Yesterday, a call brokered by Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy between Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ilhan Omar, ostensibly for Boebert to apologize directly to Omar for suggesting on video that Omar is a terrorist threat–smearing Omar and by extension a group of Democratic lawmakers who both do and do not happen to be Muslim as the “Jihad Squad”–broke down into further acrimony as Boebert demanded a laundry-list apology from Rep. Omar–prompting Omar to hang up the phone in disgust.
This morning, the Denver Post editorial board apologized the right way on behalf of all of Colorado:
Boebert is intentionally using her platform to peddle a gross and false narrative about Muslim Americans. We cannot fathom what evil intent drives this behavior, but after first apologizing, Boebert now has made matters worse….
Rep. Ilhan Omar deserved nothing short of a full apology. Instead, Boebert used the phone call as a publicity stunt and further insulted Omar. Boebert is clearly incapable of remorse or reflection, so as her fellow Coloradans — a beautiful place of tolerance and respect, diversity and freedom — we will help her.
We apologize to the Congresswoman and to the Muslim community for Boebert’s insensitive remarks. Such remarks, no matter how innocently intended, have no place in American discourse. Boebert should not have fabricated an encounter with the Congresswoman and she most certainly should not have suggested she or any Muslim should be suspected of terrorism based on their religion.
For those who thought Boebert had finally been forced to back down after innumerable occasions in which an apology was not just in order but the very least Boebert could do, yesterday’s antics proved once again that she is incapable of acting like a well-adjusted adult–even when it’s in Boebert’s compelling self-interest to do so. As of this morning, the onus was squarely on House Minority Leader McCarthy to take further disciplinary action after Boebert essentially burned his trust as well.
But then, a little after 11:00AM, Boebert’s real boss decided to get in the ring:
For the ex-President, it’s the perfect grenade to throw into this already volatile situation–doubling down on some of the most offensive (and factually false) slurs from Boebert about Rep. Omar in order to deflect anger at Boebert from House Republican colleagues. After all, lots of Republicans would like to make the former President Speaker of the House if Republicans win the chamber back in the 2022 midterms, which we assume means they’re comfortable with his standard of conduct.
If the courage we held out enough hope to imagine last weekend among Republicans to finally stand up to Boebert dissipates now that the Offender-in-Chief has waded in to normalize Boebert’s slurs against Rep. Omar, you’ll know their time-honored strategy has worked once again. In addition to a loyal supporter, Boebert has been a faithful student of the ex-President’s strategy of fresh daily outrages to confound and overwhelm her critics.
As always, this is another chance for McCarthy (or any Republicans with a conscience left ) to prove us wrong.
But we at this point have no reason to expect it. The lowest common denominator is in charge now.