Thursday, March 11, 2021


We pay Lauren Boebert $174,000 a year to do this:
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) faced backlash this week for releasing an ad attacking Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that ended with a gunshot sound.

In the spot, the QAnon-endorsing first-term lawmaker called on Pelosi to “tear down” the security fence that was put up around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection, when a violent mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters overran the Capitol building....

The video concluded with audio of a gunshot, followed by the sound of the weapon being reloaded and fired again.

What's the purpose of this? It looks like a campaign ad, but Boebert isn't up for reelection for another twenty months. She's not urging support for a bill to remove the fencing around the Capitol -- she's just editorializing. Maybe she thinks she won't win next time, and this is her auidition reel for a gig on Fox or Newsmax. More likely, it's just the usual Republican messaging: "What's our platform? Nancy Pelosi is evil! That's our platform!"

I can think of three possible reasons that this ad ends in gunshots:
1. Boebert simply believes that guns are awesome, that every True Patriot should carry one at all times, and that carrying and firing guns is never in bad taste or inappropriate under any circumstances.

2. Boebert is branding herself, and will end every ad and social media video with that sound effect.

3. Boebert, who wants the fencing removed from the Capitol and says in the ad that "this is the People's House," believes that there should more January 6-style riots, ideally with many more guns next time, not necessarily because she wants Pelosi or other Democrats shot, but absolutely because she wants them to fear that they might be.
These possible reasons are not mutually exclusive. I suspect all of them are at least partly true.

Boebert is an attention-seeker like Marjorie Taylor Greene, but she's smarter. When you watch the video of Greene stalking Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, it's clear that Greene is most upset by Hogg's greater access to power. ("He had thirty appointments where you run around and got to talk to senators. I got to talk to none. None!") But Boebert's message isn't "Why won't anyone pay attention to me?" It's one of those semi-clever riffs right-wingers are disturbingly good at. It sounds sensible if you don't think about it for too long. ("You protect what you love. President Trump built a big beautiful wall because he loves America.... Democrats don't want to protect you because they don't care about you. But they'll spare no expense protecting themselves.")

Democrats actually do believe in border security -- just not a wall. And protecting the national legislature from terrorist attacks is an act of patriotism, not egomania.

But the argument has a surface plausibility, and Boebert delivers it well. It's a new twist on the right's usual "Libs want to take away your guns, but Hollywood celebrities have armed security" argument, which the base finds extremely compelling.

This is just trolling, and we should we be upset that the legislators and voters from one of our two major parties think trolling is the most important job members of Congress have, but as long as that's the case, Boebert is a potential star. She's played the game more carefully than Greene -- she hasn't had her committee assignments taken away. There'll be a day or two of controversy about this and then it will die down.

Watch this one. She's going places.


UPDATE: Slate informs me that "Boebert recently introduced a bill that would move the security fencing that currently surrounds the Capitol to the U.S.-Mexico border." So there is legislation -- however, she never mentions it in the ad.

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