PI Editorial: Boebert would be better served to champion Colorado as a model for national election reform
Freshman Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s vow to join other Republican Congress members this Wednesday in challenging the Electoral College certification declaring Joe Biden as the next President of the United States has been described as everything from “grandstanding” to “seditious” by some who say it might incite violent revolt.
While we certainly condemn that latter extreme, we believe neither view truly reflects what Boebert is doing.
We would contend, however, that the effort is largely pointless. It’s certainly not the best foot to put forward for a freshman member of Congress from the minority party.
History reminds us a similar contingent of Democrats objected to the 2000 election and 2004 reelection of George W. Bush, and to the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
And, while there was no formal objection to the elections of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, one could certainly argue that the conservative Tea Party movement served the same purpose — perhaps with more effect.
We would prefer to see Rep. Boebert focus her attention on some meaningful national election reform through the legislative process that might end the state-by-state finger-pointing.
She could even point to her home state as a model for others. Colorado has become a beacon for mail-ballot voting procedures. If there’s a voice Boebert can carry from the Rocky Mountains to Washington, D.C., it’s that the time is now for more uniform national election rules and procedures.
If the 2020 Presidential Election taught us anything, it’s that we have to constantly evolve, improve and modernize our elections.
Hysterical, baseless claims of widespread election fraud serve no purpose. What we believe those who are objecting to Biden’s clear victory over Trump are really arguing is a philosophical difference of opinion about the voting methods that produced that result.
Fine, let the legislative debate begin.
But the real take-away from the 2020 Presidential Election is that, when you give people a reason to vote — a referendum on Trumpism — and you provide the people with reasonable means to vote (especially during a pandemic), the masses will speak.
And, the voters spoke in record numbers in favor of Joe Biden over Donald Trump. Even conservative Garfield County, Colorado gave the edge to Biden — and favored Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush over the hometown upstart for Congress.
Boebert would be better served by listening to and learning from those in her own backyard.
Fringe, partisan politics is frowned upon in independent-minded Colorado, where political compromise is not something to vilify — as Boebert did on the campaign trail.
She will learn that quickly when she goes looking for coalition support, even from within her own party, on issues critical to western Colorado, such as water, public lands policy, health care, immigration — the list is long.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, summed up the senseless Electoral College challenge best in a lengthy post to his Facebook page last week.
“Let’s be clear what is happening here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage,” Sasse wrote. “But they’re wrong — and this issue is bigger than anyone’s personal ambitions. Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government.
“…All the clever arguments and rhetorical gymnastics in the world won’t change the fact that this January 6th effort is designed to disenfranchise millions of Americans simply because they voted for someone in a different party. We ought to be better than that. If we normalize this, we’re going to turn American politics into a Hatfields and McCoys endless blood feud — a house hopelessly divided.”
Time will tell if Boebert intends to be a true representative for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, or another fading voice for a failed fringe political movement. The two-year clock is now ticking.
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