Lauren Boebert addresses a watch party crowd on election night.
U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, R-Silt, speaks to supporters during a watch party held at the Warehouse Bar and Restaurant in Grand Junction Colo., Nov. 8, 2022. (William Woody, Special to The Colorado Sun)

I know it’s a stretch to link these two couldn’t-be-less-alike political players, but I couldn’t resist the temptation. The status of both Nancy Pelosi and Lauren Boebert tells us so much about where we are in 2022 and where we might be headed in the near future.

First, we have Boebert, showing an atypical faith in the democratic system, expressing confidence Thursday that once the automatic recount is done in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, her several-hundred vote lead over surprising Democratic challenger Adam Frisch will hold.

But on Friday, before the recount could even begin, Frisch called Boebert and then told reporters in a Zoom conference that he had conceded the race. He said he didn’t want people to waste their money on a recount campaign that was extremely unlikely to change the outcome. 

We can assume that Boebert would have done the same if the numbers had been reversed. OK, maybe not.

Despite what you may have heard in 2020, recounts rarely shift more than a few votes. And as far as I can tell, the election-denying Boebert hasn’t claimed that her far-closer-than-expected race was rigged or tampered with by either Democrats or, as Donald Trump briefly suggested, the Chinese. Are Republicans finally learning that the Big Lie is morphing into an even bigger Big Joke?

It looks as if Attorney General Merrick Garland has caught on. As I’m writing, Garland is reportedly set to announce he would appoint a special counsel to investigate Trump’s role in both the events leading up to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and, of course, Trump’s obvious mishandling of top-secret government documents.

When Trump announced last week that he was running for president, it was assumed by many, including me, that he did so with the hope it would discourage all the many prosecutors currently investigating him. Apparently, the Trump announcement had just the opposite effect on Garland.

Like Trump, Boebert hasn’t blamed herself for anything, nor has she conceded that her noisy, provocative, bigoted, anti-democratic, Christian nationalist, attention-seeking, Biden-heckling, Twitter-trolling, embarrassing-to-Colorado first term in Congress was at all responsible for her close call.

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Instead, Boebert blamed the Colorado Republican top-of-the-ticket failures — meaning, Heidi Ganahl and Joe O’Dea — for nearly unseating her. The top of the ticket did fail, but both candidates were underdogs, and Boebert’s seat, meanwhile, was rated by every national political guru as solidly Republican.

She didn’t nearly lose because of yet another Colorado blue surge. She nearly lost against a long-shot campaign by a relative unknown because to be Lauren Boebert is to be Lauren Boebert — the face of Republican politics in Colorado — and that’s enough to make anyone not also a die-hard Trumpist uneasy. 

So, if you want to start laying the odds for 2024, let’s just say caught-by-surprise Democrats will be paying a little more attention to Boebert and just possibly to Frisch, who ran as a moderate Democrat concerned about rural issues. No one would be surprised if Frisch, who ran against Boebert’s “angertainment,” runs again in 2024. By that time, it might be easier. Frisch will not be unknown, and Boebert will almost certainly have played her part in two years of House dysfunction and vengeance-filled investigations that will, in most cases, lead nowhere. 

What she won’t be doing, you can be sure, is playing any role in actual governing.

My guess is that by 2024 — after Trump will have either won or lost in a bruising primary battle, possibly while under indictment — that Boebert, a member in good standing of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, will spend even more time in the headlines. I mean, she’s already called for Joe Biden’s impeachment. If the House were to actually vote on it, just imagine Boebert on cable news shows trying to make the case.

Look, if the Freedom Caucus and enough other Republicans want to investigate Hunter Biden, have at it. If they want to investigate Tony Fauci, well, that may backfire on Republicans whose own record on COVID is, at minimum, disastrous. If they want to investigate — as Marjorie Taylor Greene insists — the conditions under which imprisoned Jan. 6 insurrectionists have been held, Democrats will be silently cheering. They can’t wait to be thrown into that briar patch.

Impeach Biden? I hope I’m not being naive here, but I doubt a smallish Republican majority will go that far.

And if they want to investigate Nancy Pelosi, well, let’s get to Nancy Pelosi, the anti-Boebert, the anti-Jordan, the anti-Gohmert, the anti-Gaetz, the anti-Greene, the anti-crazy, longtime, historic leader of House Democrats. There’s talk of investigating Pelosi for the fact that the Capitol wasn’t adequately defended on Jan. 6. It would be almost funny if there weren’t video of Pelosi desperately trying to call in reinforcements while Trump was watching the insurrection on television and doing nothing.

As you know, Pelosi, the only woman ever to be speaker of the House, announced that at 82 she will not run to remain Democratic leader. The rest of her top octogenarian team also gave up their leadership posts. She was praised, of course, by Democrats while most House Republicans, to no one’s surprise, didn’t bother to attend.

When Pelosi announced she was stepping down, it was not a farewell speech. And typically for Pelosi, it was hardly sentimental, although it did veer that way when she mentioned the hammer attack on her husband, Paul. What she did was reference the role of women in Congress, a role that she has come to personify.

Wearing white, the color of the suffragettes, Pelosi said, “When I came to the Congress in 1987, there were 12 Democratic women. Now there are over 90. And we want more.”

The timing was perfect. Although Republicans won back control of the House, they were predicted to win in a Red Wave that somehow failed to materialize. And let’s see how well Kevin McCarthy, who’s expected to be the next Speaker, will fare with a small majority. The over-under is that he’ll be lucky to last a year.

Pelosi promised four years ago to step down after two terms in orders to quell a revolt among some Democrats. She isn’t quitting the House. She’ll be around twisting arms and helping the transition for the expected new Democratic House leader, Hakeem Jeffries, who would be the first Black person to lead a major party.

Routinely villainized and demonized as a radical from San Francisco and far worse — she does represent San Francisco and she is a liberal, but very much a pragmatic one, as House progressives often lamented — Pelosi is stepping down after doing mostly successful battle for four years with Trump and after herding her slight majority in the House to help pass much of Biden’s often-watered-down legislation.

In other words, even when Pelosi loses, she wins. And even though she won her race to remain one of the 90-plus women in Congress, it looks as if Boebert would be very fortunate to ever win again.

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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Mike Littwin

Special to The Colorado Sun Email: Twitter: @mike_littwin