Coffman has seen the light — or maybe the oncoming train

Rep. Mike Coffman has seen the light or maybe he’s just seen the polls, but now he says he’s absolutely, positively in favor of passing a clean continuing resolution to end the government shutdown.

Unless he’s not.

A week after saying he was fine with voting to shut down the government by forcing Barack Obama to defund or delay Obamacare in order to pass a budget, he now blames the “extremists” in both parties for keeping the shutdown in place. Apparently, one of those “extremists” was Coffman just a week ago.

Now he’s written an op-ed in the Denver Post, saying he never wanted a shutdown, even though he had, of course, voted for one. But that was before all the polling came out showing that Republicans were taking the brunt of the blame for the shutdown and also a  poll showing Coffman trailing in his 6th CD re-election bid against Andrew Romanoff in what is rated a tossup race.

The new Coffman says that he’s for ending the shutdown and for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, which puts him in a small group of Republicans who have publicly said they’re willing to vote that way. In a perfect world, there are enough Republicans now who would join Democrats in passing the bill through the House that would basically end the shutdown. In this world, though, John Boehner won’t bring it to a vote because the suicide caucus has more or less promised to become the Boehner-homicide caucus if he does.

Interestingly, Coffman writes that he will “take (Obama) at his word that he is willing to work with Republicans on a budget agreement.” This is the same Obama who Coffman once said was “not an American” in his heart. But I guess you don’t have to be a hearty American to be willing to negotiate.

But there’s still the question of  how deeply committed Coffman is to ending the shutdown and extending the debt ceiling. As Fox 31’s Eli Stokols deftly points out, the House voted on one of its piecemeal funding bills Tuesday afternoon – this one to keep open national parks — and Coffman had the chance to vote with Democrats to replace that bill with a clean resolution, one that if passed could have led, yes, to the end of the shutdown.

Guess what: He declined.

And so the shutdown continues. And the debt ceiling crisis looms. And it’s now left to see how  loudly Coffman makes his voice heard in opposition to his own party.