The GOP's newbie House members elected U.S. Representative-elect Ken Buck as their president Thursday.
If you follow Buck's history here in Colorado, you know his squeaker victory over establishment-backed Republican Jane Norton in the 2010 Republican primary was powered by a coalition of fiscal and social conservatives on the far right side of the party's base.
And, of course, he went whole hog for Colorado's personhood amendments, until he didn't.
You might not think Buck would dive into the personhood rabbit hole again, given how badly it went for him last time, with the embarrassing flip flipping and all. I mean, for Christ sake! But no. He's on personhood again!
Last month, as he was apparently looking ahead to taking a Republican leadership role in Congress, Buck endorsed the infamous Life at Conception Act, which aims to ban abortion by giving zygotes (fertilized eggs) legal protection as persons under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
A candidate questionnaire produced by the National Pro-Life Alliance, an anti-abortion group sponsoring the federal measure, indicates that Buck would co-sponsor the Life at Conception Act, just as the man Buck's replacing, Cory Gardner, did before him. (See below.)
Then, last week, the 42 "freshman" Republicans in the U.S. House voted Buck to be their president.
How could Buck's extreme opposition to abortion not have been part of the reason for his popularity? (Gardner, who was on the fast track for House leadership, undoubtedly got kudo points for his co-sponsorship of the Life at Conception Act as well.)
After his selection as president, Buck told The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels:
Buck: "I am honored to earn the support of my fellow freshmen. I told them our constituents sent us here to get work done, and I intend to use this leadership position to hold our class together and use our united voice to push for action from day one."
Buck wasn't asked if his House leadership ambitions pushed him back on the personhood horse again, but there's no doubt that he's riding it.
In the questionnaire, Buck went deep for the anti-abortion movement, affirming his support for, among other things: "an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning abortion except to save the life of the mother; "a 48-hour 'cooling off' period, and mandatory counseling on the risks and consequences of abortion for persons who believe they may want to have an abortion;" federal law requiring that "abortion providers provide the mother with the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of her child before the abortion takes place;" a prohibiting the "U.S. government from granting any public funds to groups that recommend or perform abortions in the United States or abroad;" "legislation which, under Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, would remove from the federal courts jurisdiction over the question of abortion;" and "nominees to the United States Supreme Court and the lower federal courts who will uphold the constitutional right to life of every human person, born and unborn."
Back in 2010, conservatives like The Post's Vincent Carroll downplayed Buck's commitment to social issues.
And Buck himself was saying at the time that voters didn't care about social issues, and "we need to stay focused on the issues that voters in this state care about, and those are spending and jobs."
He also told The Post in 2010:
Buck: "I am not going to Washington, D.C., with a social agenda, and to create that misperception is wrong."
Buck's finally made it to Washington, and look what we got.
Here's the October (2014) National Pro-Life Alliance's questionnaire with Buck's responses.