Poor Lauren Boebert.
But she has languished as a poor man’s Sarah Palin and a third-rate Josh Hawley, as others seize the spotlight with superior antics. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), another QAnon aficionado, inflamed the House with her antisemitic talk of Jewish “space lasers” and likening public health guidelines to the Holocaust. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) spoke at a confab of QAnon types where the violent overthrow of the U.S. government was contemplated. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) compared the Jan. 6 insurrection to a “normal tourist visit.”
Boebert had to raise her game. And on Wednesday, she gave it her best shot. She assembled 10 colleagues in the House TV studio to announce her new resolution to censure Biden — a reprimand that a chamber of Congress has delivered only once in U.S. history, to Andrew Jackson — over Biden’s border policy. “The Biden regime has punched our Border Patrol agents in the face!” she shouted, after calling Vice President Harris “Cackling Kamala.”
Not bad. But Boebert was immediately overshadowed by her colleagues, who put on a clinic in crazy talk.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) called Biden “a reckless lawbreaker” who “spits on the laws,” “prioritizes napping” and wants “to lead America to ruin.”
Gohmert proposed that Biden “had no clue what was going on” with the border and “has some real mental issues that need to be evaluated.”
And then there was Greene, who endorsed the “censor” resolution — but then one-upped Boebert. Biden “doesn’t need just censured, he needs impeached,” Greene said.
Boebert, beaten, had no choice but to follow suit. “It’s a very light action to censure him,” she admitted. “This is actually worthy of impeachment, and that is what we should be doing right now.”
Censure? Never mind.
The event was on brand for Republicans. While the world-leading vaccine rollout in the United States and the sweeping covid relief have propelled the U.S. economy to faster growth than other developed countries, Republican lawmakers and the Fox News echo chamber have established a parallel universe in which the country is overrun by crime, illegal immigrants, killer coronavirus vaccines, critical race theory, cancel culture and defund the police.
Some of these issues are real; Biden, responding to a substantial increase in violent crime over the past year, rolled out new measures Wednesday to address the problem. Others range from tendentious to outright fictitious. A few hours before Boebert’s event, House Republican leaders held a news conference in the same studio, declaring it “probable” that covid-19 came from a Wuhan lab and speculating that Democrats are being blackmailed by communist China.
With such a cacophony of conspiracy theories, it’s understandably hard for Boebert to break through.
In the past couple of weeks alone, she falsely claimed that liberals “legalized knowingly spreading HIV,” asserted that her election “is certainly a sign and a wonder, just like God promised,” attacked a trans woman weightlifter with the message “Welcome to the Woke Olympics” and declared that “Critical Race Theory is now mainstream.” The former proprietor of Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Colo., also claimed she could carry her gun in the Capitol and refused to allow the U.S. Capitol Police to search her purse after setting off a metal detector. She even compared Biden’s German shepherds to violent illegal immigrants. But she has failed to rise above the din of crazy coming from her colleagues.
Wednesday’s censure gambit fared no better. Fox News’s Chad Pergram asked Boebert — twice — to contrast her Biden censure with the Jackson censure, in 1834. Both times, Boebert’s answer betrayed no indication that she knew who Andrew Jackson was.
While Boebert struggled, Greene used the questions to deliver unrelated rants about socialism, Fauci, antifa, BLM and defund the police. “This is systematic destruction to our country,” she said. “We have many members in the Democrat Party that you could definitely look at … and you could call them communist.”
Boebert stood silently, hands clasped. She was in the presence of a master.