The Denver Post threw its support behind Colorado GOP Senate nominee Cory Gardner on Friday, hailing the congressman – who boasts a more conservative voting record than Michele Bachmann and Steve King – as a compromiser who can bring “fresh leadership, energy and ideas” to the U.S. Senate.
“Congress is hardly functioning these days,” the Post laments, right before it proceeds to endorse the government shutdown-supporting Tea Partier. The paper’s editorial board has decided that Gardner is somehow the answer to this dysfunction, because incumbent Sen. Mark Udall is an incumbent and “is not perceived as a leader,” they guess. So maybe “the time has come for change.”
What most impresses the paper about Gardner is what a young whippersnapper he is. “In every position” the congressman has held, the editors write, “he has quickly become someone to be reckoned with and whose words carry weight.” Pair him with Colorado’s other senator, Democrat Michael Bennet, and the state will have “two young, energetic” voices in Washington!
And what of Gardner’s hard-right positions? There is that inconvenient bit about his support for “personhood” legislation, but, the paper writes, now he wants to make birth control available over the counter. (Never mind those poor women who can’t afford it and require insurance coverage for their contraceptives.)
Moreover, the paper writes, Gardner actually “has sound ideas on tax reform that could help the economy take off.” How? Just trust them, it will. Plus, he’s “expressed willingness to compromise on immigration despite a fairly hard line over the years.” How Gardner could actually convince fellow Republicans to cease their obstructionism on the issue – and whether his newfound “willingness to compromise” is genuine or election-year pandering – doesn’t much concern the Post.
Gardner’s social views, including opposition to abortion rights with no exceptions and steadfast opposition to LGBT equality? Well, the Post editorial board writes, Gardner isn’t a “culture warrior”; instead, he “has emphasized economic and energy issues.” His retrograde views don’t matter, you see, because he has enough media training to know to be quiet about them!
The notion that this right-wing congressman could help usher in a new era of bipartisan goodwill and policy innovation seems far-fetched, but the Post begs to differ. Citing Gerald Seib’s absurd Wall Street Journal column this week, the editors speculate that a unified GOP Congress, together with President Obama, could actually be more productive than one-party government would be. Try not to think too much about the past four years, lest you disabuse yourself of this comforting thought.
One issue that the Post’s editorial never bothers to mention is climate change, on which Gardner has held three positions just this week. While the center-right paper clutches its pearls over what will happen to the nation if we don’t pass “entitlement reform” (i.e., savage cuts to Social Security and Medicare) and “tax reform” (i.e., lower rates for the wealthy and corporations), it has nothing to say about the threat climate change poses to our planet. Gardner’s latest position on the issue is that it’s too complicated to determine humans’ role in warming the planet, but he’s been consistent on one thing: that the government shouldn’t take any meaningful action to curb it.
But forget all that! This youthful up-and-comer is just the right-wing extremist Colorado needs to get our nation moving again.