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…

 

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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:

—–

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

 

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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.

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.

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…

 

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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:

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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.

Who The Hell Writes Ken Buck’s Emails?

Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

As most readers know, Attorney General William Barr announced his resignation two days ago. The resignation takes effect later this month, but Colorado GOP chairman Ken Buck has high hopes that Barr might splash a mine in the water for incoming President Joe Biden on his way out the door. That at least is what Buck says in an email blast today urging Colorado Republicans to sign a petition calling for a special counsel to investigate presidential failson-elect Hunter Biden:

Our Party’s Chair, Congressman Ken Buck, has officially called on Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s corrupt business dealings…

Democrats didn’t want any bad news surfacing about Biden or his family close to the election, so they even went so far as to lock people out of their private social media accounts if they shared information about the Biden scandal.

Now folks, if Democrats suddenly having the power to “lock people out of their social media accounts” comes as a big surprise to you, you’re not alone! It’s one thing to allege that social media companies are censoring conservatives themselves, but the idea that Big Tech has simply handed the moderator keys over the to DNC is…well, that’s a new one. And, of course, completely insane.

We cannot let the Democrats try to cover up this scandal again. Justice must be delivered — and Bill Bar, as head of the Department of Justice, [Pols emphasis] must act immediately.

Then again, nobody is proofreading this stuff. So we’re clearly asking for too much with fact-checking.

Much like the GOP’s fake electors, here’s hoping Bill Bar comes through for Ken Buck.

Pro-Trump Rally at Colo Capitol: China Rigged Election, U.S. Will Wage War

(Looks chilly – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A Trump supporter blows a ram’s horn under a pro-militia flag to open the “Stop the Steal” rally on Saturday.

Freezing weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 60 or so Trump supporters who gathered outside the Colorado’s Capitol today to support a group that claims China rigged the election and predicts the U.S. will go to war against the Asian nation.

The rally, is one of dozens of similar events taking place across the country today under the “Stop the Steal” banner. The Denver event is co-branded with the religious right “Jericho March” (happening today in Washington, D.C.) and a pair of pro-Trump groups.

The Supreme Court’s swift rejection of the Texas lawsuit yesterday didn’t dissuade them either, as they are yet again calling for the court to “Stop the Steal,” which appears to mean cancel the election results and order state legislatures to choose new electors.

It was promoted by the brand-new conservative group United States Election Integrity Project (USEIP). Organizer Dave Roach says the group “sprang out of the chaos after the election.” He acknowledged that the group is new (its website URL was registered on Dec. 4) and linked to national interests. He told the crowd that since its inception the group has grown to over 100 members.

Attendees carried Trump and Gasden “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, as well as handwritten “Stop The Steal” and “Stay In The Fight” signs. One waved a Three Percenter militia flag. The group gathered on the lower landing near Broadway. A pair of women heralded the beginning of the event, one playing a bugle and the other a shofer, which is a traditional Jewish wind instrument carved from a ram’s horn.

Addressing the crowd, USEIP’s Roach stated now-familiar claims that the election wasn’t fair and had been stolen from President Trump. He noted that while some Trump supporters have been calling for civil war, he didn’t think that should happen because he doesn’t believe “fellow Americans” were responsible for rigging the election. Instead he blamed China.

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So, You Want to Overturn Democracy…

Clockwise from top: Rep. Michael Waltz, Rep. Ken Buck, and Rep. Doug Lamborn kissing arse.

We wrote yesterday about the news that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) had both added their names to an amicus brief related to that asinine Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election so that Donald Trump can remain in the White House.

It seems that we are not alone in our dismay over the actions of local Members of Congress. The editorial board of The Orlando Sentinel is pretty pissed off about the decision of Rep. Michael Waltz to join in this circus — so upset, in fact, that it published an editorial in which it apologized for endorsing Waltz in 2020:

We now know what we didn’t then — that Waltz, a U.S. Army Green Beret who served his country — is willing to undermine the nation to ensure his political party remains in control of the White House.

Every American should be appalled at the attempted usurpation taking place, and at the elected officials taking part in this terrifying fiasco and violating their oath to protect the country from enemies, foreign and domestic.

Everyone who supported Michael Waltz for Congress should feel a deep sense of remorse and regret.

We do.

Sadly, the list of Republican Members of Congress signing onto the Texas lawsuit continues to grow. The rationale, as the Sentinel explains, is distressingly simple:

They want to undo 231 years of election tradition and norms so their guy, Donald Trump, can have another four years in office. And so the president won’t send out a mean tweet that might torpedo their chances for reelection.

Back in March 2019, the editorial board of The Denver Post famously un-endorsed Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) after finally growing tired of Gardner’s inability to honor his word and his general impotence in dealing with President Trump. The last straw for the Post was Gardner’s flip-flop in support of Trump’s “emergency declaration” so that he could raid military coffers to build his stupid wall along the Mexico border. As the Post wrote:

Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader. He has become precisely what we said in our endorsement he would not be: “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”…

…We no longer know what principles guide the senator and regret giving him our support in a close race against Mark Udall.

Colorado’s newspaper of record, The Denver Post, can’t un-endorse Rep. Buck; they supported long shot Democrat Ike McCorkle in 2020 rather than give a thumbs up to more of Buck’s nonsense. For obvious reasons, the Post also did not endorse Rep. Lamborn in 2020.

Newspapers such as The Greeley Tribune could still follow the lead of The Orlando Sentinel in voicing displeasure with Buck’s blatant disregard for democracy. If The Colorado Springs Gazette were a real newspaper, they could similarly shame Lamborn (but they won’t).

Regardless, we are encouraged by the actions of The Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board. Speaking truth to power is one of the most important roles of a free press. Our democracy may very well depend on it.

Buck, Lamborn and 124 other House Republicans crossed a line this week that should never have even been approachable. As the Sentinel editorial board writes, “Our nation teeters on the edge of constitutional disaster” as a result of the actions of these Republican Members of Congress. Buck and Lamborn need to hear this message, repeatedly, so that this never happens again.

Buck, Lamborn Join Dumbass Texas Lawsuit

Rep. Ken Buck (top) and Rep. Doug Lamborn

We wrote earlier about the ludicrous lawsuit out of Texas seeking to invalidate election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin so that Democrat Joe Biden could somehow be un-elected as President. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the dubious lawsuit on Tuesday, and President Trump officially joined on Wednesday. Six other Republicans Attorneys General joined the suit on Thursday.

As Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas Law School professor explained for CNN: “In a nutshell the President is asking the Supreme Court to exercise its rarest form of jurisdiction to effectively overturn the entire presidential election.”

As Vox.com explains:

But the problem Paxton faces is the same one that has dogged all the legal challenges filed so far by Trump allies: There’s simply no evidence of significant irregularities. Elections officials in dozens of states spanning the red-to-blue spectrum have found no evidence of significant voter fraud marring the results. And they’ve looked.

Election law experts say that the Texas lawsuit has virtually no chance of succeeding, but that didn’t stop two Colorado Congressmen from joining the (lost) cause. Both Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) added their names to an Amicus brief:

 

Look, Rep. Lamborn is not the sharpest tool in the shed, so seeing his name appear on an idiotic lawsuit is not terribly surprising. But Buck is a freakin’ lawyer who was the District Attorney in Weld County for 10 years prior to being elected to Congress. Buck SHOULD know that this is legal horse manure. Frankly, it says a lot about Buck that he probably does know that this lawsuit is nonsense but he agreed to add his name to it anyway.

Buck has shown recently that he’s happy to parrot any suggestion of election impropriety, and he is apparently more than willing to break election laws himself despite serving as the State Republican Party Chairman. The next time Buck tries to tell you about how he is “draining the swamp” in Washington D.C., you can stop him right here.

Ken Buck, Call Your Office: Dominion Lunacy Lands In Colorado

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

We wrote last Thursday about an attempt by Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck to assure restless Republicans in Colorado that despite what they’re been hearing nonstop since Donald Trump lost the election over a month ago, the vote in Colorado was fair and accurate. Colorado’s election system has basically every characteristic that Trump has been baselessly attacking to contest the election results–above all “unsolicited” mail ballots sent to every active voter, so needless to say this rumor control session was a little what you’d call “off message.” Reportedly many Republican faithful came away less than pleased.

In particular, Republican county clerks were on hand to debunk allegations about Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, widely utilized by Colorado counties and a central component of the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that alleges millions of votes for Trump nationwide were “flipped” to his victorious opponent. Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes, a Republican who carried out the 2020 election in her red county on Dominion systems, said flat-out it’s not even possible to do what Trump’s supporters are alleging:

Koppes added that it’s not even technically possible for Dominion software to switch votes because the software does not designate which candidate is assigned a particular oval on the paper ballot.

Well folks, in case you thought that the leadership of the Colorado Republican Party along with GOP county clerks thoroughly debunking the prevalent conspiracy theories about Dominion would be enough to convince…well, even Republican elected officials apparently, you’d be wrong! As the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports, at least eight of Ken Buck’s falcons can no longer hear their falconer:

Colorado election officials — including Republican county clerks — have pointed to the state’s proven track record of election security that has served as a model for other states, and federal judges have dismissed allegations by President Donald Trump that the election was stolen from him.

But seven Colorado House Republicans and one representative-elect penned a letter Monday to outgoing House Speaker KC Becker calling for an audit of the Dominion Voting Systems software used by the state and creation of a special committee…

“Free and fair elections are foundational to keeping our Republic and voters must have confidence in the election system,” they wrote in the letter. “The committee through educational hearings and sworn witness testimony from experts can help uncover any fraud or weaknesses in Colorado systems to help restore faith in the election process.”

Led by outgoing House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, the letter was signed by most of Neville’s hard-right wing of the smallest GOP House minority in decades–including Reps. Kim Ransom, Shane Sandridge, and Dave Williams, and a new face in Rep.-elect Ron Hanks of Penrose–signaling that he is going to be a low-information treasure in the Colorado General Assembly. Although this request for an investigation based on zero actual evidence was appropriately circular-filed by Democratic House Speaker KC Becker, we’re still looking at a very substantial portion of the House GOP minority willing to subsidize misinformation so potentially toxic to American democracy that Republican leadership in Colorado is leading the local campaign to debunk it.

Which means, among other things, it’s time for Chairman Buck to make some phone calls.

Profiles in Cowardice: Colorado’s GOP Delegation

UPDATE #2: Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who also serves as the State Republican Party Chairman, won’t answer questions about the Presidential election…but he’ll happily take time to write a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking for an investigation into “Hunter Biden’s laptop.”

—–

UPDATE: It’s worth noting that this is not a new phenomenon. As Justin Wingerter reported for The Denver Post on November 23:

In the nearly three weeks since Biden defeated Trump, none of the state’s four congressional Republicans have acknowledged Trump’s defeat or signaled support for his wild claims of widespread election fraud. On Monday, spokespeople for the four declined to comment when asked if Trump should concede.

—–

Nope, nope, nope, and nope

Life is full of unanswerable questions. “Who won the 2020 Presidential Election?” is not among them.

Nevertheless, The Washington Post devoted what we imagine was a considerable amount of time into surveying every Republican Member of Congress — all 249 of them — about the results of last month’s election. The Post mostly got a bunch of non-responses and was thus forced to research other public comments from Republicans. All told, only 27 GOP lawmakers acknowledged that Democrat Joe Biden is the President-elect. Two Republicans, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, actually maintain that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

All told, 88% of Congressional Republicans REFUSE TO OFFER AN OPINION on the winner of the 2020 election. That percentage is even more dismal among Colorado’s GOP delegation, which is 100% united in silence. No member of Colorado’s Republican delegation even bothered to respond to questions about the election outcome. Not Sen. Cory Gardner, not Rep. Scott Tipton, not Rep. Ken Buck, nor Rep. Doug Lamborn.

And these were not difficult questions:

Via The Washington Post (12/6/20)

The last question and non-answer is particularly absurd. Most Republicans won’t even say if they would accept Biden as President of the United States once members of the Electoral College cast their ballots. How about after Biden is inaugurated on January 20, 2021? Or when Biden is literally sitting in front of the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House?

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, this is beyond ludicrous:

Saying that we need to consider both sides of this argument equally is an utter farce. It’s as though one side is arguing that 2 +2 = 4 and the other side is saying that 2+ 2 = 5, and we have to act as though both arguments are equally valid.

We are fortunate that the outcome of the Presidential election does not depend on the opinion of Doug Lamborn, but there are other important factors at play in this discussion. Cillizza goes on to make a point that should not — must not — be dismissed as simple partisan politics:

Because if some decent chunk of the population is so convinced — facts be damned — that Trump won and the election was stolen from him, it leads to events like we saw in Michigan on Saturday night: A group of armed protesters surrounded the home of Democratic Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson demanding that she “stop the steal” of the election from the President.

Donald Trump’s poisonous impact on America is undebatable, but let’s not forget the importance of Trump’s enablers. Republicans don’t have to mimic Trump’s unfound allegations about widespread voter fraud in order to weaken democracy and foment violence. By remaining silent, they are admitting that avoiding a mean Tweet from Trump is more important to them than preventing real people from getting hurt.

Shame on Cory Gardner. Shame on Scott Tipton. Shame on Ken Buck. Shame on Doug Lamborn. May their cowardice never be forgotten.

Who Wears it Better (Theoretically)?

The U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat John Hickenlooper is out with a new Spanish-language television ad featuring former Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. As you can see yourself, there’s something…different about Salazar:

Apparently, Ken Salazar is rocking a mustache these days. Since we could all use a little lighthearted humor with the election cycle finishing up its final three weeks, we wondered how other Colorado politicians might look if they decided to change up their style by adding the ol’ face caterpillar.

Clockwise from top left: John Hickenlooper, Cory Gardner, Joe Neguse, Ken Buck, Jared Polis, Doug Lamborn

Now, we’ve long been of the opinion that politicians who want to be re-elected should avoid a mustache at all costs, but what say you, Polsters?

Click after the jump to vote on which one of these imaginary facial decorations works best…

 

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The GMS Podcast Gets More Weiser

Attorney General Phil Weiser (D)

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, we get more Weiser thanks to an interview with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

Your hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii talk with Weiser about his time serving as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and his thoughts on how a new SCOTUS confirmation should proceed.

We also talk about what looks to be another blue wave in Colorado; President Trump and Cory Gardner using the same fake healthcare playbook; and Rep. Ken Buck’s persistence to make an ass of himself at any and every opportunity.

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

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

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

Fake Election News Reels In Ken Buck, Because Of Course

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson follows up on a highly misleading report that aired on CBS4 Denver late last week, which suggested Colorado’s voter rolls were somehow compromised by a post card sent to non-voters encouraging those eligible–with the eligibility requirements outlined right there on the card–to register to vote. This story from CBS4 political reporter Shaun Boyd, who has well-known Republican apologist proclivities, was eventually removed by station management–but in the two days it was up on their site it was widely shared by conservative media and talking heads up to and including Donald Trump, Jr. himself.

As Swanson reports, Rep. Ken Buck, a Coloradan and former district attorney who at least on paper should know better, picked up the misinformation and ran it in for an own goal:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, and the Colorado secretary of state traded barbs on social media Tuesday afternoon in the latest escalation between Republicans and Democrat Jena Griswold as the fall election approaches.

The conflict began after a CBS4 Denver story over the weekend inaccurately suggested that a mailing list for mailers asking Coloradans to vote — a mailing list that included dead people — was connected to the same mailing list from which ballots are sent out. The article was amplified by conservative influencers before CBS4 News Director Tim Wieland took it off the station’s website Sunday and published a clarifying story Monday.

“Reports that the Colorado Secretary of State’s office mailed voter registration postcards to non-citizens and deceased individuals are deeply concerning,” Buck wrote on Twitter as he shared the conservative outlet Brietbart’s version of the original story. “We must get to the bottom of this.”

After having spent the weekend trying to set the record straight after CBS4’s egregious mischaracterization of these post cards to nonvoters as evidence of something amiss with the voter rolls, Secretary of State Jena Griswold was out of courtesy for Buck’s belated rehash of this already debunked news:

“Russia doesn’t have to worry about spreading election misinformation in Colorado,” Griswold wrote. Buck “is doing it for them.” [Pols emphasis]

Because the debunking of a bad story never travels as far as the original misinformation, we expect this fake news to continue to reverberate around conservative media all the way through the election. Every time it comes up, the answer is the same: a post card sent to non-voters has nothing to do with the “voter rolls.” None of the eligibility requirements to actually register to vote were misrepresented, let alone changed by this post card.

Republicans are spreading this story for one reason: it helps instill doubt in Colorado’s mail ballot election system, whose successful track record stands in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s baseless warnings that mail ballots are going to result in “fraud like you’ve never seen.” In this battle, at least until the election settles the question, it’s increasingly clear that our local Republicans will be of no help refuting Trump’s false statements even though they know better.

Given the potential consequences for American democracy if Trump refuses to acknowledge a result in November he doesn’t like, the complicity of local Republicans in maintaining Trump’s fictions about our election system could be enormously damaging to the country.

No matter how bad it gets, Ken Buck is the last one who will admit his mistake.

In Which Ken Buck Gets to the Bottom of Antifa

It’s true because I said it.

Ken Buck has it all figured out. Mostly.

The Republican Congressman from Greeley, who also serves as the Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, was a guest this week on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio. Buck told the talking muppet from Fox & Friends — whom Fox bills as “America’s receptive voice,” whatever that means — that he knows that “Antifa” has a well-funded leadership structure and that local law enforcement officials are not cooperating with the Department of Justice in making arrests and trying to topple “Antifa.”

Of course, Buck eventually acknowledges that he doesn’t have any specific information about any of this, but because he was a prosecutor for 25 years, he sees the bigger picture unlike the rest of the saps in Congress.

We transcribed Buck’s interview with Kilmeade so that you can get the full experience of Buck’s fearmongering nonsense:

KILMEADE: Why are you the one who has to lead the charge into finding out who’s behind Antifa, and what is their role in places like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York?

BUCK: Well, I tell you, I had the privilege of prosecuting for 25 years, and so I think I look at crime a little bit differently. I think a lot of Members of Congress see individual acts of crime, and I see the organization, the money behind the crimes. [Pols emphasis] Who is funding the folks that are traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast to engage in these violent acts — to commit arson, to beat up people who they don’t agree with? And so, I am really interested in going after the funders as a way to shut down the violence.

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t hold your breath waiting for Buck to mention the 17-year-old man who traveled from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, WI and ended up killing two people and wounding another with his AR-15 rifle. What we really need to figure out is this: Who is supplying the bricks?

KILMEADE: Over in Colorado, Congressman Buck, we’re seeing Antifa everywhere. They seem organized. Some of them have radios. They seem somewhat rehearsed. We watch what they did in New York after George Floyd was killed. We saw bricks being dropped off, bats being dropped off. They have a plan.

BUCK: Absolutely. And I write about it in my book and talk about the fact that the left can’t get to their socialist utopia with our constitution in the way and with our history in the way, and with our values. And so, what they have to do is, they have to try to cancel our culture. They have to try to rewrite history and have teachers ignore history, and adopt the terrible curriculum that was written by The New York Times and try to push this, this…this really, lie, about America out to the public.

Serious journalist person Brian Kilmeade (right)

How did we get from “Antifa” to The New York Times and its “1619 Project“? Get us back on topic, Kilmeade!

SPOILER ALERT #2: Buck doesn’t actually KNOW anything about any of this.

KILMEADE: So, you have this group…who are they? Who finances them, from what you know right now?

BUCK: Sure, well, I don’t know specific donors and I won’t speculate about specific donors, but it’s clear to me that there is, a…while it appears to be a loosely-knit organization, there’s also a leadership structure that is very tightly-knit and is, uh, well-funded. [Pols emphasis] And I think that, if you look at who is funding the Left when it comes to other activities, I think undoubtedly there are the same people who are funding a lot of this activity. And I think they’re trying to disrupt President Trump’s agenda, and I think they’re doing everything they can to scare people. I think it will backfire. What I see in Colorado is that voters are concerned about this and are looking for a strong, steady hand to lead the country. 

Just a few minutes ago, Buck said he was absolutely sure that “Antifa” is a well-funded organization. When pressed for details, Buck has…bupkis. It’s frightening to remember that Buck was the freakin’ district attorney in Weld County for 10 years.

Kilmeade then asks Buck to respond to an unspecified report that a former justice department official is saying that there is some sort of “proof” that these protests are actually organized violence and not just organic actions by a few bad actors. Kilmeade compares “Antifa” to Al Qaeda and ISIS; to Buck’s credit, he at least doesn’t perpetuate this nonsense: 

BUCK: Well, I think there’s a difference between foreign terrorists and domestic terrorists, and I think what we need to do, and I think what the Department of Justice is doing, is conducting a grand jury investigation. I think they are doing their best to gather bank records and other records to determine where this funding is coming from. 

But before we can injure ourselves patting Buck on the back, he crosses a pretty important line. This is where Buck moves from red meat posturing to more dangerous (and highly irresponsible) territory: Accusing local law enforcement officials of ignoring “Antifa”:

BUCK: Really, what it depends on, when you deal with major drug organizations and cartels from outside the country, and other organized crime efforts, like the mafia, you need to make sure that you have state and local officials who are arresting at the local level and then using those folks at the local level to gather information on the organization. The problem here is that we don’t have officials in Portland and other areas who are cooperating with the federal government, oftentimes because of sanctuary city policies and other policies that prohibit that kind of cooperation. And so, I think that the Department of Justice has a more difficult problem than it has in the past. [Pols emphasis]

What is Buck’s suggestion here? That local law enforcement officials should arrest more people on suspicion of being part of something that as far as anyone can tell HAS NO STRUCTURED ORGANIZATION? What would the paperwork say? This warrant is based on the belief that suspect is affiliated with an organization that we can find no evidence of existing?

Buck’s comments are at odds with what actual law enforcement officials are saying about “Antifa.” On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and told lawmakers that “Antifa” is an ideology and not an organization. From The Associated Press:

Wray did not dispute in his testimony Thursday that antifa activists were a serious concern, saying that antifa was a “real thing” and that the FBI had undertaken “any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists,” including into individuals who identify with antifa.

But, he said, “It’s not a group or an organization. It’s a movement or an ideology.” [Pols emphasis]

Clearly, the FBI Director has not been talking to supercop Ken Buck, who believes that the Department of Justice is collecting bank account information that it can use to tie people to an ideology and prove that George Soros is the mastermind of our discontent.

Does Buck actually believe this crap, or is he just playing a role that serves him well politically? It’s tough to say which is worse: That he would knowingly tout misinformation or that he has completely bought into this baloney. Either way, it says a lot about both Ken Buck the Congressman and Ken Buck the GOP Chairman.

Ken Buck, COVIDiot To His Last Maskless Breath

Colorado GOP chairman/Rep. Ken Buck released an extended-length fundraising video for online consumption yesterday, and there’s no need to expound too much on the 2 minutes and 40 some-odd seconds in which Buck drones on predictably about his love for freedom and hatred of bad Washington, D.C. “others” (allegedly) in both parties–but we wanted to make sure readers see this particular nine seconds, which is, if you’ll allow us to be honest, all you need to see:

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

That’s Rep. Buck with Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, and it goes like this:

BUCK: Sheriff, we need a mask around here?
REAMS: Not here.
BUCK: Why not?
REAMS: ‘Cause it’s America. It’s a free country.
BUCK: God bless America.
REAMS: Let’s go shoot.

There’s a lot we could say here, for example a reminder of how severely Weld County in particular was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial wave in March and April. In a normal world, this kind of contempt for suffering in a disaster like the ongoing global pandemic would be political suicide–but in Donald Trump’s Republican Party, which comprises a healthy plurality of the electorate in Colorado’s CD-4, even areas that have suffered greatly like Weld County are more likely to reward this behavior than punish it at the polls.

Buck’s second job as chair of the statewide Republican Party, however, makes him a liability to every candidate running in Colorado with an (R) after their name. Every Republican in this state needs to decide if this speaks for them–and if they don’t want it to, they’d better say something right away.

When 50,000 Americans were dead of COVID in late April and the virus was tearing through Weld County, Buck’s cavalier opposition to basic steps like mask wearing was unacceptable.

With almost 200,000 dead today, it’s just…sick.

Caption This Photo: Buck ‘Em All

Via the Colorado GOP, from state party chairman Rep. Ken Buck and CD-3 GOP nominee Lauren “Q*bert” Boebert’s tour of the Western Slope yesterday:

Check out the extremely professional T-shirt Chairman Buck is wearing:

From our examination of the released photos, Buck’s shirt may have expressed a desire to “kill ’em all” and “let God sort ’em out,” but Boebert is the only one who showed up, you know, equipped to actually kill. We feel as though on balance that’s a good thing. If Buck was also packing the means to “kill ’em all,” from what we can see it was kept safely concealed in his pants (no jokes please).

Make no mistake, there are voters this message appeals to. It’s just hopefully…not you.

Ken Buck Phones It In As Career Twilights

Sucks to be Ken Buck.

As the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reported last weekend and we wanted to be sure got a mention in this space, Rep. Ken Buck, who also serves as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, is having a sad:

In an upcoming HBO documentary, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck paints a bleak picture not only of Congress but also of his own political party and the conservative movement in this era of President Donald Trump, before suggesting he will retire soon…

The movie, which debuts 7 p.m. Tuesday, follows three Republican congressmen — Buck, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — through 2019 as they reveal their frustrations with the influence of lobbyists, the power of congressional leadership and a lack of legislative progress. In the film, which The Denver Post screened, Buck often appears exasperated and cynical.

“As you see from our movie, Ken is sad,” said Morgan Pehme, one of the film’s directors, in an interview. “Ken is beaten down by the system. I feel sad for Ken sometimes because you go in there, you think you’re going to make a difference, you’re a member of Congress, you have the pin on, and then you realize you’re just another vote in the pocket of (congressional) leadership.”

It’s difficult to understand from this article what exactly it is that has left Rep. Buck sufficiently disenchanted as to publicly reopen speculation that his career in elected office is coming to an end. As readers know, this isn’t the first time that Buck’s impending exit has been a hot topic, though last time he in the end decided to suck it up and serve another safe-seat term in Congress. But at no point has Rep. Buck made any serious attempt to (we apologize) buck the Republican power structure he has faithfully served since succeeding Cory Gardner in Congress. If anything, Republican failure to accomplish controversial objectives like the dismantlement of the Affordable Care Act, which no doubt is vexing to Buck, is objectively speaking good news for Buck’s constituents. Perhaps it’s the coronavirus economic relief bills that Buck steadfastly voted against? His position hasn’t aged well there, either.

And we have to think that this message yesterday from the Colorado GOP didn’t improve Buck’s mood:

Senator Cory Gardner has once again delivered results for the people of Colorado. This morning, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law, legislation written and introduced by Sen. Gardner.

This critical piece of legislation is the single largest investment in our national parks and public lands in history, and will ensure that Colorado’s public lands, parks, and monuments are available for future generations of Coloradans.

It seems pretty innocuous until you realize that this is Ken Buck praising Cory Gardner for legislation that Buck voted against. If a glowing sycophantic message of support for a bill Buck opposed on conservative ideological grounds doesn’t twist the knife morale-wise, it’s tough to know what would.

It’s a “bleak picture” indeed–but it does appear that Buck has found a use for his “side hustle” as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, which for most people is a full time job all by itself. The Colorado Republican Party is now pushing Ken Buck’s new just-in-time-for-the-HBO-special book, $100 for a signed copy!

Colorado Republicans-

I wanted to let you know about a limited-time exclusive offer to order a signed copy of Chairman Ken Buck’s new book Capitol of Freedom: Restoring American Greatness. The book highlights how progressives continue to reject our Constitution in order to implement their socialist agenda, Chairman Buck writes that all of us must continue fighting to protect our liberty.

There is a limited quantity available and all funds will go to the Colorado GOP to support our candidates this November. Those who contribute $100 or more now will receive a signed copy. Please be aware that it is first come, first serve and that there is a limited supply available.

Ken Buck may be tired of Congress, in charge of a state party headed with seemingly no plan for another disaster at the polls in November, with a term in party leadership sullied by embarrassing failures like 2019’s failed recalls and allegations of illegal manipulation of the 2020 GOP primary ballot…but by God, he’s on HBO and selling books.

For beleaguered Colorado Republicans, this may be all the “winning” you get in 2020. Enjoy it vicariously.