Because we’ve reached the peculiar point in our political discourse when mainstream Republicans can’t point out the lunacy of birthers, Ken Buck, Colorado candidate for the GOP Senate nomination, has committed the quintessential political gaffe: He told the truth.
Buck has rightly been criticized for a sexist remark about his female GOP opponent, saying primary voters should support him because he “doesn’t wear high heels.” His commit about birthers, however, is dead on.
Buck is the Tea Party candidate running against establishment pick Jane Norton in Colorado’s Republican Senate primary. His latest gaffe is being caught on tape by a Democratic operative saying, “Will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on the camera?” according to The Denver Post. Without walking it completely back, Buck has already told the Post the language was inappropriate.
(In Georgia, Nathan Deal, seeking the GOP nomination for governor, has run to embrace the birthers.)
You can understand why Buck is troubled that he might be identified with a group of delusional folks who insist that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. If he is to have a shot at winning the general election in purple Colorado, he has to appear mainstream to appeal to centrists who know the birthers are nuts.
Buck committed a similar gaffe earlier when he was caught on tape criticizing Colorado’s far-right loon (and former Republican Congressman) Tom Tancreado, who says he’s going to launch an independent bid for the governor’s office:
First, he was caught saying “I can’t believe that guy opened his mouth” after former Rep. Tom Tancredo called President Obama a greater threat to the country than Al Qaeda. Norton pounced, and eventually forced Buck to say he saw some “truth” in Tancredo’s words.