Silverii: U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert should resign or be expelled

The events of Jan. 6 will go down in history as the first violent attempt to overthrow the United States government since the Civil War, and it came far too close to succeeding.

Even during the Civil War, a Confederate battle flag was never paraded through hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol. But last week one was — along with with dozens of Trump flags, a green version of the Nazi German flag popular with the alt-right, and openly white supremacist and neo-nazi paraphernalia.

One of the failed insurrectionists wore a sweatshirt that said “Camp Auschwitz” while roaming the halls of Congress with Trump supporters wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats holding the broken nameplate of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Again, these were not “Antifa infiltrators” or “false flags.” This mob of would-be revolutionaries was made up of Trump supporters, with the president himself having sent them to the Capitol.

Jan. 6, 2021, was “MAGA Day.” And it was among the darkest days in American history.

This is an inflection point for our nation. We must make the conscious choice to reject the radicalization and polarization that Donald Trump has caused in our nation, and instead heal the divides that have brought us to the brink of national destruction.

That does not mean ignoring those who incited the violence on MAGA Day, where four Trump supporters and at least one Capitol Police officer lost their lives in a failed insurrection. If we are to ever put the nightmare of the last four years of alternative facts, hatred, and conspiracy theories behind us, those responsible for inciting the violence — everyone from the president, to members of Congress — must be held accountable.

Colorado’s newest member of the congressional delegation, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, took her oath of office last Sunday. By Wednesday, she had made a mockery of her oath to defend the Constitution.

On Dec. 19, Boebert tweeted “Save the Date: January 6, 2021.”

On January 2, Boebert Tweeted that “Ted Cruz is an American hero and patriot! On January 6, we’re both going to be fighting for freedom!”

And on January 5th, the day before MAGA Day, Boebert said “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”

And then came the worst: “Today is 1776,” Tweeted on the morning before violence and destruction engulfed the U.S. Capitol on MAGA Day.

How are we to interpret these messages from Boebert in the aftermath of the assault on the U.S. Capitol? What effect did these Tweets have on her 360,000 Twitter followers, at least some of whom were almost certainly in the crowd that stormed the building?

There are only two possibilities. One is that Boebert is so ignorant of the potential consequences of her own rhetoric that she couldn’t see anyone taking her performative faux-patriotism literally.

The other possibility is that she knew exactly what she was doing. That she knew that her words were inspiring an attempted insurrection complete with the construction of actual gallows, chants of “Hang Mike Pence,” urine and feces smeared throughout the U.S. Capitol, historical artifacts destroyed, Trump supporters scouring the halls of Congress with plastic zip-tie handcuffs, backpacks full of molotov cocktails, explosive and incendiary devices placed at both headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

Boebert said on the floor of the House before the attack: “Madam Speaker, I have constituents outside this building right now. I promised my voters to be their voice.”

And somehow it gets even worse: at the exact moment insurrectionists were pouring into the Capitol, Boebert was tweeting about Speaker Pelosi’s location. Either she was ignorant to the point of gross negligence of the possibility that she was broadcasting intelligence to the insurrectionists or she was knowingly broadcasting that intelligence to the violent mob of Trump supporters.

Either of these possibilities is completely and totally disqualifying. Boebert’s actions on “MAGA Day” must be thoroughly investigated.

Boebert should immediately resign or be expelled from the United States Congress. Allowing her to complete the rest of her term could be a security risk to her fellow lawmakers. If Boebert isn’t held accountable for these actions, what on earth will she do next?

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