Gardner Abortion Votes Slaughter Denver Post’s Credibility

Senator Cory Gardner.

Senator Cory Gardner.

CBS News reports on the latest attempt in the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate to ban abortions after 20 weeks, a number considered arbitrary by experts and an incremental step toward outlawing all abortions by pro-choice advocates:

Senate Democrats thwarted a Republican effort to ban late-term abortions on Tuesday as GOP leaders strained to avoid a government shutdown in eight days over the dispute – all against a tangled backdrop of presidential politics…

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked a GOP measure to prohibit most late-term abortions. The Senate voted 54-42 to move ahead on the legislation, but that fell six votes short of the 60 needed to crack a filibuster mostly led by Democrats.

Tuesday’s vote was the second time since this summer’s release of videos involving Planned Parenthood that Senate Democrats have derailed an abortion-related drive by the GOP. It was held less than 48 hours before a first-ever papal address to Congress by Pope Francis, who leads a Roman Catholic Church that rejects abortion…

“We should stand for our principles, and our principles should not be surrendering to the Democrats,” another presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said Tuesday.

gardnernothreat

Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mark Kirk joined with Democrats in voting to block the 20-week abortion ban bill, a similar version of which had already passed the Republican-controlled Congress. The vote on the 20-week abortion ban is just one of several attacks on reproductive rights moving forward in the wake of the heavily edited undercover videos released over the summer attacking Planned Parenthood over fetal tissue donations for medical research.

Reading today’s Denver Post, you might get the impression that no Colorado Senators took part in yesterday’s vote at all. The Post ran an AP wire story that made no mention of how Colorado’s two Senators voted on the 20-week abortion ban. But for the record, Sen. Michael Bennet (D) voted no, and Sen. Cory Gardner (R) voted yes.

We know some of our readers will be less than happy about us once again calling out Colorado’s newspaper of record, The Denver Post, for their endorsement last October of now-Sen. Cory Gardner for election over Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall. But as everyone who lived and voted in Colorado last year is aware, abortion played an outsize role in last year’s U.S. Senate election in Colorado. Within weeks of entering the U.S. Senate race, Cory Gardner publicly renounced his support for the so-called “Personhood” abortion ban ballot measures that Coloradans have rejected at the polls over and over in recent years. Democrats seized on Gardner’s flip-flop on “Personhood” to paint Gardner as untrustworthy, highlighting his continued sponsorship of an equivalent “Life at Conception Act” that contained the same language as the “Personhood” abortion bans.

With only a few exceptions, the remainder of the Senate race in 2014 became a farcical exercise in which Udall, and belatedly some members of the local press, did everything they could think of to force Gardner to acknowledge the clear conflict between his abandonment of “Personhood” and his continued support for functionally equivalent abortion bans in Congress. Gardner’s response to this onslaught was to unflappably deny and deflect, while surrogates loudly complained about the “single social issue” attack on Gardner from Udall’s campaign.

Vince Carroll of the Denver Post editorial board.

Vince Carroll of the Denver Post editorial board.

Gardner’s two-pronged response of denial and affected exasperation by surrogates and friendly pundits received its biggest boost by far from the Post’s endorsement of Gardner, which dissed Udall’s “tedious” abortion attacks in the harshest possible terms, and asserted bluntly for the record that “Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.” The endorsement thrilled Republican backers of Gardner but shocked and dismayed Democrats, who viewed it as a devastating and fundamentally dishonest blow to their central campaign theme. And again: it wasn’t the theme that Democrats chose, Gardner chose it himself by flip-flopping on “Personhood” in a fake attempt to moderate on the issue.

It’s necessary to understand all of this in order to realize why the Colorado pundit class’ defense of Gardner last year, which culminated in the Denver Post’s dishonest endorsement, has proven so persistently galling to women and reproductive choice advocates. We haven’t seen it officially confirmed and probably never will, but there is evidence to suggest that the endorsement of Gardner has seriously damaged the Post’s credibility with readers in the long term–as well as its bottom line following a rash of subscription cancellations that reportedly occurred after that endorsement. The Post has been in a financially declining position for years, like so many newspapers around the country. But the Gardner endorsement was an unforgivable breach of faith, relying on a demonstrable falsehood that is playing out in national news less than a year later.

At the very least, an acknowledgement of what Gardner is actually doing as a Senator would be a start. But by negating the issue on the campaign trail and now ignoring Gardner’s actions that prove them wrong, the Denver Post is utterly failing in its duty to inform the voting public–from the newsroom to the editorial board.

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  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Not really…..let me play devil's advocate. IIRC, the Post said that Gardner's election would not change current abortion laws in this country. That's true. As long as there are at least 41 pro-choice senators, Gardner can make noise with the rest of his friends, but they're irrelevant.

    Where the Post may yet prove to be wrong is if we get a Republican president making judicial appointments and there is an anti-choice majority in the senate to confirm those appointments. 

    • Davie says:

      Gotta disagree with you Frank.  The quote above from the Post is pretty clear.  His vote against Planned Parenthood is a threat.  That it wasn't successful (this time) is beside the point.

      It wastes Senate time, money and energy better used for pressing issues that are going unaddressed by Congress.  And if the government is shutdown due to this sort of political posturing and pandering to the extreme right, then it is not just a threat to women's health, but to everyone in the nation.

      That Vincent Carroll is a cynical liar and partisan hack is disappointing, but it seems he's just keeping up with the entire Republican Party in its race to the bottom when it comes to credibility.

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        It wastes Senate time, money and energy better used for pressing issues that are going unaddressed by Congress

        True but isn't that true of about 98% of what they do there these days? How many times have they voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act? They did pass Keystone knowing it was destined to be vetoed.

        • Davie says:

          Yes, we need to toss a few more Republicans out of the Senate and a couple of dozen in the House.  McConnell and Boehner (or more likely his successor) need to be back in the minority.

          Let's see what we can do about that in 2016.

  2. taterheaptom says:

    The Denver Post still had some credibility?  Once it started publishing Cred.org propaganda doctored up to look like news whatever modicum of journalistic value that remained went spinning around the bowl and into the cesspool.  

  3. Zappatero says:

    Their 2nd Bush endorsement was a real standout.

    • Zappatero says:

      let me just add the gratuitous insult that VC is a slug and should've gone down with the RMN.

    • Voyageur says:

      If by "second Bush endorsement" you mean W, The Post only endorsed him once.   They endorsed Al Gore over Bush in 2000, Bush over Kerry in 08.   As to George H.W. Bush, The Post endorsed him over Dukakis in 88 but endorsed Clinton in 1992.

      So you only get a "second Bush endorsement" if you count H.W. as one in 88, then W. in 2004 as "two".

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        I'd like the say something snarky like "all of the Bushes look alike" or "if you've seen one Bush, you've seen em all," but that's not true. Even though I never voted for George H.W. Bush, Junior has made Dad look like an extraordinary statesman and leader.

      • Zappatero says:

        Bush over Kerry in 04 wiseacre. My mistake. Your mistake. The Post's hideous and death-inducing mistake. Yes, I'll argue Bush's reelection guaranteed thousands more American and Iraqi deaths in ’04 and the Post is clearly responsible for some of those.  

      • Zappatero says:

        Let's recap: 

        Post endorsed the best guy in 2000. He was prescient on the environment, was smart about Social Security, and would've most likely continued the Clinton team suggestions on al Qaeda, bin Laden, etc…..

        In '04 they caved to the Fear, went with C+ Augustus, thereby endorsing more war, more fiscal irresponsibility, Brownie, bailouts, and blown bubbles, and arguably our most *dense* president of the modern era.

         

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    I really wish journalists would start describing these pols for what they are: pro-birth. The Senator would undoubtedly support war with Iran (and with it, the killing of innocents) and he had absolutely zero qualms with advancing the idea of gutting safety nets for the least in his congressional district. And that's barely a good start on places where you could challenge his 'life' bona fides…

     

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      … I'm not sure I'd even go that inclusive, given their penchant for wanting to deny women health care, their support of old guys ED treatment but their balking at contraception, etc., etc., … 

      … They're more exclusively pro-consummation or pro-ejaculation, than either pro-life or pro-birth …

      (Maybe they're just "pro-happy-ending," in an old, lecherous white-guys-only sense of "happy"?)

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      It will be hard for them to characterize George Brauchler (come October when his big announcement is to be made) as pro-life after he tried to have a mentally ill man put to death. Pro-birth is more accurate.

  5. bullshit! says:

    The only thing that will change this culture is if Democrats stop treating their visits with the Denver Post as coffee klatches and start getting mad when this shit happens like Dick Wadhams used to. We get fucked by the Post over and over and still suck up to their people like they're our friends. It's Stockholm Syndrome.

    And let me agree: to hell with Vince Carroll first and foremost. A soulless tool.

  6. murallen says:

    Thank you. The editorial board of the Denver Post knew all about what a right wing wacko Gardner is and they endorsed him anyway. For that reason, I will never read the Denver Post again. I don't even look at it online. What a rag. 

  7. Craig says:

    When, oh when, are you going to give up this tired line.  Everyone knew Gardner was anti-choice and would vote that way.  This post is simply another defense of the failed and horrible campaign of Mark Udall with respect to the choice issue.  He went too often and too soon.  And he chose not to hit the issue head-on but to continue on the stupid and tired thing of the flip-flop by Gardner.  The whole campaign just couldn't get to the real issue at the real time.  They just wanted to call Gardner a flip-flopper.  This was a disaster and it lays solely in the lap of Mark Udall and those dumb folks who were running his campaign.

     

    Oh, and by the way.  The Post endorsement wasn't wrong for that reason.  It often supports anti-choice politicians.  It was wrong because the Post and its editors based their campaign on who ran the best campaign, not who would be the best Senator for Colorado.  That was hands down Mark Udall.  That's how the Post screwed up its endorsement.

    • BlueCat says:

      Agree, though Udall's campaign being as bad as it was, I doubt the Post's endorsement made much difference. I remember that adorable video of Udall summiting his latest 14er not long before that election and can't believe those images of a youthful, fit, boyishly grinning poster boy for everything that appeals to Colorado voters were never used in a single ad.

      When you have an incumbent for a western Senate seat who could have come straight out of central casting and all you have him do in his ads is scowl and scold the other guy like some grumpy tight ass school principal, that's just clueless, gross incompetence. 

      In any case, nothing much is going to be accomplished by endlessly harping on the flip flop factor or obsessing over another one of the Post's predictably awful endorsements. The one for GW was basically a laundry list of good reasons not to support him somehow ending in a lame endorsement and we all know why. 

      May I heartily recommend getting on with moving forward? And, honestly, the entire Republican caucus always votes against choice so who are these Gardner voters Col Pols thinks are surprised that Gardner does? Pretty sure nobody voted for him thinking he was going to be the only R in the Senate to support a woman's right to choose. Pretty sure his voters aren't regretting it now because they honestly thought he was going to be great on those issues. This is getting really tiresome.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Actually, two Republicans broke with the caucus this week and voted against a measure to ban abortion after 20 weeks (Susan Collins, R-ME & Mark Kirk, R-IL).   C.H.B.

        • BlueCat says:

          Big deal. Susan Collins never breaks with her leadership on anything when the chips are really down and her vote would make a difference and she's considered to be the most "moderate" R in the caucus, something Gardner never pretended to be. A tiny bit moderate just for the election, maybe. That's all it ever was. Not familiar with Kirk but Illinois is not a red state.

          Doesn't change the fact that a Republican voting against any choice related issue is no surprise to anyone and if one or two break with the herd on one or two votes it makes no difference. When you vote for a Republican you're voting for a Republican majority and a Republican majority collectively always votes overwhelmingly against choice. Even voting for a "moderate" like Collins, much less one like Gardner.

          I do understand why you grasp at these things, though CHB. I hope it makes you feel better to be able to point to something, anything, to defend your own fragile private reality in which voting Republican is not getting into bed with the party that's against you on these matters for the sake of defending your beloved but failed conservative trickle down economics. And I understand the joy you take in coming up with a precision gottcha even if it doesn't change a thing.

          In that spirit…  you got me. I overlooked the fact that one two break ranks once in a blue moon as long as they have permission. Nobody who voted for Gardner could have seriously thought he'd even be among that one or two, much less that a vote for a Republican wouldn't be a vote for the anti-choice party.

  8. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    The issue of the Denver Post endorsement of now-Senator Gardner is really old, old news. As in, time to let it go and focus on the future. I know this will be hard to do for people like murallen, but the continuing focus on the Post has become boring. Who really cares now if murallen decides not to read the Post again?

    Look to see if there are any reasonable Republicans on this issue and who are running for Senate. Instead of being cast as need for a pro-choice vote, which always gets the cries of butchers and murderers going, maybe a focus this time on keeping religion out of politics. 

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