Commentary

Boebert Watch: The Inevitable Trump Endorsement Arrives

Ah yes, the hallmark of Trump and his supporters: pure class.
Ah yes, the hallmark of Trump and his supporters: pure class. Twitter
On December 15, twice-impeached, one-term former president Donald Trump endorsed U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert in her bid for re-election in 2022. His recommendation came less than 24 hours after the House passed legislation that would create a State Department role to address worldwide Islamophobia — a bill crafted in response to video evidence of Boebert’s recent attack on Representative Ilhan Omar, suggesting that she was a terrorist.

The announcement came, as you might expect from the Trump style of governance, via tweet — only through his most recent spokesperson Liz Harrington’s Twitter account, as the disgraced former POTUS’s beloved and overused account is still permanently banned. And when you’re too dirty for the cesspool of social media, man, you’re dirty all the way through.

Trump’s statement was brief and the language generic: four sentences with a lot of attacks and no real substance — much like the Trump administration itself. But we're taking it seriously, because American politics has been little but a joke for too long. 

“Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has done a fantastic job in her first term representing Colorado’s Third District,” Trump’s endorsement begins. What’s interesting about this simplistic opening sentence is that it’s curiously both Trump’s style and also not necessarily his usual level of detail. On the one hand, the adjective “fantastic” is reminiscent of something a seventh-grader might say about the book he hasn't read in a rushed essay. On the other, nothing is misspelled, and the text gets Boebert’s district correct.

“She is a fearless leader, a defender of the America First Agenda, and a fighter against the loser RINOs and Radical Democrats,” the second sentence proclaims, as Trump starts shining through. He was holding back in that first sentence, but here’s Trump in all his Trumpiness. We have the empty declaration of “fearless fighter.” The self-serving reference to his own revenue-generating isolationist “America First” policies, hand in hand with a misplaced capitalization on “Agenda,” which suggests that there’s such an existent entity available to defend. And then he really starts to get into it by calling members of his own party “losers” and labeling them as “Republicans In Name Only.” The “Radical Democrats” thing is a little tame for Trump, though, more misplaced capitalization aside.

“She will continue to be tough on Crime, strong on Borders, and always protect our under-siege Second Amendment” is the sentence where Trump tries to get specific. But outside of a general sense of her support for him and some super-weird gun fetish, Trump probably doesn’t know all that much about Boebert. So he plays the greatest hits, the stuff she talks about, not the things she’s actually doing with her time in public service: crime, immigration and the ongoing masturbatory fever dream about someone in gub’mint wanting to take all the guns. But this actually reveals a pretty strong match between Trump and Boebert: Both of them can talk, but when it comes to actual policy, all they know how to do is start shouting.

And then the last line: “Lauren has my Complete and Total Endorsement for her reelection!” Sort of a toss-off, really, for the usually verbose Trump. Misplaced capitalization again, and really, nothing new. Without that last sentence, would the message have been unclear? Would Trump supporters be left with a sense of confusion different from the one in which they normally operate? Would they think “Hmm…I’m confused, King Trump — is your endorsement Complete and Total?” No, but any seventh-grade essay worth its D- has to recapitulate its thesis in its last line.

So far, the reaction to Trump’s endorsement has been a collective shrug. Trump endorsed a loyal vassal for incumbency; this isn’t really news.From the beginning, Boebert has been a booster of Trumpian politics, a participant in the big lie, a vocal supporter of the January 6 insurrection, operating in ways that are already damning and may only get worse with ongoing investigation. Trump, for his part, loves people who love him blindly and without consideration of the evidence.
And Boebert is, if nothing else, super-good at lacking consideration. Just look at her tweet from December 11, in which she claims that over 365,000 children “went missing in 2020” and “you haven’t heard a word from the media about it. There enlies the problem.” Sure, she meant “therein lies the problem,” but let’s move past her lack of acquaintance with vocabulary to the larger issue: She’s echoing a QAnon conspiracy theory that absolutely misrepresents the facts. Most of that number — 95 percent — consists of runaways, kids who took off and spent at least one night away from their homes. Another 1 percent were abducted by a noncustodial parent. There’s more to the breakdown available at the National Crime Information Center online, but the core of the issue is this: Boebert and Trump are not just willing to spread alarmist and damaging misinformation; that misinformation is the base of their message. The goal isn’t to govern, but to manipulate the American public. And so the endorsement of Boebert by her liege, the Donald.
Boebert quickly issued a response tweet, saying she was “beyond humbled & honored to receive the endorsement of Donald J. Trump!” And just like her mentor, she turned it into a revenue-generating opportunity by asking for some cold, hard cash, and providing a link to send it to her right away.

And so the rotten apple is shown to not have fallen far from the greedy orange tree.
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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