U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert prays during a primary election night watch party at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction on June 28, 2022. Her husband, Jayson, is behind her. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)
Give her some credit — far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert in December expressed worthy aspirations when she said she wanted to see more comity in the nation’s capital.
Sure, politics was part of the equation. The Colorado Republican incumbent had just eked out a win against her Democratic opponent in a district that was supposed to favor her party by big margins. Her flame-throwing style of incessant provocation maybe wasn’t as endearing to voters as she had thought.
But a mea culpa seemed an improvement over malice. She offered “a promise to you to be a good listener, to take a deep breath and help take the temperature down in D.C.”
It sounded good, anyway.
But no one who had watched her first two years as a U.S. representative believed for a second that this outrage performance artist could ditch her habit of insults and need for attention. And true to form, her promise to take the temperature down was only a prelude to more heat.
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Here are the top 10 ways since that December promise that Boebert has upped the temperature in D.C.
- Packing heat
One of Boebert’s first acts upon becoming a member of the House of Representatives in January 2021 was to broadcast that she’d carry her “Glock” in Congress. Days later, she helped incite the Jan. 6 insurrection, and fellow members of Congress reportedly came to fear for their physical safety around her. Such fears have only increased this year, when Republicans took the majority in the House and removed magnetometers at the entrance to the House chamber. Boebert herself has hinted that she carries deadly weapons into committee rooms and even onto the floor of the House.
- AR-15 fetish
Speaking of firearm fanaticism — in February, four members of the House introduced a bill that would declare the AR-15-style rifle the “National Gun of the United States.” One of the members was Boebert. Even if you’re way into guns, you have to ask what’s the point of this kind of bill, though obviously it has something to do with owning the libs. Political grandstanding is annoying enough. But these AR-15 worshippers introduced the bill at a time when mass murder in public places is becoming routine. AR-15s are often implicated in the slaughter — only months before Boebert introduced the National Gun resolution, a mass shooter used an AR-15 to murder people at Club Q in her home state.
- Feud with MTG
A hallmark of the MAGA era is that it often leaves one in head-shaking dismay over the absurdities that count as news. There could be no more useless topic to dwell on than the escalating spat between Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but here we are. Boebert and the Georgia Republican have sniped at each other since at least the beginning of the year. Their mutual hostility had been a harmless sideshow, but now it’s getting ugly. The Daily Beast reported last week that the two had it out on the floor of the House, Greene having called Boebert “a little b****.” Where are the cooler heads?
- Debt limit recklessness
The United States last month got very close to defaulting on its debt, which would have been an unprecedented catastrophe for the nation’s economy. There is exactly one reason the country walked up to the edge of historic self-harm: recklessness on the part of MAGA Republicans. You’ll never guess who helped lead this band of saboteurs. In the run-up to a vote on a deal to avoid national default, Boebert made a lot of noise about how she was going to vote “no.” After all that, she missed the vote — and then she lied about why she was absent.
- Pee tape
For some reason known only to Boebert, she became terribly exercised during a committee hearing over the decriminalization of public urination in Washington, D.C. That was bizarre enough. But what made her performance mortifying for constituents — and hilarious for the rest of the world — was that public urination had not, in fact, been decriminalized. This exchange is about the cringiest thing you’ll see out of Congress, but, if you have the stomach for it, watch for yourself.
- Smears witness
Boebert’s shocking treatment of New York University law professor Sally Katzen, a witness at a House Oversight Committee hearing, encapsulates her high-volume, low-information approach to Congress-ing. Boebert raised the subject of the EPA’s authority to enforce wetlands regulations, and, in an apparent effort to humiliate Katzen, mockingly stated the purported value of the witness’s own home. Katzen was visibly aghast at the insult, and other members of the committee could hardly believe what they had just seen. Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Missouri apologized to Katzen on behalf of Boebert, who left the room.
- Prays for Biden’s death
In February, Boebert spoke at a religious women’s conference at Storehouse Dallas Church in Texas. At one point she said, “Joe Biden’s president. We don’t know what to do, Lord! It’s all right, we pray for our presidents. You know, it says, ‘Let his days be few and another take his office.'” The audience laughed — har har. Lest there be any doubt about what she was getting at, the Bible verse she was referring to continues, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
- Anti-trans bigotry
Transgender Americans are under attack like never before, and the increasing risks they face are due to the kind of bigotry that Boebert openly expresses. “Gender dysphoria used to be something that you went and got help for. And now it’s encouraged,” she complained during an April interview. In the House in March, Boebert introduced measures that targeted transgender students, and, though she has no legislative authority at the state level, she was inspired to disparage trans kids after the General Assembly passed a shield law to protect people who travel to Colorado for abortion or gender-affirming care from lawsuits and criminal prosecution initiated in other states.
- McCarthy mess
The new Congress had not even had a chance to convene when Boebert started raising the temperature. She was one of several far-right members of the House who for days thwarted Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the speakership and demanded extraordinary concessions for their votes. It was the first time since 1923 that the House had failed to elect a speaker on its first vote. The four-day stalemate over McCarthy’s candidacy led to the most rounds of voting — there were 15 ballots — for a speaker since before the Civil War. In the end, McCarthy became speaker, but the acrimony lingers.
- Biden impeachment
Among the most grave actions that Congress can take is a declaration of war and the impeachment of a president. A surefire way to raise the temperature in D.C. is to impeach a president — so was there any doubt, knowing that Boebert is temperamentally incapable of moderation, that she would be unable to resist this most extreme pursuit? On June 13, she introduced impeachment articles against President Joe Biden, for abuse of power and dereliction of duty related to immigration at the southern border. But even most Republicans, including McCarthy, deemed the move immature, ill-considered and “stupid.” No less an authority than Greene said of Boebert, “She has a great skill and talent for making most people here not like her.” But the blowback did nothing to cool Boebert’s mood. She threatened to bring the impeachment resolution back to the floor “every day for the rest of my time here in Congress.”
D.C. is in for a hot summer.
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