A Brief History: Ken Buck as State Republican Party Chairman

Who has a crooked first finger and is killing the Colorado Republican Party? This guy!

In recent history, serving as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party has come with a heaping helping of downside and just a smidge of upside. The current State GOP Chair, who also moonlights as Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), has largely managed to stub his toe on every available rock in a little more than a year on the job.

Once upon a time, the GOP Chairman was considered a prestigious position among Colorado Republicans that could be used as a springboard for higher office; in the early ‘oughts, Bob Beauprez transitioned from Party Chair to Congress in CO-7, then became the GOP nominee for governor in 2006 (and 2014). But after Initiative 27 passed in 2002, the power of being party chairperson for any political party diminished significantly.

After an historic drubbing at the polls in 2018, Colorado Republicans were looking for a new leader to point the way out of their electoral abyss in 2020. Instead, they got Buck.

We wrote at the time that picking a chairman like Ken Buck, who openly ran without offering a forward vision of the party, and pledging to be a figurehead while working two jobs, would probably cause more problems than it solved:

This is really the Colorado Republican Party in a nutshell: One of the top contenders to be the next GOP Party Chair is proposing a return to an era in which the Colorado Republican Party was objectively not very successful, and then lashing out at anyone who questions his ideas.

Today, with Buck facing two separate allegations of tampering in a local caucus process, we thought we’d take a look back at Buck’s year of double-duty.

 

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Get More Smarter on Tuesday (May 12)

Happy International Nurses Day, which should probably just be every day from here on out. Now, let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

BECAUSE CORONAVIRUS…

*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website 

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

*How you can help in Colorado:
COVRN.com

 

The big political and coronavirus story in Colorado yesterday involved a Castle Rock restaurant called C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen, which opened its doors to swarms of people on Sunday in defiance of local and state orders to please not make it easier for people to die from COVID-19. On Monday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis pulled the restaurant’s business license indefinitely for creating a public health hazard.

As Kyle Clark reports for 9News, this was not the plan for anti-social distancing activists:

 

The Denver Post explains the latest Colorado coronavirus update from Gov. Jared Polis:

State parks will once again allow camping beginning Tuesday, Polis said, while a decision on whether ski resorts, restaurants and summer camps can reopen will be made May 25.

Additional steps in the state’s ongoing “safer at home” plan to gradually restart businesses and ease some social distancing will be considered after June 1, the governor added.

Those dates were chosen based on the availability of data on the novel coronavirus in Colorado, Polis said, which lags about 10 to 14 days behind the actual spread of the virus in the state.

 

► Dr. Anthony Fauci is testifying before a Senate committee today on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is not mincing words, saying: “We don’t have the coronavirus outbreak under control.”

 

No, it’s not just you: We have no idea what President Trump is talking about when he throws out the word “Obamagate.” As MSNBC reports:

The president has recently been issuing tweets about something he’s calling ‘Obamagate,’ which he declined to discuss in further detail when asked Monday during a White House briefing.

Trump says that “Obamagate” is “the biggest political crime in American history.” Republican Senators seem as perplexed by this as everyone else, as POLITICO explains:

President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign to encourage sweeping investigations of his predecessor Barack Obama met a unanimous response from Senate Republicans: No thanks. [Pols emphasis]

Trump’s Senate allies on Monday stopped short of echoing Trump’s claim that Obama acted illegally when the Justice Department began probing incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn in late 2016. And they indicated that the Senate would pass on investigating the former president as they conduct their own investigations that could soon ensnare other senior Obama administration officials.

Trump mentioned “Obamagate” in a bizarre press conference on Monday that ended with The Big Orange Guy storming off in anger because he didn’t like questions being posed by reporters.

 

Arguments in Colorado’s “faithless electors” case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. According to a press release from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office:

On Wednesday, May 13, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Colorado Department of State v. Baca. The case will be heard at 9 a.m. Mountain Time and for the first time, audio will be streamed live at www.supremecourt.gov and on CSPAN…

…Attorney General Phil Weiser will make the arguments on behalf of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Of 20 cases that the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear, due to COVID-19, it will only hear ten. Colorado Department of State v. Baca is one of them.

If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…

 

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Freedumb On The March: Boebert Reopens “COVID Cafe”

That’s the word from upstart CD-3 Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert, owner of the Shooters Grill in Rifle Colorado which is apparently open for business whether those unelected health department bureaucratists say it’s okay or not. After all, the armed wait staff–that’s the place’s kitsch you see–haven’t shot anybody yet, and that means COVID is obviously a hoax! Back in 2017, Boebert’s restaurant had an incident involving Clostridium bacteria hitching a ride on their food service at the Rifle Rodeo that resulted in about 80 people spending some unplanned quality time on their porcelain thrones.

But now you can get a little COVID on the side with your Shooters Grill chicken tenders!

If Gov. Jared Polis and the Garfield County Public Health Department shut Boebert down, which for the sake of the idiots who come for lunch and all their friends and family we hope is today, it’s just more free press and Republican primary votes for her campaign. There’s no downside for Boebert, other than the obvious issue of exposing herself, her employees, and the community she would like to represent in Congress to a deadly pandemic.

The voters worried about that aren’t the voters Boebert is appealing to.

Activist Who Launched Trump Re-Election Campaign in Colorado Now Leading Rally to “TAKE OUR FUCKING COUNTRY BACK”

(Pardon his French – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

John “TIG” Tiegen, who launched Trump’s re-election in Colorado in November, is organizing an aggressive protest Sunday to defend a restaurant that welcomed throngs of maskless customers last weekend.

Tiegen, who submitted petitions in November to place Trump’s name on the Colorado election ballot, identified himself at the time as the founder of “Colorado Veterans for Trump,” telling reporters at the secretary of state’s office that he was confident Trump would win the elections, especially with the economy booming.

Tiegen promoting Sunday’s Rally

Now Tiegen is much angrier, writing on Facebook, “Gov. Jared Polis, calling the restaurant an ‘immediate health hazard,’ has suspended the restaurant license of C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen in Castle Rock.

“ITS TIME TO FIGHT BACK PUSH BACK & TAKE OUR FUCKING COUNTRY BACK!”

Video of the Castle Rock restaurant packed with Mother’s Day clients swept across the country yesterday, leading Polis to suspend the eatery’s license for a month.

On his Facebook post, Tiegen is pictured in military garb, draped with weaponry.

“Let’s Stop the threats from our government,” he writes. “Let’s Stop the overreach of POLIS and his unelected Despots.”

He writes that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Neither Teigen nor the Trump campaign could immediately be reached for comment.

The rally is another in a string of increasingly aggressive protests to re-open Colorado’s economy, even though the move to do so is seen as dangerous by health experts and opposed by the public.

Trump adviser Stephen Moore called a rally in Colorado “effective.”

Colorado’s Republican House leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock is also defending the restaurant, writing in an email today, “Tell him to leave these honest, hardworking people alone.” Tiegen will lead a caravan of motorcycles and other vehicles out of Pueblo at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, arriving at the Capitol in Denver before the protest, which runs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Facebook post makes no mention of social-distancing protocols for the rally.

Tiegen is best known as a former Blackwater contractor and member of the CIA’s security team involved in defending the U.S. embassy in Libya from an attack that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador during the Obama administration. Those falsehoods are chronicled in his co-authored book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.”

What you can do to stay healthy and fight back this week (May 11)

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After everything we’ve been through in the past six weeks, the greater tragedy would be if the sacrifices we’ve made together to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are undone by a tiny fringe who refuse to accept science and consider the law to be their “personal choice.”

On Sunday, a restaurant in Castle Rock made a foolish political statement by throwing their doors open to a crowd who intentionally disregarded not just the law, but every bit of good advice from health experts from social distancing to wearing face masks to protect others.

At the head of this crowd cheering them on was, you guessed it, GOP House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. The same Pat Neville who accused Colorado’s first Jewish governor and local health officials of having a “Gestapo-like mentality” and condemned stay-at-home orders as “tyranny.” Today Gov. Jared Polis ordered the restaurant shut down, and it’s unfortunately very possible that some of the people who ate there yesterday will contract COVID-19 as a result.

House Minority Leader Pat Neville is one of Colorado’s highest ranking Republicans, and he just put the safety of both his constituents in Castle Rock and his colleagues in the Colorado General Assembly in danger. If you haven’t already, take a moment now to join the thousands of your fellow Coloradans and sign our petition hosted by our friends at MoveOn calling on Neville to step down as House Minority Leader immediately.

Once you’ve taken a stand for common sense and public safety, here are more ways to take action for the week of May 11:


Conservation Colorado: Beyond a Land Acknowledgement: Indigenous People and Public Lands

Join Conservation Colorado for our keynote Colorado Public Lands Day event, featuring a panel discussion on the problematic histories of Indigenous Peoples and Public Lands and a commentary on a more hopeful future for the co-management of ancestry territory and tribal consultation.

When: Monday, May 11 at 6:00pm

Click here to participate.


Colorado Sierra Club: Outdoor Leadership Workshop Series

You now have an opportunity to help engage people in your community to connect outdoors by joining the Colorado Sierra Club this November through December through our web-based Outdoor Leadership 101 Workshop. You will begin the adventure to be certified to lead your own Sierra Club trips to help engage more people to explore and enjoy the special places Colorado has to offer.

When: Monday, May 11 at 6:30pm

Click here to participate.


One Colorado: LGBTQ Mental Health Town Hall

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and One Colorado invites you to join us for our LGBTQ Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Town Hall on May 12th. We’ll discuss the unique mental health care needs of LGBTQ Coloradans, provide statewide and local resources, share tips on accessing behavioral and mental health care through insurance plans, and more!

When: Tuesday, May 12 at 5:30pm

Click here to participate.


Conservation Colorado: Air Toxics Town Hall

Join us for a Zoom town hall highlighting air quality and health including the first look at a report released by the Colorado Fiscal Institute on the cost of the health impacts of air pollution. Hear from health experts with the American Lung Association, Rayna Hetlage of CFI, state leaders and community members to discuss air quality in Colorado and a new report demonstrating the devastating fiscal impacts of air pollution. This program will also include legislators championing these issues, and the people directly impacted by this pollution. This is an opportunity to learn more about air pollution impacts and how to act on the problem.

When: Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm

Click here to participate.


Women’s Lobby of Colorado: Policy Committee Meetings 2020 Legislative Session

We meet the second and fourth Wednesdays over lunch to discuss and take positions on legislation. This meeting is for members and representatives of member organizations. To join Women’s Lobby of Colorado check out our website www.womenslobbyofcolorado.org.

When: Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition: Latino Community Conversations: State Budget & Covid-19

The Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus, COLOR and Latino-serving organizations are hosting a bilingual virtual town hall to discuss the state budget, COVID-19, and the impacts on Latino communities.

When: Wednedsay, May 13 at 4:00pm

Click here to participate.


Rocky Mountain Values: Mental Health Town Hall

Rocky Mountain Values, Mental Health Colorado, One Colorado and Protect Our Care have come together to put on a mental health town hall. Featuring a Q&A session, discussion about mental health resources and self care during this crisis and speakers like mental health advocate Rep. Lisa Cutter, Mental Health Colorado’s Vincent Atchity and One Colorado’s Marv Allen.

When: Wednesday, May 13 at 4:00pm

Click here to participate.


Drinking Liberally Denver (Virtual Edition)

We’ve been doing virtual Drinking Liberally via Zoom and it’s been a great success. We decided to do these every week until we are able to meet in the bar again. You will be able join by video or phone for an hour of lively commentary, political trivia and conversation.

When: Wednesday, May 13 at 7:00pm

Click here to participate.


Women’s Lobby of Colorado: Our Second Virtual Social Hour with PPRM

Join us for this social hour to learn about the impacts of COVID-19 on reproductive health care, as well as other issues. We are excited to have Vicki Cowart, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and long-time advocate and protector of our state’s reproductive care.

When: Thursday, May 14 at 5:30pm

Click here to participate.


Sierra Club Colorado: Colorado Public Lands Trivia

Come play some virtual wild and wacky Colorado public lands trivia with the Sierra Club. You will get inspiration for taking action for our lands, waters and wildlife while having a blast. You can create teams and the top three teams will get Sierra Club swag along with the winning team a gift card to a local outdoor retailer.

When: Thursday, May 14 at 6:00pm

Click here to participate.


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains: The Census and Me

Filling out the census is important! The census guides critical funds for local health programs, and shapes political power for the next DECADE. But even more than that, filling out the 2020 Census is the way to make sure that your voice is heard. Join us for a four-part series on how the census will affect you and your community, and what you can do to help make sure everyone is counted.

When: Friday, May 15 at 5:30pm

Click here to participate.


Thanks again for your support in good times and bad, and we’ll see you next week with more ways to fight back.

The Get More Smarter Podcast: What the Buck?

This week on The Get More Smarter Podcast, hosts Jason Bane and Ian Silverii discuss two polls that spell doom for our second favorite U.S. Senator from Colorado; everything is totally under control with the coronavirus as cases mount well past one million; Republicans still want to kill Obamacare (even though it’s one of the few things actually helping during this pandemic); and the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party commits at least one crime.

If you missed last week’s episode, check it out when you’re done here.

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

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

Ignoring Critics, Cory Gardner Again Claims Credit for Getting Ventilators for Colo

(Fact check: “pants on fire,” basically – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Cory Gardner continues to claim credit for obtaining 100 ventilators for Colorado, despite the federal government having blocked a state deal for 500 machines.

In an online interview with KNUS 710AM radio host Steffan Tubbs, Gardner said he has worked very closely with Governor Polis to obtain medical supplies, including ventilators.

“I’ve worked very closely with the governor,” said Gardner. “When the governor said we needed more tests, we went out and fought and got more tests for Colorado. When the governor said we needed more ventilators, I went out and fought and got more ventilators for the state of Colorado. When the governor said we needed more masks for Colorado, I went out and fought and got more masks, including just getting another hundred thousand from Taiwan this past week.”

As reported by numerous state and national news outlets, the Federal Emergency Management Agency canceled Colorado’s deal with a medical supplier for 500 ventilators. President Trump later tweeted that the federal government would send Colorado 100 ventilators “at the request of Senator Gardner.” Trump’s statement, though praised by Gardner himself was widely criticized as the worst form of political pandering. The Denver Post editorialized that “Trump is playing a disgusting political game with our lives.”

As he has in other recent interviews, Gardner also refused to criticize President Trump for his handling of the pandemic.

Read the full transcript of Tubbs’ question and Gardner’s answer below:

KNUS Host Steffan Tubbs: How do you think Governor Polis and the president have led this pandemic? 

Sen. Cory Gardner: Look, I get asked all the time to provide a grade on this or that or to provide the score. It’s important that we always do better and better. I’ve worked very closely with the governor when the governor said we needed more tests. We went out and got more tests for Colorado. When the governor said we needed more ventilators, I went out and bought and got more ventilators for the state of Colorado where the governor said we needed more masks for Colorado. I went out and got more masks –including just getting another 100,000 from Taiwan this past week– two million in the United States from Taiwan.

Mr. Polis Goes To Washington

Gov. Jared Pols and Vice President Mike Pence (4/18/20)

Colorado Public Radio reports on the event dominating Gov. Jared Polis’ work week, a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump in a newly contaminated area of the city known as the White House:

“The Governor’s first priority is the health and safety of Coloradans, and the federal government is an important partner in Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Polis is expected to push for “more federal support during this global pandemic, including critical testing supplies and personal protective equipment” during the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

While Colorado has received shipments from the national stockpile, it hasn’t been enough to meet demand. And efforts to purchase supplies on the open market haven’t always worked out well for the state. At the start of the pandemic, Polis told CNN that one shipment was taken by the federal government.

Headlines over the weekend that staff uncomfortably close to both the President and the Vice President have tested positive for COVID-19 infections make this trip to Washington especially worrisome for Gov. Polis, and the apparent disregard for personal and therefore community safety expressed by both Trump and Mike Pence even after their staffers tested positive is also not what you’d call a good omen either. Gov. Polis has been nothing but diplomatic in his dealings with the Trump administration, even when it would be difficult or impossible for any reasonable person to avoid swear words–which will hopefully work in Colorado’s favor when the moment comes Wednesday to “kiss the ring” and ask Trump to come through with the equipment our state still very much needs.

Gov. Polis may not need hazard pay, but anyone obliged to visit the White House right now should get it.

Do What We Say, Not What We Do

We wrote a few days ago about the COVID-19 outbreak that seems to be running rampant in the White House. Today, the White House announced a policy change that pretty much sums up the entire Trump administration in general:

The Washington Post (5/11/20)

As The Washington Post reports:

Most White House officials will be asked to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces on complex grounds, a move to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further inside the presidential compound, according to three administration officials with knowledge of a directive to be issued Monday.

The request does not apply to offices, however, and President Trump is unlikely to wear a mask or face covering, aides say. Vice President Pence was spotted on the grounds of the White House on Monday without a mask, and it is unclear if aides will wear masks in the Oval Office.

Perhaps Trump informed the coronavirus privately that it was not allowed inside the Oval Office.

Rep. Patrick Neville, Walking Talking Public Health Hazard

UPDATE #3: Governor Polis does exactly what he should be doing:

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UPDATE #2: The Tri-County Health Department is not amused by the antics of C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen. As The Denver Post reports:

The Tri-County Health Department on Monday ordered a Castle Rock restaurant that opened to Mother’s Day crowds Sunday to close until it complies with the statewide COVID-19 public health order limiting dining establishments to take-out and delivery services.

Tri-County said it warned C&C Coffee and Kitchen on Friday not to open for Mother’s Day, but the restaurant opened for dine-in services anyway, according to a statement from the department.

“If the restaurant refuses to follow Governor Jared Polis’ public health order, further legal action will be taken that could include revocation of the restaurant’s license,” the statement said.

The Post story does not yet include the expected gnashing-of-teeth comments from restaurant owners or Neville himself, but they are no doubt dressing up in their martyr costumes as we write this update. #MakeAmericaBrunchAgain!

Don’t tread on them, or whatever:

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UPDATE: House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s (literally) in-house political front group, Values First Colorado, could use a rebrand:

You’re welcome, let us know where to send an invoice.

—–

Denver7’s Ivan Rodriguez reports from (we hope) a safe distance from Castle Rock restaurant, which has emerged as the latest front line in the ill-considered campaign by a vocal fringe to throw the doors open on the economy despite a raging pandemic:

While hundreds of restaurants across Colorado continue offering take out and curbside service in accordance with the standing public health order, C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock had other plans for Mother’s Day.

Video taken inside the coffee shop by Colorado Community Media shows booths packed, tables filled and a line snaking out the door. The owner of C&C Coffee and Kitchen declined to speak on the record with Denver7.

As the Denver Post’s Shelly Bradbury reports, Gov. Jared Polis is displeased as expected by this latest act of self-endangering defiance of both public health orders and common sense, which makes sense since every public poll shows Americans to be much more concerned about the unscientifically rapid pace of reopening than the economic pain and inconvenience of ongoing social distancing:

Gov. Jared Polis’ office on Sunday issued a statement calling such conduct illegal and dangerous.

“These restaurants are not only breaking the law, they are endangering the lives of their staff, customers, and community,” said the statement by deputy press secretary Shelby Wieman. [Pols emphasis]

“Under Safer at Home, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption are still closed. Delivery and drive-up service is available. Coloradans can contact their local public health department if they believe someone is violating Safer at Home.”

But 9NEWS updates that the cops did more reporting than enforcement, as least yesterday:

The Castle Rock Police Department said an officer reported to the Tri-County Health Department that the cafe planned to reopen. The health department said they plan to follow up, and released the following statement:

“We are disappointed that Cookies and Crème has decided to ignore the Governor’s Safer at Home order and open up today with no attention to social distancing. This decision runs the risk of undermining the impact that other Douglas County businesses and residents have achieved over the last seven weeks by taking various social distancing measures. As the entity charged with enforcing the Governor’s statewide Safer at Home Public Health Order, we will follow up with this restaurant to ensure that they, like other restaurants in the county, take appropriate steps to protect the public health, by limiting service to curbside and take-out service.”

Despite the near-universal condemnation of this restaurant’s decision to reopen to dine-in service, the establishment does not appear to have been shut down by law enforcement while the crowds were present yesterday. The over-capacity throng, which included the area’s state house representative House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (see photo above), was big enough to make shutting the place down problematic for all kinds of reasons–not least the desire to avoid exposing police officers to infection.

Perhaps second only in our state to Rep. Ken Buck, Minority Leader Neville has become the point man for turning the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic into a partisan political campaign–infamously accusing officials of developing a “Gestapo-like mentality” and openly encouraging residents to flout orders by the governor and public health authorities. This latest protest backed by Neville goes even further, encouraging disregard for the most essential best practices we should all be following even after these businesses are allowed to reopen. It’s a degree of willful irresponsibility that should shock the conscience of every Republican with a functioning brain in Colorado.

In the meantime, every Colorado legislator at least can sigh with relief that the legislative session has been pushed back another week, giving Pat Neville the opportunity to self-isolate for the recommended 14 days after doing something this stupid during a pandemic. Unfortunately we doubt he plans to do so, and hope he has not just become another preventable transmission vector. To the extent possible, if you find yourself in an enclosed space with Minority Leader Neville for the foreseeable future we suggest you make use of the nearest exit.

Cory Gardner Made His Bed. Now It’s Burning

President Donald Trump, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

In today’s Washington Post analysis of the U.S. Senate playing field by veteran reporters Seung Min Kim and Mike DeBonis, a newsworthy development for all of us following vulnerable incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado’s race to survive against the odds–the first public discussion we’ve seen or heard of the possibility that Gardner has already been “written off” by national Republican strategists:

Republicans are increasingly nervous they could lose control of the Senate this fall as a potent combination of a cratering economy, President Trump’s handling of the pandemic and rising enthusiasm among Democratic voters dims their electoral prospects…

The emerging consensus of several Republican strategists is that GOP incumbents should be able to hang on in states Trump won in 2016 if the president can hang onto those states himself. That list includes North Carolina, Arizona and Iowa, which Democrats are heavily targeting this cycle.

The flip side for Republicans is that states Trump lost in 2016 — such as Colorado and Maine — could be out of reach. Many GOP strategists have already written off Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), [Pols emphasis] barring a major shift, and some have doubts that Collins will be able to continue her trend of faring far better in elections than Republican presidential candidates she has shared the ballot with.

To be clear, no one outside a relatively compact national GOP decisionmaking loop will know if Gardner has been written off as a certain loss until that becomes evident in visible ways–ad buys that don’t materialize, fundraising drying up, and so forth. But with Gardner’s poll numbers already trending downward from bad into true blowout territory, and a generally bleak outlook for Senate Republicans under the aggregate weight of Trump’s weakness and the pandemic’s devastation, Gardner really does seem to be on the verge of being, as they say when they make the hard calls, “triaged out.”

AP’s weekend look at the Senate race also cites Sen. Gardner of Colorado as singular example of vulnerability among Republican U.S. Senators up in 2020:

The president in office during the onset of Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, was routed in his 1932 reelection bid. Voters also cast out other recent incumbents who presided over sluggish economies, including Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, while Barack Obama was elected in 2008 after Republicans took the brunt of the blame for the collapse of the financial markets that fall.

If that happens again, the GOP isn’t just worried about keeping the White House. Voters who reject Trump may also turn against Republican candidates for Congress. That’s especially concerning for Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, [Pols emphasis] which has been trending Democratic in recent years, and could cause problems for GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tills of North Carolina and Martha McSally in Arizona, where close presidential races are expected.

The circumstances today are exactly not the same as those leading up to the 1932 elections, which took place after several years of economic disaster and ineffective political response by a Republican administration leading to an historic period of Democratic dominance in Congress and the White House. The shock of the massive job losses we’ve seen in the last two months has not been fully absorbed by the public, and the consequences in human terms are not yet apparent. It’s clear from polling that the Republican campaign especially in Colorado to blame Democrats for the economic pain from necessary measures to combat the pandemic has failed, and the story of gross incompetence by Republicans from the White House down in the face of the greatest challenge of our lifetimes so far has solidified as the publicly accepted narrative of events.

In October of 2016, Cory Gardner called for Donald Trump to pull out of the presidential race. Trump didn’t, unexpectedly won, and Gardner transformed himself from “Never Trumper” to Trump’s most loyal defender and ally without ever once explaining his change of heart. Gardner kept his game face through nearly every one of Trump’s innumerable gaffes, scandalously hateful non-gaffes, two damning foreign policy investigations, and finally an impeachment trial. As the COVID-19 pandemic loomed in late February, Gardner and Trump held a joint rally in front of thousands of packed-in supporters in Colorado Springs–right before Trump and Gardner personally worked together to turn the federal government’s response to the pandemic into a spectacle of logistical chaos and political cronyism.

Even at a moment as unprecedented as this, there are fundamentals that apply as long as the American political system as we know it exists. If there is anyone in this country–maybe on this planet–who has earned his fate as a political dead man walking in 2020, it’s Sen. Cory Gardner. This reality, apparent locally for some time, is now evident to everyone.

How Are You Doing?

We’re all riding out one of the most difficult periods of our lives together. And we wish our readers well.

That is all.

Weekend Open Thread

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

–Francis Bacon