The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted along party lines, meaning the vote was close and NeverTrumps Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger voted with the Democrats, to censure Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, for posting a juvenile animated video that portrayed cartoon violence against Democrats and illegal immigrants. This was the first censure since 2010 and only the 24th in the history of Congress. The vote also stripped Gosar of his committee assignments.
In a vacuum and in principle, Ethics Alarms applauds the move. When I wrote about Gosar’s moronic stunt ten days ago, I headlined the story “Why Do We Let People Like This Idiot Into Congress?” This naturally assumes that I would not be sorry to see this idiot kicked out of Congress. I also wrote, in conclusion,
“This isn’t the kind of video a member of Congress should be having made, or put on social media. It’s an embarrassment to Congress, his party, his state, and his country. By what bizarre concept of public service and the House ethics rules could anyone conclude that such an assaultive, offensive, infantile piece of agitprop belongs in the public square?”
Gosar should have been censured, BUT…
Under the same principles, so should have Rep. Maxine Waters, the loudmouth, racist Democrat, for making real life exhortations that encouraged non-animated violence against Republicans. She wasn’t, and the totalitarian-minded Democrats show no signs of ever disciplining any of their own uncivil, violence-endorsing, unprofessional members, no matter what they say or do. Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have faced discipline for tearing up President Trump’s State of the Union speech on camera. Eric Swalwell should have been disciplined for having close relations <cough>with a Chinese spy. “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib called President Trump a “motherfucker” in public: if the House is serious about restoring respect for our institutions and ending divisiveness, that has to be considered at least as unacceptable as tweeting a badly edited and barely watchable video. On the other side of the aisle, the two Republican House members Bill Posey and Jeff Duncan who evoked “Let’s go Brandon!” during House business should be punished as well. This crap has to stop.
Democrats under Pelosi, however, only want to constrain the ugly impulses of Republicans, while allowing their own to run amuck. This is called a “double standard” in my field, as well as hypocrisy and an abuse of power and position.
“When a member uses his or her national platform to encourage violence, tragically, people listen,” Pelosi said, which would have set a record for gall if she hadn’t already set it so high herself that this was just a wan entry at best. “Depictions of violence can foment actual violence, as witnessed by this chamber on Jan. 6, 2021.” Wow, she managed to drag in the fake “insurrection” narrative AND attack the First Amendment too! When do we see the bill banning the “Die Hard” movies, Nancy?
Which is more likely to encourage real life violence, an African American Democratic Party leader telling her supporters, as Waters did in 2018, “If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” or a lame anime knock-off on Twitter?
“I don’t think this should be an issue about party, about partisan politics,” Liz Cheney said. “If a Democrat had done this, that would require censure as well.” Except there would be no censure and you know it, you preening hack. “There’s an old definition of abuse of power: rules for thee but not for me,” Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy said, as he listed some of the House Democrats who should have been disciplined like Gosar. This was done in order to threaten GOP vengeance when the House has a Republican majority, as it likely will in a little more than a year. Vengeance, not fairness, order and mutual respect. Vengeance. Both parties are led by thugs, not statesmen.
What Republicans should have done, but lacked both the courage and ethical integrity to do, was to join in the censure of Gosar, and make it clear that they regarded this as a pledge by Democrats to enforce new standards of civility and respect on all House members going forward. including Pelosi and Waters.
Meanwhile, emboldened by his party’s blind support, Gosar gave a defiant speech, refused to apologize for posting the video, and after he was censured, retweeted the tweet with the video that praised it as “really well done.”
20 thoughts on “On The Censuring Of Rep. Gosar”
At least in politics, it isn’t how you play the game, it’s how you place the blame.
Here’s my P.M. impression: Actually, that quote isn’t abut politics, but Hollywood. It is attributed to Don Simpson, the late wacko film producer and screenwriter who teamed up with Jerry Bruckheimer to make Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, and more. Their films earned $3 billion. He was a drug addict and plastic surgery addict, and when he was found dead of a heart attack, there were 21 different drugs in his system.
Considering the nonsense going on between Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Boebert and the like, maybe we should Buffalo Shaman Guy and his pals should have been a bit more organized.
Double standards are a threat to standards.
It’s a political hit, nothing more. However, the Dems should NOT complain if the House flips next year and some of their folks, i.e. Omar, AOC, end up on the receiving end of the same kind of hit.
Exactly, Steve, and I was just wondering if there is a time limit or “statute of limitations” on censures. I hope not. The worm will turn in the apple soon.
Question, but isn’t this one big “whataboutism”???
Are you saying this guy shouldn’t have been censured? Or just that other people should be censured too?
If you are referring to Jack’s post (not at another commenters reply), then he (Jack) made it abundantly clear at several points that the same standard should be applied to everyone, no matter party affiliation. That would include Rep. Gosar.
Apparently you either can’t read, or didn’t read. And don’t know the definition of “whataboutism.” (It’s in the Rationalization List.)
I also suggest checking the Comment Policies. There’s a Stupidity Rule here, and a couple more comments like this one will trigger it.
If you know what whataboutism means, why are you doing it in this very post???
You spend more time on “what about?!” than the actual unethical behavior here.
Also, do you apply the Stupidity Rule to yourself ever? Hmmmm
You were warned. You’re an idiot, and you’re banned. Your comments are not welcome, and any you try to post will be sent to Spam. Eventually, WordPress will spam them automatically.
Since I get the final word, I will point out that “Whataboutism’ is when someone attempts to justify or excuse unethical conduct because someone else got away with it, often an ally or a favorite of those seeking to punish the one engaging in the conduct now. I was crystal clear that EA does not excuse Gosar’s conduct and that he should be censored, but that the Democrats are engaged in a double standard because they have not held their own to similar requirements. That is true.
Not having the acumen to make a basic distinction is bad enough; insulting me because you’re a cretin just compounds the offense.
You’ve wasted enough of my time. And in your case (though not others who have been banned), a promise and an apology will not get you reinstated. You can’t fix stupid.
Well, hecky dern. I guess that means our earlier debate on what is a vaccine and vaccine mandates is over.
Let me be clear. I have little issue with Gosar being censured (but stripping away committees is still a bit much). I have a bigger issue with censuring that Congresswoman from Georgia (?) earlier this year, which was essentially a punishment for her beliefs (and another poke in the eye to Trump).
I think a lot of her ideas were rather nutty–but I thought this was supposed to be America. My bad, there. And, as well, I remember her trying to recant some of many of them.
Or maybe I do have an issue with the censure. Not so much that he didn’t deserve it, but the reason the Democrats did it. The country is trying to focus on serious issues and now Pelosi says, “Look, over there, a squirrel…..”
My mood swings from anger and apprehension to incautious optimism, or so it seems. But I am certainly more hopeful than I was 12 months ago.
Maybe I’m not awake yet, but you’ll have to elaborate on what your first sentence means.
Unless by “you” you mean the now banned Waldorf, and not me. Waldorf? What Waldorf?
You owe me a keyboard. (I wonder how many readers won’t get that joke…)
Yes, on the 5th Circuit decision post, the rhetorical ball was in the court of the former poster who Must Not Be Named.
And it shall remain there until the end of time.
Calling out double standards is not whataboutism.
I agree with the sentiment, that in an ideal world, fools get punished for doing foolish things. Unfortunately, to have success in modern day politics, it is almost a prerequisite to not have ethics alarms. I recall when Ilhan Omar said something that could be seen antisemitic adjacent, that ended with Congress condemning hate in general, and white supremacy in particular. Omar was not mentioned anywhere. Those are the current standards. Using this calculus, I can see why the Republicans didn’t go along with this, since it is unilateral disarmament. Thuggish and petty it may be, but a political strategy of mutually assured destruction will go on, until there is an agreement to equal terms. I don’t see progress on that front yet.
So, wait, the picture on that other post is the one he’s being censured for and stripped of his committees?
That post had slipped my mind — I thought, reading the coverage of this, that his tweet had something actually graphic on it.
Sheesh. If something like that is all it takes for Congress to go nuclear — shouldn’t there have been more like a hundred members censured over the past decade or so, of both parties?
Not that it was an appropriate or a good thing to put out there, but contrast that with some of the books in the Loudon County public school library that are there for school kids to peruse.