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FIGHT ON THE RIGHT: Did Lauren Boebert Cross the Line With Mean Joke About Ilhan Omar?

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.

SO WHAT

Does anyone really care about norms anymore?

WHAT HAPPENED

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.

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.

SAME ENERGY

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.

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