There is never a good time, I suppose, to send someone to Congress who is clearly unfit for the job and who would — as anyone could have guessed — become a national embarrassment/laughingstock inside a week in office.
But it’s hard to imagine a worse time than right now to have someone like newly sworn-in Lauren Boebert running around Washington, presumably with her Glock at her side, representing both the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado and the Sedition Caucus in Congress. Even some congressional Republicans are calling Boebert out for her live tweets during the Capitol siege, many wondering whether she put members, especially Nancy Pelosi, at risk. I’m not ready to say she intentionally endangered Pelosi — Snopes rates the charge a mixture of fact and fiction — but I have no doubt that she might have thoughtlessly done so.
In any case, some Colorado liberal groups are calling for her resignation or expulsion. Some public officials are asking for Boebert’s actions to be investigated. Rep. Jason Crow was quoted in the Sentinel saying, “Lauren Boebert is a fool … She has no place in the Capitol.” Boebert, who has condemned the violence at the Capitol, has engaged in a Twitter battle with California Rep. Eric Swalwell. Boebert tweeted Sunday, “In the past 5 days, the left has shown us what vile hypocrites they truly are. They are driven by hate, projection and endless conspiracy theories.” He tweeted back that Boebert “has the right to remain silent,” just “like any citizen who has committed a crime.”
And so it goes. Rep. Ken Buck, of all people, asked the Republican delegation (meaning, Boebert) to tone things down. Politico and others have reported that in a meeting of the House GOP caucus Monday Boebert got into it with several members. According to reports, Boebert suggested the Capitol Police may have been involved in the assault on Congress. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington then challenged Boebert for her live-location tweets, saying she had put people’s lives at risk. And it gets worse: Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina stood up to say she was “disappointed” that “QAnon conspiracy theorists” were leading in the effort to reject Biden electors.
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Boebert, who defended herself in a statement blaming Democrats and Hollywood for the violence — has said she isn’t a Q believer, but she did, as everyone in Colorado must know, once praise QAnon. And one praise of the Q crazies is one too many. And, of course, Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a Q believer.
Before the riot began, Boebert had jumped onto the “This is 1776” bandwagon, in which a benighted few tried to compare the thugs — many of whom were QAnoners — who would march on the Capitol to Jefferson, Franklin, John Adams, Sam Adams, Hancock and the other Founders who risked their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence. Note to Rep. Boebert: This is not 1776; it’s a past-due-date continuation of 2020, which I thought would end on Jan. 20, but now I’m not so sure.
Meanwhile, the deep staters at the FBI are warning not only of a large-scale attempted disruption of Joe Biden’s inaugural — can we really afford for Biden to risk holding the ceremony outside? — but also at virtually every state Capitol. This is serious. We are facing a dual threat — one to the government, one from the Trump-led government. The FBI also noted — contra geniuses like Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks — that the assault on Congress was not a clever antifa ruse.
So yes, we are a nation in crisis. We are a nation suffering not only from the deadly COVID pandemic, which has killed nearly 400,000 Americans, but also from a Trump-inspired fever, in which a significant part of the electorate has come to believe in his Big Lie approach to the 2020 election. That the election was rigged. That it was stolen. That a wide-ranging conspiracy, apparently including Mike Pence, is out to get him. That baby-eating Democrats were the real threat to the country.
I mean, it should be clear to everyone that when the Trump-incited mob attacked the Capitol, everything changed. There is a before Jan. 6 and an after Jan 6. Every hour of every day, it seems, we learn more about the assault on Congress, and it was even more horrifying and far more dangerous than we knew. There were chants to hang Pence. Pelosi was being targeted by the insurrectionists. The zip ties. The IEDs. The video of a police officer being beaten with, of all things, a pole holding the American flag. For hours, Trump refused to act. Instead, he watched it all on TV until finally sending out a tweet asking his followers to go home, but that he loved them and they were special people.
And on Tuesday morning, as the House is preparing to vote on a second Trump impeachment, Trump finally emerged to take a few questions from the press, saying his speech to the rioters last Wednesday was “totally appropriate.”
Boebert, of course, is all in. She’s not alone. On the night after the riotous insurrection, Congress went back to work to approve the states’ electors. It’s a pro-forma event to which generally no one pays a moment’s attention. But in this case, 147 House members and six senators voted not to accept Pennsylvania’s electors hours after the riot. It remains a national embarrassment, which was joined, of course, by Boebert and Doug Lamborn, once again enabling Trump no matter the cost to the country. It was also joined by House MInority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is now desperately trying to call for the unity that he, himself, had helped to render all but impossible.
The House of Representatives has 435 members. There are always a few crazies on board. Tell me how Louie Gomert from Texas keeps getting re-elected. I think I mentioned Mo Brooks. Tom Tancredo was there for a decade. Iowa’s Steve King was there for eight years. Look, Trump just awarded the shameless Jim Jordan the Medal of Freedom — saying he deserved the honor for defending Trump during his, uh, first impeachment. Giving Jordan that prestigious award would not be unlike giving the guy with bone spurs the Medal of Honor.
But Boebert, who knows nothing more than how to get noticed, put up a video that would go viral of her walking down what she called dangerous Washington streets, explaining why she needed a Glock at her side all times. Turns out, she didn’t yet have a D.C. concealed carry license and that the dangerous neighborhood is made up of multimillion-dollar houses.
Her behavior has been strange enough that CNN has already done a feature story on her. How weird? On the Friday after the riots, after all we had seen, Boebert tweeted this: “Hillary must be pissed it took the DNC until 2020 to successfully rig an election.” Twitter put a warning on the Tweet, saying: “This claim of election fraud is disputed and this Tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted or liked due to risk of violence.”
You can argue whether Twitter should be the judge of what is or isn’t fact. But the one thing you can be sure of is that Twitter is far from alone in making the clear-cut case against Boebert. Of course, in her few days in Congress, she has already made the case herself.
Mike Littwin has been a columnist for too many years to count. He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
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