GOP Chairman Buck Defends Comparing Gays To Nazis

Rep. Ken Buck (R).

Readers were shocked this past week by an exchange in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Tuesday between Rep. Ken Buck, newly elected chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, and a woman who had experienced discrimination as an LGBT woman seeking pediatric care for her children:

Rep. Ken Buck: Um, is it your position that, uh a uh orthodox Jewish doctor should be required to work with a uh–an orthodox Jewish doctor whose grandparent was killed in the Holocaust be required to work with a–um, a Nazi, uh patient?

The clear suggestion here is that a doctor who doesn’t like gay people would be just as justified in refusing treatment to a gay family as a Jewish person who had ancestors killed in the Holocaust would be justified in refusing to treat a Nazi. Needless to say, this comparison is extremely offensive to both gay and, by cheapening the pertinent history to crassly make Buck’s point, Jewish people.

Yesterday, 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger broadcast an interview with Rep. Buck in which he’s asked about this ghastly comparison–and Buck launched into a defense of his words that demonstrates he meant exactly what he said:

“My point was, and it’s similar to the (Masterpiece Cakeshop) baker case in Jefferson County. We’re getting to the point where we’re forcing people to conduct business that they may not want to conduct. We have to be very careful, it’s not a line we haven’t crossed in the past, we’ve certainly crossed that line with African-Americans in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and it was very appropriate not to have segregated lunch counters, not to have segregated buses, but we keep finding more and more groups that we are putting into a category of forcing people to conduct business with,” said Buck.

What Buck is trying to say here is that he doesn’t think LGBT people should be a protected class of people under discrimination law, as they would be under the legislation under debate and are in Buck’s home state of Colorado as well as 20 other states. That’s consistent with the ballot measure Amendment 2 passed by Colorado in 1992 and later found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Buck’s brazen contempt for the law in the state he represents in Congress invites its own criticism.

But more importantly, what Buck’s “clarification” doesn’t contain is any reasonable justification for comparing gay people to Nazis. The underlying assumptions necessary to make this a valid comparison are simply unworkable for anyone who doesn’t virulently hate LGBT people. It seems fundamentally absurd to even have to write this, but the Nazis were directly responsible for the deaths of six million Jewish people, and started a war that killed 50 million people globally. To compare that abominable history to LGBT Americans who want health care without being victims of discrimination is…

It’s sick, folks. And treating this as a defensible viewpoint for a member of Congress from the state of Colorado, not to mention the chairman of the state party, is totally unacceptable. We honestly do believe that in previous years, before Donald Trump desensitized the nation from outrage, Buck would have been compelled to apologize for these comments–not double down on them on prime time TV. But if it isn’t clear from this episode how deep the moral rot in today’s Republican Party runs, erupting to the surface in the hate-rooted recall campaigns against Rep. Rochelle Galindo and Gov. Jared Polis, here may be all the proof you’ll ever need.

Ordinarily one would call on the Colorado Republican Party to stand up against these kinds of outrages, like when Ryan Call called out Vicki Marble for blaming African American health problems on eating too much chicken–but that’s obviously a problem in this case! In the end, despite all the protestations to the contrary, history may be forced to conclude that the unconcealed hatred common in Buck’s horrific analogy and the stated motivations of recall organizers reflects who Colorado Republicans really are.

Want to prove us wrong? For God’s sake, somebody condemn this madness.

Weekend Open Thread

“A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.”

–Demosthenes

Colorado Week in Review: 4/5/19

Your deliberately oversimplified glance at what happened in Colorado this week.

Neville Clan: Still Recall Central

There’s been some confusion in the last few days as recall efforts against freshman Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley have received publicity over two groups working on the effort: with a few wealthy Weld County landowners pledging big bucks for the campaign and the Recall Colorado organization led by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville working with local pastor Steve Grant firing up hater grassroots opposition.

In an interview Wednesday on AM600 talk radio, Joe Neville of Rearden Strategic tried to sort out the current state of play, while still portraying themselves in a management role over the effort:

LAKEY: Now, the House District 50 – there was a different gentleman who – I guess – pulled the [recall] petitions. Not all of these recalls are connected. I mean, everybody is kind of teaming up where possible, but it’s not all coming from, like, one central organization. And House District 50 fits that description, does it not? It’s put on by some local folks, that they are pulling the petitions and hoping to team a bunch of people together. But not everything flows through Joe Neville.

NEVILLE: That’s correct. That’s absolutely correct. What our goal is with ‘recallcolorado[.com], is we’re working to help out the grassroots. So, we have run recalls before, we have the ability to raise resources, and we’ll put volunteers out there. But these recalls – it’s the people’s district. And they sense, too – because the legislators work for the people, and so the people, they’re the ones who are putting these recalls together, the citizens in these districts. And we’re just there to help support them and get them the resources they need, to help them with getting ballot signatures and get this on the ballot – get the recalls on the ballot. And then when it comes time for the election, we’ll be there to help with that part, too. But really, it’s helping them be effective and give them the best chance possible to make sure the recall is successful.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock).

From there the conversation turned more specifically to Pastor Grant, who the Nevilles originally connected with to organize the HD-50 recall after he vowed to bring down his “homosexual pervert” representative:

NEVILLE: And, you know, we need to stand up, not only to the press, but the fact of the matter is, you know, whether it was with Trump or [what] we’ve seen just over the past few months, people aren’t going to put up with it anymore and they’re going to start focusing on holding these politicians accountable. And that’s what we’re doing with the recalls. And you know, the guy that stood up – the pastor that stood up, good for him! Good for all these people that are involved in this, because it’s not just one issue. It’s several issues that are affecting these people in this district, and they have a right to hold their politicians accountable. [Pols emphasis]

LAKEY: Yeah. The [recall] petitions are not approved yet. Where are we at in that process? Because I know my listeners are chomping at the bit, and the people all across Colorado are chomping at the bit, to get their hands on a petition. The Galindo petition, particularly – it’s in the approval process? Is that what we say?

NEVILLE: Yep, it’s in the approval process. There are several different stakeholders. I mean, this was such a polarizing effort that several people had started entering petitions. So we had to put – you know, pause it, bring everybody to the table, try to figure out what petition we’re going to move forward, because the last thing we want is multiple petitions out there, splitting up the effort. We’ve come to that conclusion, I believe. [Pols emphasis] And within the next few days we should have a final one turned in and approved. And so I’m guessing within the week, here, is when things should start moving forward. And we’ll definitely be reaching out to everybody that signs up at recallcolorado.com and telling them where to go and pushing them to the main center of the first — what looks like it’s going to be the first recall in Colorado this year.

To whatever extent there is an attempt to put daylight between less-savory organizers of this recall effort and the money men funding the petition campaign, consider it scrambled! After the jump, we’ve reprinted for posterity the original March 26 press release from the Nevilles praising Pastor Grant and celebrating his participation in the Galindo recall. It looks like, barring a specific indication to the contrary, the House Minority Leader and his family business are going to be the glue that sticks all the disparate –and unpleasant–pieces of this operation together.

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In Your Face: GOP Asks “Dr. Chaps” To Deliver Morning Prayer

The subject of considerable outrage in the Colorado House this morning is the request by an as-yet unknown Republican House member for former Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs to deliver the morning prayer ahead of the day’s floor work:

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the issues with Rep.-cum-Rev. Klingenschmitt, who gained nationwide infamy ahead of and during his single term in the Colorado House of Representatives for his virulently anti-LGBT remarks both in his official capacity as well as on his Youtube “video ministry” taped programs. Klingenschmitt once claimed that a grisly attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont was “a curse of God upon America” for allowing abortion. He said that LGBT people “want to rule you” and that that gay Scoutmasters should prefer to be “drowned in the sea” than face God’s wrath.

At a moment when Republicans are facing hard questions about the avowedly hateful people working to recall Gov. Jared Polis and more recently Rep. Rochelle Galindo of Greeley–notably House Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s alliance with Pastor Steve Grant, who has vowed to recall what he called his “homosexual pervert” representative–bringing in a figure as uniquely polarizing as “Dr. Chaps” to stare down the House in his clergy robes and expect to be joined in prayer cannot possibly be an accident.

This was a very intentional provocation. The ugly message was loud and clear.

Get More Smarter on Friday (April 5)

Today is “Opening Day” for the Colorado Rockies; have fun parking downtown this afternoon. It’s time “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 a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Remember when President Trump asserted that he was “totally exonerated” after Attorney General William Barr issued a summary of the Mueller report? That talking point is not aging well.

As the Washington Post reports:

Revelations that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s still-confidential report may contain damaging information about President Trump ignited a fresh round of political fighting on Thursday, ushering in a new phase of the nearly two-year-old battle over the Russia probe.

Members of Mueller’s team have told associates they are frustrated with the limited information that Attorney General William P. Barr has provided about their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

While Barr concluded the special counsel’s evidence was not sufficient to prove that the president obstructed justice, some of Mueller’s investigators have said their findings on obstruction were alarming and significant, one person with knowledge of their thinking said.

Some on the special counsel’s team were also frustrated that summaries they had prepared for different sections of the report — with the view that they could be made public fairly quickly — were not released by Barr, two people familiar with the matter said.

The truth shall set you free, as the saying goes…though it may yet have the opposite effect for many in Trumpland. Attorney General William Barr appears to be well on his way to getting tossed under the ol’ bus.

 

► Colorado lawmakers have reached an agreement on transportation funding, though as the Denver Post reports, the details are murky:

Colorado’s Republican and Democratic lawmakers reached a second and potentially final deal to spend $300 million more on transportation in the next budget year, but the big question still left to answer is what gets cut to pay for it.

This new deal struck Thursday afternoon is $36 million less than the amount agreed to in the Senate last week. The House got approval from their counterparts before announcing this compromise, which directs the six members of the Joint Budget Committee to find $70 million for the Department of Transportation in the $30.5 billion state budget.

“We are giving permission for your JBC members to go into conference committee and dig through the couch cushions a little harder,” Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, told her fellow Democrats during a meeting to explain the agreement.

This can serve as your regular reminder that TABOR is awful.

 

► Elections matter. Leadership matters.

Consider the rollout on Thursday of a plan from Gov. Jared Polis to reduce health care costs in Colorado. The “Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care” includes several pieces of legislation that have bipartisan support. Most of these bills could have been passed and implemented in prior years, but Senate Republicans had no interest in governing with their one-seat majority. This is why Colorado voters overwhelmingly elected Democrats in 2018.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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Hick Plays To a Core Strength: Guns

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

AP reports via Colorado Public Radio from the early 2020 campaign trail in South Carolina, where former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is touring the state highlighting one of his strongest progressive issues: reducing gun violence.

During a campaign trip to South Carolina, Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper is meeting with church members who survived a racist massacre in 2015.

The former Colorado governor is scheduled to have dinner and a roundtable discussion Saturday with survivors of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME, Hickenlooper’s campaign announced this week. Nine black parishioners were slain as they prayed during Bible study at the church. The shooter, a white man who said he hoped that the killings would start a race war, is on federal death row…

Hickenlooper is known as a staunch advocate for gun control legislation. Following the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, the then-governor called for and signed bills requiring universal background checks and limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds.

Although every Democratic candidate who travels to the early primary state of South Carolina pays their respects to the victims of the church shooting in Charleston carried out by an avowed white supremacist assailant, Hickenlooper’s bonafides on gun violence legislation are stronger than most of the Democratic field. Hickenlooper hasn’t been gaffe-free on guns since signing 2013’s landmark reforms into law, but simply weathering the test of time after six years has made Colorado’s gun laws a hard-won model for reform as the issue has steadily shifted away from the gun lobby.

And it’s a useful reminder that even as the debate over guns rages out of control once again in Colorado, the relatively modest measures Colorado has passed into law, and is soon to again with the expected signing of the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill, enjoy very broad public support in nationwide polling on the issue–even in Texas. Whether or not this breaks Hickenlooper out of the depths of the pack of the presidential primary is less important than noting, as gets lost in the din locally, that this is an issue that politically plays very well.

Sorry Dudley Brown, the numbers don’t lie.

Friday Open Thread

“Do not be too hard, lest you be broken; do not be too soft, lest you be squeezed.”

–Ali ibn Abi Talib

USA Today’s ALEC Expose Highlights State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg’s Asbestos Bill

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity released a report today revealing the breadth of so-called “model bills” written by corporations and conservative advocacy groups and distributed through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg features prominently in the report, which focuses on his “Asbestos Transparency Bill.”

Better transparency was one reason Colorado state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg said he introduced the bill in 2017, and again last year, at the urging of a tort reform group called the Colorado Civil Justice League and backed by insurance companies, including Nationwide Insurance. “Whenever you add transparency to the mix, it helps all consumers,” said Sonnenberg, a Republican. [The bill], in effect, cast corporations as victims of litigation filed by people harmed by asbestos. The model bill requires people battling the asbestos-triggered disease mesothelioma to seek money from an asbestos trust, set up to compensate victims, before they can sue a company whose product might have caused their cancer. That process can take months or even a year. Many mesothelioma victims die within a year of their diagnosis. Their families can still sue on their behalf, but for far less money.

The report follows its rundown of Sonnenberg’s industry-friendly bill with an interview of Chris Winokur, widow of former Fort Collins Mayor Bob Winokur, who died of mesothelioma in 2015, just nine months after his diagnosis.

It wraps up the Colorado segment by Sonnenberg saying he didn’t realize who the corporate lobbyist and ALEC committee chair who testified for the bill worked for:

Sonnenberg told USA TODAY he didn’t know Behrens worked for the Chamber of Commerce when he called him to testify. “I just knew they were experts and they indeed understood the legal issues and process much better than I,”

Sen. Sonnenberg is as familiar with ALEC as any legislator in the state. Records show him attending their conferences in 2006 and 2007, the years he received $1000+ “ALEC scholarships. He likely attended in 2017 as well, when he gave a radio interview to a Nashville station where he said was at a “gathering of legislators where he served on an energy task force.” Nashville was hosting an ALEC conference at the time.

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Polis Health Care Plan Shows Why Elections Matter

“Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care” rollout on Thursday

Governor Jared Polis rolled out a detailed plan on Thursday morning for reducing health care costs in Colorado called the “Roadmap to Saving Coloradans Money on Health Care.”

In an event at Denver Health Medical Center, Polis outlined a proposal that includes several pieces of legislation currently making their way through the State Capitol. As KOAA News reports:

Polis already signed a hospital transparency bill into law last week.  That law requires hospitals to report their annual spending and expenditures as part of an effort to lower health care prices.

There are already bills going through the legislature to import prescription drugs from Canada and introduce a reinsurance pool designed to lower premiums for private insurers.

In addition to short-term solutions, Polis also mentioned plans to incentivize preventative care, introduce healthy options to children at schools, improve immunization rates and introduce a separate plan to address behavioral health.

Here’s more detail from a press release:

“Health care costs too much,” said Governor Jared Polis. “No Coloradan should have to go without care because they can’t afford it. This roadmap will be our guide to saving people money on healthcare and ensuring better access to affordable care for everyone in our state.”

Colorado has taken significant steps to increase access to health care and insurance coverage during the past decade. As a result, today only 6.5 percent of Coloradans don’t have health insurance compared to 15.8 percent in 2013. Despite this improvement, the cost of care has been increasing at an alarming rate, especially in rural areas and mountain communities.

All of the central legislative efforts outlined in Polis’ health care proposal have bipartisan support. In other words, these are all bills that could have been shepherded through the legislative process at any point in the last several years.

The reason you aren’t already saving more money on health care costs is because that would have required Senate Republicans to do something other than obstructing Democratic bills and obfuscating about sexual harassment with their one-seat majority in 2017 and 2018. Republicans such as former Senate President Kevin Grantham liked to say that they served as a “check” on Democratic control; in reality, they were an obstacle to reasonable discussions about all sorts of common-sense legislative approaches.

There is absolutely no way that these health care savings efforts would have been produced without Colorado voters giving Democrats both a majority and a mandate in November 2018. The right leadership matters. Elections matter.

“Total Exoneration” Looks Less Exonerating By The Day

TOTAL EXONERATION. Got it?

The New York Times reports that the celebration by Republicans following the release of a letter from Attorney General William Barr on the now-completed investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election may have been more than a little premature:

Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.

At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel’s office — is who shapes the public’s initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller’s team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public…

A debate over how the special counsel’s conclusions are represented has played out in public as well as in recent weeks, with Democrats in Congress accusing Mr. Barr of intervening to color the outcome of the investigation in the president’s favor.

In his letter to Congress outlining the report’s chief conclusions, Mr. Barr said that Mr. Mueller found no conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia’s 2016 election interference. While Mr. Mueller made no decision on his other main question, whether the president illegally obstructed the inquiry, he explicitly stopped short of exonerating Mr. Trump.

As time passes since Mueller handed off his investigation’s finding to Attorney General Barr, a Trump ally widely believed to have been chosen for the job because of his expansive view of presidential powers and limited oversight of those powers, the initial jubilation on the part of Trump loyalists has given way to nervous deflection. Trump’s declaration that the outcome represents “total exoneration” was not even supported by the extremely limited content of Barr’s letter, which in one of its few verbatim citations of Mueller’s own words makes clear that Trump was not exonerated.

With that uncomfortable reality becoming clearer with each passing news cycle, if the plan was to allow enough time between Barr’s letter and the full report’s release to deflate public interest, at this point the delay is more likely to have the opposite effect. Especially if the sum of the full report’s conclusions make what’s been released so far look like a cover-up, which this latest story suggests may be the case, it’s only going to increase public outrage when the truth comes out.

And for all we know, something game-changing could well be in the offing.

Good Luck, Speedy Recovery To Sen. Michael Bennet

Sen. Michael Bennet (D).

Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent broke significant news yesterday that Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, a likely entry into the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination will undergo surgery for prostate cancer prior to making a final decision:

Just as he had finally become comfortable with his decision to run, he went to get a physical and received very discomfiting news from his doctor — he has prostate cancer.

His PSA was high. The biopsy showed malignancy. The doctors recommended that, at his age, surgery was the best course of action. His family agreed. The risk, he was told, was low. John Kerry had survived, cancer free, the same surgery in 2003 and two weeks later was back on the campaign trail, on his way to winning the Democratic nomination. And so …

And so, now Bennet is still committed to running for president if — and it’s an important if, but an if that Bennet says he’s at peace with — he will be cancer free. The surgery to remove the prostate gland is scheduled for soon after the congressional spring recess, which begins on April 11.

When I asked Bennet how he was taking all this — the cancer, not the presidential bid — he said he was OK. “I’m too busy to really sit back and think about it,” he said, “and that’s probably the best thing.”

The odds are good that Sen. Bennet’s treatment will be successful, but it’s a responsible choice to be certain before undertaking something as strenuous as a presidential campaign. We’ll add our best wishes to the bipartisan outpouring of goodwill since yesterday evening when the story broke.

Oil and Gas Reform Bill Clears Final Hurdle, Now Awaits Governor’s Signature

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg

One of the most heavily-discussed bills in Colorado completed its journey through the state legislature on Wednesday. Senate Bill 181 was given final approval by the State Senate — including all amendments added by the State House — and now moves to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis, who is expected to sign the legislation within the coming days.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, one of the prime sponsors of SB-181, announced the bill’s success in an email message earlier today:

SB181 marks the most sweeping and comprehensive reforms to oil and gas laws our state has seen in over 60 years! Health and safety will finally be the top priority in the regulation of oil and gas. Local governments will finally be able to have a voice in what is happening in their communities.

Here’s a quick summary of what the bill accomplishes:

♦ Puts health and safety first by clarifying the mission of the regulator, the COGCC, is to regulate (not foster) the oil and gas industry.

♦ Empowers local governments to have decision-making authority over the siting of oil & gas activities in their community and allows local regulations to be stronger than state requirements.

♦ Strengthens protections for wildlife, dramatically increases air quality and emissions standards, and addresses & prevents abandoned orphan wells.

♦ Protects property owners from forced pooling by increasing the threshold of consent required before forcing other mineral interest owners.

♦ Enhances worker safety by raising safety and training standards.

♦ Reforms the COGCC by reducing industry representation and influence on the commission.

9News has more on the final passage of SB-181, which included more than 30 hours of public testimony.

Does Cory Gardner Think “Windmills Cause Cancer” Too?

Sen. Cory Gardner (R), giving himself cancer in a 2014 campaign ad.

CNN reports on remarks from President Donald Trump at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee yesterday–in which Trump goes off on a tangent about the horrors of wind power that we have to think would make our allegedly pro-wind power Sen. Cory Gardner blush:

“Hillary wanted to put up wind,” said President Donald Trump at a fundraiser for Republicans in Washington Tuesday, kicking off an extended riff about the evils of windmills — wind turbines, more accurately — and the inadequacy of wind energy. It’s worth looking at in full since it’s clearly becoming part of his stump speech and feeds into his larger distrust of renewable energy and his mocking of climate change…

Among Trump’s false claims yesterday about wind turbines was the baseless assertion that “if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value.” Nobody knows where Trump got that figure, which is 10% higher than he gave in another setting–but it doesn’t matter because neither number has any basis in reality.

From there, it only gets worse:

Trump: “And they say the noise causes cancer. You told me that one, OK.” (Then he made circles with his hands and a noise with his mouth.) “You know the thing makes so…”

It’s not clear who it was who told this to Trump, but there’s no evidence to back it up. There are frustrations with noise from wind turbines and those have led to reports of things like insomnia and dizziness among some people who live near wind turbines. Scientific studies have not identified any human health risk.

And if “noise causes cancer” isn’t enough for you, next came a statement that will come as a big surprise to thousands of Coloradans who work in the wind power industry:

Trump: “No, wind’s not so good and you have no idea how expensive it is to make those things. They’re all made in China and Germany, by the way, just in case you, we don’t make them here, essentially.” [Pols emphasis]

The wind industry has been on a tear. The fastest-growing occupation in the US in 2017 was wind turbine technician, although it’s still a small part of the economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 105,000 Americans are employed in the wind industry across all 50 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group…

Here in Colorado, four production plants owned by Vestas Wind Systems employ some 3,500 people from Windsor to Pueblo. Not all wind turbines installed in the U.S. are made in the U.S., and parts from across the world go into turbines that are made here–but either way it’s absolute nonsense to claim that turbines don’t provide American jobs.

Of course, the fact that Donald Trump tells lies is not exactly breaking news. The Washington Post released an analysis Monday showing that Trump has made a practically inconceivable 9,451 false claims in the last 800 days. But in the particular case of savaging the wind power industry, there should be someone in the GOP willing to stand up and call Trump out: Cory Gardner of Colorado, who made such a big deal of his support for wind energy on the campaign trail in 2014. Gardner’s recent cozying up to Trump ahead of their mutual bid for re-election in 2020 has included no serious attempt at reconciling Trump’s immoderate words with Gardner’s allegedly more reasonable positions on a wide range of issues, including renewable energy.

With all of this in mind, it’s time to ask the question: does Cory Gardner think wind turbines–in particular the “noise they make”–cause cancer? And if the answer is no, and we assume it is, the next question is this: what would Trump have to lie about to lose Gardner’s support? Trump’s treatment of women wasn’t enough, the North Korean debacle wasn’t enough–not even the national emergency Gardner was certain he opposed before it was ordered.

There must be something Gardner cares about enough stand up to Trump, but this once again isn’t it.