (and hold in to the general election) positions of the right-wing fringe.

      • Old Time Dem says:

        The last Republican I supported was Charles Goodell, in the 1970 Senate race in New York.  Unfortunately, Goodell–who was more liberal than the Democratic nominee, Ottinger–finished third and the truly awful Jim Buckley was elected as a Conservative.

        Ah, for the days when there actually such a thing as a liberal Republican.

      • The best part about that article is what Republicans feel to be whacky and extreme, and how confused they are between actual whackiness and things that just don't agree with them. A couple of examples:

        If Hillary's definition of Christian is "someone who follows the tenets of Jesus Christ" – you know… compassion, forgiveness, the meek shall inherit, etc. – then the current Republican Party has precious few of them. (And I suspect that the quote – as so often with the reactionary right – leaves out the context to make it sound worse than her actual thoughts…)

        The whole section on the military and the atrocities of war is nothing more than denial on the part of Republicans these days. War, as someone said, is Hell.

        And, yes, some Democrats have race issues (though the supposed "anti-white" example from Obama is laughable)  – we're willing to admit that rather than saying that we live in a post-racial era. We are, after all, the party that had Sen. Robert Byrd – a former but reformed KKK member.

      • DaftPunk says:

        Individual gaffes are different from fundamental positions.  The fundamentalist Christian homophobia, fetophilia, sexual paranoia, and mysogyny that Klingenschmitt demonstrates is at the core of the Republican platform.  He represents an extreme voicing of it, but it's all there in milder tones as the foundation of their policy positions on these matters.

        Please explain how the nonsense in your link demonstrates fundamental policy positions of the Democratic Party's platform or peddle your bullshit elsewhere.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        I noticed for some of their materials, they had to go back almost 30 years (i.e., Barney Frank and The Steve Gobbie scandal).  And others were multiple, repeat offenders (i.e., Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, and Jim Moran) who have been out of office for a while now. 

      • marklane1351 says:

        I followed the link and read it. I would not go so far as to say the Tea Party folks are Nazi's. Just George W. Bush and his administration. Hitler and Bush got their countries involved in an unprovoked war. George W. and Hitler held kidnapped and held citizens without charging them. Torture occured on both of their watches. Waterboarding is torture a U.S. Court said so when they charged Japanese officers with war crimes for engage in waterboarding. Waterboarding was found to be a war crime because it is torture. It does not stop being torture simply because the Bush administration wanted to use it legally

  3. Arvadonian1 says:

    Okay, let's dispense with the arguments of Republicans that this gentleman does not represent the views of a sizable segment of the Republican Party by recalling that Rick Santorum, whose views on a good number of social issues are in lock step with Dr. Chaps, came thisclose to capturing the Republican nomination for President just two years ago…and Mike Huckabee, another ideological clone of Dr. Chaps, made a very serious run just four year prior to that.  The difference is Dr. Chaps is not quite as polished as the other two, and a host of others within the party…I happen to live in a district represented by Libby Szabo and soon to be represented by Laura Woods…two more peas in Dr. Chaps pod.

    The era of "common sense conservatives" in the Republican Party is past.  There are no more Alan Simpsons at the national level or Norma Andersons at the state level.  Now we have Ted Cruz and Dr. Chaps.

    • ZMulls says:

      Great points.  I think it is incumbent upon us to make Dr. Chaps the new "Face of the Republican Party" at every opportunity.  Either the "mainstream" Repubs completely reject him; or he becomes their brand.

    • Santorum actually won the Colorado Republican Caucus in 2012, though not the primary election; by the time the primary came around his star had faded and he lost to Romney.

      IMHO the Ted Cruzes and the Rick Santorums and the Sarah Palins are the future of the GOP. JEB! might be their candidate in 2016, but only if the rest all flame out. Too many Republicans are upset at what they see as RINOs and renegades losing Presidential elections; I think they might go for a "real conservative" this time around.

      Dr. Chaps is the stream of consciousness of the GOP.

    • Big Time says:

      So then you are saying, Dr. Chaps is 2014's Todd Akin (he won because he's a state legislator who didn't have to be seen state wide), and Chaps winning will emboldened the GOP to promote more strongly the more polished version of Chaps.

      So, Dr. Chaps is to Rick Santorum as Todd Akin is to Cory Gardner. 

    • notaskinnycook says:

      You are planning to move to saner territory soon, aren't you?

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    Why do I imagine that Dudley Brown wishes he were Dr. Chaps, and vice versa?

    The only "voice" that GOPers are willing to admit is the "voice of their party," is the one that's telling lies . . . 

  5. Andrew Carnegie says:

    If the good Dr. represents the Republican party and you Dems just got your ass kicked by said Republican party you must be feeling pretty good about yourselves.

    • Big Time says:

      It's not about us, AC – it's about America. 

      Are you feeling good that the GOP foisted Dr. Chaps on the state of Colorado? On America?

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        I don't think the GOP foisted anything on anybody.

        Voters voted.

        I might not agree with him and you might not agree with him, but that is the process.

        • dustpuppy says:

          Okay, the next gerrymandering will involve killing Colorado Springs Rethuglicans and when we remove the morons in '16, '18 and '20, we will redistrict it properly so the Rethuglicans will have nearly zero representation they don't know how to win the trust and heart of the people.

        • Big Time says:

          GOP voters foisted him on Colorado and the country ergo, the GOP foisted him on the country. The GOP courts the religious right – Chaps is part of that, ergo, the GOP foisted Chaps on us. 

          The GOP could chose not to tolerate legislators who deny science and stand in the way of policy prescriptions that could do a lot of good – but they don't, because they need the "Dr. Chaps" wing of the party to win, ergo …

        • marklane1351 says:

          That does not make voters smart or sane. These wacky statements have been out in public for a long time. We knew this stuff was out there. You had no other republicans in El Paso County who was slightly less extreme?

  6. dustpuppy says:

    Currently taking bets/odds on when Dr. Chaps will find himself in ethics committee with a recommendation of a expulsion or a recall effort underway the minute Assless Chaps is sworn in?



    • FrankUnderwood says:

      There is precedent for a House member from that district getting at least censured.  But he had to kick a photographer in the shin on the House floor during prayer.

    • Big Time says:

      I took a gander at the good doctor's Facebook page a few days and saw a poster who obviously had seen Maddow's national broadcast and wanted to confirm the guy was real – he was from Maryland or Rhode Island, his comment: "I would trust this guy to molest my children."

  7. MooMooMoo0 says:

    Let's try to put this another way-


    What is the democratic version of this guy? Do you know any dem congresspeople or state assembly people like this?

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Anthony Weiner and John Edwards are the two most outrageous ones who come to my mind, but they were just horny, self-centered, and narcissistic.  And in the case of Weiner, a pervert.  And the Dems throw them under the bus once we found out what they were…….

      But I can't think of anyone on our side of the aisle who's delusional like Chaps.

      • Big Time says:

        For the Dem pervs/adulters there's one on the GOP side – that's a wash. Foley, the gay, under-age congressional clerk molester from 2005-06, for example. 

        • MooMooMoo0 says:

          Yes. There's Mark Foley….but I don't think anyone has answered my question..

          • BlueCat says:

            It's apples and oranges. Yes their are Dems who have been involved in sleazy sex and/or financial scandals. But where are the Dems who, in their official capacity, have made wacko statements that begin to compare with things so many GOp state legislators and congress members have said. Find one who has said (not done…said) anything as crazy as the things Chaps says. I'm looking forward to  being entertained by comparable Dem delusional crazy statements.

  8. Konola says:

    This man is not a legislator because thoughtful or reasonable people voted for him. He is a legislator because of tribalism. The GOP Tribe votes for their tribe and the DEM tribe mostly votes for their tribe. It really doesn't matter how good or how bad a candidate is, what matters is to which tribe do they belong? It will be fun watching to see if the tribe bans this nutcase, but my money is on him being reelected for as many terms as he wants.

  9. Nate_ says:

    And I suppose Rod Blagojevic and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick are "representatives" of the Democratic Party?

    • Progressicat says:

      I don't recall either being elected after conviction, so not the same thing.  You'd be better off with a comparison with, say, Marion Barry, DC Mayor, elected after his conviction for drug possession.

      Of course, Barry was running as a convicted criminal.  Whether that says the same things about a potential political leader as stating that Obamacare causes cancer or that we'll be forced into sodomy, I leave fot the reader to decide.

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