House Republicans came out in favor of workplace harassment

Or not less than it shocked some folks. House Republicans seem decidedly un-shocked by the violent video Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted on November 8, an anime that includes New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face edited onto a physique, which a Gosar avatar almost decapitates. (The avatar additionally swings swords at President Biden, with out ever connecting.) Throngs of refugees and migrants seem in the video, sending a message that Gosar—the one politician to talk at a white nationalist fundraiser this yr—is prepared to defend America, by any means essential, from these, like AOC, who welcome refugees into it. Throughout a Wednesday listening to on whether or not to censure Gosar, his fellow Republicans appeared much less shocked by the contents of the video than appalled at being requested to sentence it. Apparently, workplace harassment is appropriate to half of this Congress, simply so long as it’s directed on the different half.

“It’s fairly minimize and dry,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez stated throughout a fiery however measured six-minute speech. “Does anybody in this chamber discover this habits acceptable?”

The end result of the listening to unequivocally solutions this query: Sure, actually a whole lot of folks in the House of Representatives discover this habits acceptable. The ultimate vote came all the way down to 223 towards 207, in favor of censuring Gosar and stripping him of committee assignments, with solely GOP reps Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois crossing the aisle. (Ohio Rep. David Joyce, a fellow Republican voted current.) Thought of black sheep inside the celebration ever since voting to question Trump for his position in the Capitol Riot, Cheney and Kinzinger telegraphed their votes in advance, a doomed effort to carry others on board. As a substitute, from House Chief Kevin McCarthy on down, the Republican reps supplied a litany of ridiculous causes for why they couldn’t condemn Gosar for his actions.


“There’s an outdated definition of abuse of energy: guidelines for thee however not for me,” California Rep. McCarthy stated early in his speech, for the primary of many occasions. His distaste for one-sided guidelines was notably missing during the last 5 years when, simply as an illustration, an abundance of Trump’s workforce—together with Trump himself—had been revealed to be using private email servers, or when McCarthy himself admitted to dragging the Benghazi hearings out for years simply to make Hillary Clinton seem much less reliable, regardless of being quite eager now to go away the January 6 rebel in the previous.

McCarthy additionally provided as protection of Gosar the truth that Democrats typically do issues he finds outrageous. He pointed out, for instance, that California rep. Maxine Waters, an outspoken Democrat, informed Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis final yr to “get extra confrontational.” After all, solely this celebration would bounce instantly to probably the most loaded attainable interpretation of “get confrontational” whereas working themselves into contortions to search out probably the most charitable methods attainable to interpret Gosar tweeting an unambiguous depiction of himself murdering a colleague.

Some of the opposite causes GOP reps gave for not condemning Gosar embrace:

  • Colorado rep. Lauren Boebert finds Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar offensive, subsequently Omar would possibly as nicely have tweeted a video depicting the homicide of one of her colleagues.
  • New York rep. John Katmo stated {that a} majority celebration eradicating minority members from their committees would set a worrying precedent, regardless of the precise precedent being that if a Democrat tweets a video depicting themselves murdering a GOP colleague, they too is perhaps topic to the identical self-discipline.
  • Michigan rep. Fred Upton claimed the punishment did not fit the crime, which is simply true in that if any random workplace employee ever tweeted a video depicting themselves murdering a colleague, they’d be instantly fired and possibly deemed unhireable.
  • Arizona rep. Andy Biggs stated that violence is a defining element of anime, which he is aware of from having as soon as lived in Japan, and thus tweeting a video depicting the homicide of one’s colleague is merely co-opting artwork, not being offensive.
  • Texas rep. Louie Gohmert claimed the video was unintelligible and he couldn’t discern just what it depicted, however he famous that protesters have been imply to him in the previous and Democrats didn’t condemn them on the time, which is outwardly the identical factor as a Democrat tweeting a video depicting themselves murdering a Republican colleague.
  • Florida rep. Mario Diaz-Balart stated the video was “despicable,” however since Gosar removed the video after a vast public outcry, he shouldn’t be punished, which is form of like saying that it’s despicable to rob somebody’s home, except of course the robber returns the stolen gadgets after being caught.

As for Gosar himself, he defended his actions thusly: “For this cartoon, some in the present Congress recommend I must be punished. I’ve stated decisively there isn’t a risk in the cartoon aside from the risk that immigration poses to our nation. And no risk was meant by my employees or me. I voluntarily took the cartoon down not as a result of it was itself a risk, however as a result of some thought it was. Out of compassion for many who usually felt offense, I self-censored.”

Not solely does Gosar plead ignorance at the concept that anybody might interpret a video depicting himself murdering a colleague as a risk, he additionally performs into the GOP victimhood boilerplate that everything is Orwellian and everybody has to censor themselves now, as if not saying sure issues in sure moments, relying on the state of affairs, hasn’t simply been a foundational facet of well mannered society since ceaselessly.

If Gosar did really feel a way of compassion for many who felt offense at his video depicting the homicide of a colleague, although, it didn’t appear to take. Instantly after the trial, he retweeted the video again, harassing his colleague anew.

In accordance with all however two of his fellow Republican colleagues, he was nicely inside his rights to take action.