In less than 30 seconds of candid camera time on the far-right One America News network this weekend, freshman GOP controversy magnet Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert breezily dismissed the growing scandal over her misuse of campaign funds to pay personal bills:
BOEBERT: It was an error. Some money came out of the wrong account and we corrected it, self-reported it right away, talked to the FEC. Everything’s fine. We sent a letter.
It’s clear Boebert has rehearsed this answer for calm delivery, and it’s also not surprising that the OAN anchor had no followup questions like a real reporter would. But then Boebert made a startling and unprompted admission about the way she handles not just this latest budding scandal, but her entire public engagement strategy:
BOEBERT: And Democrats want to make a story about it. But here’s the thing, Dan. When I don’t see a headline attacking me, I kind of wonder if I’m not doing something right. Like, wait a second, where are the attacks today? I better start something… [Pols emphasis]
In less than a year in office, Boebert has faced a series of damaging corruption scandals over questionably large mileage reimbursements from her campaign funds coinciding with the payoff of longstanding tax liens, the oddly belated disclosure of huge sums of money paid to Boebert’s husband by the oil and gas industry, and most recently thousands of dollars of personal expenses temporarily covered without interest by “mistaken” charges to the campaign account. This is in addition to unseemly personal scandals both freshly uncovered and resurfaced since Boebert’s election. At the same time, Boebert has struggled to keep pace while more audacious (and capable) far-right demagogues in Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene have hogged the spotlight.
The response to both of these problems for Boebert has been to deliberately provoke public outrage on a continuous basis, in order to both distract from her very real scandals as well as to keep up with her fringe colleagues in Congress as they court essentially the same class of supporters. Boebert is totally unconcerned about hypocrisy, to the extent that she deliberately chooses hypocritical lines of attack in order to confound her critics. Boebert’s tactic of smothering her real problems with continuous bilious rhetoric is right out of her mentor Donald Trump’s playbook.
It’s a dangerous and deplorable game, but it’s undeniably brought Congresswoman Boebert a long way.
And it will work until some kind of breaking point is reached.