Congress Decides Gosar Was Not Joking

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idn’t hear a bat squeak from Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick about the censure of Paul Gosar (R-AZ) that passed in Congress, without his vote.

Congress voted 223 to 207 to censure Rep. Gosar (AZ-R) for a 92-second anime he sent out on his Twitter feed showing him killing a giant with the head of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D) by stabbing her through the throat. The anime then showed a photoshopped version of Gosar going on to attack Joe Biden with two raised swords.

The anime was adapted from Attack on Titan, which, according to the Phoenix New Times, portrays a walled city being overrun by … outsiders. It would be easy to interpret them as immigrants because the manipulated images show migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents flying helicopters or riding their quad cycles through the desert. Need more hints? Interstitial titles say “gangs,” “drugs,” “trafficking,” “violence.”

They left out Trump’s favorite: “rape.”

Gosar invited people to look at it on Twitter and Instagram and 2.7 million did just that.

Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter that she became aware of it as she was on her way to the climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland with a delegation of 20 Democrats. Both she and Gosar served on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Gosar has since been stripped of that assignment, along with his other committee assignment to Natural Resources.

That last would have been especially painful, since Gosar is a passionate defender of Arizona’s right to plunder its natural mineral resources.

Gosar was not contrite about the anime. He claimed that it was done by staffers. (The “I didn’t know” defense.) In an interview with a far-right website, as reported in Yahoo News, he said, “If my cartoon can be banned, and my free speech is to be banned — then the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney …could be banned as well — not to mention Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.” (The “It was a joke” defense.)

He also claimed that it was not about Ocasio-Cortez or the President but about the current administration’s immigration policies. (The “It was really about policy” defense.)

When it seemed clear that Congress was going to censure him — a move that has not been taken in 11 years — he made a speech from the House floor, saying that he had taken down the video himself, even though Twitter had allowed it to remain up. “Out of compassion for those who genuinely felt offense, I self-censored,” he said. (Somehow he never came up with the “I’m sorry” defense.)

Looking like a man who has followed the latest Tik-Tok craze of lubing his face for that shiny, youthful appearance, Gosar, at 62, said he wants to woo younger voters. His staff chose a childlike, doe-eyed anime hero, Eren Jaeger, to attach his face to. Biden and Ocasio-Cortez’s anime characters are huge figures, and she looks pretty muscular.

Still, she ended up dead. Gosar’s GOP defenders stuck to their old har-de-har, boys-will-be-boys attitude. It’s a cartoon. It’s a bit of fun. Nothing was meant by it. Can’t you people take a joke?

This ungrammatical image appeared on Gosar’s web site.

Apparently Democrats are bald, wear glasses and cry. And Republicans look like Nordic gods. Must be true.

In her remarks before the vote, Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that, no, being depicted as a victim of murder by an unhinged colleague was not a joking matter: “That what we say and what we do doesn’t matter as long as we claim a lack of meaning. … So that what we do, so that we claim it is a joke, doesn’t matter.” She cited misogyny.

In fact members of the GOP incessantly make verbal attacks on women in the Democratic party.

When Brett Kavanaugh’s pals said it was just frat house humor to defend his boorish behavior and that women like Christine Blasey Ford didn’t know how to take a joke, Niobe Way spoke up. She is a professor of developmental psychology at New York University, with a specialty in studying boys.

In an interview in Vox Dr. Way said that only in the US are boys discouraged from developing their softer, more feminine side, the one that allows them to form intimate relationships and show vulnerability. If a boy hits another boy, he doesn’t say, “I was just joking.” But if he hits a girl, that’s what he says. In Kavanaugh’s case, it was merciless sexual taunting, then saying it was all in fun.

Way told Vox that it is not human nature to be aggressive with women, or men, for no reason.

If a boy/man acts out, for no reason, he covers that by saying, “Hey, I was kidding.”

Here is part of H. RES. 789, the censure against Rep. Paul Gosar.

Whereas violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted;

Whereas a 2016 survey by the Inter-Parliamentary Union found that 82 percent of women parliamentarians have experienced psychological violence and 44 percent received threats of death, sexual violence, beatings, or abduction during their term…

Gosar was censured and, a few hours later, his anime video was once again posted on his Twitter site.

It was there for only two hours. But he put it back up.

Meanwhile, Congressman Fitzpatrick put out a press release about joining bi-partisan legislation to fully fund special education. His office did not put out any press release on his failure to censure Gosar.

Linda Lee

Linda Lee

A former editor and reporter at The New York Times, Linda Lee has written seven books, and started a magazine about real estate and design in Miami. While her interest lies in Bucks County, her family lives near Harrisburg. She has a Shih Tzu named Yolo.
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