These are grim times for Republicans. Despite ostensible control of two branches of government, the GOP faithful have been mired in bickering over health care, Russia, the Mooch and other distractions while failing to tame long-simmering conservative hobby horses such as tax and immigration reform. The situation is so dire that Representative Ken Buck felt compelled to declare this week — in the Denver Post, no less — that his party "no longer has a vision for a better America," has been overrun by lobbyists and special interests, and might be on its deathbed.
But never fear: Colorado's Republican senator refuses to join the mourners. In fact, Cory Gardner has a plan to put the "party" back in the Grand Old Party. While others bitch and moan, Gardner is headed for Disney World — with an entourage of donors, lobbyists, PAC contributors and very special friends in tow.
Potential donors recently received an invitation from a Gardner fundraising committee to join him in Orlando in November for a weekend filled with "family friendly events." Access to such events doesn't come cheap; we're not talking some Mickey Mouse operation here. The donation levels are $1,500 per person, $2,000 per couple, $3,000 for PACs (up to two attendees), and a special bargain rate for families or family-value PACs of four, for a low, low, low $5,000.
Cory Gardner's solution to acrimonious live town hall meetings is a telephone version.
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The price doesn't include airfare, hotel charges or unlimited tickets to Miss Adventure Falls. What it does get you is entry to another kind of Magic Kingdom: various meals, receptions and shmoozing ops with the Gardner family and the Senator Himself.
Since the ascendancy of Donald Trump, Gardner has been facing some heat over his refusal to engage with constituents in town hall events (he prefers to phone it in with telephone town halls) as well as his party-line support of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has led to arrests of protesters who occupied his office. But his resolve hasn't wavered. As the Disney invitation demonstrates, Senator Gardner is still keenly interested in finding solutions to our national divide, in a family-friendly setting, amid the best entertainment and governance that money can buy.
To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson: When the going gets weird, the weird get Goofy.