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Why Does Lauren Boebert Get a Free Pass from the GOP?

By Gage Skidmore: U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Republicans appear to have held their fire on the recent Lauren Boebert theater incident, one local columnist noted. 

It may have triggered the most jokes of any political story of the year, even former President Trump’s indictments or anything involving President Biden. Yes, it was the moment earlier this month when Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was kicked out of a play in Denver. 

Every detail, it appeared, was funnier than the last. The play was the touring production of “Beetlejuice: The Musical.” Boebert, initial reports said, was kicked out for causing a disturbance, and which included vaping, singing, and flash photography. 

Boebert specifically denied that she had vaped, and a subsequently released video not only caught her in that lie, but showed Boebert and her male companion engaged in some consensual touching. 

The Congresswoman later apologized, and was likely spared even more jokes by all the late night shows being off the air during the WGA strike. She committed no crime, and the incident is unlikely to have any legal ramifications, although it could end up hurting the Congresswoman’s already troubled prospects for re-election

One Colorado columnist noticed an interesting detail: It doesn’t appear that many of Boebert’s fellow Republicans joined in the pile-on following the incident in which she was escorted out of a musical. Some Republican members of Congress were comfortable making jokes back when Boebert and her former friend Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) got into it on the House floor back in the summer, but that doesn’t appear to have extended to Boebert’s theater behavior. 

Denver Post columnist Krista Kafer wrote this week that “Republicans should be laughing at Boebert too — that they’re not is a sign of the times.” Kafer wrote that a Republican friend had neglected to laugh at a joke the columnist had made on social media, stating that “Democrats have done worse. We’re just catching up.”

Kafer, a former Republican politician, is among the plaintiffs in the Colorado case seeking to remove Donald Trump from the ballot in that state. 

In the column, she put the need for a single standard for behavior across all parties as a reason for agreeing to sign on to that suit. 

“In fact, it was one of the key questions I asked myself when deciding to participate in a lawsuit challenging former President Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for office again,” she wrote. “If a Democrat had attempted to overturn the results of an election by spreading lies, by trying to cajole and intimidate election officials into undermining the process, by fomenting a mob that tried to halt the democratic process through violent means, by delaying action to stop the attack, and by promising to pardon the insurrectionists, would I want Democrats to take these actions seriously?”

Another column this week, by Mary C. Curtis in Roll Call, got into how big a deal the Boebert theater incident really is. 

“There was the hypocrisy,” Curtis wrote.  “The professed pro-life politician ignored the complaint of a pregnant woman who thought a theater was one place she could enjoy a quiet, smoke-free evening. And, when called out, said congresswoman blamed it on a ‘fog machine’ until a video caught her in the act. Boebert claimed amnesia, swearing she did not ‘recall’ the incident.”

Curtis then went further, tying the incident to the behavior of the GOP’s standard bearer. 

“Many members of the GOP, led by former president and current candidate Donald Trump, love to portray themselves as victims of everything. They try to convince voters that a wealthy politician is ‘one of them.’ If they can do it to me, they will do it to you, the refrain goes,” she said. “But when a member of Congress chooses to insult an usher just trying to do a job, who, exactly, is ‘the little guy’ and who is the victimizer? It’s a perfect example of punching down, on insisting that rules only apply to some, and freedom to act out is granted only to the ‘elites’ they claim to disdain but clamor to join.”

Boebert, this week, also posted a new job listing for a digital director in her Washington office. The lucky person hired “helps implement the media and communications strategy for the Office.”

Author Expertise and Experience:

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.