TRUMP IGNITES A WAR WITHIN THE CHURCH ~ NYT opinion

After a week of Trumpist mayhem, white evangelicals wrestle with what they’ve become.

By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

  • Jan. 14, 2021
Trump supporters brought a cross to pray outside the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to ratify Joe Biden’s electoral victory last week.
Trump supporters brought a cross to pray outside the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to ratify Joe Biden’s electoral victory last week.Credit…Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

“Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labeled a coward, sellout, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times.”

This is the beginning of a Facebook post from Sunday by the conservative preacher Jeremiah Johnson. On Jan. 7, the day after the storming of the Capitol, Johnson had issued a public apology,asserting that God removed Donald Trump from office because of his pride and arrogance, and to humble those, like Johnson, who had fervently supported him.

The response was swift and vicious. As he put it in that later Facebook post, “I have been flabbergasted at the barrage of continued conspiracy theories being sent every minute our way and the pure hatred being unleashed. To my great heartache, I’m convinced parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of.”

This is what is happening inside evangelical Christianity and within conservatism right now. As a conservative Christian friend of mine put it, there is strife within every family, within every congregation, and it may take generations to recover.

On the one hand, there are those who are doubling down on their Trump fanaticism and their delusion that a Biden presidency will destroy America.

“I rebuke the news in the name of Jesus. We ask that this false garbage come to an end,” the conservative pastor Tim Remington preached from the pulpit in Idaho on Sunday. “It’s the lies, communism, socialism.”

The violent Know-Nothingism, which has always coursed through American history, is once again a torrent, threatening more violence in the days ahead.

On the other hand, many Trump supporters have been shaken to the core by the sight of a sacrilegious mob blasting Christian pop music and chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” There have been defections and second thoughts. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who delivered a prayer at the Trump inaugural, told his congregation Sunday, “We must all repent, even the church needs to repent.”

The Trump-supporting Texas pastor John Hagee declared: “This was an assault on law. Attacking the Capitol was not patriotism, it was anarchy.”

After staying basically level for four years, Trump’s approval ratings dropped roughly 10 points across several polls in a week. The most popular piece on the Christianity Today website is headlined, “We Worship With the Magi, Not MAGA.” In the world of secular conservatism, The Wall Street Journal editorial page called on Trump to resign. Addressing Trump supporters, the conservative talk show host Erick Erickson wrote, “Everything — from the storming of the Capitol to people getting killed to social networks banning you to corporations not giving you money — everything is a logical consequence of you people lying relentlessly for two months and taking advantage of American patriots.”

One core feature of Trumpism is that it forces you to betray every other commitment you might have: to the truth, moral character, the Sermon on the Mount, conservative principles, the Constitution. In defeat, some people are finally not willing to sacrifice all else on Trump’s altar.

The split we are seeing is not theological or philosophical. It’s a division between those who have become detached from reality and those who, however right wing, are still in the real world.

Hence, it’s not an argument. You can’t argue with people who have their own separate made-up set of facts. You can’t have an argument with people who are deranged by the euphoric rage of what Erich Fromm called group narcissism — the thoughtless roar of those who believe their superior group is being polluted by alien groups.

It’s a pure power struggle. The weapons in this struggle are intimidation, verbal assault, death threats and violence, real and rhetorical. The fantasyland mobbists have an advantage because they relish using these weapons, while their fellow Christians just want to lead their lives.

The problem is, how do you go about reattaching people to reality?

David French, the conservative Christian writer who fought in the Iraq war, says the way to build a sane G.O.P. is to borrow a page from the counterinsurgency handbook: Separate the insurgents from the population.

That means prosecuting the rioters, impeaching the president and not tolerating cyberterrorism within a community or congregation.

Others have to be reminded of the basic rules for perceiving reality. They have to be reminded that all truth is God’s truth; that inquiry strengthens faith, that it is narcissistic self-idolatry to think you can create your own truth based on what you “feel.” There will probably have to be pastors and local leaders who model and admire evidence-based reasoning, wrestling with ideas.

On the left, leaders and organizations have arisen to champion open inquiry, to stand up to the cancel mobs. They have begun to shift the norms.

The problem on the right is vastly worse. But we have seen that unreason is a voracious beast. If it is not confronted, it devours not only your party, but also your nation and your church.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION APPROVES PROPOSAL TO EXPAND VISITOR ACCESS TO THE WAVE – BLM ~ ” A parting shot to environmentalists” rŌbert

Expanded access to world-famous geologic feature in the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced it has approved a proposal to expand visitor access to the world-famous geologic feature known as the Wave, located in the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness on the Arizona Strip. Under the new decision, the number of hiking permits issued for the Wave will increase from 20 to 64 people and/or 16 groups per day, whichever comes first. The BLM could implement further increases or decreases in the future based on monitoring of resources and social conditions.    

“The stunning beauty of the Wave is part of every American’s public lands heritage, and we’re honored to protect and manage it for generations to come,” said Deputy Secretary Kate MacGregor. “This effort provides for additional safety for visitors, access to our nation’s veterans, and ensures that in times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the American people have expanded access to recreational opportunities on their public lands.”

“The Wave is one of the world’s most incredible and visually stunning natural wonders,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond. “We’re pleased to be able to expand options for public viewing of this amazing landscape in a way that’s consistent with its preservation.”

“We conducted robust environmental analysis and worked in collaboration with partners and interested stakeholders in an effort to allow more visitors access to the Wave, while maintaining wilderness character,”said BLM Arizona State Director Ray Suazo. “I appreciate the close collaboration with Coconino County in Arizona and Kane and Washington Counties in Utah in managing this important natural area.”

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Arizona Strip District on all aspects of the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and Wave management. The Kanab Field Office will continue to run the next day lottery in an efficient and respectful manner,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “This decision provides additional safety for visitors and will hopefully decrease the workload on Kane County’s already-busy search and rescue personnel.”

“The Kane County Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with our federal partners at the Bureau of Land Management to improve the safety of visitors at the Wave. As visitation and interest has dramatically increased, the permit process has become more complex. We appreciate the leadership shown by the BLM on this safety issue.  Improving the safety and overall experience of visitors here is clearly a shared priority. As the Kane County Sheriff, I feel very fortunate to have such a positive cooperative relationship with the Bureau of Land Management. We share a sincere love of public lands and a responsibility to those that visit. A big thank you from my office to folks at the BLM for recognizing this issue and working to solve difficult problems,” said Kane County Sheriff Tracy Glover.

“Coconino County supports this decision to increase visitor access to the Wave in a manner that will preserve and protect the natural and scenic wonders of this landscape,” said Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler. “We are excited about the opportunities for economic growth in our local communities that comes with this increase in recreational tourism.”

“The Wave has become one of the most iconic and recognizable destinations in the world. Increased visitation and associated tourism is a vital part of the Kane County economy. The desire to visit The Wave has created some complex management concerns. These concerns have required a great deal of coordination between Kane County, the DOI and local BLM managers. Kane County sincerely appreciates the efforts put forth by key DOI and BLM officials who took interest in this issue and worked hard for a rapid resolution. Because of these efforts, visitors will be safer and have a better overall experience as they enjoy the beauty of public lands in our area,” said Kane County Commissioner Andy Gant.

The decision supports Secretary’s Order 3347, Conservation Stewardship and Outdoor Recreation, and Secretary’s Order 3366, Increasing Recreational Opportunities on Lands and Waters Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It strikes an appropriate balance by responding to the public’s increased interest in visiting the site while minimizing environmental impacts and maintaining wilderness values. This will be accomplished though an adaptive management framework that is outlined in the Final Environmental Assessment. The framework provides the BLM the ability to make adjustments to meet desired conditions based on monitoring at the site.

Public interest in the Wave has grown exponentially in recent years. In 2018, more than 200,000 individuals applied for the 7,300 hiking permits available annually to access the site. With only 20 people allowed each day through both the online and walk-in lotteries, only 3.6 percent of applicants were able to obtain a permit to access the Wave. This prompted the BLM to explore options for expanding visitor access in a manner that protects the character of the site and its unique natural features.

While the increase in visitors at the Wave (a feature which is less than half the size of a football field) will be apparent to hikers, there are ample opportunities for solitude that are available away from the main route and outside of the Wave within the more than 112,500 acres of the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Additional wilderness values including primitive and unconfined recreation, natural sights and sounds, remoteness, freedom, risk, and the physical and emotional challenges of self-discovery and self-reliance can be enjoyed on the route to and at the Wave.

The BLM’s Final Environmental Assessment and Decision Record approving the change are posted on BLM’s ePlanning website at: https://go.usa.gov/xyxtK. Learn more about visiting the Wave or the online permit system on our website at: www.blm.gov/TheWave.

BETTO ARCOS SHARES THE POWER OF COMMUNITY IN ‘MUSIC STORIES FROM THE COSMIC BARRIO’

January 17, 20217:

~~~ LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW ~~~

Lulu Garcia-Navarro 2017 square

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO

Music journalist Betto Arcos gathers his favorite reports from prolific career in Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio.Erik Esparza/Courtesy of the author

For over a decade, arts journalist Betto Arcos has been a familiar voice to public radio listeners, bringing them the sounds of the world — be it from a samba school in Rio or an amphitheater in Colombia, profiling artists who play unusual instruments or create cross-cultural mashups. More than 140 of those reports are collected in his new book, Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio. Arcos spoke with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro about learning in his travels how music creates community, and vice versa. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.


Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Tell me about the title of the book. What do you mean by the “cosmic barrio?” 

Betto Arcos: “Cosmic barrio” to me is a place where you can find music that has to do with community, that has to do with identity, that has to do with coming together to create a peaceful, loving environment where people can have a great time. 

That is beautiful; those are words I need to hear right now. Why did you write the book?

I felt like I could put together something that will bring people into music in a different way than, say, the way the stories have been airing on NPR, on the BBC, on The World, on KPPC here in Los Angeles. I really wanted to have all those stories in one book so that people could just dig in and start listening — and yes, go to YouTube if they want, go to Spotify, and find all of this amazing music from different corners of the world.

Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio, by Betto Arcos.

Adalberto Arcos Landa

You could have laid out your pieces chronologically as you reported them over the years, but you instead organized this book by themes. Talk us through the different themes and why you decided to work that way. 

I felt that I wanted to help the listener — or the reader in this case — get an idea of what music can be. Not just music to create music, to have a good time with music, but that music has the power of doing so many things. Music can be transformative, music can be something where we have moments of anguish, of pain, when we want to celebrate somebody. I wanted to create sort of these concepts behind every chapter. There’s one called “Identity,” and it’s not just identity like, say, Colombian identity or Mexican or Brazilian identity. It’s identity that a person or an artist or a musician has through the music they create. There’s also “Power” — not just the power of anybody, but the power that women have to create their own story. 

It strikes me that the hallmark of your radio reports is that you often don’t rely on album recordings: You collect the sound of locations and artists playing their instruments in their own context. In one case, you profiled a very interesting trumpet player, Ibrahim Maalouf, who uses an unconventional version of the instrument. What made this trumpet so important and special to Maalouf’s music?

He is a musician from Lebanon, and he’s playing the traditional style of music that’s played in that part of the world. His father Nassim Maalouf created the four-valve trumpet — typically, trumpets have three valves — and the fourth valve is the one that creates the so-called quarter tone, this very kind of blue note that people are familiar with in jazz. I wanted to tell the story of how that trumpet changed the life of this musician, how his father wanted him to continue playing classical music but he really wanted to make his own sound to create his own music.

Since this is a collection of your stories over the years, your experiences with music, who’s the most striking character you’ve covered? 

This was actually a suggestion from Tom Cole — he’s been my editor [at NPR] for the last 10 years. He once said to me, “Betto, when you’re in Cuba you should try to get an interview with Leo Brouwer.” I said, “He’s impossible to get.” I tried so many times before. [But] one day I got a call from a friend, who helped me get the interview. Leo Brouwer is a tower of music, not just in Cuba, but in Latin America. He is one of the greatest composers of classical guitar music and he also helped to create the conservatories in Cuba that gave us some amazing musicians that have the classical and the Cuban popular music in their sound. To me, it’s like talking to someone that was so influential and still influential today. That was a very special, very meaningful moment for me. 

You mentioned editor Tom Cole, who edited your pieces for NPR’s Arts Desk and wrote the foreword to your book, and who happens to be retiring this week. He said this about you and your broad curiosity: “As jazz musicians say, he’s got big ears.” What did you learn from him over the past decade of working on stories together? 

More than anything else, how to tell a story. He was my teacher; he’s been my mentor. He taught me how to write the first sentence in a story. I thought I knew how to do it until he said to me, “No, no, no. It has to be something catchy. it has to be something that grabs people.” … He’s really been my guiding light as a journalist, as a writer.

Remembering Barry Lopez ~ Fresh Air ~ NPR

Remembering Nature Writer Barry Lopez

January 8, 2021

~~~ LISTEN ~~~

We remember the award-winning writer Barry Lopez, who wrote evocatively about nature, and in turn shed light on truths about the human experience. He died Christmas day at the age of 75. Lopez lived among the Arctic’s Inuit people for five years, and raised a wolf pup for his book about the relationship between wolves and men. 

A FIRST FOR AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT, AND A FIRST FOR DONALD TRUMP

In the final moments of his presidency, Mr. Trump is confronting an unfamiliar fate: He is being held to account as never before for things he has said.

President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. During the final days of his presidency, he is being held to account as never before for things he has said, finding his typical defenses insufficient.
President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. During the final days of his presidency, he is being held to account as never before for things he has said, finding his typical defenses insufficient.Credit…Oliver Contreras for The New York Times

By Matt Flegenheimer and Maggie Haberman

  • Jan. 16, 2021

When President Trump faced (and overcame) the gravest crisis of his first campaign, he defended his boasts of sexual assault on the “Access Hollywood” tape as ultimately harmless gabbing. “Locker room talk,” he said, nothing to dwell on.

When the president faced (and overcame) impeachment in 2019 after pressing the Ukrainian president to investigate Joseph R. Biden Jr., he insisted it was merely an innocuous case of two guys talking. “A perfect call,” he said, not a high crime.

And when Mr. Trump leaves the White House no later than Wednesday — amid the impeachment sequel and uncommon comeuppance he has encountered since inciting a riotous mob in Washington on Jan. 6 — he will surrender a valued perk: an executive phone system, he once enthused, that made it feel as though his words would self-destruct before they became self-destructive.

“The world’s most secure system,” Mr. Trump marveled in a 2017 interview during his first week in office, observing that no one was listening in and recording. “The words just explode in the air.”

Poof. Gone. Just as he likes it.

For most of Mr. Trump’s 74 years, the relationship between his words and their consequences has been fairly straightforward: He says what he wants, and nothing particularly durable tends to happen to him.

But in the final frames of his presidency, Mr. Trump is confronting an unfamiliar fate. He is being held to account as never before for things he has said, finding his typical defenses — denial, obfuscation, powerful friends, claiming it was all a big joke — insufficient in explaining away a violent mob acting in his name.

Aides could not do it for him, anonymously offering more palatable accounts.

Allies could not argue that he had been misunderstood.

His own words were all anyone needed to hear on this one.

Supporters of Mr. Trump stormed the Capitol this month after he held a rally.
Supporters of Mr. Trump stormed the Capitol this month after he held a rally.Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times

In almost certainly the most expansive series of penalties he has incurred in his life, Mr. Trump’s Twitter account has been banned, his business brand badly dented, his presidency doomed to the historical infamy of a second impeachment. His largest lender, Deutsche Bank, is moving to create distance from him. His New Jersey golf club was stripped of a major tournament. Some once-reliable Republican congressional loyalists are revisiting their commitment, threatening his grip on the party, even as the president’s popularity with much of his support base remains undimmed.

~~~ CONTINUE ~~~

LAUREN BOEBERT VOWED TO SHAKE THINGS UP IN CONGRESS. SHE HAS DELIVERED IN HER FIRST WEEK ~ The Colorado Sun

The high school dropout with a history of minor run-ins with the law used her first tumultuous week in office to cement her far-right and extremist credentials while also setting off a widespread roar of criticism

Nancy Lofholm Jan 14, 2021

Lauren Boebert, Republican Candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, observes a prayer during a get-out-the-vote-rally at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway in Grand Junction, Colo., Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. (Barton Glasser, Special to The Colorado Sun)

As she barnstormed across the 3rd Congressional District last year with a pistol on her hip and a steady stream of Democrat-aimed insults rolling off her tongue, Lauren Boebert promised to make a big, loud splash in the nation’s capital if voters sent her to Congress.

Colorado’s newest U.S. representative has delivered on that – in spades – and in just one week.

Since she was sworn in on Jan. 2, Boebert has been the focus of more ink and air time than she ever racked up at Shooters Grill, her Rifle restaurant where she first took her star turn in the media for serving burgers and fries with a holstered gun and having all her waitresses do the same.

The high school dropout with a history of minor run-ins with the law has used her first tumultuous week in office to cement her far-right and extremist credentials while also setting off a widespread roar of criticism that includes calls and petitions for her resignation, her expulsion from Congress and her prosecution for alleged “sedition” connected to the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Critics now include fellow congressional representatives — including Republicans — and Democratic elected officials throughout the 3rd District.

Anti-Boebert letters-to-the-editor have been piling up in newspapers across the district. Letter writers have called her “a nut job,” “a national security risk,” “a disgrace,” “a domestic terrorist” and “the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to Colorado.”

Protests have occurred at all of her Colorado offices. On Twitter, #ResignBoebert has gone viral as opponents call for her immediate resignation, along with that of her fellow Colorado Republican U.S. Rep.  Doug Lamborn, for “helping to incite last week’s deadly violence.”

Across the district she represents, where her constituents are struggling with the burdens of the pandemic and with perennial issues related to the land and water, residents either want to give a brand new congresswoman a break and time to get her feet on the ground in D.C. or they want her expelled now because they view her as dangerous and worthless when it comes to representing their interests.

Controversy started on Day One

The controversy began on Boebert’s first day in office, when she released a slick, campaign-fundraising video that starts with her holstering her Glock and then shows her striding down streets and alleys in Washington D.C. – a city that bans the open carrying of guns and requires concealed-carry permits. The video came after she had vowed to carry her weapon in the halls of Congress and convinced a cadre of Republicans to push for a change allowing for that.

An image from a fundraising video produced by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert that touts her desire to carry a gun in the U.S. Capitol. (Screenshot)

Two days later, as the Electoral College votes were set to be tallied and a marauding mob, whipped up by President Trump’s speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally, broke into the Capitol, defaced and damaged the building, defecated in the corridors and searched menacingly for Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Boebert was criticized for her controversial behavior.

The morning before the mob attack, Boebert tweeted “Today is 1776,” referring to the American revolution. Then, she made her debut on the House floor with a shouted, hand-waving tirade about why she was voting to overturn the results of the presidential election and try to keep President Trump in office. She referred to her need to support her constituents who were in the crowd outside.

“I have constituents outside this building right now! I promised my voters to be their voice! ”

During the siege on the Capitol, Boebert live-tweeted that Pelosi had been removed from the chamber, which some critics took to be a message to the mobs.

In the wake of the riot, Boebert issued a lengthy news release this week in which she defiantly asserted that Democrats and “Hollywood elites,” including Robert Deniro [sic], Madonna and Johnny Depp had called for mob violence on other occasions, including during the BLM demonstrations this summer.

Boebert wrote that Democrats act as if “the bravery or upholding the Constitutional oath is criminal, which says a whole lot more about them than it does about me or any other Republican.”

Lauren Boebert, then a Republican candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat, is shown here at a campaign event July 27, 2020 in Pueblo. (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“Their hypocrisy is on full display with talks of impeachment, censure, and other ways to punish Republicans for false accusations of inciting the types of violence they have so frequently and transparently supported in the past,” her statement read.

On Tuesday, Twitter labeled as misleading a tweet by Boebert that falsely accused the Democratic National Committee of rigging elections — but not before she railed about the crackdowns on misinformation on Twitter, Facebook and Parler. Her complaints came two days after she blocked a number of her critics on her own Twitter account.

Her latest controversial action in a week of snowballing controversy came when she refused to open her bag for Capitol police after it set off a metal detector Tuesday evening as she was attempting to enter the House chambers.  

Criticism is coming fast and furious

Across the 28 Western Slope and southern Colorado counties that she represents, opinions about Boebert’s incendiary beginnings in Congress are flying as fast and furious as Boebert’s storm of anti-Democrat, pro-fundamentalist-religion and pro-Second Amendment tweets.

“She is a loose cannon,” said Democrat Bruce Bartleson, a retired Western State University geology professor who lives in Gunnison. “She ran as a law-and-order candidate, but she has no respect for the law.”

“I think she is doing pretty good at standing her ground. She is a strong little fighter,” said Vicki Cook, a Republican retiree from Hotchkiss who added that those criticizing Boebert are “full of baloney.”

Sam Rushing, a veteran and retired Ouray businessman who is a 30-year fixture on the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team, called Boebert “just a dangerous person.”

“I have been in the service. I know what sedition is,” the longtime Democrat said. “This has gotten a lot more serious than her parading around the capitol with her sidearm.”

In Durango, where Boebert opponents took to a park with signs last weekend, Benjamin Waddell, a 38-year-old criminology professor at Fort Lewis College, was among them. He grew up in the conservative western Colorado ranching town of Norwood but said he felt compelled to grab a portable microphone and speak up about Boebert.

“What draws me into the streets is a genuine fear that Representative Boebert pulls us away from the American ideal,” Waddell, a Democrat, said.

He cited her “unwillingness to support stimulus support” for her constituents who are reeling from the effects of the pandemic as being the opposite of what the area she represents needs. 

He said he believes she was put in office by voters who feel like mainstream politicians had left them behind, but that Boebert will prove to be ineffective in representing them because “she is not capable of reaching across the aisle.” 

He doesn’t support expulsion for Boebert. He thinks it is too much of a long shot.

Instead, he said Colorado’s 3rd District needs to take a page from the playbook in Georgia, where far-right candidates were recently bested by Democrats who reached out to disenfranchised voters. He said the district needs to come up with good candidates to run against Boebert in 2022.

Claudette Konola was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for a Colorado Senate seat in 2014 and has continued as a civil rights and environmental activist as a registered Independent in Mesa County. She has been a strong critic of Boebert since she first announced her candidacy. 

“She announced from the very beginning what kind of representative she was going to be.”

“She is immature. She is irresponsible. She is uneducated. She is in over her head. She is poorly informed, and she does not qualify to represent us,” Konola said. “I wish she would resign or be found guilty of sedition.”

Boebert supporters were not as forthcoming with their opinions, either not returning phone calls, emails and Facebook messages, or declining to comment.

Edward Wilks, a friend and adviser of Boebert’s who owns a gun shop near Boebert’s Shooters Grill, said he would not comment because he didn’t like how The Sun had characterized a group he belongs to in a past article. Wilks is a member of the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary organization made up of current and former law enforcement officials and military veterans. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists it as one of the largest radical anti-government groups in the country.

Wilks and fellow Oath Keepers have come out in the past to serve as protection for Boebert during her campaign and reportedly were part of the crowd that turned into the mob storming the Capitol.

Boebert’s mother, Shawn Bentz, did not respond to a Facebook message asking for comment about her daughter’s first week in office. Bentz, who is an open supporter of QAnon on social media, went to Washington with Boebert for her swearing in ceremony. She was pictured with Boebert at that ceremony and mentioned that she had gone on detailed tours of the Capitol buildings with her daughter. She was staying with Boebert in her D.C. apartment that first week, according to her social media posts.  

Prior to the Jan. 6 riot, using the Twitter name Shawna Roberts-Bentz, she retweeted White House political advisor Dan Scavino: “See you soon PATRIOTS.” 

Days after the Capitol riots she posted — and later deleted — a link to a violent, dystopian YouTube video portraying the country’s military might under Trump, from rifles to nuclear bombs, and asserting that the military would stand with the president to keep him in office.

“Just when y’all thought My President was hiding out…He will not give up on us! In The End We Win!!” Bentz wrote after first commenting about the post: “If That Ain’t America I Will Kiss Your Ass!!!”

Bentz wiped all QAnon-related and extremist-supporting posts from her public Facebook page, leaving only family photos, medical fundraisers and links to her daughter’s official posts.

When Boebert was confronted during her campaign about expressing support for QAnon in a recorded interview, she backed off that statement and said that it was “more my mother’s thing.” 

But her links to QAnon and other far-right extremist and racists groups persist on the internet with photos of her surrounded by bikers and armed supporters displaying patches and logos of these groups. In some, the heavily armed men behind her, are flashing a white-supremacist hand signal.

Some of her fellow congressional representatives are now voicing their beliefs that she is a proponent of extremism and asking for an investigation into any part she might have played in the Jan 6 riot. Nearly 70 elected officials in her district, all of them Democrats or unaffiliated with any political party, or serving in a nonpartian position, have sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for an investigation of Boebert’s alleged ties to white supremacist groups.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Rifle, is sworn into Congress. She is pictured here with her husband and children. (Handout)

Mainstream issues in the district are worrisome, too

While Boebert makes waves for that extremism, her more mainstream constituents back home are expressing fears that a district beset by water woes, drought, a scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines, food pantry shortages and other pandemic-related economic problems will not have any representation from a congresswoman who appears to be focused only on gun rights and on vows to protect their “freedom.”

Cindy Cyphers, a Grand Junction retiree and Democratic activist, said she hasn’t seen any movement on Boebert’s part to actually start learning the job of being a U.S. congresswoman. “It’s Second Amendment over and over and over with her,” Cyphers said. “She has shown absolutely no interest in governing. There has not been one word out of her mouth about water or things that are important to our district.”

Cyphers said the Second Amendment and MAGA grandstanding needs to stop. “She needs to get to work.”

In Hotchkiss, Cook said she thinks 3rd District residents need to give Boebert time to grow into her new role.

“I think she will learn and improve with time. We can’t know everything up front,” Cook said. “I think if the issues are put before her, she will learn about them.”

Rushing, who said he moved to Colorado from his Mississippi Delta birthplace because he wanted to raise a family in a progressive state, said he worries because Boebert has never said that she plans to represent all the people in her district. Thus far, he said, she is only representing the extremists, and the extremists are listening to her.

“I have always been an optimist,” he said. “But I have big fears about this.”

“THIS WENCH IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE HUMAN RACE & COLORADO” ~ RŌBERT

Investigate Rep. Boebert’s ties to white nationalist groups.

Garfield County Democrats started this petition to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and 2 others

January 2021

TO:    

Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi

House Majority Leader, Representative Steny Hoyer

House Minority Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy

FROM:   Constituents of the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado

As constituents of Representative Lauren Boebert (CD3), we respectfully urge you to investigate Rep. Boebert with regard to her connections to the white supremacist groups that instigated the insurrection in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. 

We are alarmed by statements made by Rep. Boebert prior to the insurrection which surely served to help pro-Trump extremists feel justified participating in the violent and racist events of that day. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned by the fact that Rep. Boebert has continued to post content which undoubtedly incites the fury of dangerous white nationalist groups.

Below are just some of Rep. Boebert’s public statements on the days surrounding the insurrection: 

The Founding Fathers did not back down when people told them what they could and could not do.”   (Jan. 5, Twitter)

Today is 1776.” (Jan. 6, Twitter)

I have constituents outside this building right now. I promised my constituents to be their voice.” (Jan. 6, Address to Congress)

“The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”  (Jan. 6, Twitter)

“I want you all to know how proud I am to have taken a stand on the Electoral College certification.” (Jan. 8, Twitter)

“Hillary must be pissed it took the DNC until 2020 to successfully rig an election.” (Jan. 9, Twitter)

During the insurrection, despite the directive from the Sergeant of Arms for legislators to refrain from posting on social media, Rep. Boebert posted information on Twitter regarding the whereabouts of Speaker Pelosi, a known target of the insurrectionists.

Two days later, Rep. Boebert posted a video encouraging people to go back and watch her Jan. 6 address to Congress. It is in this speech that Rep. Boebert refers to those rioting outside the Capitol building as her “constituents” to whom she has promised “to be their voice.”

The fact that Rep. Boebert encouraged people to go back and watch her floor speech–even after she had a full account of the events that occurred on Jan.6–indicates that Rep. Boebert has no regrets about promising to be the voice for the right-wing extremists on the Capitol grounds that day.

As constituents of Rep. Boebert, we appreciate your leadership on this important matter.Start a petition of your ownThis petition starter stood up and took action. Will you do the same? Start a petition