Commentary

Boebert Watch: Great Moments in the Great Communicator's Career

Every word is like a golden drop of dew. On a bullet casing, shining in the freedom-loving sun.
Every word is like a golden drop of dew. On a bullet casing, shining in the freedom-loving sun. YouTube
There have been some great communicators in American politics, people who can enthrall an audience with their wit, their wisdom and their way of speaking. Lincoln. Bryant. FDR. Kennedy. King. Reagan. And now…Lauren Boebert?

No, not Boebert. But don't tell that to the GOP’s House Freedom Caucus, which on January 20 elected Colorado's 3rd Congressional District representative as its communications chair.

In a House press release, Boebert started communicating right away: “The House Freedom Caucus is the most influential group on Capitol Hill. These members fight every day to preserve the rights and liberties of hard-working Americans. I am honored to be selected as the Communications Chair for the caucus, and I’ll work diligently to make sure the caucus’s message, and the powerful messages of each member, are delivered to the American people.”

Some of that is sort of true. The House Freedom Caucus is way too influential for America’s own good in today’s politics, and its members indeed fight every day, though usually against anything the Democrats try to accomplish. And will she deliver the “powerful messages” of her colleagues? Most definitely — but remember, this is the caucus founded by Jim Jordan, who as a politician makes a good and very angry wrestling coach. And Mark Meadows, who’s currently being held in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with an investigation into the January 6, 2021, insurrection of the Capitol. And Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar, and Louie Gohmert, and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and a few dozen more, including Colorado’s Ken Buck. But the complete list of representatives in the caucus is private, its membership kept secret, and it’s by invitation only. You know, like all completely respectable organizations with nothing to hide and an emphasis on transparency and clear communication.

Boebert is assuredly honored to be chosen to offer that communication. She's certainly had her chance to prove herself an effective communicator, either in person or through the written word, even though just about every attempt is a misfire.

In case the Freedom Caucus missed them, here’s a short list of Lauren Boebert’s Great Moments in Communication.

“I have friends at FOX News,” June 2015
Law-and-order advocate and future politico Lauren Boebert said this while being detained and cuffed by police officers at the Country Jam music festival near Grand Junction, where she was accused of supporting underage drinking. She was communicating a threat, of course, since her Shooters Grill restaurant had already been featured on FOX, and would be again.
click to enlarge Lauren Boebert, complete with Karen finger. - YOUTUBE
Lauren Boebert, complete with Karen finger.
“Hell, no, you’re not…umm…,” September 2019
It was the obviously scripted shot heard ’round the NRA world, when Boebert confronted then-presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke at his Denver rally. As a “gotcha” moment, it was pretty tame — Beto had just said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” which was refreshingly blunt for those Americans (the majority, remember) who think that some limits on gun ownership might keep our children safer and in no way violate the Second Amendment. But conservatives loved the finger-wagging stunt, anyway.

“Everything that I've heard of Q, I hope that this is real. Because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values," October 2020
Isn’t it weird that Q himself — probably weirdo ex-pat Ron Watkins — has apparently given up on his own shtick, but those who believed in the crap he was selling haven’t? Q hasn’t posted in over a year, not since December 2020, but a crowd of true believers still showed up only three months ago at Dallas’s infamous Dealey Plaza to see the second coming of JFK Jr., who was inexplicably supposed to team up with Trump. If “conservative values” translates for Boebert to “absolute gullibility,” then her quote might make some sense, at least for the Machiavellian cartoon villains of today’s GOP who want to take advantage of that.
“Today is 1776,” January 6, 2021
Here’s the biggie — an outright call for revolution by a sitting House member (who'd been sworn in just three days earlier) against American government. So let us communicate a reminder of 18 U.S. Code 2383, which states: “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

“My pronoun is ‘Patriot’,” May 2021
Lauren Boebert, bless her hubristic heart, isn’t really one for wordsmithing. Between mistaking nouns for pronouns, or leaving out the P in IMPEACH, or saying “There enlies the problem,” she’s almost as silver-tongued as her hero, Donald “Covfefe” Trump.

“I delivered one of my children in the front seat of my truck because as a mom of four, we got things to do,” September 2021
This statement, which is either a weird lie or reflects a very strange decision in the interests of time management, comes from Boebert’s inaugural “Bullet Points” YouTube show, which gives her a platform to be as offensive and irrational as she wants to be in the relative privacy of the mercifully small group of Americans who want to hear more of what she has to say.

“I have an Ilhan story for you…,” November 2021
And so began what Boebert thought was a story told in a relatively private setting, where the abject racism of the tale she was about to spin wouldn’t really be noticed by human beings capable of compassion and respect regardless of skin color or religious belief. When it came out, she wanted to apologize privately as well, but when Representative Ilhan Omar requested a public apology, Boebert refused.

“Just saw the poorly-acted SNL skit from last night. Seeing the poor trigger discipline from the no-name actress who played me makes me think Alec Baldwin did the gun safety training over there. BTW, when are they moving SNL over to CNN to die out of irrelevance?" December 2021
We already pointed out all the mistakes that Boebert made in this hip-shot return volley to the late-night comedy staple, so we won’t belabor it all again here. But Boebert makes a habit of unwise replies to pointed criticism and parody — like when she tweeted about #LaurenBoebertisSoDumb trending…so that she made it trend again. Or when she took on Jen Psacki or Greta Thunberg or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As one Twitter repost said: “Honey, you are waaaay out of your league.”

“That’s my kind of Christmas card!” December 2021
This tweet was in response to fellow Representative Thomas Massie, who only days after a Michigan teen killed four and wounded seven — in yet another of the school shootings that have tragically become so endemic to America — posted a Christmas card with the whole family grinning and carrying assault weapons. Massie’s Christmas wish was ghoulish enough; Boebert riding his bloodstained coattails by posting a heavily armed holiday wish with her own kids was just head-shakingly pathetic. Seriously, Republicans: Stop trying to ruin Christmas.

“The relentless pursuit of freedom that Martin Luther King Jr. possessed should be living on in all of us,” January 2022
Boebert tweeted this on MLK Day, at the same time she was standing with the rest of the GOP and refusing to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. But yes, the relentless pursuit of freedom should be living on in all of us. Here’s hoping that she — and the rest of the modern Republican Party — actually comes to believe that, and soon.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen