What can we do about our misbehaving congressman, Rep. Doug Lamborn? What might be an appropriate response to his latest shameful shenanigan, boycotting the State of the Union address? How can we deal with this petulant lawmaker who's so willing to embarrass his constituents — not to mention himself, though he's oblivious to that fact?
We could suggest that the House of Representatives officially censure Lamborn. We could request that the local and state Republican officials make known their displeasure. We could even demand that Lamborn resign, or at least withdraw from his campaign for a fourth term.
But we know how much that would achieve. Nothing.
We won't stoop to his level, resort to a blast of name-calling, then shrug our shoulders and move on. Yet, we can't let Lamborn get away without registering some kind of indignation.
He's fully brainwashed, believing President Barack Obama and other Democrats have caused every problem in Washington. He's convinced political compromise no longer is an option. And he has no fear, because he knows his followers will continue re-electing him as long as he has a pulse.
At some point, we shouldn't even blame Lamborn anymore. We should blame those who blindly vote for him, and party leaders who stand behind him instead of finding another Republican to give him a serious, well-funded challenge. (He has a GOP opponent, Robert Blaha, but the jury's out on whether he has a chance.)
With no obvious threat, Lamborn pursues his undying quest to be America's most conservative politician. That's why nobody on the right cares when Lamborn makes his "tar baby" comment regarding President Obama or tries to eliminate federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Nothing changes with Lamborn, even after he says it might. Last January, Lamborn invited a handful of local media to his home in north Colorado Springs to discuss the senseless shooting a day earlier that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. For a fleeting moment, Lamborn revealed a different side ("Out of tragedy, new hope," Between the Lines, Jan. 13, 2011), calling Giffords, a Democrat, "one of the nicest, sweetest people you could ever imagine."
Here's another excerpt: "Soon, though, the conversation turned back to the angry, nasty rhetoric that many blame for inciting this violence. Lamborn talked about the excessive 'vitriol,' acknowledging that 'neither party has a monopoly' on the provocative, over-the-top venom. ... This is the moment for both parties to dial down the bombast, and Lamborn agrees that 'this is a good time' ... for both sides to make it happen. He saw one of Giffords' Democratic friends, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, make a similar plea, and he's willing to join a bipartisan effort for more civility."
Those words came back to mind after Lamborn's office sent out a release announcing he wouldn't attend Obama's address (ironically, Giffords did). The release's explanation: "Congressman Lamborn does not support the policies of Barack Obama." There was also an offer to contact Lamborn's office for comment. We responded and were told the congressman would call us back. That was before 10 a.m. Monday. As of our deadline on Wednesday, we were still waiting.
Meanwhile, Colorado media pounced, putting separate but similar stories online. Some online comments backed Lamborn, but most ranged from disgust to outrage, such as these from readers of the Denver Post:
• "There is no amount of lipstick or excuse making that Doug can apply that makes this right or attractive."
• "WAAaahhh. I dont wike our pwesident ... So I will pout and sit in the corner!!"
• "Lamborn calls the State of the Union a purely political event for the President. I call Lamborn's move not to attend an even bigger political stunt. After all, it was done through a press release and this plays well to his crazy consituency [sic] in the Springs."
• "A standard joke around here is to make fun of the Republic of Boulder, well it seems like the Kingdom of Colorado Springs has taken the title of the most goofy, out of step, city in the State. Colorado Springs, you have asked for buffoons like Doug Lamborn and Douglas Bruce to represent you. ... Welcome to Colorado's laughing stock city, Colorado Springs."
See? That's precisely why we must continue voicing our frustration.
Because if we do nothing, then we deserve what we get.
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