EDITORIAL: Coffman’s complicity in government shut-down shows an abandonment of good judgment


It’s unnerving enough that Tea Party Republican brinkmanship would irresponsibly shut down the federal government, but it’s even more disheartening that Aurora’s own Congressman Mike Coffman would take part in such a derelict political stunt.

For edit10.3Coffman, a Republican who up until this year has been bolstered by conservative forces in his former district, was among the Tea Party GOP tribe of lawmakers that bullied their own party and the House of Representatives into demanding that the country scuttle the Affordable Care Act or face a government shut down.

It is unthinkable that anyone having anything to do with the government 18 years ago, when Tea Party predecessors led by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, would stand for a replay of that disaster. Yet almost every current GOP congressman did just that, Coffman included.

Reached Tuesday, Coffman offered a fantastic explanation for his vote that only compounds his apparent lapse of good judgment. The three-term congressman, a veteran of state government, said that he voted on a budget that would end the Affordable Care Act because he didn’t like the fact that members of Congress and their staffs had been granted exemptions to the Obamacare health insurance plan.

Coffman’s response to reporter questions about why he voted the way he did only serves to make this a lose-lose situation. Most savvy constituents will quickly dismiss Coffman’s claim to be looking out for the American public by spanking arrogant members of Congress who think they’re too good for what’s good enough for the rest of the country. It’s nearly impossible to believe that a seasoned lawmaker would be so naive as to think that, given the politics of the situation during the last few weeks, that this was a credible way to make the changes Coffman wanted. In other words, the lame excuse falls flat.

More worrisome would be to stipulate that Coffman really means what he says. It means that he has gone so far over the edge that he’s willing to cheat millions of Americans out of badly needed health insurance — and cruelly take paychecks from other millions of Americans who are affected by a closed federal government — and risk wreaking havoc to an economy that is just now recovering from the last government-induced economic maelstrom — just so he can stick it to some loathsome members of Congress. That’s wholly irresponsible and alarmingly mean.

This is bad government, and Coffman has chosen to hitch his wagon to it. More likely is the notion that he felt more compelled to play to a dwindling Tea Party base in hopes they will be motivated to work for him during next year’s election.

Or Coffman, who has previously shown himself to be much more sensible, has suffered an epic lack of judgment that he must carry with him to the next election and for the rest of his political career.

In the meantime, his constituents and everyone else in the country must suffer and pay for the worst political decision Coffman and Tea Party Republicans have ever made.


  1. “Wholly irresponsible and alarmingly mean.” Perfect description of our “representative” turning his back on the people he was elected to represent. Well done, Dave Perry!

  2. “I don’t believe Obama is an American citizen.” remember Coffman saying that over and over when asked or something to that effect. He made a huge
    mistake this time, letting his hatred of our President cloud his judgment.
    Wonder how furloughed government workers feel about this? Shame on
    you Congressman Coffman, shame on you.

  3. Stop being such a spiteful coward, Mr. Coffman. All we want now is an up or down vote on a clean CR. And as a long-time registered Republican, it almost pains me to tell you my next political donation will be going to Andrew Romanoff if this pointless shutdown continues.

  4. So, the unwillingness of Udall, Bennet and the rest of the Senate to compromise gets no attention? Representative Coffman is one of 435. The false narrative that the 30 or so teaparty members are holding their 180 establishment Republican brethern hostage is a stretch. Do the math, and leave the fiction to novelists.

  5. the failure of the democrats not negotiating, is a red herring. What is there
    to negotiate? The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare has been shown
    constitutional at the Supreme Court level. How can the dems negotiate on
    a law that is in effect and has been funded. Republicans have been dying
    to shut down the government! Saw tapes of them joyful the night the
    government was shut down, as well as republicans saying for years that
    they would do so. So don’t give me any republican talking points about
    the democrats failure to negotiate. 800,000 government employees
    furloughed – hope the republicans are happy. I’m not, and I’m sure
    these employees not getting paid would agree.

  6. The undisputable fact are: the republicans offered/softened their stance and said obama could have what he wanted if he would give the public the same exemption he congress for a year…OBAMA SAID NO…..nothing supercedes this argument…or are you are saying you approve of a dictatorship where your government can make you do something and they don’t…? .there is no counter argument….you either agree your government has to do the same things they tell you to do or not….there is no other options…obama shut down the government because he and congress wanted their exemptions (from obamacare…understand what i’m saying) and didn’t want you to have them and decided to shut down the government instead of letting “you” have the same exemption….that is how pathetic obama and harry reid are….if your saying you agree that they can have a exemption and you can’t you belong in a communist country….please leave..you’re hurting everyone else….try china.

  7. He’s backpedaling today. Read his facebook post…”It might not be popular to say so, but I believe that extremists in both parties have kept us from finding real solutions. It concerns me that some Democrats appear to be “rooting for a shutdown” because they think it helps them politically. And likewise, it also concerns me that some Republicans used the flawed strategy of a shutdown for what appears to be nothing more than an exercise in national fundraising.
    I have done my best to delay, defund and dismantle all or parts of Obamacare because I believe that much of it will be harmful to this country in the long run. Lost in the shutdown coverage, the problems with the new ObamaCare exchanges are a major cause for concern. However, the debate over attaching Obamacare to a spending bill must end and I will argue before my colleagues in the House that we need to pass a “clean” spending bill to immediately reopen the government.”

    I’m stunned!

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