A by-now familiar Associated Press photo captured U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., on the floor of the House as President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address. The two were standing, mouths agape, as they screamed “build the wall” at the president.
That picture says it all, and after a week’s time, it has said it to a great many people. The reactions – expressed in numerous letters, comments and actions – reflect embarrassment, anger and profound sadness about the lack of respect shown by individuals presumed to be adults.
It is a disturbing image, emblematic of a dystopian subculture that threatens our democracy. And many of its adherents may see that as the point.
That should be of concern to all Americans, but in a strictly electoral sense, Greene is Georgia’s problem. Boebert, however, represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Durango, Cortez and much of Western Colorado. She is our problem.
The good news is that there is already a number of people eager to challenge her for the job. And while not all of them are familiar names and faces, there are certainly those among them who could defeat her at the polls and do a better job of maintaining the dignity of the office.
That is neither a partisan nor an ideological statement. Her would-be opponents include eight or 10 Democrats – the number seems to vary – and at least two Republicans.
One GOP challenger is Marina Zimmerman, from Arboles, whose website identifies her as a “Conservative Coloradan.” With a background in business and as a heavy equipment operator, she identifies with blue-collar workers and America’s middle class.
The other is incumbent state Sen. Don Coram, whose current district includes Southwest Colorado. A lifelong resident of Montrose, Coram’s background as a rancher, miner and in business all but defines the traditional meaning of conservative. Campaigning against Boebert, he could focus on his conspicuous lack of rudeness and hysteria.
Further analysis of the Democrats in the race will have to await a narrowing of the field. Space is limited. But among them are intelligent people who would address issues that matter to Western Colorado and who would treat those concerns and their constituents with respect.
That is what Boebert misses. It is not partisan. Responding to Boebert’s outburst, Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican congressman from Eastern Colorado, decried her lack of decorum.
But then, he gets it. Members of the U.S. military are taught to salute superior officers. They are also taught that they are to do so not out of affection or admiration for the person before them, but out of respect for the uniform and the nation it represents.
That is what Boebert does not understand. By screaming at Joe Biden, she was not calling out some random guy from Scranton. She was demeaning the presidency, her own role in Congress and, by extension, the United States of America.
Liberal, conservative, Republican or Democrat, we can do better.