Ed Perlmutter Has Had Enough of This Election Fraud Crap

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) is making headlines today for challenging Republican Rep. Jim Jordan — an Ohio Republican and close ally of President Trump whom Trump is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom — during a remote House Rules Committee hearing on a proposed resolution to encourage implementation of the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office:

Here’s the transcript of today’s exchange:

PERLMUTTER: I would just say, sort of from one lawyer to another, Mr. Jordan, in a cross-examine sort of way…isn’t it true that Joe Biden won the election?

JORDAN: [After a long pause] Um, yes, he’s going to be President. And I’ve never said, as the Chairman indicated earlier, that this election was stolen. What I have said…very clearly, is half of…

PERLMUTTER: Mr. Jordan! Mr. Jordan!

JORDAN: …half of the electorate, both Republicans and Democrats, have concerns, and we have called for an investigation…

PERLMUTTER: Mr. Jordan! Mr. Jordan! It was a simple question. Isn’t it true Joe Biden won…

JORDAN: Yes, he won, but there are serious problems with this election that deserve an investigation, and that’s what I’ve called for. And it’s not just Republicans who think that…

PERLMUTTER: Okay…

JORDAN: Countless numbers of Democrats think that this thing had problems, too. We’ve called for an investigation, but you guys won’t do it…

PERLMUTTER: Mr. Jordan! Mr. Jordan!

JORDAN: End of story. Nevermind the fact that a third of…you asked me a question and I’ve got to give an answer.

PERLMUTTER: I asked you a yes or no question! Please! We’re trying to bring this nation back together, Jim. Jeez! [Pols emphasis]

[pause]

I really just want to bring this back together. I don’t like these resolutions. I support them. We had damage, injury, to this nation…the likes of which we haven’t seen for centuries. And I just want the people to know from somebody who is in a leadership position, as you are, that Joe Biden won the election. Kamala Harris won the election. They’re President-elect, Vice President-elect, and they will be inaugurated into the position of President and Vice President on January 20th. Yes? [Pols emphasis]

JORDAN: You know who has said that? The President of the United States has said that…

PERLMUTTER: Okay. That’s all…

JORDAN: But you guys…want to impeach this President. You want to look at the 25th Amendment.

After a moment of talking over each other, Perlmutter continues…

PERLMUTTER: Look, I’m not trying to bark at ya.

JORDAN: [laughing sarcastically] Well, you could have fooled me.

PERLMUTTER: No. I’m not barking at ya. I just need to have a declarative statement from you so that we can potentially get through the next week without more violence.

JORDAN: Okay.

PERLMUTTER: That’s all I’m asking ya.

JORDAN: Okay.

PERLMUTTER: I mean, you and I have been here together for a long time.

All we can say is this: Thank God there are still some adults left in the room (and we’re not talking about Jim Jordan).

 

 

Don’t Let Local Republicans Whitewash U.S. Capitol Violence

Rep.-elect Ron Hanks (R).

AP reports via the Colorado Sun on another Colorado state representative who was on the scene at last Wednesday’s deadly insurrectionist riot at the U.S. Capitol–actually a representative-elect, Ron Hanks of Fremont County, who will be sworn in to represent House District 60 tomorrow morning to succeed term-limited Rep. Jim Wilson:

[I]ncoming Colorado state Rep. Ron Hanks, a Republican from Fremont County, told a local radio station last week that he arrived for Trump’s rally at the Ellipse outside the White House early that Wednesday morning of the violence. The president used the occasion to urge supporters to “fight like hell.”

Hanks said he marched with supporters to the U.S. Capitol afterward. “I was a little surprised to see people already on the scaffolding, with the Trump flag, and so forth,” he told Heart of the Rockies Radio in Salida.

“From the standpoint of the violence, two of us went around to the back of building, which is where the next meeting was supposed to form up,” he said, “and by that time people had already entered the building.”

Another AP story with added local detail from the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi:

An incoming Colorado state representative, Republican Ron Hanks of Fremont County, was one of about a dozen lawmakers from at least nine states last week who marched to the U.S. Capitol to support overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. Only one lawmaker was known to have gotten inside the Capitol and since was charged with a crime and resigned. Others have said they participated peacefully.

Make no mistake, Rep.-elect Hanks claims to be one of the “peaceful” participants outside the Capitol, although there remains some question about that since everyone who proceeded past the U.S. Capitol Police’s original security perimeter well away from the building itself, which is thousands of people, was arguably breaking the law.

“People wearing Trump material that weren’t Trump supporters that managed to make look good people look bad just by uh, blending in” -Rep.-elect Ron Hanks (R).

We wanted to learn more about Rep.-elect Hanks, so we took a moment to listen to his interview on local radio in Salida where he discusses the momentous events of last Wednesday. That’s when we discovered that Rep.-elect Hanks had a lot more to say about Wednesday’s deadly riots at the Capitol than anybody has reported (beginning at 3:00):

HANKS: Now, the one thing that I thought was interesting, Dan, when I looked at the videos when I got home was, we didn’t see anybody wearing gas masks or helmets and I got to tell you I watch those guys dancing around like they were sparring with the police there and they had a lot more energy than I did and anybody else that had been standing out in the cold for 6 or 7 hours.

Uh, it does raise the question where did these people come from and I don’t think most people knew what was happening because they were still approaching and as we were leaving they were we were passing along news to them.

I don’t feel like it’s the same people.  I think we have to consider the reality or the possibility at least that there were people wearing Trump material that weren’t Trump supporters that managed to make look good people look bad just by uh, blending in. [Pols emphasis] Can’t prove it now but I do want people to consider that as a possibility and I will tell you from first-hand standing there those people that I was around and talking to that that’s not the kind of people that that we met…

Ron Hanks can’t prove it, but that doesn’t stop him from speculating! We can’t prove Rep.-elect Hanks has a tiny penis and had to repeat second grade either, but if we want people to “consider that as a possibility,” apparently that’s fair game.

Speaking of fairness, we should note that this interview took place last Thursday morning, at the same time as lots of local Republicans including Rep. Mark Baisley, and Rep. Richard Champion with Wayne Laugesen of the Colorado Springs Gazette who marched on the Capitol Wednesday, were claiming Antifa and not Trump supporters had actually stormed the building. These allegations have not aged well as one authentic Trump “wackadoo” after another gets picked up in the FBI’s widening investigation. Perhaps by now Rep.-elect Hanks has a better answer, but he’s not responding to requests for comment.

There are two lessons here. One is for Republicans who were once again too quick to blame others instead of acknowledge the truth of what the ugly side of their own movement looks like today–and that’s the most charitable explanation, one that assumes they are not themselves culpable. The other lesson is for reporters covering what Republicans are saying about this event. These stories about Rep.-elect Hanks’ presence in the crowd outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday failed to report Hanks’ outrageous denial of what was actually happening–and most importantly, which side is to blame. And that’s the most important part of what he said.

Now more than ever, Americans need to know the whole ugly stupid truth.

Tuesday Open Thread

“As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.”

–Josh Billings

How Toxic Is Lauren Boebert? “Guilt By Association” Toxic

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Bryan Lowry, Washington D.C.-based reporter for the Kansas City Star, got a face full of bile when he asked outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s staff about the above photo snapped over the weekend with Colorado’s favorite insurrectionist in Congress, Rep. Lauren Boebert:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posed for a photo with a Colorado congresswoman who has promoted conspiracy theories and revealed details about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts on social media during last week’s deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, a freshman Colorado Republican, posted a photo on Twitter Sunday of herself with the nation’s top diplomat — four days after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a riot that left five people dead, including a police officer, in the building where Pompeo worked for six years as a Kansas congressman…

Mike Pompeo’s people did not appreciate being asked about this photo with Lauren Boebert.

“The Secretary was honored to speak to the members of the Republican Study Committee at their event on Friday. After which he took pictures with every member of congress and the staff who attended. This story is a piece of shit guilt by association story [Pols emphasis] that further serves to divide our country,” the person close to Pompeo said.

“The secretary takes thousands of pictures every week. Those pictures don’t represent an endorsement of every single belief each of those people hold and it is absurd to imply that through this piece of shit story.” [Pols emphasis]

Got that, folks? A piece of shit story. Pompeo doesn’t endorse everything Boebert believes. We get it.

But herein lies the problem any time one has to resort to defending one’s self from the accusation of “guilt by association.” You’re conceding that somebody’s guilty. Nobody expects Mike Pompeo to endorse every view held by every Congressperson he takes a photo with. In this case, there’s only one subject that matters and everybody knows it.

Also noteworthy, in this Kansas City Star story we have the first response we’ve seen from Boebert anywhere to questions about the Tweets she sent during the opening moments of last week’s failed insurrection, including one two literal minutes after the Capitol was breached announcing that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been evacuated from the House chambers:

“Some partisan officials and press have chosen to mischaracterize several of my tweets. Let me be clear: I do not support unlawful acts of violence and support the rule of law. Furthermore, my tweets came after both events referenced occurred and I never disclosed secure locations,” Boebert said. “Media outlets were also reporting the exact nature of my tweets via television. I am grateful for the service of law enforcement officers who kept us safe.”

This carefully-worded statement was almost certainly written by legal counsel, and it’s seriously misleading in several key respects. Boebert says that her Tweets occurred “after” the events, but we’re talking about a couple of minutes afterward at most–meaning this information was still highly useful to the insurrectionists roaming the building at that same moment screaming Pelosi’s name.

And folks, the insurrectionists running around the U.S. Capitol smartphones in hand were not watching cable news. They were following Twitter feeds like Lauren Boebert’s. Boebert herself was not watching the news two minutes after rioters breached the Capitol. Why did Boebert find it necessary to tell her 360,000+ Twitter followers anything about Speaker Pelosi’s location while the Capitol was being overrun?

It helps explain why Boebert is avoiding local reporters’ questions, anyway. These are not good answers.

Open Carry Is Stupid, And Other Insurrection-y Observations

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As Denver7 reports today, the FBI is warning of the possibility of continued violence ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th, as dead-ender Donald Trump loyalists rage on in denial of the 2020 presidential election after last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol:

ABC News was the first to report the bulletin Monday, which also reportedly says the FBI received information about an armed group intending to travel to Washington D.C. on Jan. 16…

Law enforcement sources have told ABC News that federal law enforcement officials have advised local police to prepare for the possible protests with increased security measures at statehouses and other government buildings.

Though the memo highlights possible threats discussed online, NBC News reports it doesn’t mean authorities expect violent protests in every state.

The risk of a second round of violence following last week’s shockingly successful breach of the U.S. Capitol has law enforcement across the nation on heightened alert. Here in Colorado, where we’ve seen large protests from all sides of the political spectrum in the last year from racial justice to COVIDiocy to protests for and against Trump, the apparent ease with which insurrectionists were able to overpower police and get inside what should be one of the nation’s most secure facilities stood in stark contrast to the brutally aggressive response to racial justice protesters by Denver police last summer. The investigation continues into how rioters were able to get past U.S. Capitol Police, but everything we’ve seen suggests that the insurrection could have been stopped cold.

One thing that last week’s D.C. riots and protests that take place in Denver, Colorado, do have in common — and it’s definitely a good thing — is that in both places there are laws against the open carrying of firearms. Open carrying is permitted in most locations in Colorado outside Denver, and that resulted in a previous round of “50 state capitol” protests right after the election being diverted 90 miles to LARP-friendly Colorado Springs instead. Some of the more harrowing scenes from right-wing armed protests over the past year were militia members carrying their assault weapons right into state capitols–even the galleries above legislative chambers–to menace lawmakers.

We hope law enforcement in all 50 states is ready for the next 10 days like they for whatever reason were not in Washington D.C. last week, and that we get past January 20th without any more pointless violence. For both reasons stated above, we’re somewhat less worried about Denver than other cities around the country.

We can only hope those will not be words we are compelled to eat.

State Rep. Kevin Van Winkle Considering a Run For Congress?

(Don’t sleep through it – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch)

Rumors of a Republican statehouse leader considering a run for Congress have been circulating the Colorado Capitol for weeks now, but they focused on former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. Now it looks like Neville’s former right-hand man, Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highland Ranch), is also thinking about federal office.

On January 8, someone registered the URL “kevinvanwinkleforcongress.com.” The registration is anonymous and Van Winkle did not respond to multiple phone messages requesting comment, so the Colorado Times Recorder is unable to confirm that the representative or his campaign is responsible for the purchasing the domain. This article will be updated with any response received.

Van Winkle, who served as Assistant Minority Leader under Neville, ran to replace him as leader of the House Republicans when they held their caucus elections last November. He lost to Rep. Hugh Mckean (R-Loveland), considered the preferred candidate of establishment GOP leaders eager to show a shift away from Neville’s far-right philosophy after disappointing election results in 2018 and 2020.

Recently Van Winkle helped organize the Legislative Audit Committee hearing that promoted misinformation and conspiracy theories about election fraud nationally and in Colorado. Van Winkle also promoted the same debunked conspiracy theories on right-wing talk radio, appearing w/ Rep. Dave Williams. The pair of legislators went on the air and asked listeners to sign a petition rife with false information.

Colorado’s congressional districts will be redrawn this year, using data from last year’s Census. Given the state’s surging population, Colorado is expected to gain an additional seat, creating a new opportunity of office. With boundaries as yet to be determined, however, it’s anyone’s guess where the new district will be or what if any partisan lean it will have.

Get More Smarter on Monday (January 11)

President Trump will be out of the White House in less than 9 days. 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 

 

► Congresswoman Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has officially been in office for a little more than a week, and she is already facing significant pressure to resign or be expelled from Congress because of her open support of rejecting results of the Presidental election and inciting attacks on the U.S. Capitol. As Westword explains:

Only a few days into her term as U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, Lauren Boebert is already being inundated with calls for her to resign the position or risk being expelled by her new colleagues for allegedly helping to incite the violence that took place in Washington, D.C. on January 6. And these efforts are getting national attention, with CNN putting a report about the controversial firebrand in heavy rotation over this past weekend.

Trending on Twitter (1/11/21)

Boebert is being identified as a key voice responsible for inciting last week’s attack on Congress — and fellow Republican Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) has even acknowledged her role in stirring up Trump terrorists. Here’s more from Wyoming Public Media:

Their messaging – and the president’s – is what got us here, said Thomas Zeitzoff, a scholar of political violence and political psychology at American University.

GOP lawmakers like Lummis, Boebert, Daines and others acted as Trump’s “coordinators,” Zeitzoff said.

By buoying Trump’s false claims of election fraud, they essentially told their supporters: “Here are the enemies who did it and here are the actions that should be taken,” he said.

Zeitzoff said they created this narrative anchored by a shared set of grievances and Wednesday was the culmination of that.

Trending on Twitter (1/11/21)

A story from Raw Story over the weekend pointing to Boebert’s social media posts on Wednesday is picking up a lot of traction, as is the previously mentioned story from CNN (video). Celebrities such as Debra Messing, Patricia Arquette, and Patton Oswalt are amplifying the concerns about Boebert. A petition calling for the resignation of Boebert and fellow election results-denier Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is apparently getting a lot of traction.

How is Boebert reacting to these claims? Well, she isn’t even trying to pretend that she had nothing to do with last week’s attack. This is pretty much the only thing she’s said even addressing the issue. Perhaps she’s taking the advice of fellow Rep. Eric Swalwell and shutting the hell up. She may also want to familiarize herself with the 14th Amendment.

 

► As POLITICO reports, the House of Representatives has enough votes to impeach President Trump for inciting last week’s violence in Washington D.C.:

Key members of the House Judiciary Committee introduced a single article of impeachment Monday that has already gathered at least 218 cosponsors, according to a congressional aide involved in the process, meeting the majority needed in the House. Pelosi signaled Sunday night that the House would vote on that article if Trump refuses to resign and Vice President Mike Pence won’t initiate other procedures to remove him…

…At a brief House session on Monday morning, the House formally accepted the resignation of Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, who was partly responsible for security arrangements on Jan. 6. And moments later, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) blocked unanimous consideration of a resolution from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) that would have urged Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment process to remove Trump from power. The House intends to vote on the resolution Tuesday.

Because Republicans blocked a resolution to encourage invoking the 25th Amendment, the House will almost certainly vote on impeachment on Wednesday. A Senate trial on impeachment would not conclude before Trump’s last day in office, on Jan. 20, but the process will still continue.

As 9News explains, Rep. Ken Buck is trying to convince Democrats NOT to impeach Trump because it could be “divisive” for the country. Hopefully you didn’t just pull a muscle rolling your eyes.

 

► New polling from Quinnipiac University confirms that a majority of Americans support removing President Trump from office ASAP:

A majority of voters, 56 percent, say they hold President Trump responsible for the storming of the U.S. Capitol, while 42 percent say they do not hold him responsible.

A slight majority, 52 – 45 percent, say President Trump should be removed from office. Voters also say 53 – 43 percent that he should resign as president.

 

► As The Washington Post reports, there is more concerning news about how last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol made it past security measures:

Two days before Congress was set to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was growing increasingly worried about the size of the pro-Trump crowds expected to stream into Washington in protest.

To be on the safe side, Sund asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup.

But, Sund said Sunday, they turned him down.

In his first interview since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Sund, who has since resigned his post, said his supervisors were reluctant to take formal steps to put the Guard on call even as police intelligence suggested that the crowd President Trump had invited to Washington to protest his defeat probably would be much larger than earlier demonstrations.

On Sunday, Rep. Jason Crow (D-Aurora) shared details of a conversation he had with the Secretary of the Army regarding last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

 

 

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

 

(more…)

Did Lauren Boebert Help Rioters Track Nancy Pelosi?

Last week’s failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, committed by thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump who surrounded and then smashed their way into the building as a joint session of Congress ground through the final steps in confirming Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, has become a watershed moment in American democracy like nothing we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. For Republicans who supported Trump through his months of denial of the result of the 2020 elections, culminating in Wednesday’s last deadly gasp of Trump dead-ender desperation, what was once considered a “harmless” means of extracting political support from Trump’s base is now a direct threat to their political futures.

For Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, after winning office as a no-compromise Trump devotee who never really tried to repudiate the “QAnon” conspiracy theory she was tagged as a supporter of early on, Wednesday’s insurrection was an unparalleled disaster that effectively shattered her entire raison d’être in politics. As readers know, Boebert’s support for Wednesday’s insurrection went well beyond signing on to the votes to challenge the results in swing states, in which she was joined by dozens of her Republican colleagues and for which many of them are facing calls to resign.

This Tweet by Boebert early on Wednesday morning has been widely interpreted as an unambiguous call for the violence that ensued later that day, and has fueled the growing movement calling for Boebert to immediately resign for having helped incite Wednesday’s riot.

But there’s another question being asked today as the investigation into Wednesday’s deadly violence expands: did Rep. Boebert actually attempt to help insurrectionists find their targets as they stormed into the Capitol?

These are Tweets sent by Rep. Boebert to her over 350,000 followers on Twitter, whom we’re willing to postulate included at least some of the rioters who marched from Donald Trump’s speech near the Washington Monument to the Capitol. In Boebert’s ominous speech made shortly before the rioters breached the building, Boebert boasted how her “constituents” were outside. Boebert sent the first Tweet at 2:17PM Eastern Time, and the second a moment later–in literal real time with the breach of the Capitol by insurrectionists that NPR reports took place at 2:16PM.

This is battlefield intelligence, folks. The only question is whether Boebert consciously understood that she was supplying vital information to the insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol at that exact moment, or is just so impossibly ignorant in this life and death situation that she did not realize the stupendous security mistake she was making by broadcasting these details to her far-right followers.

Whether by cluelessness or collusion, these Tweets undeniably add a whole new dimension to Boebert’s responsibility for what took place on Wednesday. Boebert’s profound ignorance about how American elections work is not an excuse for the comfort, and possibly deliberate aid, she has provided to the violent insurrection against the body she was sworn into just days before.

These are unprecedented times, and Boebert’s name is forever linked now to an unprecedented crime.

We honestly hope this isn’t as bad as it might in fact be.

Weekend Open Thread

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”

–Josiah Stamp

U.S. Rep. Boebert Blocks Constituent on Twitter, Could a Lawsuit be Next?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

From the Colorado Times Recorder’s Sean Price:

On Wednesday, during the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, newly-elected U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) blocked one of her constituents, former state Rep. Bri Buentello (D-Pueblo). Elected officials ranging from President Trump to a Colorado state senator have been successfully sued for blocking constituents on social media, which violates their First Amendment rights by severing their ability to participate in political discourse.

The tweet that got Buentello blocked pointed out Boebert’s hypocrisy in condemning the violence at the Capitol by listing quotes from Boebert, who recently joked that the Second Amendment was intended for “hunting tyrants,” encouraging the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged. During her speech on the House floor Boebert also claimed the protestors outside the building as her own constituents.

Buentello believes Boebert’s decision to block her is more than an infringement of her First Amendment rights, but also as an indictment of Boebert’s ability to govern. Buentello explained that there is a difference between campaigning and governing.

“The bottom line is that Boebert works for her constituents,” Buentello said. “I should know as an elected state representative and it’s not easy, but it is what I signed up for. And I darn sure didn’t block people or step on people’s First Amendment rights. People showed up at the town hall I held in Otero County and they screamed and spit on me. This woman? This big wannabe cowgirl who carries a Glock on her hip? She can’t even handle Twitter.”

Elected officials blocking constituents on social media has become a contentious topic of debate in recent years, both because of the rise of social media use and because of Trump’s continued reliance on Twitter once he bacame President. General legal consensus and precedent is that social media pages run by the government or by a public official to conduct public business are protected as limited public forums by the First Amendment.

According to Mark Silverstein, Legal Director at the ACLU of Colorado, Buentello may have a meritorious lawsuit against Boebert.

(more…)

Get More Smarter on Friday (January 8)

Happy “Typing Day.” 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 

 

► As POLITICO reports, momentum continues to build for impeaching President Trump:

House Democrats are moving quickly toward impeaching President Donald Trump as early next week, a reflection of the seething outrage that remains over his incitement of deadly riots inside the U.S. Capitol.

Timing remains in flux and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to make a decision on exactly how to proceed, including whether to pursue a constitutional process that could remove Trump without impeachment. Top Democrats are still in talks with all their members and will hold a caucus-wide call at noon. But they are expected to decide today on their next steps, according to several lawmakers and aides.

Whether or not Trump could officially be impeached before his time in office expires at noon on January 20 is less important than holding Trump accountable for this week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol:

If Democrats pass articles early next week — and Pelosi immediately sent them to the Senate — the Senate would be required to begin a trial immediately under congressional rules. Trump’s first impeachment trial, on charges he abused his power and obstructed a congressional investigation, ultimately lasted four weeks before the Senate delivered its verdict.

That timetable suggests the goal of any impeachment is unlikely to be Trump’s removal and is much more focused on the option to prevent him from holding federal office in the future. Some Democrats believe that possibility could woo Senate Republicans, some of whom are eyeing a 2024 bid themselves.

 

CNN reports on another tragic loss resulting from the Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol building:

Prosecutors in the US Attorney’s office plan to open a federal murder investigation into the death of Brian D. Sicknick, a US Capitol Police officer who died Thursday night, a law enforcement official tells CNN.

Sicknick was injured Wednesday when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol. He died at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday “due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” Capitol Police officials said in a statement.
The death is being investigated by the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch, the US Capitol Police and their federal partners.

Sicknick was many Capitol Police officers who were attacked with lead pipes and other blunt instruments.

 

 As Marianne Goodland reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, there is a growing list of high-profile names and organizations calling on the resignation of Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Doug Lamborn for taking part in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election:

The letter said the two lawmakers “have betrayed the trust of Colorado voters by helping incite violence against the body you were elected to, a body designed to serve us. By endorsing the president’s unsubstantiated and repeatedly debunked, discredited, and false claims of voter fraud, you encouraged and tacitly endorsed the actions of these terrorists and threatened the basic foundation of our democracy.”…

…Signatories to the letter include seven Democratic members of the Colorado General Assembly, city council members in Aurora, Broomfield, Denver and Edgewater; former Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Trish Zornio and Lorena Garcia, and two dozen progressive organizations, including unions, Planned Parenthood and ProgressNow Colorado.

Meanwhile, Boebert appears to have no concept of the harm she and fellow Trumpians have caused. In a video released today, Boebert sounds absolutely looney:

Boebert says that she wants people to view her floor speech on Wednesday. We agree. Here it is.

#ResignBoebert.

 

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

 

(more…)

Spare Us, Bob Beauprez

Mike Keefe carton from the 2014 gubernatorial election.

FOX 31 Denver ran a story yesterday featuring former Congressman and two-time GOP gubernatorial loser Bob Beauprez, who still wields a great deal of influence within the dysfunctional Colorado Republican Party, bemoaning the violence committed by fellow Republicans at the U.S. Capitol this week in the name of outgoing President Donald Trump:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a hole in my soul, my American soul,” Beauprez (R-Colorado) said. “It hurts. It hurts deeply.”

Beauprez occupied the seat for Colorado’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 – 2007. He also ran for governor in 2006 and again in 2014…

“We’ve got a serious problem in America. We’ve lost faith in all our institutions. We’ve lost faith in our leaders. We’ve lost faith. And that’s just not who America is,” he said.

Speaking to FOX 31 yesterday, Beauprez said that the vandalism outside the Colorado state capitol affected him so much that he couldn’t even drive by the building for weeks after this summer’s protests over racial justice and police brutality. Here Beauprez commits his first major foul, by even mentioning protests over the killing of Black Americans by police in the same breath as Trump’s fact-free “Wild Protest” to undo the results of a free and fair election that didn’t go Trump’s way. These were not morally equivalent events in any way, and what looks like a coordinated messaging attempt by local Republicans to liken them is just another act of misinformation.

But with Bob Beauprez personally, there’s another problem with hand-wringing over the state of civic discourse in America.

Bob Beauprez is part of the problem.

Bob Beauprez has been on the political scene in Colorado for a long time. In those years he has seen political movements come and go, and himself tried to benefit from the “Tea Party” movement that exploded in response to the election of the nation’s first African-American President. Although Trump has certainly debased the discourse in American politics since he came on the scene in 2015, it was the Tea Party and the factually-disconnected campaign against the Affordable Care Act under President Barack Obama that created the environment in which Trump’s “post truth” politics could flourish.

The video above is from an interview with Beauprez in 2012, in which Beauprez is asked if the U.N. Small Arms Treaty (ratified in 2014 after which the world did not end) would would result in a “modern day civil war for this country.”

ATKINSON: You know Congressman, this, this, I don’t even like going down this road, but if this saw the light of day, and God forbid that it would, but if this saw the light of day, wouldn’t this be a modern-day civil war in this country?

BEAUPREZ: Well, some are wondering what will be the, the line that gets crossed eventually, where, where people actually rise up and say enough. I mean, our founding documents refer to it, that people have every right, a free people have every right, that when government becomes too obtrusive, too obsessive, too overwhelming, and infringes on their individual liberty and freedom, free people have the right to overthrow that government and establish a new one.

I hope and pray that, that we don’t see another revolution in this country. I hope and pray we don’t see another civil war, but this administration is pushing the boundaries like none I think we’ve ever, ever seen. [Pols emphasis]

It’s a phenomenon we’ve witnessed many times now in our sixteen years of covering Colorado politics, where a has-been Republican politico tries to rehabilitate their image by sounding off reasonably about the immoderate turn their party has taken in recent years. In Bob Beauprez’s case, however, this requires pretty much complete ignorance about his record and long, long history of eagerly participating in the Colorado GOP’s slide to the fringe. Susan Greene of the Colorado Independent documented Beauprez’s political devolution ahead of his 2014 gubernatorial loss:

[I]n the eight years since his last bid to govern the state, Beauprez wandered away from the mainstream. Far away. He spent much of his time in private life pushing ultra-conservative causes. He wrote a book calling for a revolution to shift the Republican Party far to the right. And in several interviews over several years, he espoused extremist conspiracy theories, including one that Americans – whom he likened to sheep – eagerly would let the government implant microchips in their bodies.

Make no mistake, folks. There is a desperate need today for a voice of reason in the Republican Party to begin the process of rebuilding whatever the conservative movement in American politics is going to look like after Donald Trump. What’s needed now is honest leadership among political conservatives to admit not just how they were led astray by one man, but by a whole movement built around divorcing their coalition of voters from reality.

Bob Beauprez is not that voice of reason.

Friday Open Thread

“What enables us to achieve our greatness contains the seeds of our destruction.”

–Jim Valvano

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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