Again and again, far-right elected officials have deploy reckless rhetoric about Democrats and their efforts that has been proven to provoke violence. When the violence inevitably occurs, these same officials downplay it or blame Democrats themselves for provoking or even deliberately orchestrating it.
Even in the months after the events of January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection spurred by the former President's election lies, these lawmakers have repeatedly dismissed the severity of the riots and even suggested it was orchestrated by the FBI and Democrats themselves.
The riots led to expanded security measures at the Capitol which has gradually relaxed in recent months, though members still must walk through metal detectors in order to get to the House floor. Every step of the way, pro-insurrection Republicans have repeatedly decried the basic protective measure, calling it "horse s**t" and, in some cases, defying Capitol Police and bucking the detectors all together.
Now, far-right Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida—who's already under criminal investigation for his potential role in the sex trafficking of a minor—is openly "joking" about blowing the metal detectors up. His colleague in the House, Lauren Boebert of Colorado—who tweeted out updates on the House Speaker's location during the insurrection—is joking right along with him.
Gaetz's initial comments came at a Halloween rally for a GOP congressional candidate.
"My friend Lauren Boebert from Colorado—they put in metal detectors on the floor of the House—because it's like a five foot nothing woman, she carries a firearm for her personal protection. So they got triggered by that. I said, 'Man, is it, is it 'tannonite' [sic] or C4 we want to put in those metal detectors and we blow 'em up?"
Gaetz shared a Mediaite article covering his comments, doubling down.
And Boebert volunteered to bring the Tannerite.
She then assured that the explosion wouldn't be carried out inside the Capitol.
But the pair's comments have gone viral for all the wrong reasons.
And while their Democratic colleague Eric Swalwell of California assured the two weren't intellectually capable of blowing something up inside the Capitol...
People continued to call for repercussions, especially since comments like these have proven to stoke violence.
It's unclear what consequences, if any, the pair will face.