Looks like we’re not the only ones shocked at Jared Polis’s historical snub of the Western Slope by being the first gubernatorial candidate in the history of Club 20 debates to try and duck it.

Polis incorrectly assumed rural folks are so used to be treated like red-headed stepchildren, they would just accept his offer to let Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne debate those tough issues for him.

Even the Denver Post has called him out for a stunt they describe as “cowardly” and a “disgrace.”

The debate is a political tradition for good reason. The Western Slope is easily skipped over in state-wide elections, in part because it doesn’t have the population numbers to justify campaign stops and advertising.

But if Polis is a no-show to the admittedly conservative event, it’ll look downright cowardly. The truth is Polis has nothing to fear from Club 20 — the debates are heavy on policy questions that have a real impact to folks living on the other side of the Great Divide and light on gotcha-politics.

A future governor should be able to answer tough questions about water storage and transcontinental diversion, disparities in both the education funding formula and transportation spending allocation.

Therein lies the problem. Polis is only well-versed in liberal activist causes that are centered around identity politics and promising lots of free stuff.

He wouldn’t have a clue of what to say to a room of 500 folks who aren’t looking for handouts, but need the crush of government regulations off their hard-working backs.

The only thing he knows about water storage is that liberals like collecting roof runoff in barrels.

It is a disgrace and he is quite the coward for running from the Club 20 debate, which by the way, Republican Walker Stapleton agreed weeks ago to attend.