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'13 of Them'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Jason Minto/U.S. Air Force via AP

I know I am supposed to be morally outraged and offended at Rep. Lauren Boebert for shouting out at President Joe Biden during this week's State of the Union Address. I know this is expected of me because my moral and intellectual superiors on "Morning Joe" and "The View" have demanded indignation from me over this mortal political sin. 


However, in the grand scheme of things, I'm having trouble working much anger up over the freshman congresswoman from Colorado uttering the only acknowledgment of the deaths of 13 brave American service members less than six months ago while they were following the reckless and ill-planned orders of the very Commander-in-Chief who was delivering the barely-coherent speech in the chamber of the House of Representatives. 

Oh, I know, I know... "Decorum!" they shout at me. "Respect for the office!" they bellow from their climate-controlled television studios in Manhattan.

I'm sorry, but it's kind of hard for me to muster up grave concern and pearl-clutching shock over a first-term congresswoman "breaking decorum" in the House Chamber with an off-camera, un-amplified statement from her seat on the backbenches while we saw the image of the Speaker of the House of Representatives literally tear up the individual sheets of paper of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech, on camera, in full display and in complete defiance of the man the office and the constitutionally mandated tradition of the State of the Union address itself. 

If Nancy Pelosi's pre-meditated, performance-art, one-woman show shredding Trump's speech while barely controlling her "I'm gonna go viral and become the next great GIF" smirk on her surgically reconstructed face didn't spark condemnation and moans from Joe and Mika, I'm not going to get too worked up over Boebert's mere lack of self-control in one emotionally charged moment in Biden's speech.


And let's get to the heart of the matter. They're not angry at Boebert for her so-called insult; they're mad because her display has forced the issue of Biden's atrocious handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal back to the front burner. 

Rep. Boebert is being demonized for daring to literally speak truth to power during this made-for-television event because she recognized what the rest of us were all witnessing: Joe Biden was summarizing his first year in office, and he completely ignored the most significant disaster of a whole litany of disasters from the past 13 months. 

Biden is the Commander-in-Chief, and he ordered the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of countless Afghan nationals who had been our allies and who had been promised a safe and orderly withdrawal, including visas and passports delivered from the US embassy for all those who risked their lives to aid our efforts over the past 20 years. 

When the Taliban began their unimpeded steamroll of the country with American forces already evacuated, Biden was forced to prematurely shutter our embassy and send US diplomats home in the dark of night. Chaos ensued, and only the sight of desperate Afghans clinging and then falling from a transport jet got Biden's attention long enough for him to order several thousand US troops back to the evacuation area in a failed attempt to restore order. 


Of course, Biden's great plan for those troops included a reliance on the Taliban to provide security at the Kabul airport. Security was so good that a suicide bomber walked right up to a checkpoint and killed our Americans in uniform with the push of his diabolical button. 

Biden's response was to drone-bomb an innocent Afghan family to smithereens and then check his watch several times during the dignified transfer ceremony of the flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base. 

And none of this rose to any level of importance to be mentioned at his SOTU? No acknowledgment of the sacrifice of these brave, lost 13? No appreciation to the Gold Star Families? No mom or dad or wife in the gallery sitting next to Dr. Jill?

Nope. Just pretend it didn't happen. After all, we have higher priorities. We have to voice our support for trans rights, after all. 

So, yeah, the Democrats and the media and the usual handful of self-loathing Republicans were quick to condemn Boebert for her impulsive interruption and had nary a word for Biden's tragically inept policy and his attempt to erase the memory of the brave 13 from his record. 

It's fascinating what some people decide to be outraged over. 

This weekend, I'll be having a meal at Buddy's Crabs and Ribs in downtown Annapolis. As I make my way to my table in the Maryland institution just blocks away from the United States Naval Academy, I'll pass a table that has been set and reserved in memory of the 13 fallen since August. Everyone at that restaurant, employees and patrons alike, pause and remember and acknowledge and express our grief and gratitude for these brave men and women. 


A seafood restaurant in Annapolis will literally show more decorum and respect for our military than the president who commanded their last mission that led to their deaths. 

And I bet they'd all be just fine with Lauren Boebert. And so am I. 

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