Yesterday, the U.S. House voted by an overwhelming 406-21 margin to award the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Capitol Police officers who attempted to hold back pro-Donald Trump rioters bent on storming the Capitol and halting the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s victory on January 6th. After several months of Republicans struggling to manage their message as the party directly responsible for the January 6th insurrection while still maintaining a pretense of support for “law and order,” this vote is one of the most bipartisan acknowledgements we’ve seen of what actually happened that day.
Of Colorado’s seven members of Congress, four Democrats and three Republicans, only one voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police. And as the Denver Post’s Justin Wingerter reports, you already know who it was:
Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado voted against a bill Tuesday that will award the Congressional Gold Medal to all U.S. Capitol police and Washington, D.C., police for defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot…
“Once again Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats prove that there is no level they won’t stoop to. Using the death of an officer in April to try and score cheap political points is shameful,” Boebert said in a statement after the vote, referring to the bill’s mention of Officer Billy Evans, who was killed in April 2 when a driver ran into him at a Capitol barricade.
“I’m not here to play their partisan games,” said Boebert, who has quickly established a reputation in Congress for eye-catching remarks and votes.
The 21 “no” votes against this resolution include the worst of the “Deplorables Caucus,” including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, and Andy Biggs–also some of the most vociferous deniers of the results of the 2020 elections and promoters of the January 6th “Save America” rally that devolved into the insurrection. MTG put a finer point on her “no” vote than Boebert:
Marjorie Taylor Greene says she voted against a Congressional Gold Medal bill for Capitol & DC Police because she doesn’t like that it calls the Capitol “the temple of our American Democracy” or calls Jan. 6 an insurrection.
“I wouldn’t call it an insurrection,” she says.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) June 15, 2021
Rep. Boebert didn’t call it an insurrection either, at least not at the time:
In the days before the riot, Boebert tweeted “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”
On the day of the riot, the congresswoman tweeted, “Today is 1776,” and later said during debate on the House floor, “Madam Speaker, I have constituents outside the building right now.”
In the end, however, these 21 Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police were left hanging in the breeze by 188 of their Republican colleagues who voted in favor. This was an attempt by some of the most culpable Republicans in Congress to downplay the events of January 6th that they in many cases helped incite–but thanks to even Doug Lamborn being smart enough to vote the right way, Boebert and her 20 hard-right friends came out looking like a small fringe of villains trying and failing to cover up their own crimes.
After the House Ethics Committee decided not to proceed this week with an inquiry requested into Boebert’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection, Boebert no doubt felt completely empowered to vote against recognizing the valor of police officers who tried to stop it. She apparently doesn’t understand how this vote is not just an admission of guilt, but an implicit affirmation of support for the terrible events of January 6th.
Or she does know, and she knows you know, and she doesn’t care. That’s what this vote tells us.