Colorado’s Rep. Coffman: In the district and off the farm

Colorado Sixth District Congressman Mike Coffman is making national headlines for trotting out a Glenn Beck-style Obama conspiracy theory on Denver talk radio. He said the president is secretly working to grant citizenship to millions of undocumented residents who will return the favor by voting for Obama next November. That’s great radio except, as Colorado media watchdogger Jason Salzman points out, illegal residents can’t become citizens until they’re legal residents, and none of that could happen for any of them by anywhere close to Election Day. More than that, the theory dovetailed with a bill Coffman recently sponsored to strip languages other than English from voter ballots, the two taken together making Coffman seem provocatively anti-Latino. The “undocumented resident voter” theory isn’t the only out-there bit Coffman has delivered lately. His handlers might have pulled in the reins after the loose nuggets he tossed out at a GOP fundraiser in Denver last week.

The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning was at the event Thursday August 18 and reported on Coffman’s remarks.

The congressman opened by explaining his vote in favor of the debt-ceiling deal. It was a tough vote, he said. It would have been easier to vote against it because then he “could have told conservative audiences he stood in the way of more government borrowing and he could have told liberal audiences he had drawn the line against deep spending cuts.”

“Told liberal audiences”?

Democrats in the state have been working hard in the ongoing battle over redistricting to redraw Coffman’s district to include many more Democratic voters. If they succeed, Coffman may have to begin explaining his votes to “liberal audiences.” Until then, he’s more likely to hold fast to his present strategy of ignoring them altogether.

Coffman moved from there on to the debate over growth in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

“If not for Republican control of the House of Representatives,” he said, “we wouldn’t be having that debate at all. This country would be simply slipping into insolvency.”

“If we act soon, we can turn this around,” he said. “If not, we’re going to be in a Greece-like situation where there’ll be so many folks depending on the government that there’ll be civil disturbances in this country.”

So, if not for Republican control of the House, the nation would be “slipping into insolvency”? And we could expect a “Greece-like situation” of civil disturbances due to government dependence?

Coffman is talking mainly here about Social Security and Medicare, isn’t he? These mostly serve retired people, and Social Security is a solid program. There is no shortage of funds. As Luning notes, it’s running a surplus based on payroll tax hikes instituted during the Reagan years.

On the matter of individual dependency on the government in the U.S., has Coffman ever looked at any data comparing such dependency here with government dependency in any other developed nation in the world? Probably not, but alarmism has become the stock in trade of Obama-era GOP politics as well as the stock in trade of Colorado GOP fundraisers under new “moderate” Chairman Ryan Call.

Coffman closed with a piece on the recent low popularity of Congress.

“People complain about Washington today. I think we have an approval rating of– 13 percent, is it?”

“Historically,” Luning notes Coffman said with a grin, “we’ve been somewhere between pedophiles and trial lawyers, and pedophiles are passing us up.”

That was roughly last week. His people thought he was ready for a round on the radio this week.

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