Boebert Changes Story Over Missed Debt Ceiling Vote

As the story was originally told, Rep. Lauren Boebert was running at the last minute to cast her promised vote against the debt ceiling increase legislation that was signed by President Joe Biden into law earlier today:

Forget what Boebert told you yesterday.

As the Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson reported on Thursday, Boebert’s staff specifically told inquiring reporters that it had not been her intention to miss this crucial vote:

A spokesperson for Boebert confirmed that the congresswoman did not intend to miss the vote. [Pols emphasis] She and fellow Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck had both said that they would vote against the debt-ceiling deal, Colorado Public Radio reported. Many Republicans criticized the measure, arguing that negotiations with Democrats didn’t do enough to cut government spending.

Buck did cast his nay vote on Wednesday and Colorado’s third House Republican, Rep. Doug Lamborn, voted in favor of raising the debt ceiling.

After missing the vote Boebert released a statement, which reads in part:

“The Swamp did its old song and dance and pretended to listen to the American people, but as soon as the backroom deal was made, it was predetermined that it would pass,” Boebert said. “I certainly wasn’t afraid to vote against the bill, as I have been advocating against it all week.”

There’s been a great deal of speculation in the last few days about what exactly caused Rep. Boebert to be “unavoidably detained,” preventing her from voting on a bill she had spent most of her time railing against in the days since the compromise between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the White House was announced. But her failure to perform this most essential of tasks for a lawmaker gave opponents a golden opportunity to restate one of the biggest criticisms of Boebert, that her endless bombast is a smokescreen for fundamental incompetence.

Perhaps aware of the damage done by this very well-covered stumble, today Rep. Boebert posted a new video on Twitter completely erasing the record of her running to cast a vote and later confirming to reporters and the Congressional record that she tried to be there. According to Boebert today, she was “ticked off” about the bill’s inevitable passage, and as a result wilfully “didn’t take the vote.”

A protest non-vote sounds more dignified than running into the chamber just as the gavel falls and missing a vote you’ve been hyping for days. The trouble is that, if you’ve been paying attention at any point this week, you already know it’s a lie. If Boebert had truly intended to not vote in protest, obviously she wouldn’t have been rushing to the chamber to vote, and she wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) have told reporters and her colleagues that she had meant to cast a vote. If a protest vote had been the plan, Boebert would have immediately announced that to be the reason, not belatedly after days of bad press on the matter.

It would have been better for Boebert to simply take the hit for missing the vote than to compound the situation by trying to reinvent what happened. No one is going to believe her story, because it contradicts the plain record and the excuses Boebert herself initially made.

This is how you take an embarrassing gaffe and turn it into a full-on credibility disaster.

Vendetta: GOP Chairman Broadsides 2022 Primary Opponent

SATURDAY UPDATE: The press takes note of GOP chairman Dave Williams’ assault on his 2022 primary opponent:


Ex-President Donald Trump with Colorado GOP chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams (R).

We took note earlier this week of an email blast from Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, heaping praise on hard-right Reps. Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert for their opposition to the debt ceiling increase compromise brokered between the White House and GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy while calling on party faithful to “encourage” Rep. Doug Lamborn to vote against the deal.

This morning, after the legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, Williams began by thanking Reps. Buck and Boebert for standing strong against their GOP House Speaker:

The Colorado Republican Party thanks Congressman Ken Buck and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert for forcefully and publicly opposing this debt scheme that the Washington establishment and special interest insiders forced on us.

The thanks to Rep. Boebert come despite her having missed the vote against the compromise she trashed from the outset, for which Boebert has become the butt of nationwide jokes instead of a champion of the resistance. From there, though, much like the missive earlier this week but with far more vitriol now that the deed is done, Dave Williams proceeded to slam his 2022 Republican CD-5 primary opponent Rep. Doug Lamborn in terms that suggest the 2024 primary has already begun:

Deceptively, Congressman Doug Lamborn broke his word and voted to increase our debt while helping Joe Biden continue to fleece American taxpayers…

Colorado Republicans are fed up with say-anything politicians like Doug Lamborn who say one thing to gain power but then do the opposite when they think no one is paying attention. [Pols emphasis]

Our national debt has increased exponentially and we need Republicans in Congress who will actually fight back against this crisis and stop the madness instead of paying lip service.

As readers know, the Colorado Republican Party is currently beset by a major fundraising deficit, which has prevented the party from even meeting its payroll expenses for salaried staff–including Williams personally, who subsidized his personal income as a “legislative aide” despite almost never being present at the state capitol during this year’s session.

Apparently, Williams has determined that the best way forward for the Colorado GOP is to eat their own! In all our years covering Colorado politics, we’ve never seen a sitting Republican Party chairman openly attack one of their own members of Congress, certainly not with this kind of red-meat ferocity. We don’t think we’ve been confronted with exactly the same circumstances as Dave Williams has created as a high-profile primary loser who comes back to win the post of party chairman, but now it’s clear how Williams intends to manage that conflict of interest. He’s not even going to try.

The Colorado Republican Party is now the vehicle for Dave Williams’ personal political aspirations. It’s a vehicle without tires or gasoline, but a vehicle nonetheless.

All Bark, No Bite: Boebert, Buck, and the Freedumb Caucus

How’s this for a solid metaphor: Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck wielding an inoperable assault rifle in Buck’s Washington DC office.

While you were watching the Denver Nuggets dismantle the Miami Heat on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the U.S. Senate approved a measure to raise the debt ceiling and avoid economic catastrophe. President Biden is expected to sign the bill today and deliver remarks from the White House at 5:00 pm (Mountain Time).

Failing to raise the debt ceiling would have been disastrous for the United States and would likely have caused a worldwide recession, but Republican opponents of the deal are still sad about not getting enough spending cuts from their hostage-taking efforts.

We noted yesterday that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) was kinda sorta calling for a challenge to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the aftermath of the House vote. The Hill newspaper summed up Buck’s weakness in just two sentences:

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “should be concerned” about a motion to remove him after the debt ceiling deal he struck with President Biden moves through Congress.

McCarthy has said he is “not at all” concerned about being removed from his position following the conservative backlash to the debt agreement.


As a result of one of the deals that McCarthy made with MAGA Republicans in January when he spent four agonizing and embarrassing days trying to win the Speaker’s gavel, any one Member of Congress could call a “motion to vacate” and force a vote for a new Speaker. Of course, the next step would require there to be enough votes to actually oust McCarthy, and that’s where fantasy turns into sad reality for Buck and his “House Freedom Caucus” friends. Last weekend, in fact, fellow Freedumb Caucus member Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) and her buddy from Florida, Rep. Matt Gaetz, were gabbing on Twitter Spaces when Gaetz acknowledged that MAGA Republicans don’t have the votes to do anything other than vaguely threaten McCarthy.


The only saving grace for House Republicans is that none of these nitwits can shoot straight.


As Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post, this puts Boebert, Buck, and friends in a weird spot:

Even as the House Freedom Caucus assembled for 45 minutes to denounce the deal Tuesday and a protester behind them displayed a sign labeling McCarthy a “traitor,” McCarthy was largely spared the vitriol. When it was her turn to speak, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) even conceded, “I think McCarthy did the best that he could do to some extent with this deal. … McCarthy did his job, but unfortunately, Biden and the Democrat-controlled Senate did not do theirs.”…

…Forcing a vote would then be a recipe for failure — a failure that could actually strengthen McCarthy’s position within the conference. Even if Freedom Caucus types were more talk than walk, that would send a message about McCarthy’s standing. [Pols emphasis]

And then there’s the question of what the Freedom Caucus would even get out of it. Their protestations notwithstanding, GOP strategist Liam Donovan suggests that it’s not much.

“The question for these guys is how and why a future speaker would be any better for them when the one who was exceedingly accommodating got no quarter,” Donovan said. He added that the Freedom Caucus needs to decide whether “their disappointment is worth blowing up what has been a pretty effective arrangement for them to date.”

Thus far, despite the Freedom Caucus’s demonstrated affinity for blowing things up to make a point, the answer appears to be no.

In other words, Boebert, Buck and the Freedumb Caucus now have a choice between A) Bad, and B) Worse.

If the Freedom Caucus doesn’t try to oust McCarthy after getting steamrolled on the debt limit deal, they’ll look even weaker than they do now.

If the Freedom Caucus does try to oust McCarthy, they’ll almost certainly fail…which will make them look even weaker than they do now.

Congressional record for Roll Call Vote 243.

But as bad as this situation is for MAGA Republicans, it’s even worse for Boebert. We noted earlier this week that Boebert had two bad options on the debt ceiling debate, but then she surprised us and figured out a third — and even worse — direction. Boebert DIDN’T EVEN CAST A VOTE on the biggest issue of 2023, drawing the ire of her colleagues in Colorado after weeks of empty rhetoric.

Boebert’s inaction has now made her whereabouts on Wednesday a story in itself:

Where was Boebert when she missed the debt limit vote? Why is her office so reluctant to offer any details about what Boebert was doing instead? By refusing to provide details, Boebert has turned her absence into a new lead for reporters to chase. 

Voters in the third congressional district already think that Boebert cares more about social media and defending Donald Trump than she does about doing her actual job in Congress. By missing the most important vote of the year, Boebert handed Democrats the perfect example to bring the message home. And if it turns out that Boebert was doing something she shouldn’t have been doing (when she SHOULD have been casting a vote), things are going to get a whole lot worse for the Rifle Republican.

This is how a Republican incumbent pisses away a seat in an otherwise safe Republican district.

Anti-Wokesters Come For Chick-Fil-A

Former Sen. Vicki Marble (R), Colorado’s best-known political authority on the matter of fried chicken.

As the New York Times reported this week, the culture war backlash from the far right against all things “woke,” which seems to mean every inclusionary policy put in place since the civil rights era half a century ago, has come full circle to claim one of its earliest allies:

Chick-fil-A drew fierce criticism this week from conservatives calling out the fast-food chain for its diversity, equity and inclusion policy and questioning the hiring of an executive to be in charge of such efforts.

The backlash has made Chick-fil-A one of the latest companies to draw public condemnation over “culture war” flash points like L.G.B.T.Q. rights or seeking fair treatment for racial or ethnic groups that have been historically underrepresented. Several companies and brands have also been at the center of such criticism in recent months, including Bud Light, Target and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chick-fil-A itself has drawn controversy in the past, though more typically from the left…

And here’s the weird part, since when these irrational culture warriors are involved there is always a weird part:

It was unclear why Chick-fil-A was only drawing criticism now for its D.E.I. efforts, since the company has long had such a policy in place. As for [Erick] McReynolds, company records show that he had been the company’s vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion since at least 2020. [Pols emphasis]

Chick-fil-a’s efforts to moderate their once staunchly conservative brand in order to appeal to conscientious customers who had avoided them for years are nothing new, but the conservatives who once flocked to the restaurant in part because of their politics are apparently just now realizing that this has happened as other large corporations come under fire from the right for their own inclusionary branding. And as Media Matters reports, Newsmax guests are happy to broaden the offense beyond the LGBT community:

But it’s pretty ridiculous to just assume that Chick-Fil-A — I mean, you know, I’m hesitant to make a fried chicken joke, but they sell fried chicken. I don’t know how much more inclusive we can get here.

This called to mind for us the infamous moment in the Colorado legislature a decade ago when then-GOP state Sen. Vickie Marble blamed “problems in the Black race” for a range of health problems, despite the fact that she has been to the South and “never had better BBQ and better chicken.” Marble’s Weld County frenemy Lori Saine kept the poultry partiality going with her own fowl-based foul a few weeks later.

Marble and Saine no doubt approve of the crusade against the nation’s foremost supplier of consecrated chicken products, but far-right Republicans spending so much of their time these days attacking businesses like Chick-Fil-a and Anheuser-Busch–the latter a major donor to GOP candidates and campaigns across the country–while losing the much more weighty debates like the debt limit shows once again how far off the ball Republican eyes are. There just aren’t enough voters motivated by wedge issues anymore, and far more of today’s voters are repulsed by Republican appeals to prejudice.

In Colorado, this is what Republicans did ten years ago…on their way to losing everything.

Ken Buck Weakly Sort Of Calls For Kevin McCarthy’s Head

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

As the New York Times’ Carl Hulse reports, yesterday’s passage of legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit until beyond the next presidential election by the GOP-controlled U.S. House, over the objections of the far-right Republicans who pushed hardest to exploit what should have been a routine vote for maximum political damage, has prompted calls for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to be ousted from his position–a process which, as readers will recall, can be initiated by a single member of Congress as a condition of McCarthy winning the gavel in January:

[I]n the end, he delivered an agreement that met his goal of cutting spending from current levels. It was not pretty; in fact, it was downright ugly. He managed to do so only with significant help from across the aisle, as Democrats rescued him on a key procedural vote and then provided the support needed for passage. Mr. McCarthy exceeded his goal of winning the support of the majority of his members with 149 backing it, but more Democrats — 165 of them — voted for the bill than members of his own party, an outcome that will fuel Republican criticism that he cut a deal that sold out his own people. [Pols emphasis]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R).

That’s the assessment of Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck, in the headlines today as one of the early critics suggesting that a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair may be in order:

Representative Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, said Mr. McCarthy had hurt himself with many House Republicans “big time, big time.”

“I think this is going to be a problem for him,” said Mr. Buck, who along with other critics of Mr. McCarthy said lawmakers would be talking among themselves about how or whether to proceed with an attempt to force out the speaker.

As The Hill’s Jared Gans reports, Buck claims yesterday’s compromise was an abrogation of the deal Speaker McCarthy made with House conservatives to win his office:

Buck on Wednesday reiterated claims from a group of far-right lawmakers who say McCarthy broke his word in the agreement that sealed their initial support for his Speakership.

Buck and others say McCarthy promised that he would push for government funding at fiscal 2022 appropriations levels as Speaker, but his deal with Biden would keep nondefense spending at 2023 levels for the next fiscal year and allow a 1 percent increase in 2025.

Buck said the difference is a “major change for a lot of people.”

As angry as the right side of the House GOP caucus may be at Speaker McCarthy, the heavy bipartisan backup he received on this compromise bill combined with a faction of pro-McCarthy conservatives led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene dims the prospects for any effort to oust McCarthy. At least for now, McCarthy appears to have successfully outmaneuvered the far-right members of his caucus who embarrassingly complicated his ascension to the speakership in January. Meanwhile, one of McCarthy’s most visible detractors from the speakership struggle, Rep. Lauren Boebert, didn’t even vote on the bill–which effectively pulls the plug on her right to complain.

When Buck says this turn of events is a “major change for a lot of people,” he’s right.

The change is that the most obstructionist elements of the House GOP caucus got sidelined.

And After All of That…Lauren Boebert Didn’t Even Bother to Vote

THURSDAY UPDATE: You can count Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) among those who are not pleased with Boebert’s performative failures:


Lauren Boebert froze in Congress today.

We wrote on Tuesday that Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) had backed herself into a no-win situation on the debt ceiling debate.

Boebert had already voted in favor of the first debt bill from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but she promised to vote against the second bill because it wasn’t heavy enough on spending cuts. If the new debt ceiling deal failed, Boebert and her Freedom Caucus buddies would be blamed for what would likely lead to a global recession; if the deal passed despite her opposition, it would prove the weakness of her position within the caucus. 

Boebert had a 100% chance of getting a bad answer when the votes were taken on Wednesday evening, but against all odds, she found a way to do the only thing that would have actually been worse.

She. Didn’t. Vote.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you are a professional basketball player for the Miami Heat. Your team is playing against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals beginning on Thursday at Ball Arena in Denver.

For days, you have talked about playing in the NBA Finals and how you are going to be at the top of your game to defeat the Nuggets. You are cocky and confident in media interviews. You talk smack to the Nuggets when both teams take the court for warmups. You preen arrogantly in front of the Denver fans, riling them up by boasting of the big victory to come. When the starting lineups are introduced, you flex and shout at the hometown fans.

At last, it is finally time to play – to do the thing that you were chosen to do by the front office and coaches of the Miami Heat. It’s time to back up all of your trash talking and the days and days of bullshit that you repeated to media outlets from across the country. 

The coach looks down at you on the bench and says something inspiring. Your teammates cheer and slap you on the back. But you don’t get up. You don’t walk back onto the court. You don’t tell the coach ‘no,’ but you don’t make any movement toward getting in the game, either. You don’t, in fact, do anything. You don’t do the one thing that is the most important part of your job

The game goes on without you. Your teammates battle hard, and so does your opponent. The Nuggets win (of course they win), and you quietly follow your team back to the locker room. None of your teammates will make eye contact. Your coach stands in front of you, turns around, and addresses the team without including you in any of the remarks.

As the rest of the players shower (you don’t need to shower since you didn’t break a sweat), you pick up your phone and start Tweeting about how you’re going to score 50 points against the Nuggets in Game Two…



Congressperson Lauren Boebert (R-ifle) may well be the most useless politician in Colorado — even worse than Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs), which is really saying something. In fact, she might even be the most useless politician in Congress. That would almost be impressive if it weren’t so pathetic. 

ICYMI, Boebert ended up NOT VOTING.

For weeks, Boebert has barked about the debt ceiling and the importance of cutting spending in order to increase the debt limit (which doesn’t even make sense, since the debt limit is about paying for things that Congress has already purchased). She has written a small novel on social media channels and attended numerous grievance shoutings press conferences to complain about mean old Joe Biden and the Democrats…but also mean old Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans who won’t let the MAGA morons and Freedom Caucus clowns do whatever they want. Boebert has ranted and raved on Fox News and Fox and Friends and basically any show with the word “Fox” in the title. 

Just last night, there was Boebert on Newsmax TV (which apparently still exists), telling something called Eric Bolling that the debt limit deal reached by McCarthy and Biden was “just a huge fail on our part.” To the best of our knowledge, the debt ceiling negotiations did NOT involve Boebert. She probably didn’t even learn about the details before tens of thousands of people all over the country had already read about it online.

Anyway, Boebert has been screaming about raising the debt ceiling for weeks. She voted for McCarthy’s original plan, the one that was DOA in the Senate, but this week she said there was no way she could vote for the new deal that eventually passed on Wednesday evening. It is technically true that Boebert didn’t vote for the deal that passed by a margin of 314-117 (with 165 Democrats saving everyone’s ass). 

However, sharp-eyed readers will note that 314 + 117 does NOT equal 435. That’s because Boebert was one of just four Members of Congress who ended up not voting. Like, at all.

After weeks of arguing and tossing insults about debt ceiling negotiations, and after pledging to vote ‘NO’ on the latest deal, Congressperson Lauren Boebert didn’t vote. Boebert didn’t do the ONE THING that is the single most important part of her job. She finally got her chance to make a decision about the financial future of this country, and she…punted. 

We explained in detail about why this is such a problem in an earlier post. The short version is that recent polling has shown that voters in CO-03 of all political persuasions believe that Boebert focuses too much attention on Twitter and/or defending Donald Trump than she does in representing the interests of her constituents. Voters already think she has the wrong priorities, and tonight she just doubled-down for everyone to see!

Boebert also might have even alienated her MAGA base with this no-vote. If you can’t even count on Boebert to vote ‘NO’ along with the rest of the Congressional MAGAbots, then what is the point of supporting her for re-election in 2024? It’s not like there is a shortage of MAGA Republicans who already don’t do anything other than yell loudly and Tweet regularly.

If there was ever a moment in which Boebert should have buckled down and made sure to cast an important vote, this was that time.

Alas, she is just not that person.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (May 31)

We’re one day away from Game 1 of the NBA Finals — in Denver! The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat tip things off at 6:30 pm on Thursday. Let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio learner, check out The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.




The House of Representatives will vote today on a deal to raise the debt limit and prevent a catastrophic global financial collapse. As The Washington Post reports:

House Democratic leaders are preparing their members to provide votes to push a bill to suspend the debt ceiling and limit federal spending past a critical procedural hurdle Wednesday afternoon, as lawmakers work toward enacting a deal to avert a U.S. government default.

Democratic leaders have telegraphed to several lawmakers in the last several hours that they anticipate that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will ask House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) for support to ensure that a vote on the rule governing the bill on the floor passes, according to six people familiar with the conversations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations among the Democratic caucus. The bill can only move toward consideration for final passage after that vote.

Opposition to the deal between the House GOP and the White House is building among conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, but leaders in both parties expect it to pass later Wednesday. GOP leadership aides say they believe the final vote will receive “a majority of the majority,” satisfying an informal Republican guideline against passing legislation mostly on the strength of Democratic support.

Colorado Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck say they will vote ‘NO’ on the bill. Fellow Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is still reportedly undecided but is being pressured by the Colorado Republican Party — and 2022 GOP Primary opponent Dave Williams — to oppose any deal.

Both Buck and Lamborn are in fairly safe Republican districts, so they can vote without worrying too much about whether it might cost them in 2024 (Buck always votes against raising the debt ceiling, though his ideas for spending cuts are ludicrous).

Boebert, however, is in a different situation; opposing a deal that will prevent massive cuts for constituents in her district would be a significant blow to her re-election hopes. But when it comes to a choice between doing right be her constituents and doing what MAGA Republicans expect of her, the people of CO-03 are always going to lose out:



Colorado Newsline has more on the Colorado industries that are particularly nervous about the outcome of the debt ceiling debate.


In other debt ceiling news, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy may face a challenge for the Speaker’s gavel because MAGA Republicans and Freedom Caucus members are salty about the deal McCarthy made with the White House. Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is mad at a bunch of Republicans in McCarthy’s orbit:


Give your eyes a break and put your ears to work with this week’s episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, featuring an interview with Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:



Click below to keep learning things…



Deal or No Deal, Debt Ceiling is Big Trouble for Boebert

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: However the vote plays out later today, we’ll always have this meme-able moment:

“It’s just a huge fail on our part.”

If the internets are on the job, you’ll be seeing this everywhere.


Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle)

Congressperson Lauren Boebert is mad as hell, and she’s not going to take it anymore!


As readers of Colorado Pols well know, Boebert really only has one tool in her political playbook: “Voice loud opposition to [TOPIC OF THE DAY].” You’ve heard her talk, again and again, about all of the things that everybody else is doing wrong, from President Biden to her own caucus leader, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. What you’ve never heard her say is a sentence that begins with, “I have an idea…” or “Maybe we could try…”

Boebert is an original MAGA Republican who worships at the golden desk of Donald Trump – a former President who was always one week away from announcing his health care plan or his infrastructure proposal. Boebert is also a proud member of the House Freedom Caucus – as is Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) – which was formed in 2015 with the stated purpose of being against things. 

All of this is to say that Boebert is incredibly ill-equipped to deal with the massive political problem facing  both her and the United States: Raising the debt limit to avoid a catastrophic global financial recession. The second-term Congressperson has painted herself into a corner that will make her one of the big losers of this debate no matter how things turn out in the end. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Biden and McCarthy worked out an apparent deal to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the United States from defaulting on its financial obligations for the first time in history. The next step in this process is already fraught with obstacles. As The Washington Post explains:

In the first test of a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling, a key House committee will meet Tuesday to determine whether the agreement comes to a full vote, all while the country inches closer to next week’s default deadline.

The House Rules Committee — typically the first stop before legislation can go before the full House — will convene with attention fixed on a handful of far-right Republicans who could thwart the future of a deal struck over the weekend by President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Two of the committee’s nine GOP members — Reps. Ralph Norman (S.C.) and Chip Roy (Tex.) — belong to the Freedom Caucus and have come out against the deal.

“The Republican conference has been torn asunder,” Roy said at a Freedom Caucus news conference Tuesday, where members of the hard-right caucus took turns bashing the deal and lamenting that McCarthy, in reaching a deal with Biden, had broken the GOP’s unified front.

Just last month, Boebert voted for McCarthy’s original debt ceiling proposal – one that was DOA in the Senate – but she’s now back on the “very angry” side of the ledger. She called the Biden-McCarthy deal a “stab in the back” and took her turn to complain loudly at a Freedom Caucus press conference on Monday:


GOP Chairman Uses Debt Ceiling To Sideswipe Former Opponent

Colorado GOP chairman Dave Williams.

An email we were forwarded by Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave Williams yesterday assails the debt ceiling agreement reached over the holiday weekend between the White House and GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and lavishes praise upon Colorado’s two farthest-right Republicans in Congress, Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck, who have vowed to vote against the deal later today:

To be frank, this is not why the American people elected Republicans into the majority, and it’s another reason why hard-working taxpayers are losing faith in the leaders of our party.

Republican leaders should be keeping their word to rein in out-of-control spending and the increase in big-government from Joe Biden and his lapdog Democrats…

Congressman Buck stated he is, “appalled by the debt ceiling surrender.” He went on to say “the bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025. That is completely unacceptable.”

Congresswoman Boebert was just as adamant in her opposition. She said, “Our base didn’t volunteer, door knock and fight so hard to get us the majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden. Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them. You can count me as a NO on this deal. We can do better.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R).

As one of Colorado’s most vituperative conservative hardliners possessing no sense of loyalty to the party apparatus he now presides over, we can’t say it’s unexpected for Chairman Williams to be slamming the agreement reached by the nation’s highest-ranking Republican elected official. Normally, a state party chair considers it an obligation to put the party’s best foot forward, not complain in public that “taxpayers are losing faith in the leaders of our party.” Keeping up party morale just doesn’t seem to be Dave Williams’ priority.

But then, Williams took the intraparty intrigue to the next level:

Just so you know, we have yet to hear anything from Congressman Doug Lamborn on how he plans to vote on this compromised debt ceiling deal from Speaker McCarthy and Joe Biden. [Pols emphasis]

The Colorado Republican Party asks that Congressman Lamborn shows a unified front with Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert by voting NO on this deal that grows America’s unsustainable debt.

The Colorado Republican Party also asks that you contact Congressman Doug Lamborn and encourage him to vote NO and not cave to the Washington establishment or special interest insiders.

Making our way to the end, we realized that the whole purpose of this email blast from the Colorado Republican Party was to criticize Dave Williams’ 2022 CD-5 GOP primary opponent, longtime incumbent seat warmer Rep. Doug Lamborn. Lamborn is reportedly still deliberating how he intends to vote later today, but having his phone lines flooded with angry callers routed to him by Dave Williams could have the opposite of the intended effect. However the vote plays out, Williams is certain to face pointed questions about using the state party’s resources to attack Williams’ once and perhaps future political opponent.

If the Colorado GOP no longer exists to support Republicans, what exactly do they do anymore?

A Few Words Of Qualified Sympathy For Liz Cheney

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R).

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s O’Dell Isaac reports from Colorado College’s commencement ceremony Sunday, where commencement speaker former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming was met with a protest by a large percentage of graduating students who turned their backs to Cheney during her address:

When Cheney was introduced — mostly to applause — about half the graduates turned their chairs 180 degrees and sat with their backs to the former Wyoming congresswoman for the entirety of her speech…

After Cheney’s speech, the graduates returned their chairs to their original positions and applauded as honorary degrees were granted to former acting co-President Mike Edmonds, retiring administrator Robert Moore, and mathematician and historian Robin Wilson. Hilaree Janet Nelson, a CC graduate who died skiing in the Himalayas in September, was posthumously honored.

Graduates who turned their backs to Cheney said they did so because of her conservative positions on abortion, LGBTQ+ issues and voting rights.

The first thing to clarify about this incident is that by all accounts the students who protested were not MAGA Republicans upset with Rep. Cheney’s opposition to former President Donald Trump. Cheney’s turn against Trump after the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol endeared Cheney despite her staunch conservative record with many Democrats as well as plenty of “Never Trump” Republicans who were initially horrified enough by January 6th to condemn Trump publicly. Unfortunately for Cheney, Trump immediately began to reconsolidate his support in the GOP after leaving office, and within just weeks Cheney had gone from a trusted member of House GOP leadership to a political dead person walking.

“After the 2020 election, and the attack of Jan. 6, my fellow Republicans wanted me to lie,” Cheney said. “They wanted me to say that the 2020 election was stolen, that the attack of Jan. 6 wasn’t a big deal, and that Donald Trump wasn’t dangerous. I had to choose between lying and losing my position in House leadership.”

Cheney’s stand against Trump has ensured that history will judge her better than either the MAGA dead-enders or liberal college students who can’t see past their policy disagreements with Cheney to recognize her commitment to protecting American democracy at the most essential level. At the end of the day, we can’t have political debates about any of the issues that divide us without a functioning democratic process to ensure representatives are fairly and deservedly elected.

If no common ground is possible on any other issue, protecting democracy is enough to count.

Bob Beauprez Creams CPAC, Matt Schlapp, in Blistering Letter

Sure, whatever.

If you’ve been wondering what former Congressman and two-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has had been doing lately, we’ve got you covered!

As The Washington Post reported late last week, Beauprez has resigned his role as Treasurer of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a Trump-aligned right-wing organization known mostly for organizing bizarre conferences upon which every lunatic Republican in America descends at least once a year:

Matt Schlapp, the prominent Trump ally who leads the influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), was accused this week of mismanaging money and staff in a scathing resignation letter from the parent organization’s treasurer.

Bob Beauprez, the treasurer of the American Conservative Union and a board member for eight years, said he had “lost confidence” in the organization’s financial statements and could not solicit donations “in good faith.” He blamed Schlapp for excessive staff departures and suggested that violations of the organization’s bylaws could expose the storied institution to lawsuits or even criminal prosecution.  [Pols emphasis]

Oh, snap! You know you done messed up when you’re a conservative who draws the ire of “Both Ways Bob.”

As the Post continues:

The 13-page letter, delivered Tuesday ahead of a scheduled June 1 board meeting, escalates the internal and public pressure on Schlapp, who as ACU chairman since 2014, has become a fixture in conservative media. But his leadership is facing multiple challenges amid corporate backlash over CPAC’s embrace of the far right in the United States and abroad, as well as reduced turnout at its flagship Washington-area conference in March. Schlapp called the event a “home run.”

Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, a senior fellow at the foundation and a former senior official in the Trump White House, are also fighting a defamation and battery lawsuit from a former Republican campaign aide who alleged that Schlapp groped him last fall during a visit to the Atlanta area. Schlapp, 55, has denied the aide’s account and attacked his credibility.

Schlapp responded to Beauprez’s letter via Twitter, calling the letter “routine internal complaints from disgruntled employees.”

Bob Beauprez knows his manure.

The New York Intelligencer has more from the letter:

“However great our sympathy,” Beauprez continued, “we cannot avoid our fiduciary responsibilities. A few of us have sought answers to some of what seem to be obvious and necessary questions. As a result, we have been accused of ‘not having Matt’s back’ and ‘trying to stage a leadership coup.’”

The frustration led directly to Beauprez’s resignation, given he is “no longer able to in good faith advocate to donors.” The treasurer compared his role to “that of a mushroom — ‘to be kept in the dark and fed a lot of manure,’” he wrote. “I no longer am willing to comply.” [Pols emphasis]

Beauprez should probably stop using “manure” as an analogy for things. Regardless, we’d certainly be anxious to get away from this CPAC disaster ourselves.

Christian Nationalism is Coming for You (feat. Rob Boston)

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, the Colorado Republican Party isn’t just morally bankrupt! No, the Grand Old Party may actually be financially bankrupt as well, and the national party may bankrupt the entire nation! Yay, fiscal responsibility! Yet another fiscally conservative Republican who lit 5 million dollars of his own money on fire in 2022 losing to Michael Bennet may be talked into lighting another pile of his own money on fire in losing to another Colorado Democrat in 2024. Ron DeSantis made a DeSasterous entrance into a now-very-crowded GOP presidential field and seemingly DeStroyed DeServers at Twitter. And we check in on the Denver mayor’s race with just one week to go.

But first, as Christian nationalism goes from a theoretical threat to a really real oh-crap-here-it-is threat, we check in with Rob Boston, senior adviser at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to see what kinda Constitution these conservatives are reading. Make sure to also sign the pledge to protect the separation of church and state at

Listen to previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Let us have it at

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Tuesday Open Thread

“If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it’s been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking.”

–Will Rogers

The First Rule of Holes is Lost on MAGA Republicans

Maybe you should stop doing that?

At the beginning of the 2023 Colorado legislative session, freshman Republican Rep. Ken DeGraaf of Colorado Springs took to the House Floor to introduce his brand of right-wing nuttery to the rest of the state. DeGraaf punctuated his remarks with an oft-used quote that he clearly never bothered to internalize himself.

“What we have learned from history is that we never learn from history,” said DeGraaf after speaking at length on his opposition to abortion rights – an issue that played a significant role two months earlier in handling Colorado Republicans their worst election losses in generations. There was no indication from DeGraaf that he even recognized the irony in his words.

As we approach the 18-month slog that precedes another national election in 2024, this theme has continued for Colorado Republicans. Far-right Republicans and MAGA adherents seem hell-bent on making the same mistakes, again and again, until one of two things happen: Either 1) These mistakes miraculously morph into success as if by magic; or 2) There aren’t enough Republicans left who can win an election at any level. 

Republicans are still struggling to understand how they could have lost a race for Mayor in FRIGGIN’ COLORADO SPRINGS – historically a bastion of right-wing politics – but the smart ones should be turning their attention to the idiocy taking place in two communities to the north. Democrats have won every statewide race, a majority of Congressional seats, and supermajorities in the state legislature, leaving Republicans with control in just a handful of local municipalities in the Metro Denver area (which most Colorado voters call home). Where MAGA Republicans remain in elected office, such as on local school boards in Douglas County and Woodland Park, they are demonstrating anew why they shouldn’t be put in charge of anything

Let’s start in Douglas County, where Jessica Seaman of The Denver Post reported this week on the latest fallout from an asinine obsession with “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) that has blinded the conservative school board to ACTUAL problems of racism in the district:

Douglas County school board member Elizabeth Hanson resigned Tuesday evening, stepping down before the board was set to vote on changes to the district’s equity policy — one of several areas in which Hanson and the conservative majority have had sharp differences.

“There are some egregious things that are happening on the board right now,” Hanson, who was elected in 2019, told The Denver Post. Her resignation, which is effective immediately, comes months before her term was set to end in November.

“As a Board of Education, every decision that we make should be grounded in how are we making our district better for our students and our employees and this board is sadly failing both,” Hanson told the board when announcing her resignation…

“I don’t feel I can look our students in the eyes and assure them that this board is doing everything in our power to meet our moral and or legal obligations to make sure that our students have an inclusive and safe learning environment,” Hanson said about the potential changes to the equity policy. [Pols emphasis]

Tuesday’s meeting began with a rally outside of school district offices to protest concerns about racism involving the treatment of 14-year-old Jaramiah Ganzy at Castle Rock Middle School. Ganzy’s family says they are moving out of Castle Rock as a result. 

As Elizabeth Hernandez reported for The Denver Post:

In March, 14-year-old Jeramiah Ganzy was so fed up with what he said was racist treatment at Castle Rock Middle School that he wrote an email to district officials. In that message, provided to The Denver Post, Jeramiah wrote that he experienced repeated instances of discrimination, including students directing racist slurs at him and teachers unfairly targeting him for discipline.

“There had been a lot of bullying of people calling me a monkey and a cotton picker,” Jeramiah told The Post in an interview. “I wanted something to happen. I sent the email in anger and frustration, hoping to get a response — and I didn’t.” [Pols emphasis]

This seems like a pretty important topic to address, but on Tuesday, discussion about the district’s equity policy instead devolved into the standard nonsense grievances about CRT, which – like everywhere else that features hand wringing from right-wingers – isn’t even a thing that is taught in Douglas County. Conservatives on the board spent hours overseeing a “thesaurus meeting” in which different sentence structures were debated so that sad white people wouldn’t have to think about racism in real life.  

Tuesday’s discussion was the continuation of fallout from a previous school board passing an equity policy in March 2021. Later that year, four right-wingers were elected to the DougCo School Board, giving conservatives a majority that they immediately exploited. One of the board’s first actions was to direct then-Superintendent Corey Wise to review the equity policy; a week later, the board fired the popular Wise in a split vote that led to accusations of a violation of open meeting laws and a lawsuit from Wise that the board still refuses to settle at significant financial cost to the district.

(The firing of Wise also touched off protests from students, teachers, and educators from across the region. Republican radio hosts such as George Brauchler and Dan Caplis responded by trying to doxx teachers who participated in the rallies.) 

Instead of focusing on reports that a student was threatened with lynching, the DougCo School Board spends its days copy-editing its “equity policy,” which nobody outside of a small group of people will ever read anyway. This is the kind of right-wing nonsense – including efforts to revise the history curriculum – that got three school board members recalled in Jefferson County in 2015, and it’s likely going to eventually lead to the ouster of the current conservative majority in Douglas County.


Via Drew Litton at The Colorado Sun (2/18/22)


Here’s a weirdly-perfect seque…one of the Jeffco School Board Members recalled in 2015 was Ken Witt. Inexplicably, Witt is now the Superintendent in Woodland Park, a small community to the south of Douglas County near Colorado Springs. 

Problems with Woodland Park’s MAGA-inspired school district recently earned national attention via Tyler Kingkade of NBC News:

When a conservative slate of candidates won control of the school board here 18 months ago, they began making big changes to reshape the district. 

Woodland Park, a small mountain town that overlooks Pikes Peak, became the first — and, so far, only — district in the country to adopt the American Birthright social studies standard, created by a right-wing advocacy group that warns of the “steady whittling away of American liberty.” The new board hired a superintendent who was previously recalled from a nearby school board after pushing for a curriculum that would “promote positive aspects of the United States.” The board approved the community’s first charter school without public notice and gave the charter a third of the middle school building. 

As teachers, students and parents began protesting these decisions, the administration barred employees from discussing the district on social media. At least two staff members who objected to the board’s decisions were later forced out of their jobs, while another was fired for allegedly encouraging protests.

These rapid and sweeping shifts weren’t coincidental — instead it was a plan ripped from the MAGA playbook designed to catch opponents off guard, according to a board member’s email released through an open records request. 

“This is the flood the zone tactic, and the idea is if you advance on many fronts at the same time, then the enemy cannot fortify, defend, effectively counter-attack at any one front,” David Illingworth, one of the new conservative school board members, wrote to another on Dec. 9, 2021, weeks after they were elected. “Divide, scatter, conquer. Trump was great at this in his first 100 days.” [Pols emphasis]

What were the odds that Ken Witt would cause the same problems that he caused in Jefferson County? Let’s just say it was a stone cold lock.

If members of the Woodland Park School Board were students of recent history, they might have known that Trump’s tactics cost him a second term in the White House in 2020 and were widely blamed by Republicans for disappointing election results in 2022. But Woodland Park is instead just the latest example of Republicans who prize rhetoric over reality.

The school board’s decisions have won some praise in heavily Republican Teller County, but opposition is growing, including from conservative Christians and lifelong GOP voters who say the board has made too many ill-advised decisions and lacks transparency. 

“I think they look at us as this petri dish where they can really push all their agenda and theories,” said Joe Dohrn, a Woodland Park father who described himself as a staunch Republican and “very capitalistic.” 

“They clearly are willing to sacrifice the public school and to put students presently in the public school through years of disarray to drive home their ideological beliefs. It’s a travesty.” [Pols emphasis]

Teachers grew particularly alarmed early this year when word spread that Ken Witt, the new superintendent, did not plan to reapply for grants that covered the salaries of counselors and social workers. 

At Gateway Elementary School in March, Witt told staff members he prioritized academic achievement, not students’ emotions. “We are not the department of health and human services,” he said, as teachers angrily objected, according to two recordings of the meeting made by staff members and shared with NBC News.

Someone in the meeting asked if taxpayers would get a say in these changes, and Witt said that they already did — when they elected the school board.

The entire story from NBC News is well worth a read. Woodland Park’s MAGA School Board may find themselves with a lot more work to do this fall, because their actions are leading to an exodus of academic experience:

As the school year winds down, many of the Woodland Park School District’s employees are heading for the exit, despite recently receiving an 8% raise. At least four of the district’s top administrators have quit because of the board’s policy changes, according to interviews and emails obtained through records requests. Nearly 40% of the high school’s professional staff have said they will not return next school year, according to an administrator in the district.  

Hooray! High school students in Woodland Park won’t be learning about Critical Race Theory in 2023! Unfortunately, they might not be learning much about anything in the next school year without, you know, teachers.

Three of the five conservative school board members in Woodland Park are up for re-election in November. It would not be a surprise if all three are bounced from office in favor of candidates who are NOT comfortable with Ken Witt or the like-minded nutballs in Douglas County. 

In the meantime, MAGA Republican school board members in Douglas County and Woodland Park might want to familiarize themselves with a different scholarly pursuit…the first rule of holes.

It’s a simple lesson: Stop digging.

Rep. Yadira Caraveo Doing All The Things

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D).

Some call it negativity bias–we would argue it’s a natural consequence of limited resources and a target-rich environment–but we’re regularly accused in this space of focusing on political misdeeds and deplorable behavior from one side of the aisle, at the expense of coverage of the positive work being done by the majority of Colorado’s federal elected lawmakers.

In 2023, the unheralded workhorse of the Colorado congressional delegation so far has been freshman Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo. In just a few short months, Caraveo has enjoyed above-average success in moving legislation even as a minority member. We wrote earlier this month about Rep. Caraveo’s co-sponsorship of legislation to protect interstate abortion rights. A bill co-sponsored by Caraveo to research the threat of the narcotic “tranq” passed the House earlier this month. At the same time, as Colorado Public Radio reported last week, Caraveo’s seat on the House Agriculture Committee places her front and center in the debate over the next Farm Bill:

Agriculture is big business in Colorado, generating $47 billion annually for the state’s economy and employing more than 195,000 people. And as Congress begins writing the next iteration of the Farm Bill, Colorado lawmakers like Caraveo are doing their best to make the case for the state in this massive piece of legislation.

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Caraveo will have a more direct role than most of her colleagues. She said meetings like this are vital as she helps craft the nation’s food policy for the next five years…

There are a lot of members from the Midwest, the Southeast and California on the House Agriculture committees, but hardly any from the Rocky Mountain West or even the greater Southwest.

In addition to agriculture policy, Caraveo is also co-sponsoring with most of the delegation the newly-reintroduced Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, a long-sought effort to protect hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in Colorado:

Sen. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Diana DeGette, Jason Crow, Yadira Caraveo and Brittany Pettersen will co-sponsor the legislation.

Previously, the House of Representatives has passed the CORE Act five times with bipartisan support, but the bill has been unable to get through the Senate. Sen. Bennet and Rep. Neguse first introduced the CORE Act to Congress in 2019…

The dynamics in the current Congress are different than when the CORE Act was last up for a vote. Republicans have a majority in the House, while Democrats hold a narrow majority (51-49) in the Senate. In previous votes, support for this public lands legislation has followed party lines, with Republicans, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, voting against it.

Rep. Lauren Boebert couldn’t care less about protecting some of the most iconic mountain wilderness areas in her district, but the CORE Act enjoys solid bipartisan support in polling. It’s not the first time we’ve noted the irony of the majority of the delegation stepping in to do what should be Boebert’s job–much like they did with appropriations requests that Boebert refused to vote for in the previous Congress, but still took credit for with constituents.

The antics of unserious politicians like Boebert do tend to hog the limelight, particularly now that she’s been proven to be one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress. It’s the polar opposite of Rep. Caraveo’s growing list of understated accomplishments. Most of the news coverage about Caraveo in the past few weeks has focused on Republican spending on her competitive seat and the silly proposition of 2022 U.S. Senate loser Joe O’Dea running against Caraveo–not the productive work Caraveo is doing every day in Congress.

We can all try harder to give credit where due, and we should.

No Russia for You!

Three more Colorado politicians can’t go…here, anymore.

Three more prominent Colorado Democrats have been banned from entering Russia: Gov. Jared Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser, and Congresswoman Brittany Pettersen.

As Colorado Newsline explains:

Three elected officials from Colorado are included on a new list that Russia’s Foreign Ministry released of 500 U.S. citizens banned from entering the country.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser and U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood, all Democrats, are named on the list alongside other government officials, journalists, professors and historians, and arms company leaders who have supported Ukraine…

…The Russian ministry’s statement said the new entry bans come as the Biden administration “regularly imposes personal anti-Russia sanctions … to create as much hardship for Russia as possible.”

Polis and Weiser were not exactly heartbroken by the news:


Polis, Weiser, and Pettersen join a long list of other local and national officials who have shown support for Ukraine amid the country’s invasion by Russia — and subsequently suffered the great tourism ban as a result.

Oath Keepers Leader Gets Eighteen Years For January 6th

Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes.

The Washington Post reports:

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday in the first punishments to be handed down for seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. U.S. prosecutors asked for up to 25 years in prison and the longest sentence by far in the rioting to deter future acts of domestic terrorism, arguing Rhodes played a significant role in spreading doubt about the 2020 presidential election and led more than 20 other Americans to seek to use violence against the government to thwart the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

“These defendants were prepared to fight. Not for their country, but against it. In their own words, they were ‘willing to die’ in a ‘guerrilla war’ to achieve their goal of halting the transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential Election,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Nestler wrote in sentencing memos for the prosecution team.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta to find that Rhodes’s actions were meant to intimidate or retaliate against the government, creating “a grave risk to our democratic system.”

In September of last year, a leak of the alleged membership list for the Oath Keepers paramilitary organization revealed nearly a thousand members here in Colorado, including law enforcement and at least two elected officials. By that time, the group’s connection to the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol had already made them politically toxic, and nearly everyone contacted by the press for appearing on this list explained that at some point in the past they realized the Oath Keepers were “too extreme” and had separated from the organization.

If they prosper, none dare call it sedition. But the January 6th insurrection failed. Now that the leaders of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have been convicted of seditious conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in office after losing the 2020 presidential election, the next logical step is charges against the higher-level conspirators. The January 6th Select Committee presented ample evidence of high-level contacts between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Trump operatives including Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. John Eastman, the University of Colorado conservative scholar-turned coup plotter, continues to provide legal representation to Oath Keepers even while proceedings to disbar him in California continue.

As unsavory a figure as Rhodes may be, he’s still just the low-hanging fruit of accountability for January 6th.