voice for democracy

Opinion | Paul Gosar made a murderous video. Kevin McCarthy is murdering democracy. – The Washington Post

Rep. Paul Gosar, the Arizona Republican who used congressional resources to produce and release a cartoon video of him murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), deservedly became the 24th person in history to be censured by his House peers.
But Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) is the one who truly has earned the censure of posterity. In his craven attempt to maintain himself as the House Republican leader, McCarthy showed once again that there is no level of violent, hateful or authoritarian speech that goes too far. By condoning threats and intimidation in the people’s House, he is inviting actual violence — and signing democracy’s death warrant.
Ten days ago, as the world now knows, Gosar, a dentist/insurrectionist, tweeted from his official congressional Twitter account a manipulated anime in which the Gosar figure flies through the air and slashes the Ocasio-Cortez figure across the back of the neck. Blood sprays profusely from the neck wound. Ocasio-Cortez’s lifeless head snaps back. Gosar moves on in the video, swords drawn, to confront President Biden.
Gosar didn’t apologize for the video. He mocked the “faux outrage” and labeled as “laughable” the “shrill accusations that this cartoon is dangerous.”
On the House floor Wednesday afternoon, a defiant Gosar, noting that he took down the video (after about two days and 3 million views), portrayed himself as the victim. “No matter how much the left tries to quiet me, I will continue to speak out,” he vowed.
Only two of 213 House Republicans voted with Democrats to censure Gosar.
McCarthy was outraged — not by the unrepentant Gosar’s homicidal cinematography but by Democrats’ move to reprimand him. Instead of condemning the video, McCarthy said Democrats would “break another precedent” of the House.
So Gosar depicts himself murdering a Democratic colleague, but Democrats are the ones breaking precedent for reprimanding him?
McCarthy, on the House floor, mentioned the matter only in passing (“I do not condone violence, and Rep. Gosar had echoed that sentiment”), instead reciting a meandering list of grievances: Proxy voting! The Steele dossier! Afghanistan! He threatened that when speaker he would retaliate by stripping committee assignments from five Democrats over various perceived offenses.
The victim of Gosar’s anime sword, speaking immediately after McCarthy, noted McCarthy’s strained search for equivalent wrongs. “When the Republican leader rose to talk about how there are all of these double standards … not once did he list an example of a member of Congress threatening the life of another,” Ocasio-Cortez pointed out.
“It is a sad day,” she said, “in which a member who leads a political party in the United States of America cannot bring themselves to say that issuing a depiction of murdering a member of Congress is wrong.”
Sad, but to be expected from McCarthy.
Gosar claimed that Ashli Babbitt, the insurrectionist shot dead by Capitol Police on Jan. 6 as she breached the final barrier protecting lawmakers, was “executed in cold blood” by a police officer “lying in wait” for her. Gosar attended a conference run by a White nationalist banned from YouTube because of hate speech and was listed as the beneficiary of a fundraiser by the same White nationalist. Gosar alleged that the FBI planned and carried out the Jan. 6 insurrection, and he was named by an organizer of Jan. 6 as one of the lawmakers who “schemed up” the atrocity. Gosar joined 20 Republican colleagues in voting against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6.
And McCarthy pretty much let it all slide.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) earlier this year posted an image of herself with an AR-15 next to photos of Democratic Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) with the caption “Squad’s Worst Nightmare.”
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) warned that “if our election systems continue to be rigged and continued to be stolen then it’s going to lead to one place and that’s bloodshed.”
Former president Donald Trump said Babbitt “was murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger …. The Radical Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this.”
Several House Republican lawmakers have been tied (or tied themselves to) violent or anti-government groups such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.
And McCarthy pretty much let it all slide.
Instead, he threatened to strip Republican lawmakers of their committee assignments — if they joined the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. McCarthy also had a laugh when noting that, if he wins the speakership, “it will be hard not to hit” Pelosi with an oversized gavel.
There was once a case to be made that McCarthy was simply a weak leader. But now it’s clear he is blessing the provocations to violence.
Gosar killed his colleague in a cartoon. McCarthy is killing democracy in real life.
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