Over the past week, in a whiplash of events, two Colorado Congressional members have placed Colorado at the forefront of national politics and encapsulated the crisis our democracy faces. Colorado Representatives Jason Crow and Lauren Boebert’s actions prior to, during, and in the wake of the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol demonstrated to America jarring disparities in leadership.
Even before being sworn in, District 3 Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo), a small business owner from Rifle, made national news boasting about carrying a gun to the capital. Boebert, a staunch Second Amendment advocate, and a QAnon believer, intended to vote against President-Biden’s electoral certification on January 6.
The day of the insurrection and during the resulting melee, Representative Boebert sent out several tweets. Two of the tweets Representative Boebert sent have come under increased scrutiny from House colleagues and the public. Specifically, other House members suggest she helped incite the insurrectionists and subsequently endangered all of them when she tweeted “Today is 1776.”
Then, during the insurrection, many claim she endangered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by tweeting. “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.” It is unclear if Boebert was armed during the insurrection.
In contrast, while insurrectionists attempted to gain entry onto the House floor, District 6 Representative Jason Crow, (D-Colo) a decorated combat veteran, moved to help Capitol Police block the door. Unarmed, Representative Crow remained on the House floor in support of police and to help other House members and their staff. In the aftermath, numerous House members from both parties hailed Representative Crow as a hero.
In the wake of the insurrection, Representative Boebert has received an onslaught of criticism for inciting the mob along with increasing calls for her resignation. In response, Boebert released a defiant statement filled with numerous unsubstantiated claims and patently false statements.
The statement containing the falsehood that Democrats and specifically House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged “uprisings,” reads in part, “Their [Democrats] hypocrisy is on full display with talks of impeachment, censure, and other ways to punish Republicans for false accusations of inciting the type of violence they have so frequently and transparently supported in the past…. The reality is that Joe Biden didn’t condemn Antifa when he had a chance to, Kamala Harris spent much of the summer helping those arrested for violent behavior post bail and get back on the streets as quickly as possible, and Speaker Pelosi encouraged uprisings all over the country. I denounced the violence over the summer just as I did the recent events at the Capitol… But let’s get real—the far-left and their policies are causing harm to our country. I refuse to let their political machine write a narrative that millions of Americans know is false.”
Boebert’s statement then goes on to falsely accuse numerous prominent politicians and Hollywood elites of inciting violence. Among them: President Obama, Representative Maxine Waters, Senator Cory Booker, Representative and former minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
Conversely, in this week’s continued political reverberations and ramifications, Representative Crow, on January 12th, tweeted in response to long time Republican, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming’s statement to impeach the president. “This is leadership. The right thing isn’t always the easy thing. Thank you Rep. Liz Cheney.”
Crow’s leadership did not stop at the national level, either. As details emerged about a large presence of off duty law enforcement officers and first responders from around the country that were among the insurrectionists at the Capitol, Crow penned a letter to all the Chiefs of Police in his district.
In the letter Crow asks those Chiefs to conduct an “urgent personnel review” concerning any of their officer’s involvement in the January 6th insurrection. Crow accurately describes the weight of the request. “Not only do those individuals represent a possible danger to others – they also disgrace the oaths they took to protect and serve and they dishonor the heroic efforts of countless law enforcement officers who have placed themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow Americans.”
Indeed, just in the past few days there have been increased reports of the military and dozens of law enforcement agencies identifying possible insurrectionists along with other radicalized members. The re-evaluation and realization of this burgeoning threat begs the response of others across the nation.
Perhaps Representative Crow’s most resounding statement was his last four words to other members of Congress during the impeachment vote. “It’s time to lead, ” should resonate far outside Washington, D.C.
Featured image: Police officers stand guard as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis