Rep. Lauren Boebert delivers a speech on the floor of the U.S. House minutes before an insurrection overran the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (C-SPAN)
If there’s a face of the Colorado Republican Party, it’s Rep. Lauren Boebert. So you can imagine my surprise when roughly 48 hours after I authored a column referencing her seditious behavior, the congresswoman blocked me on Twitter.
Now, I wouldn’t normally take notice of “Mean Girls” antics, but I work as a political columnist for a statewide newspaper. It’s literally my job to follow her, even on the days I don’t want to.
To say I was a bit surprised is an understatement. Yes, she’d been gathering a reputation for blocking constituents. She’d even blocked an outgoing state representative — a questionable move on principle, setting aside legalities. Alas, to the best of my knowledge, I appear to hold the unique distinction as the first journalist she’s blocked.
Then again, she’s only held office for about a week — give it time.
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Since beginning my schtick at Colorado Newsline last year, I have covered Boebert a few times. There’s no mistaking I’m not her biggest fan. For example, during her campaign she often peddled QAnon theories with all the pep of an Energizer bunny. So, I wrote a commentary on the dangerous rise of conspiracy theorists in Colorado with her as a feature.
What can I say, I prefer my representatives without tinfoil hats.
As unflattering as that article may have been, it was admittedly nowhere near as pointed as my vocalizations regarding her role in inciting the deadly coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol. After days of pouring over her social media, House speech, her history and hundreds of articles on the attack, it was clear her words had played a role.
It began during her campaign.
On her Twitter account — which I can no longer see, so my editor has kindly provided confirmation — she often tweeted extreme statements such as, “I am the militia.” She cozied up to militia groups and the Proud Boys, a group now being considered by Canadian authorities as a terrorist organization. For months she openly campaigned as a far-right extremist, gripping tightly to baseless claims of election fraud.
By the time Boebert won the election, folks like me were beyond concerned. These weren’t your usual policy disagreements. This was Colorado’s own miniature President Trump in spiked heels — and this one insisted on carrying a loaded gun.
Her transition from candidate to representative quickly became notorious as Boebert took up a fight to carry her glock on Capitol Hill. In a viral ad, she insisted she had to be her own protection — implying law enforcement wouldn’t suffice — and was shown carrying her gun around the streets of Washington D.C., prompting the local police chief to advise the new congresswoman on the laws of conceal carry in the district. The video was released mere days before the Capitol attack.
The day of the insurrection, a series of statements from Boebert unfolded:
6:30 a.m.: Boebert tweets “Today is 1776.”
Roughly 1:55 p.m.: Boebert begins speaking on the House floor, stating, “I have constituents outside this building right now. I promised my voters to be their voice.” This was followed by rambling of how if the votes are accepted, our “republic will cease to exist.”
By 2:15 p.m.: Insurrectionists breach the Capitol.
By 2:17 p.m.: House members evacuated.
2:17 p.m.: Boebert tweets, “We were locked in the House chambers,” publicizing the location of representatives.
2:18 p.m.: Boebert tweets, “The speaker has been removed,” publicizing the whereabouts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
When the violence finally slowed, journalists began to piece together the events. Rhetoric quickly turned to an insurrection and attempted coup. I published my column — which included Boebert’s role — on the uprising.
Two days later, as Trump was permanently banned from social media platforms, he spiraled into an addict’s frenzy of trying to access Twitter in other ways. Boebert — a congresswoman who has spoken directly with the president in the past — attempted to circumvent the ban by carrying Trump’s likeness on Twitter, replacing her profile photo with his, and immediately rekindling claims of election fraud. This prompted a new round of accusations of ongoing sedition, to which the new congresswoman responded by blocking critics on Twitter, myself included.
But I’m not alone in holding her responsible — and it’s not only Democrats.
The Daily Sentinel — a newspaper based in her Republican district — ran a gobsmacking interview with former Colorado House Speaker and Republican Russ George, who openly lambasted Boebert for her behavior. From her hometown of Rifle, he said, “I’m inclined to hold everybody who had any role in (Wednesday’s events) accountable and responsible, and that includes Boebert. It’s unforgivable …”
On the Democratic side, The Sentinel interviewed U.S. House Rep. Jason Crow, who also had strong language: “Lauren Boebert is a fool,” he said bluntly. “She has no place in the Capitol.”
It would seem that regardless of political stripes, one thing is for certain: In less than one week on the job, Boebert has managed to likely subvert both the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. It’s an infamous legacy, and one that has more than earned her resignation or expulsion.
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