UPDATE: So, um, yes folks, we are talking about the same Denver Post that published this editorial today:
It's not easy in this era of hyperpartisanship in Washington, D.C., for federal lawmakers to reverse course on divisive issues.
But Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, did just that when he said Tuesday he supports a "clean" spending bill to end the political standoff and reopen government.
We assume a new editorial is forthcoming. Then again, maybe they didn't read down to paragraph 19.
Two days ago, local media was full of stories about GOP Rep. Mike Coffman's "change of heart" on the ongoing government shutdown, following the publication of an op-ed where Coffman vowed to support a "clean" continuing resolution to immediately fund and reopen the federal government. This marked a major shift in position for Colorado's (and maybe America's) most vulnerable member of Congress, who voted with his colleagues to shut down the government, and subsequently defended their action as part of "a negotiation." Polls showing Republicans inflicting massive damage on themselves with each day the government shutdown goes on plainly rattled Coffman, prompting his widely-reported "break" with GOP leadership.
Except today, as the Denver Post's Allison Sherry reports, we learn that Coffman was not being honest. Again.
Rep. Mike Coffman told The Denver Post earlier this week he would support a measure funding the federal government that is not tied to dismantling Obamacare — a change in position from last week.
Coffman said Wednesday, however, he would not sign onto a special petition being pushed by Democrats that would force a floor vote on a "clean" continuing resolution.
This procedure is extremely rare — it hasn't happened since 2002 — and would mean that Coffman would have to buck his own GOP leadership to force the vote.
Coffman said Congress failing to raise the debt ceiling is a "greater threat" than funding the federal government, but he believes the two need to be included in one proposal. [Pols emphasis]
To recap, not only is Rep. Coffman refusing to sign on to the most straightforward plan to accomplish his stated goal of a "clean" continuing resolution, he just announced that he doesn't support a "clean" resolution at all–he now wants some other kind of resolution, linked to the upcoming expiration of the debt limit. The President and Senate Democrats have held firm, saying that Republicans must not hold either of these routine fiduciary duties hostage–and the polls incontrovertibly say the public sides with Democrats on this issue.
Reading their Denver Post yesterday, residents of Coffman's district learned on the front page that he was willing to reopen the government without precondition. Today, in the nineteenth paragraph of a story about another member of Congress that's not on the front page, we discover Coffman was not telling the truth–much like when he paid lip service supporting undocumented students right before voting against them. An earlier version of this story actually noted in the headline that Coffman was ditching his day-old pledge to support a "clean" resolution; for whatever reason, the final story's headline does not.
On the one hand, you might say Coffman is becoming a master of saying one thing while doing another–and we suppose that is one way to respond when redistricting suddenly changes your safe seat into a diverse and competitive battleground. But we don't think he is showing mastery of anything. To us, Coffman looks terrified of his own shadow, hopelessly caught between his constituents' essential interests and the reactionary partisan politics he has always been beholden to. Coffman is a walking recipe for political disaster, awaiting only a strong Democratic challenger to put a swift end to his career in Congress. And he just proved exactly why we say so.
At some point, the press will stop burying the lede.