A viral video of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., joking about Rep. Ilhan, D-Minn., being a terrorist has sparked backlash and divided the right.
Does anyone really care about norms anymore?
The footage, posted Thursday by the liberal Twitter account PatriotTakes, showed Boebert at a recent campaign event recounting an elevator ride she said she took with Omar in the Capitol building.
Fact, this buffoon looks down when she sees me at the Capitol, this whole story is made up. Sad she thinks bigotry gets her clout.
Anti-Muslim bigotry isn’t funny & shouldn’t be normalized. Congress can’t be a place where hateful and dangerous Muslims tropes get no condemnation. https://t.co/S1APT7RbqW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2021
Boebert recalled being confused to see a Capitol Police officer running toward the elevator with “fret all over his face,” before she noticed that Omar, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, was standing next to her.
- According to Boebert, after the elevator doors closed, she thought, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
- Boebert also said she referred to Omar as “the jihad squad,” adding that the Democrat was “not tough in person.”
The story drew scattered applause and laughter from attendees, and the video has made headlines and racked up more than 4 million views on Twitter.
HOW PEOPLE REACTED
Amid blanket condemnation of the video from the left and the elite media, Omar said Thursday on Twitter that Boebert was a sad “buffoon” who “looks down when she sees me at the Capitol” and that “this whole story is made up.”
- “Saying I am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter … normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims,” Omar said Friday in another tweet.
- She called on the House leaders of both parties to “take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, Boebert’s comments fueled a larger Twitter debate on the populist right over how far to go in flouting traditional political norms.
Echoing the establishment consensus, conservative writer Brad Polumbo said, “This is just straight up racism. Pretty vile stuff.”
- @AGHamilton29, a popular right-wing Twitter account, argued Boebert and other “crazies” on both the right and left were hurting America and their own cause.
But some hardline dissidents declared Boebert’s joke was funny and it was time to stop playing by the left’s rules and double-standards.
- “Conservatives, stop trying to please people who hate you by tone policing your own side,” Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter said. “They will still hate you, but they will laugh at you too.”
- Sebastian Gorka, a one-time aide to former President Donald Trump, commented simply: “Need more like [Boebert].”
When Boebert apologized Friday to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar,” the Claremont Institute’s David Reaboi was among those who expressed disappointment.
It was a joke made at the expense of a supporter of a designated terror group that just last week murdered civilians in cold blood. Don’t apologize—certainly not while the people you’re apologizing to are calling you a Nazi and white nationalist.
— David Reaboi, Late Republic Nonsense (@davereaboi) November 26, 2021
Last week, Boebert called Omar a “jihad squad member” during a controversial floor speech defending Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., before he was censured by the House for tweeting an anime video in which appeared to slay a mythical create with the head of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.-N.Y.
Defending Rep. Paul Gosar's video, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) says that Democrats are "looking for ways to get offended ” before pivoting to calling Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) a "Jihad Squad member" with a "brother husband." pic.twitter.com/OVtT1vTT2A
— The Recount (@therecount) November 17, 2021