Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert is becoming a pop-culture staple, as demonstrated by a Saturday Night Live skit this past weekend that portrayed her as a dizzy, gun-loving moron — a comparatively gentle lampoon that she reacted to by doing a high-dudgeon Twitter impression of her hero, ex-president Donald Trump. But a more targeted takedown of Boebert actually aired days earlier.
On December 8, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah devoted a ten-minute-plus segment to Boebert as part of its ongoing series "Fringe-Watching," and the results are both hilarious and devastating.
"All year, Republicans in Congress have been acting out," Noah notes at the beginning of the bit. "Marjorie Taylor Greene compared mask mandates to the Holocaust. Paul Gosar chopped off AOC's head in an anime video. And Mitt Romney, well, he went through that sexy goth phase. And now, Colorado's Lauren Boebert is under fire for a little standup routine that she's been doing about Ilhan Omar."
At that point, a clip from CNN points out that Republican leaders had not condemned Boebert for "an Islamophobic comment about one of her Democratic colleagues in a new video.... Congresswoman Lauren Boebert made an Islamophobic suicide-bomber joke about being in an elevator with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar."
From there, we hear Boebert's jibes: "I look to my left, and there she is: Ilhan Omar. And I said, 'Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine.' We only had one floor to go, and I was like, 'Eh, should I say it or not?' I looked over. And I said, 'Oh, look. The Jihad Squad decided to show up for work today.'"
Cut to Noah, who says, "Wow. For something that offensive, that was one of the most boring stories I've ever heard. You realize she was basically like, 'So I'm on an elevator with a brown person, and the whole time I'm having racist thoughts. The end.'"
Noah then offers an introduction of Boebert that goes well below the surface. Even Scott Tipton, the incumbent she defeated in the 2020 Republican primary, is mentioned in the context of a victory a newscast excerpt describes as "straight out of the far-right playbook." Examples include Boebert's refusal to shut down Shooters Grill, her restaurant in Rifle, during the COVID-19 pandemic until her license was temporarily suspended, with the explanation that "we don't want to be restricted by these, uh, arbitrary orders in place by our governor, who thinks that he's a king." There's also documentary evidence of her positive remarks about QAnon. "Honestly, everything I've heard of Q, I hope that...I hope that this is real, because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values," she says in one video.
"That's right: QAnon is a return to QAnservative values," Noah remarks before adding, "Now, to be fair to Boebert, that's what she was saying about QAnon before her Republican primary. Because six days after she won her primary, she clarified that she is not a follower of QAnon and had been purposefully vague about it earlier. So she isn't necessarily insane, just willing to say anything to win the votes of insane people, which, in a way, is much worse. On the other hand, though, there is a conspiracy theory that Boebert has fully embraced, and this she has embraced with all her heart — and that is that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump. And on January 6, she was busy riling up her fellow believers."
To prove this assertion, Noah cues up footage of remarks Boebert made on the House floor less than half an hour before the U.S. Capitol came under siege ("I have constituents outside this building right now.... They know this election is not right!") and January 6 tweets announcing "Today is 1776," her promise to "fight with everything I have to ensure the fairness of the election" and a reference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi having been removed from the House chambers.
"Okay, okay, okay, I know that sounds bad," Noah says. "But let's not jump to conclusions. Like maybe she wasn't trying to say, 'Nancy Pelosi is getting away! Go get her!' Maybe it was more like, 'Oh, great. Nancy Pelosi got away. You blew it, dipshits.'"
Noah acknowledges that "after the riots, Boebert released a statement denouncing the violence, but, I mean, she was the one telling everyone it was 1776. Which only means one thing. Like, I'm not an expert in American history, but I'm pretty sure that the colonists didn't overthrow Britain with a change.org petition. Those dudes were killing each other...in funny wigs. You know how violent you have to be to put on a funny wig and then stab somebody. That's next-level violent."
This quip offers a smooth transition to what Noah characterizes as Boebert's "true passion...the Second Amendment. And I know what you're thinking: 'There's a lot of people who like guns.' No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm telling you now, Lauren Boebert — she makes all of them look like Gandhi."
The subsequent sequence references Boebert's appearance during a Zoom call in which her background was a wall of semi-automatic weapons, her Christmas photo of her kids posing with guns, her pledge to bring a Glock to D.C. with her, and a CNN interview about the Shooters Grill waitstaff packing heat.
"That's right," Noah jumps in. "Lauren Boebert owns a restaurant where all the waitresses are strapped. Which also makes it the only restaurant in America where nobody asks to split the check five ways: 'I'll just pay. Thank you.' Now I don't know if I want to eat at a restaurant where everybody's armed. It's a fun gimmick, but you realize the second somebody drops a plate, that place is turning into a Tarantino movie. I mean, it's still a restaurant, so you can't have bare feet, but otherwise it's a Tarantino movie. But clearly this person has an unhealthy fixation with guns. Forget Congress. She's not qualified to serve as an interior decorator. 'You know what this bed needs? A pile of guns. And let's zhush up this bathroom with another pile of guns. And you know what? Instead of a kitchen, just guns.'"
In Noah's words, "I'm sure Boebert's as safe and careful as possible when she's hanging AR-15s on the Christmas tree. Or at least she's more careful with that than she is with campaign finance laws" — a comment backed by news reports about her failure to disclose almost half a million dollars her husband made in the energy industry, her decision to pay rent and utility bills for the restaurant from campaign funds, and a $22,000 mileage reimbursement that she amended after the stories went public.
"That's a lot of shady campaign finance stuff after just one campaign," Noah maintains. "I guess that's the swagger of someone who owns that many guns. I mean, the FEC probably had a Zoom meeting with her, and after they saw her background, what were they gonna say? 'Hey, man, what's a few thousand miles? Let's just be cool, let's be cool, lady. Log me out. Log me out.'"
His conclusion: "So that's Lauren Boebert, law-breaking conspiracy theorist, gun enthusiast and insurrectionist. In other words, if you see her get on an elevator, maybe you should take the stairs."
And one more thing: On December 14, six days after the Colorado congresswoman's Daily Show drubbing, the House passed a bill sponsored by Omar that would designate an envoy to combat Islamophobia — legislation fast-tracked after Boebert's offensive wisecrack.
Here's the video: