The day before thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted, “I’m standing STRONG for election integrity & objecting to the Electoral College certification!”
One could choose to view her words as benignly as Garfield County Commissioner John Martin does. In a recent interview with Grand Junction Sentinel, Martin had no criticism of Boebert and other legislators who refused to accept the 2020 election results. “They spoke what they believed in,” Martin said.
We disagree. It is obviously the duty of elected officials to consider the consequences of their words and actions.
Boebert and the other 146 Republican Congresspeople who continued to parrot Trump’s big lie about the presidential election results were not simply exercising their right to free speech. They were spreading false information about our nation’s elections. Neither the Supreme Court, U.S. Attorney General or FBI have found any evidence of election fraud that would have changed the fact that Biden won.
These legislators were also demonstrating a blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution. As GOP Rep. Ken Buck, Chair of the Colorado Republican Party, reminded his colleagues: the Constitution does not give Congress the power to decide whether or not to accept certified Electoral College votes submitted by the states.
Finally, the 147 Republicans who refused to accept the 2020 election results were fueling the fire under white supremacists who made no secret of their plans to disrupt the election certification process.
Inspired by Trump’s fiction that the election was rigged, pro-Trump zealots had been filling social media platforms for weeks with thousands of posts calling for violence in Washington, D.C. on Jan.6.
As Republican Russ George, Rifle resident and former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, told the Grand Junction Sentinel, the legislators who rejected the 2020 election results share blame for the attack on our nation’s Capitol.
Determined to promote her “I’ll do whatever the hell I want” image, Boebert took a step further than many of her Republican colleagues. She tweeted provocative messages invoking times of violent insurrection. “The Founding Fathers did not back down when people told them what they could and could not do,” she tweeted on Jan. 5. “Today is 1776,” she tweeted the next morning.
Hours later, “1776!” was the chant that a mob of Proud Boys shouted as they charged the Capitol. Boebert touts herself as a champion of “law and order,” yet it is rhetoric like hers that led directly to the violence and chaos we witnessed last week, including the killing of a police officer.
Did Boebert not understand that her “just try to stop me” attitude toward the “stolen election” and her references to armed insurrection were inciting mobs of white supremacists? Or did she understand the implications of her words and actions, and move forward with them anyway? Either way, Boebert is clearly unfit for her position.
The morning of the insurrection, Boebert took the floor of the U.S. Congress to give a loud, fiery speech about a “completely indefensible act” in Arizona, which she said amounted to voter fraud. What was this egregious act that angered her so? An Arizona judge allowed for 10 extra days of voter registration in October, due to COVID.
“All of these votes are unconstitutional,” Boebert shouted, referring to the votes cast by people who registered during the extended voter registration period. Every member of Congress who certified Arizona’s election results, she charged, “has sided with the extreme left.”
Watching Boebert get completely unhinged about the idea of making it easier for U.S. citizens to vote in elections was not the most disturbing part of her diatribe that day. Less than 30 minutes before rioters charged the Capitol building, Boebert told the nation, “I have constituents outside this building right now. I promised my constituents to be their voice!”
Boebert seems to believe that it is her job to be a voice for the kind of people that were rioting at the People’s House that day.
Boebert should be removed from office before she does any further damage to our democracy. We can’t afford two more years of her fanning the flames of Q-Anon, Proud Boys and other white nationalist groups.
A broad coalition of over 65 Colorado legislators, labor unions and other organizations have already banded together to demand Boebert’s resignation. Progress Now Colorado is circulating an online petition to hold Boebert and Colorado U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn accountable for their roles in helping to incite the insurrection.
The Garfield County Democrats will also be organizing efforts to push for Boebert’s expulsion from Congress and to build the infrastructure needed to elect a Democratic Representative in 2022. We invite you to join us.
Debbie Bruell is communications coordinator and John Krousouloudis is chairman of the Garfield County Democratic Party. Also signing on to this commentary are the respective chairs of the Pitkin, Mesa and Montrose county Democrats, Howard Wallach, Maria Keenan and Kevin Kuns.