Don’t worry, folks. There are enough liars in Ken Buck’s sprawling district to fill his vacancy.
In Colorado’s most red-tinted congressional district, the 4th, the five-term Republican congressman has decided lying isn’t the job he signed up for.
The former Colorado GOP chairman won’t be running for re-election.
His rationale was blunt: The Party of Trump has become a paper-mache sculpture of deceit.
“Too many Republican leaders are lying to America,” he said.
“Our nation,” he said, “is on a collision course with reality. A steadfast commitment to truth – even inconvenient truths – is the only way forward.”
Lie unless you want to be a pariah in Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
Liz Cheney. Mitt Romney. Adam Kinzinger. Jeff Flake. Bob Corker. Ben Sasse. John McCain. A whole family named Bush.
All exhibited their God-given gag reflex toward the twice-impeached, 91-time indicted con man who not only disgraced the presidency but the whole idea of public service.
A public servant does not sit snacking while watching the seat of government being ransacked by zealous thugs.
Trump last week called the convicted felons from that horror “J6hostages.” No doubt he will claim hostage status himself should a judge (or several) assign him that fate over the next calendar sweep.
Ken Buck, a Freedom Caucus member who displays an AR-15 on his office wall, is no liberal. Trump calls him a RINO, but that’s because Buck looks askance at the Big Liar who appropriated everything “Republican” once stood for.
Trump, with next to no ideology when a Republican strategist suggested he run, is a hermit crab who became the innards of a hollow political party.
So, who will be most effective in selling the Big Lie to the Colorado Republicans of District 4? Based on the political leanings of the mostly flatlands district, that person will have a pretty good shot at Congress.
Then again, maybe not. In 2018, people of the MAGA strain who sought statewide office in Colorado were routinely routed. The state, once with relative political parity, now has no statewide Republican office-holders.
That was not the case until election denial became the key qualification for the GOP nomination. And you can bet that will be the case with Republican primary voters in Buck’s district.
Trump’s influence and the Big Lie litmus test have reduced the party to “its lowest ebbs since the 1930s” in Colorado, said another former GOP state chairman, Dick Wadhams.
Nonetheless, expect the biggest liar to make the deepest inroads in the District 4 GOP primary.
One can see why Buck has had enough with his job in Washington. Taking any stand that reeks of principle can put one’s life in danger.
When Buck refused to endorse partisan bomb-thrower Jim Jordan for House speaker, he got death threats. A MAGA-fied landlord yanked Buck’s office lease.
Again, Buck’s no liberal. In the trial going on now in Colorado over whether Trump should be held off the state’s ballot for inciting an insurrection, Buck testified against the idea.
Incidentally, four of the six plaintiffs in that trial are all Republicans, the other two independents. One of the nation’s most vaunted conservative judges, Michael Luttig, is staunchly promoting the idea that the 14th Amendment disqualifies Trump from ever holding office again.
Meanwhile in the race to succeed Congressman Buck: Don’t worry, Trump parrot heads. You’ll always be able to find candidates who will swear by every word the Golden Idol says, even if three of his attorneys in recent weeks, in pleading to crimes, acknowledged they abetted a horrific lie in the coup attempt for which he will be tried.
For now, put on your best liar’s face, District 4 GOP candidates. Offer the MAGA faithful your devoted partisan service to make a mockery of what the rest of us know as public service.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.