Diary

What is Ken Buck Thinking? Colorado GOP Chair Bucks Trump

In this Jan. 24, 2014 photo, current GOP U.S. Senate primary candidate Ken Buck shakes hands with supporter Dale Gustafson, chairman of the Colorado Conservative Union, as Gustafson's wife Donna sits at left, during a campaign dinner event at Johnson's Corner, a truck stop and diner in Johnstown, Colo. Buck narrowly lost a 2010 Senate bid after being hammered for statements that angered some women and gays. Now his candidacy will be a test of whether a tea party favorite can do better in 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Congressman Ken Buck, the Colorado Republican Party chairman, has gone off the reservation.

In an interview with The Denver Post, the congressman/state chairman said the country is leaderless during the Chinese virus pandemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus.

Buck, described by reporter Justin Wingerter as “usually a defender of President Donald Trump,” is quoted as saying:

“We don’t have a leader. It was FDR who said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ We need leaders to stand up and say we’re going to have a measured response.”

Tell that to Trump and to the majority of Americans who approve of the president’s handling of the pandemic.

Even liberal Mother Jones took note of Trump’s 55% approval rating, calling it “truly amazing.”

But Buck hasn’t just bucked (sorry for the corny pun, but it’s too easy to resist) Trump. He’s also publicly positioned himself against Sen. Cory Gardner, one of the most vulnerable Republican senators, by opposing COVID-19 relief for the American people and, yes, businesses. The bills Congress has passed aren’t pretty but as Sean Hannity and others noted, they are better than nothing.

Buck also rebuked the serious warnings of Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other public health experts, all of whom say Americans should remain at their homes and maintain appropriate distance to flatten the curve.

“You’re talking about hundreds of thousands — maybe more than that — of people,” Trump said at Friday’s White House press conference. “We can bring our finances back pretty quickly, but we can’t bring our people back.”

Buck called that reasoning an “overreaction” in the same interview with the Denver Post.

With Buck as chairman it’s no wonder that Colorado’s GOP is largely seen as irrelevant after running an establishmentarian and member of the Bush family for governor and losing majority in the state Senate.

At the same time, independent voters now outnumber Colorado Republicans and Democrats, according to Colorado voter registration data. Only 28% of Colorado voters register Republican. As a result, no credible political analysts, be they Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, peg the Centennial State as a truly competitive, battleground state in this year’s presidential election.

Ironically, Buck opposes the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which will be up for voter approval on the November ballot. The compact, which fully preserves the Electoral College, would make Colorado conservatives relevant despite their non-battleground status – which would be helpful since at this time the Republican chairman seems more interested in losing than electing Republicans.

(Note: Detailed information about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, can be found here.)