Ethics Pot Meet Ethics Kettle I: Rep. Boebert (R-Co.) vs. Rep. Omar

It’s like one of those monster vs. monster movies, such as “Godzilla vs. King Kong”: who do you root for? In the case of extreme right-wing, irresponsible and uncivil GOP fire-breather Lauren Boebert battling extreme leftist House Democrat Illhan Omar, the only ethical position is to hope they fight each other right out of Congress, where they both do immeasurable harm.

Omar is, I hope I do not have to explain in much detail, horrible. She would be the worst of “The Squad,” but, incredibly, the other members are so irredeemably awful that this is a tough call. Her background is full of scandals that would guarantee the end of the career of any non-black, non-Muslim representative in a sane party, which the Democratic Party is no longer. She repeatedly makes anti-Semitic, anti-Israel comments. Her infamous characterization of 9-11 (a comment barely reported by the mainstream media) was that “some people did something.” She has advocated defunding the police in Minnesota.

None of this justifies any member of Congress attacking her with ad hominem rhetoric, but Colorado’s Lauren Boebert is special, even by far right Republican standards. She has used Omar’s religion against her, calling her part of a “Jihad Squad” and told an audience before Thanksgiving that a Capitol Police officer was concerned about Omar boarding an elevator until Boebert reassured him by saying, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

Like the night follows day, the entire House Democratic leadership released a joint statement last week condemning Boebert’s “racism” (It’s religious bigotry, not racism, but to Democrats everything is racism) and the Republican leadership’s “repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric from members of their conference,” which would be more compelling if Democratic leadership consistently condemned inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric from its own membership, particularly Omar.

What would be terrific, and productive, is for the parties to jointly discipline both Boebert and Omar, and maybe make them shake hands or hug or something on the floor of the house. Why did I even write that?

Following the uproar over her remarks, Boebert issued a non-apology apology “to anyone in the Muslim community I offended” by suggesting that even a Muslim Congresswoman is a possible terrorist. Weasel/Jellyfish/Human hybrid House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement that did not say anything negative about Boebert or her slurs. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene—hmmmm, is she slightly more embarrassing than Boebert, or less?—wrote, “Never apologize to Islamic terrorist sympathizers,” while embracing the “Jihad Squad” line.

I think “more.”

Boebert actually called Omar yesterday to give her a version of an apology. She said was a “strong Christian woman” (which is, or should be, completely irrelevant to the controversy) but should not have attacked Omar’s faith, only her policy positions. But when Omar demanded a public apology, Boebert, as she recounted in a video on Instagram, told Omar that “she should make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, antisemitic, anti-police rhetoric.”

It’s not a sincere or genuine apology if one demands a quid pro quo as a condition of making it.

Omar hung up the phone at that point, the Democrat says. Her statement on the matter is signature significance: who says things like, “Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert”? It’s like something Donald Trump would say: it’s up to others to decide whether your conduct is “gracious” or not. A statement like that justly triggers my jerk alarm.

Who do you root for in a fight like this? If you care about ethics, all you can do is hope they cancel each other out, to the benefit of all.

14 thoughts on “Ethics Pot Meet Ethics Kettle I: Rep. Boebert (R-Co.) vs. Rep. Omar

  1. Ok, I thought it was a little funny, if perhaps for most, crossed a line that shouldn’t be, especially for a representative. It doesn’t demand a public apology because it was a private comment. Not on a podium. In Colorado, imo, her and Hickenlooper are a direct result of Trump and the Democrats ruling the state of Colorado. However, Boebert’s district was redrawn because the state added another congress seat. So we shall see if she’s going to outlast. Anywhoos, I’m rooting for her, because just like Trump the Dems show their true colors around her plus, she’s new. Hopefully she can figure out how to play well with others, although I will be surprised if she wins another term. It will be a heated primary for that district. I truly doubt if Omar said something about Boebart and guns we would even have known about them meeting in an elevator. Omar seems to gets a pass on everything she says and does.

    • My only quibble with your comment is that her statement was made in a public gathering, which looked like a campaign rally of some sort. You are correct, though, that Boebert did not make the backpack comment on the House floor, though she did call the Squad the “Jihad Squad” on the House floor. To my Rush-deprived mind, that may be inflammatory but, considering the positions the Squad has taken over the last few years, it is not wrong. I suspect that she is not subject to House sanctions rules because Boebert hasn’t violated any of the rules while on the floor.

      Jack is correct, though. It’s hard to figure out who is more obnoxious. I am leaning toward Omar as the biggest offender because I find her loathsome and arrogant, she who has been granted privileges from this society and show absolutely no gratitude; on the contrary, she continually sticks her thumbs in people’s eyes.

      jvb

      • Thanks for the correction, I wasn’t aware of that. Public comment, public apology then.
        I expect more “reality TV show” rhetoric from both of them, and I also expect it not to play well back home for Boebart. I’m assuming Omar will, as typical, get a pass for her inappropriate comments. Which is why people aren’t happy and mistrust so many institutions.

  2. My initial reaction is that Boebert was a jerk to say such things. Stooping to insults of heritage, of identity, of classification instead of addressing the argument itself is low. She tipped her hand to reveal that she is either full blown islamophobic, and/or that she’s willing to use characteristics as a lever to manipulate others. Neither one is a great look, nor will they help her much in getting reelected in Colorado. “You first” apologies aren’t, and I doubt that these two women are going to be getting along any time soon.

    All that being said, Omar IS an antisemite, and she is antipolice, and a case can be made for antiAmerican, as well, particularly if you set aside the assumption that simply serving one’s country as a member of Congress is an argument in favor of loyalty and service to America. My only real issue with the term “Jihad Squad” is how sophomoric it sounds. She may take umbrage at being labeled a Jihadist, but many of her choices suggest to me that her sympathies lie in that direction. She’s consistently a jerk, does owe America more than one apology, and is absolutely the injured party in this particular exchange.

  3. (shrug) Just another example of the left wanting a monopoly on something, in this case entitlement to an apology for certain behavior. Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semitic, anti-police, America-hating shit-stirrer with a big mouth and a bigger sense of entitlement. She hides behind her race, her faith, and her choice of how to dress. By doing that, she opens herself to being attacked along those angles. Now, if she had done none of those things, and still been attacked, like Gurbir Grewal, former AG of NJ, a Sikh who was attacked out of the blue by conservative radio hosts as “turban man,” then I’d say she deserved an apology. As it is, I’d say she brought it on herself, the same as those who choose not to try to fit in at school have only themselves to blame if they get harassed or beaten up. Frankly she doesn’t belong in Congress, same as the IRA doesn’t belong in Westminster and Hezbollah doesn’t belong in the Knesset. However, for now, we’ll just have to sit tight and wait until Speaker McCarthy strips her of her committee seats and relegates her to the back benches.

    • “Who do you root for in a fight like this?”

      I would happily, enthusiastically, assume the role of corner-man for Boebert.

      Hmmm; *Boebert and Batman* has a nice ring to it and I am confident we would accomplish great things together.

  4. The longer either or both of them stay in the public eye in any public position whatsoever, the longer people (TGS: The Great Stupid, if you will – excluding EA and followers) will accept them. Having two of them is worse than a single because TGS will learn to enjoy the fights the media will deploy as they would any other entertainment, which will, in turn, encourage the election of other or worse public servants ,,, pause for laughter … or role models. I’m beginning to think we don’t need a third party; we need at least two more.

  5. Oh, man. Omar is something thing else. She said she “graciously picked up the phone . . .” What does that even mean? Did she pick up the handset tenderly and with compassion? Did she begin speaking in a calm and pleasant voice?

    I routinely pick up phone and answer it, “Hello . . . You have reached a living person. At the sound of the tone begin speaking but make it quick because I have a ton of stuff to do.” Is that gracious?

    Here is the rest of Omar’s statement:

    “Today, I graciously accepted a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert in the hope of receiving a direct apology for falsely claiming she met me in an elevator, suggesting I was a terrorist, and for a history of anti-Muslim hate. Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments. She instead doubled down on her rhetoric and I decided to end the unproductive call.

    “I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.

    “To date, the Republican Party leadership has done nothing to condemn and hold their own members accountable for repeated instances of anti-Muslim hate and harassment. This is not about one hateful statement or one politician; it is about a party that has mainstreamed bigotry and hatred. It is time for Republican Leader McCarthy to actually hold his party accountable.”

    That smacks of something other than grace.

    jvb

  6. Two bad politicians behaving badly.

    Hopefully you’re right, and they will just cancel each other out, like matter and antimatter. Who knows, with luck, perhaps they’ll take the metaphor even further with a total conversion to energy, leaving neither around after…

  7. In today’s House, Omar need not wait for Kevin McCarthy to strip Boebert of any committee assignments. I have forgotten which Republican was first stripped of his committee assignments, but this was done by the opposing party. It’s very likely that Republicans will take the majority in November 2022, and just as likely to strip committee assignments from the opposing side’s members.
    I do not understand how the Democrat party fails to recognize that their abuses of power and establishing lower thresholds will only boomerang should they end up in the minority. In the Senate, Democrats want to abolish the filibuster and have considered adding seats to the Supreme Court. McConnell warned Harry Reid about a simple majority for confirming Federal Court Judges, and Trump had a Senate majority, seating hundreds of judges, including three Supreme Court Justices, and the Democrats still don’t see the risks.
    I hope for a day when these rules are made more sturdy, but I don’t see how that could ever happen.

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