In Ironic Twist, CO Republicans Refuse to Re-Do “Sham” Election of El Paso GOP Leaders

(All you can say is sham-wow – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former GOP Chair Congressman Ken Buck exiting stage left.

The Tea Party/Patriot wing of the Colorado Republican Party flexed its collective muscle last Saturday, leaving no doubt who’s in charge of the state GOP.

Despite a video featuring cavalcade of endorsements from nearly two dozen legislative and party officials, former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, the establishment’s choice to succeed Congressman Ken Buck as GOP Chair, lost decisively to current Vice-Chair Kristi Burton Brown.

Gessler’s loss wasn’t the day’s only defeat for establishment Republicans, however. GOP Central Committee members, comprised of local and state precinct leaders and delegates, voted Saturday to overturn their own leaders’ decision to order a new election of party officers in El Paso County, after dozens of party members submitted signed statements raising concerns about the voting process, including the El Paso County Sheriff, who called it “a sham.”

The party, whose elected members have introduced multiple bills purporting to strengthen election security based on debunked conspiracies of election fraud, has yet another internal voting controversy within its own ranks.

In a March 17 report, the Colorado GOP Executive Committee ordered a new election for El Paso County GOP officers, to be held within 60 days of the adoption of the report, which was expected to take place at last Saturday’s Central Committee meeting.

The unusual situation stems from objections surrounding current El Paso County Chair Tonkins’ “preregistration” requirements for voting members to participate online.

CPR’s Bente Birkeland reported on some elements of the controversy prior to the meeting, including the very short notice of online pre-registration requirements to be completed a week prior to the meeting date. CPR’s story followed a report by the Colorado Springs Independent’s Heidi Beedle who covered the apparent partnership between Tonkins and extremist militia group FEC United, which was both recruiting voting members to support Tonkins and also supposedly providing security at the event.

Upon reviewing the evidence presented to them, nearly all of the top leaders of the Colorado Republican Party found enough problems with the election that they voted 13-3 to “set aside” the election result and order a do-over.

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Colorado Republicans Buck, Boebert, Lamborn & Ganahl Keep Parler & Gab Accounts on the Down-Low

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

https://coloradotimesrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CU.Regent.Heidi_.Ganahl-1.jpgLike it or not, social media accounts are an indispensable component of all professional communications, but especially for elected officials, who can share their message without having to go through reporters. As a rule, the more attention the better. More followers mean a bigger megaphone to talk directly to constituents.

For Colorado Republicans posting on far-right sites Parler and its even more extreme competitor, Gab, however, it appears there’s an exception to that rule.

None of the three Republican members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, nor University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, the lone statewide Republican elected official, list Parler or Gab among the other social media sites on their websites. The Colorado Times Recorder searched for all of seven of the state’s Members of Congress, as well as both At-Large Regents, but didn’t find Parler or Gab accounts for any of the Democrats.

Both Congressman Ken Buck’s official website and campaign site direct visitors to four social media platforms where people can find him: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Neither mentions a fifth platform, Parler, which until recently was growing in popularity as a far-right anything-goes alternative to mainstream sites.

Buck doesn’t advertise his presence on Parler, but he’s quite active, posting almost daily.

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Big Tech Trumps Big Coup For Buck, Boebert

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck (R-CO).

Colorado Newsline’s Chase Woodruff reports on a vote by two Republican members of Congress from Colorado, Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck, along with a very small Republican minority in the U.S. House against a resolution condemning the recent military coup in the nation formerly known as Burma:

Colorado Reps. Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert were among a small group of Republican members of the House of Representatives who on Friday voted to oppose a nonbinding resolution condemning the military coup in Myanmar.

The House passed H. Res. 134, which condemned the violent military takeover of the Southeast Asian country that began on Feb. 1, on an overwhelming 398-14 vote, with 182 Republicans joining 216 Democrats in approving the resolution. But 14 GOP House members, including Buck, Boebert and other figures on the party’s right flank — including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — voted against the measure.

Since being on the wrong side of a 398-14 vote is unusual enough to attract attention, we’re naturally going to speculate about why these 14 of the hardest hard-right Republican members of Congress–who are also some of ex-President Donald Trump’s most indefatigable torch-bearers–would vote against condemning a nation’s military taking over the country when an election doesn’t go their preferred way.

There is, of course, the obvious answer.

But Rep. Lauren Boebert says no, her vote was about resisting the censorious control of “Big Tech,” which is apparently a bigger deal than standing up to a military coup–despite the fact that the resolution apparently only wants to make sure the Burmese military doesn’t use “Big Tech” platforms to commit crimes against the Burmese people:

Boebert’s office indicated that the congresswoman’s objection to the resolution concerned a brief provision calling on Biden to “ensure that United States-based social media companies, including Facebook, not allow their platforms to be used as vehicles for disinformation campaigns or advocating violence against the Burmese people.”

“The bill called on Big Tech to be the arbiter of truth,” Ben Stout, Boebert’s communications director, wrote in an email to Newsline. “Big Tech censorship is out of control and they have proven they can’t be trusted with such authorities.”

As for Rep. Ken Buck?

A spokesperson for Buck did not respond to a request for comment.

In both cases, we want to believe that a bout of anti-Facebook groupthink seized these 14 particularly excitable Republicans, rather than two members of Congress from Colorado having deliberately cast a vote approving of military coups to resolve disputed elections. Because while both are questionable, one is definitely worse.

And so soon after America’s own would-be coup, neither Buck nor Boebert should cast such votes lightly.

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Bob Beauprez Warns GOP on Stimulus Objections

If there’s one thing that Bob Beauprez understands, it’s bull crap (er, horse crap).

Last week the House of Representatives gave final approval to The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that President Biden promptly signed into law. The ARP contains all kinds of helpful things for Americans of all political backgrounds, including $1,400 direct payments to families; extended unemployment benefits; the expansion of child tax credits that could cut child poverty by 50%; much-needed relief for state and local governments; and new money to help schools reopen as quickly as possible.

Not one Republican in either chamber of Congress voted in support of the ARP. Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) spoke for Colorado Republicans in opposition to the bill, rattling off a bunch of debunked facts and figures as part of her rudderless attack on what has proven to be one of the most popular pieces of legislation in modern American history. Just this week, Boebert tried out another attack on the legislation that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Republicans are having a hard time making a logical argument against the ARP, for obvious reasons. As James Downie writes for The Washington Post:

The just-passed stimulus package is a rarity in today’s Washington: a major new law that’s a win in terms of both politics and policy. Poll after poll shows overwhelming support. As my colleague Greg Sargent notes, the bill is even popular with both lower-income Republicans and non-college Whites, two key components of the Trump-era GOP coalition. Millions of Americans are already receiving desperately needed payments to help the country get back on its feet from a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s rhetoric on the stimulus bill doesn’t match the chryons.

A lack of a coherent message won’t stop Republicans from crapping on a stimulus package that they should have just supported in the first place. But as the right-wing Washington Examiner explains, Republicans might want to listen to former Colorado Congressman and two-time gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s warning about relentlessly attacking something that people are generally happy about:

Another former Republican congressman, Bob Beauprez of Colorado, refused to call Biden’s spending package a “legislative win” given it wasn’t a bipartisan agreement. But he did echo Heye’s point about what conservatives call irrelevant inclusions in the framework.

“I’m not sure I’d want people to talk about it much more because they might actually find out what’s in it,” he joked. [Pols emphasis]

Beauprez questioned the package’s positive polling — “Free money? That does sound good.” — and the pressure it places on the country’s finances — “buying votes with borrowed money.” But those are more nuanced messages that are harder to convey to the public.

Beauprez may have been a terrible statewide candidate in Colorado, but he’s no dummy: He understands that Republicans have backed themselves into a corner by attacking a stimulus package that is really helpful to base Republican voters. Americans need help NOW, and Democrats are providing that help; Republicans, meanwhile, are hoping that people will overlook this help because they are more concerned about nebulous federal deficits down the road. It’s not a fair fight, and rational Republicans know this.

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but…Republicans should listen to Bob Beauprez.

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Caption This Photo: Ken Buck Wears Lauren Boebert’s Tagline

It’s another photo of Colorado Republican Party Chairman Rep. Ken Buck with his beloved boltless AR-15 at his Washington, D.C. office, but with a twist: this time wearing a face mask emblazoned with Rep. Lauren Boebert’s famous retort to Beto O’Rourke in September of 2019 in Aurora, arguably the moment that launched Boebert’s unlikely political career: “hell no, you’re not taking my AR-15.”

On the one hand, it’s quite a metaphor for how Boebert has taken over as the face of her party.

On the other, Ken Buck is wearing a face mask. Let’s make sure to encourage this behavior.

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The GMS Podcast: Using a Giant Carrot as a Stick

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss the massive stimulus package that was just passed by Congress and try to figure out what in the hell Rep. Ken Buck stands for. We also introduce a new segment we call “Legislating With Crayons,” and we dive into another episode of “The Boebert Report.”

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Boebert, Lamborn Vote to Adjourn…at 10:00 in the Morning

Qaucus leaders Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene

At 10:07 am this morning in Washington D.C., the House of Representatives held a Roll Call vote on a Motion to Adjourn, which is absolutely as stupid as it sounds.

The Motion to Adjourn failed to pass, but not before 149 Republican Members of Congress voted ‘YES’ on ending their day before it even began — including Colorado Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs). This has been a common vote recently, spearheaded by Boebert’s fellow Qaucus member, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. As The Hill reported last week:

Greene’s efforts to delay congressional business by forcing futile procedural votes to adjourn the House each day are disrupting committee hearings and virtual constituent meetings — and ticking off a growing chorus of Republican colleagues.

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) had to rush out of a committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on monetary policy. Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) had to step out of a video conference with an international conservation group. And Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) had to halt a Zoom meeting with local chambers of commerce from the Great Lakes region.

“Aggravated,” Wagner replied when asked by The Hill how she felt about having to vote on one of Greene’s motions to adjourn one recent morning.

Before stepping onto the House floor, Wagner added, “Ms. Greene doesn’t have three hearings today like I do.”

Greene doesn’t have as much on her plate as most of her colleagues after being stripped of her committee assignments in February on account of the fact that she is a complete lunatic, so she’s made it her personal mission to waste everyone’s time. Today, Boebert and Lamborn played along with Greene’s commitment to pointless obstruction, presumably in an effort to slow the final passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

ABC9 News in Georgia summarized what Greene and colleagues accomplished this morning:

Via ABC9 News in Georgia

 

Wow. Please clap.

How dare you make Doug Lamborn do his job!

As The Hill reports in a separate story from today, this “Motion to Adjourn” nonsense is wearing thin with Republicans:

Forty-one House Republicans on Wednesday voted against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s latest motion to adjourn, yet another sign her party is growing increasingly frustrated with the Georgia Republican’s procedural delay tactics.

That figure was more than double the 18 Republicans who voted against her motion last week to end House business for the day.

Some of those Republicans who have bucked Greene and GOP leaders have correctly predicted that the number of “no” votes will only grow as Greene continues to force more of these votes. [Pols emphasis]

It will be interesting to see how long Boebert and Lamborn continue to play along with this silly stunt (Greeley Republican Rep. Ken Buck did not vote on the motion today).

In some ways, it might be a good thing if Greene keeps this up, because it really separates the serious from the unserious in Congress. It’s difficult for Boebert and Lamborn to say that they are there to represent their districts when they regularly try to skip out on doing their jobs altogether.

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The GMS Podcast: Saying No to Boebert’s No to Our Noes

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii review the wacky CPAC weekend — including Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert’s incomprehensible rhetoric — and break down the opening week(s) of the 2021 Colorado legislative session.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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On This, We Can Agree: Ken Buck is a Buffoon

UPDATE: Buck’s social media fishing expedition has not paid off (he asked people to retweet and “like” his message). As of 9:00 am on Wednesday:

 

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One fish, two fish.
Red fish, blue fish.
Ken Buck is a f***ing idiot.

This guy.

The United States is still trying to halt a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans and devastated the economy.

More than 11.4 MILLION Americans are about to lose unemployment benefits if Congress doesn’t quickly approve a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

People were literally freezing to death in Texas last month because the state’s power grid was designed by monkeys.

The FBI says we surpassed 2,000 cases of domestic terrorism in just the last few months.

But a couple of Dr. Seuss books won’t be published anymore because of racist imagery, and THAT is the single most dangerous problem “we face as a free society,” according to actual Congressperson and State Republican Party Chair Ken Buck.

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Ken Buck Comes Crawling Back To The Big Lie

President Donald Trump, Rep. Ken Buck.

One of the more surprising developments in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election was the attempt by Colorado Republican Party chairman Rep. Ken Buck to debunk the false allegations of election fraud which underpinned now ex-President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the result. In early December, as the misinformed anger that would boil over into insurrection on January 6th was building, Buck went so far as to convene a virtual town hall attended by hundreds of local Republicans in which Buck and Republican county clerks assured the party faithful that the election was accurate and secure–at least in Colorado, even though our all-mail ballot election system tabulated in large part by Dominion Voting Systems hardware amounts to everything Trump baselessly blamed for his defeat in other states.

After Rep. Buck unexpectedly came to the defense of Colorado’s election system in the face of Trump’s denials, he was criticized by Trump loyalists for his choice of fact over partisan fiction. A few weeks later, Buck announced his decision to not run again for the job of state party chairman, and as of today both of the frontrunners in the race to succeed Buck in that job are campaigning on the Big Lie of a stolen 2020 election.

Well folks, sometime between early December when we praised Ken Buck for showing integrity and today, something happened to Buck’s backbone:

In a turnabout so jarring it will give you whiplash, the 2020 elections that Ken Buck defended last December are now something we don’t want to repeat! And even though most of what Buck is warning about above is already law in Colorado–you know, the same law Buck defended–it’s suddenly wrong to apply those standards uniformly across the country? Everybody knows that Republicans are mobilizing against HR1, but Rep. Buck wasn’t obligated to open his mouth and provide a receptacle for his waiting foot.

Our disappointment is genuine. It was one of the best things Ken Buck did in his whole career.

And now Buck has flushed that goodwill, and the credibility that came with it, down the toilet.

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500,000 Dead Americans, Zero Apologies From Colorado GOP

Having officially passed the tragic milestone of half a million Americans dead, we can say with certainty today that the COVID-19 pandemic was not a “psyop.”

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams got it wrong:

“I’m going to rant just a bit,” wrote Reams on Facebook. “I understand that nobody wants to catch Coronavirus but statistically, even if you catch it you’re likely to be just fine. [Pols emphasis] What I’m concerned with is our Country catching a huge case of socialism. We (our government) has self imposed an economic crash in the name of saving us from a virus and now they are offering the “solution” through money that isn’t really available; let’s call that debt. If you read the attached article, examine what is being suggested and ask yourselves if this is makes sense. Maybe it’s just me but I’d rather take my risk with the virus then socialism.”

So did Reams’ buddy, Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck:

Fauci and his team insisted that the best-case outcome for the virus was between 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities stemming from the coronavirus. But that was before the number was revised down to 75,000. And, that was before it was revised down again to 60,000. Surely, more revisions are to come… [Pols emphasis]

Play this nine infuriating seconds of video:

 

Remember former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville downplaying the threat in the most offensive terms:

Describing the metro area’s stay-at-home order as “outlandish and outrageous,” leading to a “gestapo-like mentality,” Colorado’s Republican House leader vowed Wednesday to fight it, ignore it, and continue doing his job.

“It’s completely insane,” said Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock this morning on KNUS’ Peter Boyles show, as first reported by 9News. “I think we have — what? — something like 40 people, maybe it’s 80 people, somewhere in that range, who have actually been hospitalized…” [Pols emphasis]

And a joke now ex-Sen. Cory Gardner told last August that did not age well:

“My 8-year-old son came to me and said, ‘Dad, I know when the pandemic ends.’ And I said, ‘You do?’ He says, ‘Yes, the day after the election.’ [Pols emphasis] Now, he picked that up somewhere or heard that somewhere, or maybe mom and dad were talking too much around him,” Gardner told a laughing crowd.

If we had the time and inclination, we could write a book just about Republicans in Colorado who made tragicomic fools of themselves by disregarding the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning of the crisis. Had these politicians only endangered their own safety, recounting their stupidity in hindsight would involve more comedy and less tragedy. Unfortunately, it is this willful disregard for public health and safety for the purpose of election-year posturing on the part of Republicans that has led directly to the United States suffering more illness and death from COVID-19 than any other nation.

None of them have said they were sorry. Most of them never will. As a nation we may be too numbed and fatigued to be outraged. But everyone who scoffed at this possibility owes an apology now that this once-unthinkable death toll from COVID-19 is a reality.

At long last, have they no shame?

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Rep. Ken Buck Doesn’t Know How Anything Works

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

CBS4 Denver reports that Rep. Ken Buck, outgoing chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, is calling for Gov. Jared Polis to “boost” natural gas production in Colorado–after the state of Texas temporarily shut off exports of natural gas in order to restore stable electricity service to what’s become derisively known in recent days as the “Freedom Grid.”

Colorado has the second largest natural gas reserve in the county but production has dropped over the last couple of years. Rep. Buck said Gov. Polis should take action now to increase production.

“I understand the governor has a goal for renewable in a certain time period and if that’s the way the people of Colorado want to go, that’s great. But to cut back on natural gas production right now when Texas is cutting back on its export of natural gas is a serious mistake,” Buck said.

So, there are a lot of problems with this, the biggest of which is that Gov. Jared Polis has absolutely no power to simply snap his fingers and increase natural gas production in Colorado. In a statement responding to Buck, Polis’ office said as much:

Colorado’s natural gas market is a responsibly regulated system of wells and pipelines that is geared towards supplying natural gas according to market forces, individual company capital investment decisions, [Pols emphasis] and pipeline capacity and is not something that can be turned off and on like a spigot.

We have to think that at some level Rep. Buck is aware of this, just like he should know that the price of natural gas in Colorado peaked in 2006 and has been in decline ever since–and that is the biggest reason by far why Colorado is not “drill baby drilling” for oil and gas all over the state. If for argument’s sake Polis were able to defy market economics and compel with dictatorial power an increase in natural gas production, by the time that increase came on line the temporary ban on exports from Texas would be long over.

And you know what that means? An even bigger glut of natural gas.

It’s just another situation in which Ken Buck fired off a bunch of words that appeared relevant to the issue at hand, but under scrutiny are revealed to be almost comically ignorant of what is actually taking place. Colorado gains nothing from a knee-jerk boost in natural gas production, any more than Texas benefitted from being overdependent on natural gas electrical production which failed en masse during this historic cold snap. After the attempt to blame renewable energy sources outright for the power failures in Texas fell flat with a little fact checking this is an interesting pro-fossil fuel pivot, but it’s no less factually off base than Lauren Boebert was when she blamed the suffering in the Lone Star State on “frozen windmills.”

As Ludwig Wittgenstein famously observed, “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”  In plain Weld County English this means if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk.

Neither Buck nor Boebert seem to get this.

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Ken Buck Wants To “Whatabout” Trump Back Onto Facebook

President Donald Trump, Rep. Ken Buck.

Axios reports, Republicans in Congress led by Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck are leaning into the ongoing debate by Facebook’s external Oversight Board over whether or not to rescind the ban imposed on former President Donald Trump, following the failed January 6th insurrection Trump rallied and incited:

The board is taking comments on whether it should uphold Facebook’s decision to ban former President Trump. With their letter, GOP lawmakers are avoiding commenting on the merits of the ban, instead pivoting to bias claims that are popular with their conservative base.

What they’re saying: Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), the top Republican on Judiciary’s antitrust panel, writes in the letter that Republicans believe Facebook’s “de-platforming standards are not applied in a fair and neutral manner.”

“Instances where conservatives viewpoints have been censored, blocked, diminished harm the free exchange of ideas and irreparably damage conservative Americans’ faith in the fairness of purportedly neutral actors like Facebook,” Buck writes in the letter, also signed by nine other Republican lawmakers including Reps. Darrell Issa, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz.

Rep. Buck distilled down his opinion for Twitter, where it was recently announced that Trump’s ban from by far his favorite social media platform will be permanent:

If Big Tech can censor President Trump, they can do it to you too. [Pols emphasis]

That’s technically true, since as private commercial media platforms “Big Tech” providers like Facebook, Twitter, and server hosting companies are under no obligation whatsoever to do business or otherwise subsidize anyone they choose for any non-discriminatory reason not to. Free speech, as it’s been said many times but guys like Sen. Josh Hawley still don’t seem to understand, is not an entitlement to access to somebody else’s platform in order to broadcast your speech.

Over the last decade, the viral spread of objectively false information on social networks has has severe negative consequences for American society that Donald Trump is as much of a symptom as a cause. Obviously, if you’re a believer in this objectively false information, attempts to suppress it on social media look like censorship–and even understanding that this kind of regulation is necessary does not relieve us from the debate over how judiciously such power should be applied.

Donald Trump, who relentlessly pushed lies that very nearly derailed the American political system and incited his followers as the nation’s chief executive to physically assault the legislative branch, is not a close case. Through his actions Trump has defined the urgent need for responsible actors to not allow their investments to be used as platforms for mass disinformation campaigns.

Ken Buck knows all of this. He knows that Trump’s lies about the election led to violence. And he knows private companies have the right to make their own decisions about who they associate with. In just about any other circumstance, he would defend that right.

But like Republicans in the U.S. Senate refusing to convict Trump, Buck’s putting his team before his country.

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The GMS Podcast: Impeachment 2, Trumplectic Trumpaloo

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk Impeachment 2.0; keep apologizing to the rest of the country for Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert as the first serious contender to challenge for CO-3 announces; and discuss the Republican “Civil War,” to the extent that it really exists.

Later, we travel back to 2009 and consider whether or not Democrats have learned any lessons about governing on the federal level; we preview the 2021 legislative session; and delve into another update about the 2022 election.

Catch up on previous episodes of The Get More Smarter Podcast at GetMoreSmarter.com.

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Hit us up at AngryRants@getmoresmarter.com.

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (February 9)

Happy Second Impeachment Day. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► The second impeachment trial against former President Trump begins today. As The Washington Post explains, the strategy expected to be deployed by Trump attorneys is shaky at best:

The arguments by opposing lawyers in the Senate impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump this week are expected to revolve largely around a pair of constitutional questions: A First Amendment defense of his fiery speech ahead of the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and a challenge to the legality of putting a former president on trial.

Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, and the only one to be tried in the Senate after leaving office. While an impeachment proceeding is distinct from a typical criminal trial, with a different set of rules, Trump’s case will feature broad legal questions about whether his actions violate the Constitution.

Most legal scholars who have studied the issue think post-presidential impeachment and conviction are allowed based on history and past practice in Congress. “The overwhelming scholarly consensus supports this argument,” said Steve Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

As NBC News reports, House impeachment managers are expected to introduce some new evidence this week:

The case that House Democrats have built against former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, which kicks off Tuesday afternoon, will resemble a “violent crime criminal prosecution,” a senior aide on the impeachment manager team said.

The House managers also plan to use evidence against Trump that hasn’t been seen before, aides told reporters ahead of the start of proceedings, although they did not provide any details.

In their presentation, the managers will attempt to show that Trump spent weeks laying the groundwork for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and that after he saw what was happening “he incited it further,” an aide said.

Colorado will be represented well during Impeachment 2.0, with both Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) serving as House impeachment managers. Ernest Luning has more on the roles for DeGette and Neguse in this story from the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

DeGette said the “managers,” as they’re known, intend to “finish the job” started by the House on Jan. 13, when 10 Republicans joined every Democrat to impeach Trump on a single article for “incitement of insurrection.”…

…DeGette, who worked as a civil rights attorney before election to Congress, and Neguse, an experienced litigator and former head of Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies, were appointed to the high-profile positions by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

From a more national perspective, Vanity Fair previews Impeachment 2.0 with a story featuring Congressman Neguse.

 

The news just keep getting worse for Colorado Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle), who now faces an official Congressional Ethics complaint related to her questionable campaign expenditures to herself for $22,000 of “mileage” reimbursements and related questions about whether that money was used to pay off liens on her restaurant.

 

As Meg Wingerter reports for The Denver Post, Colorado is doing a pretty good job of containing the COVID-19 pandemic:

Colorado continues to make progress in reducing new cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19, but whether that continues will depend on what people to do — and how widely more-contagious versions of the virus are spreading.

As of Monday afternoon, 535 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That’s a little over a quarter of the number of people receiving hospital care for the virus at the worst point in December, but more than twice the number at the low point over the summer.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 8,460 new cases in the week ending Sunday. It was the lowest weekly total since mid-October.

We’re nowhere close to being out of the woods yet, of course. Keep wearing those masks and practicing social distancing!

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Ken Buck: Wrong, Gross, AND Stupid

TUESDAY UPDATE: At some point on Monday, Buck deleted the ridiculous Tweet below. Today, he re-upped the same inaccurate accusation…just with different words:

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UPDATE: Buck apparently deleted this Tweet.

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Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has gradually wandered off into right-wing nonsense land over the last couple of years, pin-balling around from promising to investigate the funding of Antifa to getting caught up in ridiculous election fraud stories. Buck’s recent announcement that he would not run for U.S. Senate in 2022 was a surprise to nobody who has been paying attention to his antics over the years; in fact, it’s hard to believe that this meme-repeating goofball who gladly recites utter bullshit is the same guy who came pretty close to winning the 2010 Senate race.

Buck was at his worst today on Twitter, combining multiple subjects into one stupefying and disgusting narrative. He is apparently still angry at President Biden for cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline and a few thousand jobs that did not yet exist but would have only been temporary anyway. Buck is also unhappy about a change in priorities for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that have been rejiggered into inaccurate right-wing talking points. And that’s how he ended up vomiting up this crap on social media:

Where to begin? First off, casually tossing around the word “rape” as an exclamation point for more clicks is disgusting and diminishes the very real issues of many different forms of sexual assault which he and the rest of the Republican Party would do well to take seriously.

Second, if you take Buck’s message at face value, his argument seems to be that…Keystone Pipeline workers are being deported to Canada? Nevermind that most of the actual jobs that were associated with the Keystone Pipeline were held by Canadians.

Maybe Rep. Ken Buck could think more and Tweet less.

Finally, the entire premise of Buck’s missive is factually wrong. As The Washington Post and other news outlets explained, the White House is absolutely NOT directing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop deporting immigrants convicted of assault and rape, which is probably why the cited Tweet from Katie Pavlich was deleted altogether. From The Washington Post:

While ICE’s new operational plans are not yet final, interim instructions sent to senior officials point to a major shift in enforcement. Agents will no longer seek to deport immigrants for crimes such as driving under the influence and assault, and will focus instead on national security threats, recent border crossers and people completing prison and jail terms for aggravated felony convictions…

…ICE officials say anyone unlawfully in the United States will still be subject to arrest, including people who committed crimes and were released before the memo was issued. Crimes such as sex offenses remain a top priority, they said.

“The commission of an aggravated felony is the most conclusive proof of a public safety threat,” ICE spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in a statement. “ICE retains its unlimited discretion to evaluate any conduct in defining a public safety threat.”

Not only is the Biden administration NOT restricting deportations for violent criminals, but acting ICE Director Tae Johnson recently confirmed to staff that agents should “prioritize” cases including “murder, rape, child abuse and major drug offenses.” In other words, THE EXACT OPPOSITE of the claim that Buck is repeating.

Buck’s ability to make a completely illogical argument while spreading misinformation would almost be impressive if we weren’t talking about an actual Member of Congress. Somehow, a man who has substantially lowered the bar on his own behavior since first getting elected to Congress in 2014 can still manage to find a way to dip ever lower.

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Buck, Boebert Sign Looney Tunes Deb Haaland Letter

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck (R-CO).

With GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn mostly laying low in an effort to avoid the donor backlash against pro-sedition lawmakers, Colorado’s two highest-profile Republicans left in office have become something of a yin and yang of one another: Rep. Ken Buck, saying his long goodbye from politics while emerging as an unlikely voice of reason regarding the 2020 elections, and Rep. Lauren Boebert anchoring the defiant “Trump Truther” wing of the GOP still carrying a torch for very much ex-President Donald Trump.

But despite the major disagreement between Buck and Boebert on the results of the 2020  election, the two managed to find common ground last week railing against Deb Haaland, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next Secretary of the Interior:

We write today urging the withdrawal of the nomination of Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) as Secretary of the Interior. Nominating Representative Haaland is a direct threat to working men and women and a rejection of responsible development of America’s natural resources.

As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Haaland jumped at the opportunity to introduce the Green New Deal in the House, a so-called plan to “completely transform” our economy and that “goes farther than just calling for a ban on hydraulic fracturing.” The harmful effects of the Green New Deal are well-documented, but it includes eliminating air travel, responsible petroleum development, and the use of non-electric vehicles, costing each American family $65,000 and the United States $93 trillion annually.

Now folks, the “Green New Deal” is already something of an anachronism having been superseded by Biden’s own clean energy plan. But the contention in this purportedly serious letter to President Biden that the GND would have eliminated commercial aviation or banned non-electric vehicles–or for that matter the frequent allegation that cows would be banned due to their methane-y farts–is laughably unpersuasive. Fact-checkers have been shredding these silly claims ever since the Green New Deal was proposed over two years ago, but that hasn’t stopped them from being endlessly recycled on social media and by right-wing talking heads.

If the goal of this letter was to actually persuade Biden to reconsider Deb Haaland’s nomination as Interior Secretary, it’s worth fellow Republicans asking: why would Buck, Boebert, and this letter’s other dozen-odd signers make their case to the President with arguments everyone literate on the issue have been rolling their eyes at for two years?

Maybe it’s all they’ve got, but it feels not even trying. Do better, just to offer a debate worth having.

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We Already Knew Ken Buck Wasn’t Running For Senate

Yesterday evening, outgoing chairman of the thoroughly demoralized Colorado Republican Party and Rep. Ken Buck of Weld County made it official: he will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Outgoing Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Buck doesn’t say explicitly in this announcement that he will even run again for re-election in 2022, which will allow longstanding speculation that Buck may be getting ready to fully retire from public office to continue–and with a bevy of potential Republican CD-4 candidates waiting to see what the new maps look like post-redistricting, expect that to remain a hot topic going forward.

As for the speculation that bubbled up in early January suggesting Buck might run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, with a rumored call from National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chair Sen. Rick Scott, there are plenty of good reasons we never bought in to that. Buck’s distastefully confrontational far-right, science-spurning politics play well in the rural district he represents, but there’s no way he could possibly win a statewide race in Colorado. Buck’s last attempt at the U.S. Senate in 2010 was a narrow defeat in an historic Republican wave, and since then Colorado has only elected Cory Gardner, a triangulating con man of a Republican to statewide federal office. Buck’s unapologetic “politically incorrect” conservatism is no better fit in today’s Colorado than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be running in Alabama.

At the same time, Buck has managed to alienate a large segment of the Republican base in Colorado by not joining with various other state GOP chairpersons like Arizona’s Kelli Ward in morphing from Republican loyalists to Trump loyalists, which has in recent weeks emerged as a sharp dividing line between Trump loyalists and loyal Americans. Buck’s considerable efforts to debunk the conspiracy theories about Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems and Colorado’s tried and true mail ballot elections were both hypocritical and commendable, but for Buck in a party still dominated by Trump’s legacy one thing they are not is vocationally auspicious.

If Buck was seriously considering a Senate run at any point, it’s a good bet the numbers he saw gave him buyer’s remorse. A man like Ken Buck doesn’t wear high heels, not even to win a statewide race, so he’s marching his bullshit-covered cowboy boots to the exit faster than you can spell R-E-C-A-L-L.

Wait, we have more! It’s been a long time coming.

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The Old Ken Buck Is Back

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Rep. Ken Buck, outgoing chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, angered a broad swath of party faithful by acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump after the Electoral College did its thing on December 14, and going to significant lengths to debunk the baseless allegations about Colorado’s election system that also underpinned Trump’s bogus claims the election was stolen. Buck proved willing to accept the election results, albeit grudgingly and only after joining the ill-fated Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit to overturn them.

But in case you were wondering whether Buck is actually turning over some kind of new leaf here, maybe positioning for a bid for statewide office despite Colorado’s steady leftward march since he lost the 2010 U.S. Senate race, you needn’t:

Because Buck is the same meanspirited culture warrior he always was, and Colorado stopped electing such people to statewide office a long time ago. Buck’s willingness to accept the 2020 election results doesn’t entitle him to any special deference in a state Biden won by over 13 points. And as Buck is happy to demonstrate any time, his views are far more repellent to a majority of Colorado voters than the last Republican elected to a major statewide office, ex-Sen. Cory Gardner, ever were. Gardner won his office by pretending not to be all the things Buck owns up to with a smile.

Buck’s career ceiling is his safe GOP seat in Congress, and he won’t try to fake otherwise.

It’s just not who he is.

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Get More Smarter on Thursday (January 14)

Happy “Feast of the Ass.” Please celebrate responsibly. 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► We witnessed history on Wednesday when Donald Trump became the first President in American history to be impeached TWICE — thereby cementing his place as the worst President we’ve ever had.

Congress has voted to impeach three different Presidents, but none with as bipartisan a vote as occurred on Wednesday. Chris Cillizza of CNN looks at one of the more surprising YES votes from the GOP caucus:

When Tom Rice voted “yes” on the impeachment of Donald Trump over the President’s role in inciting the riot that led to the storming of the US Capitol, most close congressional watchers assumed he had made a mistake.

After all, there was little to indicate that the reliably conservative South Carolina Republican would join nine other colleagues in breaking with the President (and the party) to back impeaching Trump. Unlike Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Rice hadn’t been an outspoken critic of Trump. And unlike Reps. John Katko (New York) and David Valadao (California), Rice doesn’t represent a swing district.

“Compared to the often raucous members of the state’s congressional delegation, Rice has been more low-profile and focused on his legislative work,” wrote the Almanac of American Politics of Rice, who has represented eastern South Carolina’s 7th district since 2012.

But Rice hadn’t made a mistake or accidentally pressed the wrong button. His vote to impeach was real — and without question, the most surprising of the 10 Republicans who bucked the President.

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post ponders the thought process of the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment.

You probably don’t need us to tell you how Colorado’s Congressional delegation voted on impeachment. The four Democrats voted YES, while the three Republicans voted NO. We double-checked that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) voted NO, since he seems to change his mind on a topic at least once every 24 hours.

 

► Trump’s impeachment trial now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it won’t likely be taken up until late next week at the earliest. As The Washington Post and others have reported, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he might support impeachment, if only to expedite the process of removing Trump’s presence from the Republican Party.

 

9News reports on local law enforcement efforts to secure the area around the State Capitol building in advance of planned “protests” in the next week.

 

► If you thought Colorado Republicans might have learned a lesson from their second consecutive drubbing at the polls in 2020…well, they didn’t. Led by new House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, House Republicans tried a bunch of pointless shenanigans on Wednesday as the state legislature briefly gaveled into session before a recess until Feb. 16 for coronavirus safety precautions.

As Alex Burness of The Denver Post notes:

 

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Buckpedaling Shifts Into Third Gear

Can this bike go sideways?

Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is not known as a man of firm convictions. This is primarily because it is genuinely impossible to know where Buck stands on certain issues at any one time.

You can generally count on Buck, who also serves as the Colorado Republican Party Chairman, to voice at least one idiotic opinion on a particular topic. But three different opinions? That’s a rare treat.

Last week, in a span of 24 hours, Buck went from saying, “I don’t blame the President at all for this” regarding the attack on the U.S. Capitol building, to saying, “I think he’s partly to blame.”

Today, Buck showed up on CNN and offered a THIRD explanation for last week’s terrorist attack:

“What I’m trying to suggest to you is that both sides are at fault,” says Buck in an interview with CNN’s John Berman, who is understandably confounded by Buck’s proposal.

We’re not even going to bother with using a lot of words to explain why Buck’s suggestion that “both sides are at fault” is complete rubbish. There were not two different groups of people laying siege to the Capitol last Wednesday. Period.

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The “Buckpedal” Is Back

 

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Asked yesterday by the Colorado Sun if he blamed President Donald Trump for the violence committed by Trump’s supporters after Trump directed them to the Capitol during yesterday’s “Wild Protest” riot, Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck at that moment was standing by his man:

“I was a prosecutor for 25 years. When people do stupid things, the people that do those things are responsible,” Buck told The Colorado Sun during a brief interview on Wednesday. “The president didn’t order anybody to do this. This is a country that welcomes protest — peaceful protest. I don’t blame the president at all for this.” [Pols emphasis]

But by this morning on KOA radio, Rep. Buck was singing a 180-degree different tune:

Obviously Buck was closer to right the second time! The question is, what happened between the first quote and the second quote to invalidate Buck’s quarter century in the prosecuting business that made him initially conclude incitement isn’t, well, ever a thing? If one of these quotes is true, pretty much by definition the other one cannot be. Longtime readers will recall the term “Buckpedal” coined during Buck’s failed 2010 U.S. Senate for these moments, and a decade later it’s still a signature move.

This is why, even when Rep. Buck occasionally lands on the right side of an issue in the midst of generally landing on precisely the wrong side, you really can’t put much stock in what he says. Like when he promised to teach Democrats how to “spell R-E-C-A-L-L,” the man just kind of flaps his jaws for the sake of the flapping.

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Get More Smarter on Wednesday (January 6)

Welcome to the first “Get More Smarter” of 2021! 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.

 

CORONAVIRUS INFO…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
http://covid19.colorado.gov

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

 

► Holy crap, Georgia!

Democrats are close to capturing majority control of the U.S. Senate after Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s runoff election on Tuesday; Warnock becomes the first Black Senator from the State of Georgia.

In the other Senate contest, Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a narrow lead over Republican David Perdue, with the majority of the outstanding ballots still to be counted concentrated in Democratic-leaning counties. As National Public Radio reports, Ossoff has declared victory:

Democrat Jon Ossoff — who as of 9 a.m. ET Wednesday leads Republican David Perdue by about 16,000 votes in the Georgia runoff that could give Democrats control of the U.S. Senate — claimed victory Wednesday. The Associated Press, which NPR relies on for its results, has not yet called the contest.

“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,” Ossoff said in remarks Wednesday morning.

When Vice President Kamala Harris is sworn-in to office on January 20, she will become the tie-breaking vote in the Senate that will change Mitch McConnell’s title to “Minority Leader.”

Via The New York Times (9:15 am, 1/6/21)

 

► With a new Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, expanded coronavirus stimulus payments could be just around the corner.

 

► Tuesday’s big victories in Georgia for Democrats will undoubtedly sour the mood today when certain Republican Members of Congress — including Colorado Reps. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert and Doug Lamborn — will make a no-hope attempt at preventing Democrat Joe Biden from becoming President. As POLITICO explains:

…the bicameral session of the House and Senate — which could stretch into the early hours of Thursday — will be the stage for this last stand by Trump allies who have refused to accept the election results.

Inside the Capitol, the effort has splintered Trump’s party, with more than 100 House Republicans and at least a dozen Senate Republicans objecting to Biden’s victory while Senate GOP leadership warned their caucus against the effort. Already, senators are signaling they’ll challenge results in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

But the most intense focus will be on Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the 1 p.m. joint meeting, where he’ll be required by the Constitution to count the electoral votes certified by the states. Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232, and a wave of legal challenges by Trump to reverse several states’ results failed at every level of state and federal court.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “it’s all over but the shouting”?

Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) will play a key role in today’s nonsense-fest as one of four Democrats assigned to handle the arguments against overturning the election results.

Here in Colorado, local Republicans are promoting a QAnon rally in Denver aimed at showing support for President Trump, or something.

 

POLITICO reports on an absolutely amazing bit of karmic justice:

Joe Biden has selected Judge Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Biden selected Garland over former Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, choosing to elevate the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals in D.C. to run the Justice Department.

In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Garland to serve on the Supreme Court, but his nomination languished in the GOP-controlled Senate at the end of the former president’s term. In recent weeks, Garland has been recusing himself from cases involving the federal government, fueling speculation that he was a leading candidate for the job.

 

More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…

 

(more…)

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Boebert vs. Buck: Who’s In Charge Of The Colorado GOP?

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck (R-CO).

The Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reported yesterday a development in the ongoing struggle by beaten President Donald Trump to undo his loss to Joe Biden, and while it’s not what you’d call a game-changer it certainly adds drama to the story in terms of Colorado Republican divisions on what happened in the November elections and how to proceed–a question coming to a head this week in Washington, D.C. as Congress prepares for the final steps in confirming Biden’s victory:

Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on Sunday criticized an attempt by many in his political party to overturn the results of the presidential election, calling it an unconstitutional power grab by Congress to the detriment of states and voters.

“We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states,” Buck wrote in a lengthy statement with six other Republicans in Congress.

The Windsor Republican, who also chairs the Colorado Republican Party, criticized elections in several swing states, but said that because those states have not sent Congress an alternative slate of Electoral College votes, Congress has no power to overturn the election. President-elect Joe Biden won the Electoral College.

Rep. Ken Buck, who also serves as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and regularly comes in for criticism for his irresponsibility on issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, was an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump during Trump’s many scandals in office culminating in impeachment a year ago. But in a twist few expected, Buck has actually proven an unexpected voice of sanity–with some erratic exceptions we’ll chalk up to towing the party line–within the Republican Party on accepting the results of the 2020 elections. Buck convened a meeting starring Republican county clerks early last month, attended virtually by hundreds of party members, specifically to debunk the conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems and mail ballots Colorado has used uncontroversially for years–core articles of faith for Republicans who believe the election was stolen.

After the Electoral College voted for Biden, Rep. Buck angered Trump diehards by promptly acknowleding Biden’s status as President-elect. And now, Buck is going on record that the 140 fellow Republicans and dozen Senators who are set to mount a last-ditch attempt to reject the election results on Wednesday are wrong–not just wrong, but endangering future Republican success with their action. This extraordinary paragraph in Buck’s statement yesterday should be required reading in poli sci classes of the future:

(more…)

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Ken Buck Makes Party Chair Exit Official

Rep. Ken Buck (R) pointing at his biggest problem.

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck announced Thursday that he will not seek a second term as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party…

Buck was narrowly chosen for the top spot by the Colorado GOP’s central committee — a gathering of about 400 politicians, party officials and activists — in March 2019, months after Republicans suffered an electoral shellacking in 2018.

This November wasn’t much better for Republicans. Though they mostly held their ground in legislative races, Democratic candidate Joe Biden won the largest presidential margin here in several decades and Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was easily defeated by Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper.

Taking the job with a bold promise to teach Democrats to “spell R-E-C-A-L-L” after 2018’s historic defeat for Republicans in Colorado, Rep. Ken Buck’s term as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party was an unqualified disaster. The promised recalls failed one after another including the particularly misguided attempt to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora shooting and whose advocacy for gun safety is above reproach. As a result, recalls have turned from a feared weapon of political retaliation in Colorado politics into something of a joke.

Later, during the 2020 primary season, Buck was accused by fellow Republicans in El Paso and Weld Counties of shenanigans including pressuring an official to submit falsified assembly vote counts to the state–incidents that continue to reverberate in recent news stories, and for which Buck remains under investigation by the state’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

In Congress the last couple of years, Buck hasn’t fared much better. Buck’s attempts to “help” President Donald Trump during investigative hearings that led to Trump’s impeachment became national headlines when his questioning backfired and reaffirmed that Trump could be prosecuted after leaving office. Buck has been an embarrassing spectacle of “COVIDiocy” throughout the pandemic, though we’ll concede that is probably least likely to hurt his image representing a district apparently full of like-minded denialists.

It’s been rumored off and on that Buck might retire from Congress, owing to health issues and/or his supposed disenchantment with Washington politics. For Republicans, it’s clear in retrospect that hiring a part-time GOP chairman was a very bad idea. In a year when Republicans in some other states clawed back gains made by Democrats in the 2018 elections Buck achieved absolutely nothing–and is leaving the Colorado GOP with no vision for the future other than a gaping hole where Donald Trump is supposed to be.

Whoever succeeds Buck won’t just be picking up the pieces. They’ll be starting from scratch, because there is nothing Ken Buck has done for this party that’s worth carrying forward.

Unless you’re a Democrat! In which case this is all going swimmingly.

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