Sen. Cory Gardner’s Twitter account rang in the first week of the new year with posts on such cold-button topics as robocalls and the outdoor recreation economy, and I observed these with my usual weary frustration.
The senator’s disconnectedness to his Colorado constituents is well documented, and it’s often deeply underscored by these disjointed postings, making it seem as if he’s not participating in the same news cycle that the rest of the state and country are.
But upon reading recent, relevant quotes and a statement made by him on the actual pressing events of our time — like impeachment and the drone strikes in Iraq that killed a top Iranian general — my frustration has grown into anger.
On the drone strike in Iraq: With the air of an indulgent, over-accommodating, “hey, I’m also your friend” parent, Gardner in his statement softly urged “the Administration to be prepared for possible retaliation, including against U.S. troops stationed in the region, and to consult closely with Congress on any next steps should the situation escalate.”
Casting aside the unfounded confidence of this request, it’s outrageous to me that these anemic words were drafted by one of only 21 people in the entire world who sits on the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee.
And despite his position of influence and responsibility, Gardner’s statement expresses no concerns over the plain fact that the administration has no plan for what happens next in the region, nor does it betray any concern that the administration had no plan to begin with, when they engaged in this most dangerous escalation of war in the Middle East.
On impeachment: There is even less substance available from the senator. Just a handful of vague quotes about process, and a very uncomfortable on-camera exchange in which he repeatedly dodges a general question about ethics.
Gardner took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and we have already seen Senate Majority Leader McConnell and other GOP senators pledging to defy this oath by stating they will not be impartial in an impeachment trial.
That is wholly unacceptable and a direct threat to our democratic process, and Gardner won’t say so. Furthermore, in 2019 the president directly appealed to his supporters to fund Gardner’s re-election campaign. So, chances are he can’t say so.
Where do Coloradans win in any of this? At the moment, I can attest that Coloradans across the state feel as if we have no choice but to be strapped without a parachute to Gardner, as he remains in full bear-hug embrace with an impeached, distracted, disgraced president.
And I, a regular working mom, hate that I have to be the one to call on Gardner to recognize his role as representative in a fully co-equal branch of government.
I shouldn’t have to demand that he condemn Trump’s reckless escalation with Iran, that he uphold his oath to the Constitution and hold an open and fair impeachment trial. Gardner’s disconnectedness to this state is reaping real damages. I don’t feel represented, I feel angry.
And if he can’t be our voice in D.C. on these important issues, I call on him to resign.
Katie Farnan is a librarian by education, full-time working mom of two, and the lead organizer with the grassroots group Indivisible Front Range Resistance. Her twitter handle is @indivisiblefrr.