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.