Monday, June 05, 2023

Lauren Boebert hits a new low — even for her


Politics of the Day

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) interrupted President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech when he was speaking about US military deaths caused by exposure to burn pits, and just before Biden talked about his deceased son Beau Biden.

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President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington as Vice President Kamala Harris and House speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., look on.

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During the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden thanked Supreme Court Justice Breyer for his service and commitment ahead of his retirement.

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President Joe Biden greets Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer as he arrives to deliver his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

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Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks with CNN’s Brianna Keilar about the price Russia is paying in troop deaths as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to send forces into Ukraine despite ongoing peace talks. CNN cannot independently verify the number of Russian and Ukrainian casualties former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described in his interview on New Day.

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President Joe Biden recognizes the Ukrainian ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, during his State of the Union address in the House chamber.

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CNN’s Ed Lavandera explains how new restrictive voting laws in Texas have been a ‘nightmare’ for some voters during the primary elections.

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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 01: People vote at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex on March 1, 2022 in Austin, Texas. Today Texans are headed to the polls to vote in the states first primary of the 2022 midterm election season. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

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Brian Stelter and Jon Favreau discuss what President Biden will emphasize in the State of the Union address. “I think the reality is that most Americans are probably paying closer attention to the cost of gas and groceries than they are to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Favreau says.

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US President Joe Biden delivers a national update on the situation at the Russia-Ukraine border at the White House in Washington, DC, February 18, 2022.

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Former CIA director Leon Panetta reacts after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s deterrence forces – including nuclear arms – onto their highest state of alert.

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) proposed a plan to raise income taxes on Americans who don’t pay them currently, and then denied it in an interview on Fox.

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FILE - Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2022. He was talking about President Joe Biden's first year as president. Two widely supported bills are encountering delays in the Senate. The House easily approved the measures last week with broad bipartisan support. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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FILE- Then Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens waits to deliver remarks to a small group of supporters near the capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. in this May 17, 2018 file photo. A federal elections watchdog group on Wednesday, Nov. Dec. 1, 2021 filed another complaint against former Missouri Gov. Greitens, alleging that money from his old gubernatorial campaign was illegally spent on kickstarting his campaign to run for retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt's seat. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

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CNN —  

It was the single most memorable moment of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech.

The President was discussing his goal of helping America’s veterans – particularly those dealing with the effects of burn pits that have been connected to cases of cancer.

Suddenly a shout came from the House floor. “You put them there—13 of them,” yelled Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, an apparent reference to the 13 US military members killed during the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan last year.

Biden, clearly flustered by Boebert, paused for a moment before continuing. He noted that his own son, Beau, had died of brain cancer and had lived close to a burn pit in Iraq and Kosovo.

Consider that: An American president was speaking about the need to help veterans when they return from the battlefield – and sharing his own loss of a son to cancer – when he was jeered by a member of the other party.

It immediately brought to mind then South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at President Barack Obama during a 2009 speech to Congress. (Wilson took issue with Obama’s claims that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented immigrants.)

Wilson was roundly condemned for his outburst. And shortly after the speech, he apologized. “This evening, I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” Wilson said at the time. “While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

Boebert, um, did not follow Wilson’s blueprint.

“The left is pissed because I called out Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 of America’s finest in a flag-draped coffin,” Boebert tweeted Wednesday morning. “They are mad because a speech was ‘interrupted’. Ask the … families who lost their loved ones how interrupted their lives are now.”

Boebert isn’t sorry. She’s proud. She and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene heckled Biden at other points throughout the speech.

This isn’t the first time Boebert has purposely created controversy. In late 2021, her unfounded assertion that Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar was a terrorist – not to mention “evil” and “black-hearted” – drew national headlines. In response to the furor, Boebert said she “can’t wait” to debate Omar on Fox News. That debate, um, didn’t happen.

For Boebert, the controversy is the thing. She knows that there is no line that she can cross with Biden that would lead the Trumpist base against her. The ruder and more partisan she is, the better. Political theatrics in support of, uh, showing how much she hates Biden are not only tolerated by some corners of the Republican Party, but celebrated.

And so, Boebert plays to her crowd. No matter how unsavory she looks to the rest of us.