While every edition of Congress features at least a few representatives from the lunatic fringe, the current 117th Congress seems to be saddled with an extraordinary number of people who make one scratch one’s head and wonder: “How the hell did they ever get elected?”
From Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who famously stalked victims of the parkland Florida school shootings, to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is accused of transporting under-aged teens across state lines for transactional sex, to Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), whose own family has denounced him as a “pathological liar” and “a traitor to this country,” the number of seats controlled by people who seem hell bent on transforming the image of a federal legislator from that of a dedicated public servant into a self-promoting seeker of a featured prime-time slot on the right-wing media outlet of their choice to help them raise more grifting funds seems to exceed all rational bounds.
Of course, the limited attention span of the public and the competitive nature of retail politics means that some of these more regrettable members of Congress are often pitted against each other as they try to climb to the top of the deplorable pecking order, reaching over each other for the advantage of the largest public profile.
The bounds of propriety and social acceptability mean little to these partisan warriors as they scrap amongst themselves to reach the top of the GOP heap.
Thus we are faced with the latest controversy from another member of the under-educated and over-armed caucus of the Republican Party, the gun-obsessed Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
The brouhaha stems from the multiple competing offers from the most radical GOP lawmakers to bring the recently acquitted Kenosha killer Kyle Rittenhouse onboard as an intern for their congressional staff as a sort of trophy to prove their MAGA bonafides.
Among those competing for the dubious honor was Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), another of the reliably extremist right-wingers in the House GOP.
Appearing on former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka’s Newsmax program last night, Congresswoman Boebert responded to a suggestion from Rep. Cawthorn that they decide their competition for the attentions of the acquitted murderer by a friendly arm-wrestling contest.
Boebert rejected Cawthorn’s offer and suggested a substitute competition that made the jaws of disability rights activists drop precipitously as they heard her proposal.
“I am so thrilled at the jury’s verdict here,” Boebert declared to Gorka. “Now I do have some colleagues on the Hill who have, just like me, offered Kyle Rittenhouse an internship in their office, and Madison Cawthorn, he said that he would arm wrestle me for this Kyle Rittenhouse internship, but Madison Cawthorn has some pretty big guns, and so I would like to challenge him to a sprint instead. Let’s make this fair.”
Even a short footrace like a sprint would hardly seem fair given the fact that Boebert is well aware of the fact that Cawthorn is paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident he was involved while returning from a spring break trip at the age of 18.
Gorka, perhaps realizing that Boebert’s cruel joke might not be that well received, offered instead to arm wrestle the North Carolina congressman in her stead.
“How about I offer this — allow me to arm wrestle him on your behalf,” Gorka told the Colorado lawmaker. “I love a good arm wrestle, and I would be happy — Madison’s a buddy, and I would be happy to arm wrestle him on your behalf.”
Despite Gorka’s offer, the damage had been done.
Congresswoman Boebert’s sad attempt at humor had already enraged disability advocates — and anyone else with half a brain — who took to Twitter to express their displeasure.
Is this comedy or cruelty?
— DAPPER DON DHARSHI • K A M I L • (@SoloFlow786) November 24, 2021
Lauren is mentally paralyzed.
— Mr. Autumn (@_MrAutumn_) November 24, 2021
Don’t think that’s the issue with what she said…
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 24, 2021
College dropouts in Congress compete to hire high school dropout interns. That’s America right there.
— Andrew Lundy (@andrewolundy) November 24, 2021
Suffice it to say that it’s of utmost importance to make sure that these poor excuses for legislators are defeated in the next round of elections. It’s up to the electorate to come to their senses and replace these clowns with responsible adults who’ll work for the common good instead of their own 15 minutes of fame.
Original reporting by Aaron Rupar at Substack.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.