Expel Paul Gosar From Congress

Expel Paul Gosar From Congress

The Arizona Republican, who has a history of consorting with neo-Nazis and insurrectionists, shared a video Monday depicting him killing AOC. It’s time to expel this twisted fiend.

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UPDATE: The House of Representatives voted Wednesday, November 17, mostly along party lines, to censure Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and remove him from the Natural Resources and Oversight committees. While Gosar did not express regret for his actions, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was clear that the threats she has received in recent months are very real. “I believe this is a part of a concerted strategy and I think it’s very important for us to draw a strict line a strong line for material consequence,” she said.

Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar’s posting of an altered anime video that depicted him killing a colleague, New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, should be the last straw for the most dangerously delusional member of the US House of Representatives.

As Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said, after Gosar shared the video and then mocked those who criticized him for doing so, “This man should not serve in Congress.” Omar is right. So is California Democrat Ted Lieu, who noted, “In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired.”

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who weighs her words carefully when it comes to sanctioning members of the chamber, said, “Threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States must not be tolerated.”

Pelosi has asked House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to join her “in condemning this horrific video and [in calling] on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.”

McCarthy has remained silent.

Ocasio-Cortez predicts Gosar will “face no consequences” because McCarthy “cheers him on with excuses”—and because institutions fail to protect women of color.

That’s not a cynical interpretation of the problem with Republican extremism in the House. That’s realism.

Under McCarthy, the House Republican Caucus has become a breeding ground for hatred and violent threats.

The caucus—which kicked Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney out of a leadership post after she dared to defend democratic norms following the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol by white supremacist supporters of defeated former President Donald Trump—tolerates members who are far more extreme, and dangerous, than Trump.

While Republicans like Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Representative Matt Gaetz get the most attention, they have plenty of company in the cadre of members whose behaviors were aptly described by Ocasio-Cortez when she used the word “creepy.”

Gosar, who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results immediately after the violent insurrection rocked the Capitol, is arguably the most combative conservative in the chamber. He has defended January 6 rioters more vociferously than any of his colleagues. He claims that Ashli Babbitt, a QAnon follower who was killed by Capitol Police as she and a crowd of rioters smashed glass and tried to enter the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol, was “executed” by authorities. Babbitt, he says, was a “veteran wrapped in an American flag.” Her death, he claims, was a homicide.

Gosar even voted against awarding congressional gold medals to Capitol Police officers who protected members of the House and Senate—and assured that presidential election results could be certified—on January 6.

Lately, Gosar has been attacking Department of Justice inquiries into what happened on January 6, claiming, “The DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.” He says reports on the violence that day are false—arguing that “outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding U.S. citizens, especially Trump voters.”

Despite repeated complaints from the Arizonan’s colleagues and constituents, as Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) 0bserves, “Representative Gosar has not released any statement across his public platforms denouncing the rioters or apologizing for his previous statements or role in inciting violence.”

Gosar is no newcomer to extremism. He has a history of consorting with white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis, as the Arizona media has detailed. When the congressman unleashed a bizarre social-media attack on a Jewish reporter, an Arizona Republic columnist characterized the congressman’s vitriolic statement as “an ugly, unhinged and ultimately anti-Semitic rant.”

Gosar is so off-the-rails that members of his own family have called for his expulsion from the House. His brother, Dave, a Wyoming attorney, said in June, “I consider him a traitor to this country.”

Another brother, Tim Gosar of Fort Collins, Colo., explained, “He’s set a dangerous sort of precedent along the 10 years he’s been in office. When you talk about what happened the other day, you’re talking about treason. You’re talking about overthrowing the government. That’s what this is. If that doesn’t rise to the level of expulsion, what does?”

That’s a good question. An honest answer is unlikely to come from Republican leaders in the House.

But activist groups are demanding accountability, especially after the attack on Ocasio-Cortez. “In any other workplace, a person would be fired immediately for sharing content threatening violence and murdering a coworker. There should be no difference in Congress,” said Bridget Todd, the communications director for the gender justice group UltraViolet. “Representative Gosar’s tweets depicting the murder of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and violence against President Biden are horrific.”

The organization called for “removal proceedings against Gosar from Congress without delay.”

That’s the appropriate and necessary response because, as Representative Omar says, “fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society.”

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