Will Lauren Boebert’s Addiction to Controversy Ever Cost Her? - Vanity Fair
On Tuesday, Representative Lauren Boebert, who owns a gun-themed restaurant called Shooters Grill, assembled her four young children in front of a Christmas tree and had them pose with what appeared to be AR-15s for a photo she shared on social media. “The Boeberts have your six, [Representative Thomas Massie]!” wrote Boebert, referencing a family photo that Massie, a Kentucky Republican, shared over the weekend of his own kids wielding firearms next to a Christmas tree while asking Santa Claus to “please bring ammo.”
Both Republicans faced significant backlash for their gun-themed holiday shoots, including from their Democratic colleague Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “Tell me again where Christ said ‘use the commemoration of my birth to flex violent weapons for personal political gain?’” she tweeted in response to Boebert’s photo. “Lol @ all the years Republicans spent on cultural hysteria of society ‘erasing Christmas and [its] meaning’ when they’re doing that fine all on their own.” Many of Massie and Boebert’s other critics noted that their respective pictures were posted just days after a 15-year-old used a 9-mm Sig Sauer––an early Christmas present from his parents––to kill four students and injure seven other people at a Michigan high school.
Boebert’s firearm fixation has gotten her into trouble in the past. In March, she released a video that showed her demanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remove the razor-wire fencing installed around the Capitol building after the January 6 riot, and closed with a gunshot sound effect. Two months before releasing her Pelosi attack ad, Boebert shared a video of herself toting a Glock around Washington, D.C., which she described as one of the “most dangerous cities in our country.”
While Boebert’s polarizing brand has quickly made her into one of conservative media’s biggest stars, the Colorado Republican’s addiction to controversy may finally be yielding diminishing returns. The family-photo incident occurred a day before Representative Ayanna Pressley announced her plan to take formal action against Boebert after the Republican lawmaker suggested that Representative Ilhan Omar, one of Washington’s few Muslim lawmakers, was a terrorist threat and referred to her as a member of the “jihad squad.” (Boebert eventually apologized “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended.”) Pressley is introducing a resolution that will strip Boebert of her committee assignments.
On Sunday, Omar teased Pressley’s resolution, telling CNN that she had “had a conversation with [Speaker Nancy Pelosi], and I’m very confident that she will take decisive action next week.” However, when asked by a reporter on Wednesday whether she supported Pressley’s measure, Pelosi reportedly responded, “It’s the responsibility of Republicans to discipline their members.” In other words, Democratic leadership seems to have learned nothing from the Paul Gosar incident, in which the Arizona Republican tweeted a video of a cartoon version of himself killing Ocasio-Cortez, and in which House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a disapproving phone call to Gosar—and did nothing else.
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