Ken Buck, CPAC, National Harbor, MD
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, MD. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Thursday, Ken Buck (R-CO) became the latest GOP lawmaker to do the Big Lie two-step.

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In recent years, a pattern has developed whenever a Republican dares to speak out against the Big Lie: First they find their conscience, and then, realizing that this is an extremely unpopular position to take in Donald Trump’s GOP, they either leave Congress on their own or lose a primary. 

On Thursday, Ken Buck (R-CO) became the latest GOP lawmaker who did the Big Lie two-step. Perhaps to save time, he did both in one day. 

First, he announced that he would not seek reelection. Then, in a frank interview, he lambasted his party for the direction it has taken.

“I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues, and I’m also disappointed that the Republican party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen and rely on the January 6 narrative and political prisoners from January 6 and other things,” he told MSNBC.

Trump, for his part, rejoiced.

In a “Truth Social” post, the former president called Buck “a weak and ineffective Super RINO if there ever was one” who “knew long ago he could never win against MAGA.”

That last part is probably true.

Buck proves that it is not always centrists who speak out against the Big Lie and the many small lies of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans. 

In fact, apart perhaps from former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), he may be the most conservative lawmaker who has taken his party to task for its participation in Trump’s delusion.

“If we’re going to solve difficult problems, we’ve got to deal with some very unpleasant truths or lies and make sure that we project to the public what the truth is,” he said.

While the path he chose is honorable, his actions are also futile. 

Like all of the others before him, he will almost certainly be replaced with someone who does buy into Trump’s fantasy of a stolen election, meaning that the GOP will become even more radical in the future. 

We will see the same thing in the Senate, where Mitt Romney is calling it quits, with some brutal parting shots against his own party, after concluding that there is no space for him in the Republican Party.

He is right: The GOP is no place for someone like him. The party is now unrecognizable from when Romney became the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. 

What’s crazy is that there is also no place for the Ken Bucks of the world: staunch conservatives who simply don’t like lies. 

Speaking of lies, House Republicans overwhelmingly voted not to expel serial liar Rep. George Santos (R-NY) just hours after Buck’s announcement.

One can only wonder if more GOP lawmakers would have voted to oust him from Congress for simply speaking the truth.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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